Swapping Foundation Posts and Rotations 

Once you have been allocated a foundation rotation, you are not allowed to swap the whole rotation or any post within it except through the School’s official F2 Swaps Process or with the approval of the Foundation School in other exceptional circumstances. We understand that this rule is disappointing for some Foundation Doctors (FDs), particularly those who want a rotation explicitly geared towards their preferred career choice but it is implemented for the following reasons:

The process for allocating or matching to posts needs to be transparent and fair. FDs are matched to rotations on the basis of the national application process. Rotations do not belong to FDs and are not theirs to give away outside this process.

Educational approval has been given to the rotation to which you have been allocated. Changes to the rotation that are not authorised by the Foundation School will not carry educational approval.

For selection into specialty training, it is important that you show evidence of Foundation capabilities as well as suitability for and commitment to that specialty. Selection panels are aware that many FDs will not have had their most preferred rotations. What they will be looking for is evidence of your commitment to that specialty e.g. through tasters, audit, attending careers events etc.

All F1s will start with a compliant programme i.e. one where the F2 programme is an appropriate balance with their F1 programme. The School recognises that this allocation of a 2 year programme restricts the choice of posts that FDs can have and, while our obligation is only to provide each doctor with a generic programme in which they can achieve the outcomes of the curriculum, we are keen to improve FDs satisfaction with their programmes if possible. This is why we have an F2 SWAPS PROCESS.

While wanting to get the best outcomes for our doctors, the School does not want to raise false expectations that it can satisfy all requests for swaps. Swapping will depend on matching swaps being identified and cannot happen if it results in a vacancy rate in any trust that would impact on patient safety. The School’s ability to accommodate swaps will be very limited due to its obligation to ensure that each doctor has an appropriately balanced rotation.

An email confirming the Swap application process will be sent to F1s in November each year with a deadline to apply (usually the beginning of January the following year). Please look at for this email as we will not accept late applications under any circumstances.  It is the applicants responsibility to ensure correct completion of the application online form as once the deadline has past no amendments can be made and swaps will be made on the information on the application form and once done cannot be undone.


THE F2 SWAPS PROCESS FOR 2023/2024 has now concluded details of the 2024/2025 offer will be published in due course


F2 SWAPS PROCESS FOR 2023/2024 (now closed)

All applications MUST be received by 3rd January 2024.  No late applications will be accepted.


There are two options for types of F2 programme swap. If you choose more than 1 option, you need to tell us which option you most prefer. 

1.         You can apply for a swap of your allocated F2 location e.g. you have been allocated a programme in Torbay and want to move to Plymouth or North Devon. You will be applying to swap to any F2 programme that is compliant with your F1 programme. You must be willing to accept any compliant rotation.

Priority for Special Circumstances (see link below) will apply to applications for a swap of F2 location.

2.         Staying in your existing allocated location, you can apply to swap one post with another (keeping your other posts in your allocated programme) providing that your resulting whole 2 year programme remains balanced AND includes at least one community placement **, one surgery placement and one medical specialty.  You cannot repeat a placement specialty and you cannot complete 2 community placements.  You cannot request a swap that would repeat a post already in your programme for something very similar e.g. you have done Geriatric medicine & want to do Community Geriatrics.


Priority for swaps will be given to requests with approved special circumstances (for Option 1 only) after which swaps will be considered in a random order.  


Specialty groupings for forming a balanced rotation



Also contains

Anaesthetics and Intensive Care


Emergency Medicine


Obstetrics and Gynaecology





Includes Neonates



Physician Specialties

Includes posts in Acute Medicine, MAU, EAU, GUM (hospital)


Also included in the community grouping if not in Liaison


Includes Oncology

Surgical specialties

Includes all surgical specialties including T&O and Urology


GP, Psychiatry (not liaison), Community neuro-Rehab, Community O&G, Community musculo-skeletal, Public Health, Sexual Health



Applicants, who entered the Peninsula Foundation School as linked applicants, will be treated as UNLINKED in the swaps process unless they both indicate on their individual forms that they want to be treated as LINKED.

If you were not a linked applicant but now want to be treated as LINKED for the swaps process e.g. you only want to move to Plymouth if your partner can move to Plymouth, then you both need to indicate that on your Swaps forms. Please understand that linking your application with someone else’s may reduce the chances of either of you achieving a swap of location.


Once the swaps process has closed, submitted requests cannot be withdrawn. The decision of the swaps team is final and there is no appeals process. Swaps of posts or programme cannot be made outside of the School’s official process and trainees are reminded to act professionally throughout the process and not pressurise other doctors to “release” posts that they themselves want. Once a swap has been approved there is no option to decline and revert to your original programme.


**   The only exception to this is if your originally allocated two year programme did NOT contain a community post.  Then you would be exempt from the rule about a swap maintaining a community placement.  All other rules would still apply.