2nd August
Written by
Sara Memon
Reading time
5 min read

How-to get up to speed with UKFPO 2022

The new applicant handbook was published just last week - and we're here with a summary of what is different this year.


The National Timeline

Here are the changes for this year:

  • The eligibility application window* has been reduced from six to three weeks, as the entire process is managed online and doesn't require applicants to send any supporting evidence in the post
  • The booking window for the SJT will open from October 4th for all applicants, and from September 29th for applicants with approved reasonable adjustments
  • The primary application window** will take place earlier than in previous years, between 8 and 22nd September 2021

*This application window is not for all students: only those applying from overseas or those who graduated in summer 2020 (last year). These applicants must apply through a separate process as UKFPO needs to assess eligibility for the programme.

**This is the window applicable to most students.

Oriel Application Form

The application system is known as Oriel.

General changes

Improvements seem to have been made on Oriel to make things easier for candidates applying for multiple programme types: i.e. the specialised foundation programme (SFP) in addition to the priority foundation programme (FPP), or the standard two year programme (FP). There is now a single application form, as opposed to entirely different forms for each.

There are separate windows for these other programmes however - applicants can preference SFPs/FPPs from as soon as they submit their FP application, until 6th January 2022 (SFP) and 17th February 2022 (FP).

Specialised Foundation Programmes (previously known as the AFP)

There seems to be little change aside from the name change so far. Like before, local selection criteria vary and individual 'Specialised units of application' (SUOAs) - the equivalent of deaneries - will make this clear on their websites.

Why the name change? The 'AFP' was never academic in the traditional sense - some of the programmes focussed more on leadership and management, for example. The name change aims to make the offering clearer to applicants.

Check out our AFP blog here.

Applications for Pre-Allocation based on Personal Circumstances (previously known as 'Special Circumstances')

This allows individuals to apply to a specific foundation school for personal reasons.

This year, they've expanded the criteria to include:

  • Educational circumstances
  • Widening Participation

The aim of this is to support applicants who would benefit from being allocated close to their medical school (or home) - allowing for greater familiarity with the system and ongoing family/peer/medical school support.

Changes have also been made to criteria for applicants with significant caring responsibilities.

Applicants wishing to apply for pre-allocation based on personal circumstances to a particular foundation school will be able to do so as part of the main application form on Oriel. Previously, this was done via a separate email to UKFPO.

Requests for Reasonable Adjustments for the Situational Judgement Test (SJT)

Applicants who require reasonable adjustments when taking the SJT will have the option to request these as part of the main application form on Oriel. Previously, there was a separate form for this.

Additional Educational Achievements

As the application window for the Foundation Programme has been brought forward - the deadline for submitting additional educational achievements (see our FPAS blog post) have also been brought forward.

However, some applicants may not have had their additional degrees awarded by this time. Because of this, UKFPO has added an additional, later deadline of Wednesday 3rd November. Note - this system can only be used for the FP application, and not SFP or FPP.

Also be aware that this new deadline can only be used for degrees or publications genuinely expected by November 3rd, and any publications still 'in press' by this time would not count.

However, as this deadline is after the FP application deadline (22nd September), you must still include your additional Educational Achievements in your form even if you do not yet have any supporting evidence. If you are required to upload evidence, you will be asked to upload a blank document or a dummy Pubmed ID. You will get 0 points - however this score will change once you submit your evidence before 3rd November.


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