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Flexible portfolio training

Flexible portfolio training (FPT) is a new initiative within higher specialty training run by Health Education England and the Royal College of Physicians that protects 1 day a week (or 20% time equivalent) for professional development.

What we are doing

The training scheme is an approach to meet the demand for flexible working in higher specialty training and is an opportunity for trainees to engage in meaningful project work that will benefit their non-clinical professional development. It acts as the perfect complement to clinical training, providing protected time away from clinical medicine to pursue other avenues. Each pathway will expose the trainee to different individuals, networks and teams, not always visible in traditional, daily medical registrar work. FPT provides the platform not only to meet the GMC’s generic professional capabilities, but to excel in them. 

A flexible portfolio trainee’s non-clinical day will be focused on one of four pathways:
•    medical education
•    quality improvement
•    research
•    clinical informatics

Trainees will spend a minimum of 1 year on their pathway, with the option to continue for the duration of their higher specialty training (subject to satisfactory progress and Annual Review of Competence Progression outcome).
These ST3 posts are national training numbers and applicants should apply to their chosen specialty as usual, preferencing the FPT option where available. There are no extra qualification requirements and no additional scoring or interview criteria other than appointability to higher specialty training.

Interested parties can contact flexibleportfoliotraining@rcplondon.ac.uk for more information.

Pilot cohort

The pilot scheme began in England in August 2019. Cohort 1 have successfully completed their first year, with the majority choosing to continue into their second year. Cohort 2 have also been recruited. There will be an official evaluation in the coming months to assess the success of the scheme. 

The below table highlights which pathway is available in each deanery in England and Wales, along with the specialties taking part during this pilot phase. 

FPT pathways.pdf 390.58 KB

FPT documents

Case Studies 266.99 KB
Factsheet 201.84 KB
Trainee Forms 754.04 KB

What we have produced

Each flexible portfolio training pathway will expose trainees to new ways of working, teamwork and leadership, and will complement their time in clinical practice.