Study Leave Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why has the Study Leave process changed?

    In previous years funding to support education and development for junior doctors has been made available to Trusts from Health Education England SW local office through a number of different avenues.
    As part of a collaborative piece of work on improving Junior Doctors’ working lives to address non-contractual training issues, involving HEE, employer representatives, the BMA JDC, other junior doctor groups and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC), it has been proposed that:
    “HEE centralises the study budget nationally, in order to ensure that trainees receive the funding that they require to progress through their specialty curriculum, across the whole length of their programme”

  • What support is currently available to me in order to ensure I gain all competencies relevant to my level of training?

    Individual study leave funding is available for trainees to support the achievement of competences as defined by the specialty curricula and aspirational activity identified in their Personal Development Plan (PDP). Trainees should ensure that curriculum requirements are relevant to their specialty and stage of training and part of their PDP as discussed with their Educational or Clinical Supervisor and or Training Programme Director

  • How do I apply for study leave?

    Trainees are expected to discuss their study leave plans with the Education Supervisor (or Training Programme Director) at the start of each placement.
    You will need to follow the local application process to apply for study leave time and funding, all applications must be submitted with a minimum of 6 weeks notice. Applications submitted later than this or after the activity has taken place may be declined for reimbursement.

  • What is considered an aspirational based activity and how is it approved?

    An activity that is not part of your curriculum is considered an aspirational activity, this includes exam preparation courses.
    Trainees applying for aspirational funding will need to have received an ARCP outcome of a 1 or 6, or be on track to receive. If you have ARCP outcome 2 or 3 for exam failure, you are eligible to apply for exam preparatory courses only. Any other ARCP outcome will result in your aspirational request not being approved.

  • Who do I speak to about study leave if it is not approved?

    If you believe your study leave application was processed unfairly or incorrectly, then you are able to request a review of the process by which your application was considered by making a written submission to Health Education England, South West. This must be done within 10 working days of receiving your outcome and should include the reasons for your complaint, include any evidence to support your appeal.
    All written submissions must be sent via email or as an attachment, with the original application form and outcome received. This should be emailed to either the Peninsula  or Severn  generic inbox
    Two members of the Senior Leadership Team at HEE SW will review the decision made, taking into account the evidence submitted and HEE SW’s Study Leave Policy.
    The decision following appeals is final; there is no further right of appeal.

  • What happens if my course is cancelled?

    Please inform your local Education Centre if it is cancelled, as soon as possible     

  • How can I claim any travel and subsistence expenses?

    Trainees are encouraged to use the most economical mode of transport. Where this is not possible prior approval must be obtained from the Educational Supervisor or Director of Medical Education (DME).
    All travel and subsistence claims must be accompanied by dated receipts and are reimbursed in line with the employers terms and conditions. Please note travel costs outside of the UK will not be reimbursed

  • I’m a SAS doctor / locally employed doctor, what am I entitled to?

    Non-consultant, non-training (NCNT) grade doctors include SAS and locally employed doctors.
    Access to funding for development opportunities for NCNT grade doctors is available separately and you are advised to speak directly to the Trust that employs you.

  • I’m going Out Of Programme (OOP), will I still be entitled to study leave?

    Trainees on Out of Programme Experience (OOPE), Out of Programme Research (OOPR), or Out of Programme Career Break (OOPC) are not entitled to study leave for the period they are out of the programme.
    Trainees on Out of Programme Training (OOPT) are normally only entitled to study leave for this period if they are occupying a training post on a training programme in our region.

    Part-funding of courses may also be considered, depending on the overall cost of the course.
    Post-graduate courses will need to be rationalised with your Educational Supervisor or Training Programme Director.

  • How will HEE SW ensure quality and access to study leave?

    In order to improve quality and access to study leave and curriculum support HEE SW is committed to working in collaboration with our trusts, trainees and educators to comply with the following curriculum delivery principles:
    Improving junior doctors working lives by offering equity of access to relevant education and development opportunities, regardless of specialty, grade or employing Trust
    Improving trainee access to local teaching and development
    Improving trainee access to regional teaching and development
    Improving ease of access to additional education and development opportunities relevant to the curriculum which have been agreed as part of trainees’ personal development plans
    Prioritising delivery of courses and other learning which are explicitly required by the relevant curriculum
    Commissioning training from NHS providers in the east of England, wherever possible
    Monitoring of attendance at all locally delivered training events
    Monitoring the quality of the training delivered to ensure it is of an appropriate standard and meets trainees’ needs

  • Does Study Leave funding cover the costs of my exam fees?

