Saturday 23 July 2011

Foundation Programme : FPAS and disability

[This post is now several years old. For up to date information on FPAS, please see]

Here are some specific things to consider related to FPAS applications as a follow-up to yesterday's post, again with reference to the 2012 applicant's handbook :
- Some with evidence of a good reason they need to be placed in a specific foundation school (for example, school-aged children, staying with a certain healthcare team) can apply to do so. The application and evidence must be submitted by 29 Sept. However, this isn't a guarantee that you will get a job in this foundation school - you still have to have as high a score to be allocated a place as you would otherwise.
- The form does ask if you are disabled or have health problems. This will not affect your allocation to a foundation school (which is based purely on your score), but the foundation school will see it. Bear in mind that it takes time to put adaptations in place so it is probably wise to disclose at the time of application. You can tell them later in the process, but you don't want to give folk any excuse to not adequately deal with your needs.
*Edit : I am investigating this point further, in relation to a comment left below.*
- If you want to link your application to somehow - which may be extra important if, like me, your partner is also your carer to whatever degree - bear in mind two things :
1) You will both be assigned based according to the lower of the two scores
2) Linking applications will limit the number of posts you can apply for, because not all posts have a suitable 'sister' post that will work.
You need to talk this stuff out in advance, to avoid nasty surprises.
- Your referee will be asked if you have any health problems which will have an impact on your work. I think that this is really odd. To be frank, I don't think it is your referee's place to disclose personal information about you. For one, these referees are colleagues/supervisors - and my health, or lack of it, is none of their business to start with. I don't think it's appropriate, but maybe it's a standard questions for employers to ask referees, I don't know.
- The handbook points out that spelling and grammar mistakes can cause you to be marked down in the questions section. I would suggest that if this is likely to be an issue, you ask someone to proofread, which is allowed (and is probably a good idea anyway).


  1. Um, I think they might be being illegal there. Pre-employment health screening has been banned since October 2010.

    It's also worth pointing out that if you declare a disability, 'two ticks' employers (many NHS trusts) *have* to interview you - I know a few medics who made good use of this in the first year of MTAS.

    You can get specific legal advice on mental health discrimination from Time to Change at this link: - they are very good, but can be slow to reply.

  2. Thanks for that tiredlegs, it's good to know, and certainly worth investigating.

    Reading it again, it does certainly seem "pre-employment", but I'm not certain how it technically works, because I don't know exactly where in the process it becomes available.

    It's given to your foundation school at a pre-allocation-to-specific-job stage, with the justification that it might affect which post you can take (giving the example of HIV / exposure prone procedures).

    I'm going to look through that link, and look back through the handbook, because if it is as you say, it would be something to raise now and not later.

    I've always been wary of it because I actually got asked about my mental health problems during one med school interview, when they're specifically not allowed to ask about disclosed disability.

    Thanks for the link =)

  3. Also, how did interviews work in that context? If it's about making minimum requirements for the job? *Every* medical student would be eligible for *every* F1 job (conditional on passing their finals). (I know that MTAS was different to the process now in some ways) - would that be interviews when you've been assigned to a foundation school, or interviews for the posts you want or what? (Sorry to pester, it's just that there is really very, very little information around about any aspect of this).

  4. tbh I am not sure, though I *think* it was geographical areas.
    The doctor in this case hadn't got any interviews at all due to MTAS being so chaotic, and was facing not being able to work. He spotted this loophole, wrote a letter to some places saying 'Oi! You have to give me an interview' and got a job.
    Hopefully things are now less chaotic than in the first year of MTAS, and I have no idea at all how it works, but you might want to ask?

  5. Cool, that makes sense. I'm going to talk to the med school about it in depth when we go back. Tbh, I'm trying to be realistic - I don't think my grades will be good enough to get into my choice of deanery and I'm far from certain that I'll be able to have a rota that works... I'm really not sure if it's going to happen. Still, the next step is exams and I need those whatever happens.

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