Flexible portfolio training

Flexible portfolio training (FPT) is a new 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 will begin in England in August 2019 with applications open from 30 January 2019.


  • West Midlands – medical education 
  • East Midlands – medical education
  • East of England – quality improvement 
  • South West England – quality improvement
  • North West England – clinical informatics 
  • Wessex – clinical informatics 
  • North East – clinical informatics 
  • Yorkshire & Humber – research

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 pilot cohort

  • acute internal medicine – all pilot regions
  • clinical pharmacology – West Midlands and North East
  • endocrine and diabetes medicine – all pilot regions (except for East of England) 
  • gastroenterology – Yorkshire and Humber, and North West
  • genitourinary medicine – Wessex
  • geriatric medicine – East of England, East Midlands, South West, North West, North East, West Midlands, Yorkshire and Humber, and Wessex
  • infectious diseases medicine – North West (North West, not Mersey)
  • rehabilitation medicine – Wessex
  • renal medicine – East of England, North West, East Midlands (subject to confirmation) and Wessex
  • respiratory medicine – East Midlands, South West and North West
  • rheumatology – North West

This list is not exhaustive and will be updated with West Midland specialties and any additions.

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.