Flexible portfolio training

Flexible portfolio training (FPT) is an ST3 training scheme run by the Royal College of Physicians and Health Education England 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 professional development.

A flexible portfolio trainee’s non-clinical day will be focused on one of four pathways:

  • medical education
  • quality improvement
  • research
  • clinical informatics.

Each pathway will expose the trainee to new ways of working, teamwork and leadership, among other general professional capabilities, and will complement their time in clinical practice. 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).

Pilot cohort

The pilot of this scheme began in England in August 2019.

Cohort 2 (2020-21)


  • West Midlands – medical education
  • East Midlands – medical education
  • East of England – quality improvement
  • South West England – quality improvement
  • North West England – n/a (no intake for 2020-21)
  • Wessex – clinical informatics
  • North East England – clinical informatics
  • Yorkshire & the Humber – research, medical education
  • Wales – clinical informatics, quality improvement
  • KSS – medical education

These ST3 posts are national training numbers and applicants should apply to their chosen specialty as usual, preferencing the flexible portfolio training option where available. There are no extra qualification requirements and no additional scoring or interview criteria other than appointability to higher specialty training.

Specialties for 2020-21 cohort

  • acute internal medicine – West Midlands, East Midlands, East of England, Wessex, North East, Yorks & Humber
  • clinical pharmacology – West Midlands
  • endocrine and diabetes medicine – West Midlands, South West, Wessex, North East, Yorks & Humber, Wales
  • gastroenterology – Yorks & Humber
  • genitourinary medicine – Wessex, North East
  • geriatric medicine – West Midlands, East of England, South West, Wessex, North East, Yorks & Humber, Wales, KSS
  • haematology – Wessex
  • health care for older people – East Midlands
  • infectious diseases – North East
  • rehabilitation medicine – Wessex
  • renal medicine – Wessex, North East
  • respiratory medicine – East Midlands

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

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.