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When you hear about applying for jobs in the NHS, you may invariably hear people talk about FY2 standalone or locum appointment for training (LAT) posts, and it's only natural to wonder if you should apply for such a post. So let us give you the complete picture of what an FY2 standalone or LAT post means.
What is an FY2 Standalone/LAT?
In the UK, newly graduated doctors enter into what is known as the foundation program, which consists of a two year rotational post. The first year of this post is known as Foundation Year 1 (FY1), while the second year is known as Foundation Year 2 (FY2). If you've completed an acceptable pattern of internship as per the GMC back home, you've already done the equivalent to FY1 in the UK.
Wondering what is considered an acceptable pattern of internship? Check out our article on Internship & UKFPO.
FY2 standalones are essentially open spots in the foundation program. It is a training post that is available to be applied for in January via Oriel. The post then starts in August of that year.
Eligibility for joining standalone posts
As mentioned before, you can apply for an FY2 standalone/LAT in January, so at the time of the application you will need:
- To have passed IELTS or OET with the required score. You'd need a minimum of 7.5 in each section and 7.5 overall for IELTS and a minimum of 400 for OET.
- To have at least passed PLAB 1.
If you have already been working in the NHS for at least 3 months, then a consultant can provide a testimony to state that your level of English proficiency is adequate to continue instead of having to take IELTS or OET. Please note that you must be in a paid working role. A clinical attachment or observership does not count. You can find the consultant testimony proforma on the foundation program website.
If you can prove to that 75% of your patient contact during medical college was in English and that your medical education and exams were conducted completely in English, then you can avoid IELTS or OET.
You must also hold FULL GMC registration by the time the standalone starts, as well have completed an Immediate Life Support (ILS), Advanced Life Support (ALS), or Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) course. To keep to this schedule, have your PLAB 2 cleared by April of the year you are applying, and have you GMC registration applied for by May at the latest.
What makes you ineligible for FY2 standalone
- Completed the UKFP or are currently enrolled in the foundation program
- Have a CREST form signed
- Already completed an FY2 standalone in the past
How do I apply?
All applications must be submitted via ORIEL. You will need to look under the 'foundation' staff group to find the option for UKFPO. You will then be able to search for 'FY2 standalone' in the vacancies. It's always best to complete this process on a desktop/laptop rather than on a tablet or mobile device.
Please note that during the application process you will need to provide references. These references will only be contacted once your offer has been accepted. Please ensure from the start that your references are happy to be contacted and that they will be prompt in responding if you are successful in your application.
If you are interested in starting an FY2 standalone for the 2021 intake, the application window is from January 4th until February 1st, 2021. If you do not submit your completed application during this time, it WILL NOT be accepted.
FY2 Standalone versus Non Training
If you wish to start out in the NHS, you don't need to be in a training post from the get-go. There are options to work in non training for some time before transitioning to a training job (if you wish!). So make a decision based on what you think would make the most sense for you. We have talked about the differences between an FY2 standalone and a non training post:
The progression for an individual who has completed FY2 standalone and someone who has gone via a non training post to get their CREST form signed is the same. No preference would be given to someone who has done a standalone versus someone who has not. Make your decision after weighing all the pros and cons mentioned in the video above.
How to ensure an FY2 standalone post?
How can you make sure you put your best foot forward in order to land the FY2 standalone position of your dreams? Let us walk you through the process!
- Fulfil the basic eligibilty criteria
As already outlined above, ensure you have a valid IELTS/OET, passed PLAB 1, and have not obtained an FPCC/CREST form.
- Complete a ResusUK approved course
You will need to have passed a ResusUK certified ILS, ALS, or ACLS course by the time the program starts.
- Submit the application before the deadline
The application for FY2 standalones opens January 4th, 2021, and it closes February 1st, 2021. Keep these dates in mind in order to not miss out!
- Prepare well for the interview
Good resources to prepare from include this medical interview book as well as the Oxford Handbook for the Foundation programme. You may also benefit from this extensive interview prep written by Dr. Deepthy George, who landed an FY2 standalone post in the Oxford deanery.
Stressed about the prospect of starting in the NHS? Read about how you can be a safe doctor from day one!
Frequently asked questions regarding FY2 standalone
No. At the end of a standalone, you get a Foundation Programme Certificate of Completion (FPCC). This is equivalent to the CREST form you can get signed via a non training job. Your application would not be considered 'less' if you submit a CREST form instead of an FPCC.
Nationality does not play a role in the application or eligibility process. Anyone, regardless of citizenship, may apply if they meet the eligibilty criteria. Please note, as we've already mentioned above, if you are currently in or have completed UKFP, already completed an FY2 standalone, or have a signed CREST form, you cannot apply.
Yes and no. If, during your FY2 standalone year, doctors are removed from the shortage occupancy list, and during that same year you wish to apply for training, you would be exempt from the Resident Labor Market Test (RLMT). It would not be of any benefit to you if you'd done a standalone, then took a non training job, during which time RLMT was reinstated.
Yes. Although it was not needed in the past, the SJT is now necessary in order to apply for an FY2 standalone.
Yes! Read the experience of Dr. Deepthy George where she talks about how she attended her FY2 standalone interview online.
You will have some time to rank your preferences. Based on the score you acheive from your application and interview along with what others have chosen, you will be allocated a post.
When you are ranking preferences, you are able to see the hospital as well as the rotations of that post.
When you take on an FY2 standalone, what you are essentially doing is filling a gap that became available either because someone did not continue their UKFP FY1 post or it had not been filled from the start. Because of that, you can expect varied rotations through different specialties. For example, it wouldn't be unreasonable to find rotations like psychiatry, community geriatrics, and trauma and orthopedics for your standalone.
Good luck on your application for an FY2 standalone!