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Scotland Deanery

Home of Medical and Dental Excellence


Details of individuals to contact for more information or to discuss arranging a taster are available here.


What is a Taster Day?

A taster is a period of time, usually two to five days, spent in a specialty in which you have not previously worked. Its purpose is to enable the development of insight into the work of the specialty and promote careers reflection. Tasters should be taken normally in the last block of FY1 (between April and July) or in the first block of FY2 (between August and December). All Taster Day attachments should be well-planned and focused. In order to support these experiences trainees must agree a set of aims and objectives that will be achieved during the Taster Day experience. Aims and objectives must be submitted as part of the Taster Day Evaluation and be included as part of a trainee's e-portfolio.

To fully benefit from tasters, foundation doctors should discuss their career aspirations with their educational supervisor and review their requirements for tasters and the timing thereof around the middle of the F1 year.


No more than five days during Foundation Year 1 and five days in Foundation Year 2 will be allowed for this experience.


Ideally this would take place within your current employing Board, as this would facilitate both the organisation and monitoring of such an experience.  It will be the responsibility of the trainee to organise these placements and obtain written acceptance from a supervising Consultant. The Scottish Foundation School will only approve Tasters within your current region of training unless the experience cannot be provided locally e.g. remote and rural GP.  The School will not approve Tasters outwith Scotland.

Application Process

This should take place after discussion with the trainee’s Educational Supervisor so that the aspirations of the trainee are likely to be met by the specific placement. For leave to be granted, the following will be required:

  • A Study Leave application must be completed via Turas by the trainee giving at least 6-8 weeks notice to the Service for this leave. Please make sure that you specify on Turas the specialty in which the taster will be undertaken.
  • Leave must only be arranged when a trainee is due to be working normal days.
  • The aims and objectives of the placement and the reasons for choosing the specialty should be detailed on the trainee’s e-portfolio.
  • Written acceptance from the supervising Consultant for the taster should be included in the trainee’s e-portfolio.
  • No expenses will be given for taster experience leave.

Approval/Rejection of Request for Leave

Trainees will be informed by email from their Foundation Programme Director whether their application has been approved or not.


After the taster the trainee will need to provide:

  • Written confirmation of attendance from the supervising Consultant which should be included in the trainee’s e-portfolio.
  • Taster Day Evaluation Form – the trainee should reflect on their experience and consider whether their original aims and objectives were met by the placement. This report should be discussed with the Educational Supervisor and included in the trainee’s e-portfolio.

The Process

Step 1: Identify the specialty in which you want to experience a Taster

Step 2: Approach a relevant consultant and obtain written permission to spend time in their specialty, agreeing the number of days and dates.

Step 3: Discuss this taster experience with your Educational Supervisor/Foundation Programme Director and complete a Study Leave Application via Turas. Please make sure that you specify on Turas the specialty in which the taster will be undertaken.

Approved: Following the taster leave you must complete a Taster Day Evaluation Form and upload to e-portfolio.

Not Approved: You must cancel any arrangement made with the specialty consultant and discuss with your Educational Supervisor/Foundation Programme Director why the leave has not been approved.


Process Flowchart


This process must be followed even if the taster takes place during annual leave and weekly leave. This is due to insurance reasons as some locations incur "hidden" costs to NES.