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Hot topic: Approved practice settings

Post date: 03/07/2017 | Time to read article: 1 mins

The information within this article was correct at the time of publishing. Last updated 14/10/2021

MPS medicolegal adviser Dr Pallavi Bradshaw flags changes to approved practice settings for F2s

Since 2007 foundation year doctors have been restricted to only working in approved practice settings (APS). These are healthcare facilities recognised by the GMC as providing appropriate supervision and appraisal arrangements.

All “designated bodies”, which are healthcare providers and other employers approved for the purposes of revalidating doctors, fulfil these criteria.

The requirement to work only in an APS will also apply to your registration, if you are a UK or international medical graduate granted full registration for the first time since 3 December 2012 and have not yet revalidated.

The GMC stance has changed for F2 doctors, who will now meet the APS requirements as long as they hold and maintain their connection with a designated body. In practice this means that an F2 with a designated body can work outside their substantive post or training programme, providing they ensure their educational supervisor is aware of this and they comply with any reporting requirements set by their employer and training body. 

It is important to note that full GMC registration alone does not remove the obligation to work only in an APS. Almost all F2s will still be unable to undertake any medical practice in the UK unless they are connected to a designated body. The situation remains unchanged for provisionally registered F1s, who cannot work as a doctor outside an APS.

It should be noted that a foundation doctor (F1s included) could volunteer at events as a first aider, for example, as long as the activity is not reserved by law to licensed doctors.

Finally, any foundation doctor wishing to work outside their approved practice setting must ensure they have adequate indemnity arrangements. For NHS locum shifts this will ordinarily be provided by the NHS. Where such arrangements are not in place, MPS members may be able to extend the benefi ts of their membership to include indemnity for this work. Members wishing to work in this way should contact MPS’s membership team before undertaking or agreeing to undertake such activities.

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