Taster Days

Within the educational bounds of the foundation programme it is possible for trainees to take Taster Days.

There is an allocation of 5 days for F1 doctors. F2 doctor can take a maximum of 10 days study leave as Taster Days.

There will be good opportunities to take these days if you are in a supernumerary placement. For other placements these will have to be planned well ahead to ensure ward cover is available.

You need to organise the days yourself but help with this can be provided. If there is a specialty in another trust that is not covered in Gloucestershire you may be able to organise to visit themselves.

The documents below will help with organising tasters and gaining information from those in the specialty.  

Taster Day Tips 

You will need to complete a Severn Foundation School Study Leave Application Form for each Taster Day(s) you undertake. Please follow the links below for more information and to print off an application form:

Severn Deanery Study Leave Tasters

Severn Deanery Study Leave

If you wish to discuss Taster Days please contact Marion Thompson on: Telephone 0300 422 6727. 

The information below entitled ’Definition of a Taster’ & ’Background’ has been taken from The UK Foundation Programme Office, document entitled ’Guidance on Specialty Tasters for Foundation Trainees’.


Definition of a Taster

A taster is a period of time, usually 2-5 days, spent in a speciality in which the foundation trainee has not previously worked, which enables the development of insight into the work of the speciality and which promotes careers reflection.



One of the original aims of the Foundation Programme was to ensure that trainees have access to a wider range of specialties in a variety of care settings prior to selecting a career path. Currently, foundation trainees are exposed to a maximum of four specialties before they apply for specialty training. Because of this, there is a demand from some trainees for short “tasters” in other specialties.

By definition, a taster experience offers time-limited exposure to the work and lifestyle of those involved in a speciality. These experiences may have a positive effect on the foundation trainee and confirm that a particular choice is appropriate for the individual. Conversely, a trainee may learn through this experience that the speciality is not what was expected and may be excluded as a future career choice.

There is evidence that any experience in a speciality, however brief, can be influential in a career choice. There are currently 59 medical specialities leading to CCT in the UK. Medical undergraduates are unlikely to have the opportunity during their undergraduate training to experience all these specialities.