    Exam fees cannot be claimed from the study leave budget, this includes any associated travel and subsistence.
    However, exam preparatory courses will be considered within your study leave under the ‘aspirational activity’ criteria.
    Other than that, HEE is not in a position to cover the cost of fees for trainees although there will be support offered via your Education Supervisor and/or Training Programme Director

  • Do I need to take study leave from my allowance to attend my training programme’s mandatory teaching days?

    Yes. All trainees are required to attend teaching days and study leave should be applied for via the employing Trust’s local process
    However, this should not be taken out of your allocated study leave allocated funds; you are not expected to pay for it.

  • I’m taking parental leave, how does this affect my study leave allowances?

    In line with the ‘Terms and Conditions of Service for NHS Doctors and Dentists in Training (England) 2016’ paragraph 39 states:
    “Where a doctor takes maternity (parental) leave their entitlement to study leave continues, and this may be taken during ‘keeping in touch’ days or will otherwise accrue to be taken at a later date.”
    As parental leave does not affect study leave entitlement trainees should be permitted to take study leave days, providing this does not affect safe service provision. Study leave will be accrued but not taken all at once; a balanced approach to taking study leave should be taken

  • Can I attend courses in a location of my choice?

    Where a course is available locally, funding should not be approved for a trainee to undertake the course elsewhere.
    It must be remembered that the overall study budget held by HEE SW is finite. As such trainees are reminded to act sensibly and professionally when requesting funding and use the cheapest local option available, wherever possible

  • Is there a time delay in paying for the course I wish to attend and being reimbursed?

    The new system will require that you pay for the course and then claim for expenses with proof of attendance and receipts. Please bear in mind that all study leave expenses will be reimbursed in your monthly pay and will therefore align with payroll. All claims are to submitted and approved by your NHS Trust. Claims should be made within 6 weeks of having paid for the course and no later than 3 months after the training event in order to meet financial standing instructions.

  • What happens if I apply for study leave and funding to attend a course at the start of my next rotation which will be based at a different NHS trust – how should applications be made?

    Discuss any courses / educational activities you would like to attend with your current ES / TPD. For the time off required to undertake your study leave you must obtain approval from the rota co-coordinator who will be managing cover at your new NHS Trust.Once you have been on the course, submit your expense claim to the new NHS Trust where you will be working at by then.

  • What happens if I apply for study leave and funding to attend a course at the start of my next rotation which will be based at a different NHS trust – how should applications be made?

    Discuss any courses / educational activities you would like to attend with your current ES / TPD. For the time off required to undertake your study leave you must obtain approval from the rota co-ordinator who will be managing cover at your new NHS Trust.Once you have been on the course, submit your expense claim to the new NHS Trust where you will be working at by then

  • Am I able to claim for study leave on non-working days for example annual leave?

    Trainees are entitled to 30 days study leave allowance per year. Study leave is classed as a working day, and therefore should be applied for as a study leave day from the allowance entitlement. Study leave does not include annual leave or non-working days.

  • Am I entitled to study leave in a Period of Grace?

    Individuals in their period of grace are not entitled to study leave.

    Claiming for a distance learning course

    Trainees are able to use up to 5 days private study (taken from the total number of days allocated for study leave) to support a distance learning course. However it is the trainee’s decision if they opt to use their own time to study. If they do not use study leave days trainees are unable to claim any reimbursements.

    Can I claim for half days for study leave

    Trainees can only claim for whole days for study leave.

    Private study leave days

    Trainees are entitled to up to 5 days private study to be used for example for exam preparation or towards distance learning courses. However, as study leave is classified as a work day they will subsequently need to identify that day as one of their study leave days. As it is study leave it will still need to be approved so the rota coordinator should be aware of this.