Individual study leave funding is available to support the achievement of competences as defined by the specialty curricula. Postgraduate doctors should ensure that curriculum requirements are relevant to their specialty and stage of training. Enhanced knowledge or career development activities are part of their PDP, as discussed with their Educational or Clinical Supervisor.
The Study Leave Guidance below and newly produced Course List (updated August 22) provides the relevant information for postgraduate doctors when claiming study leave.
There is also an Annual Development Plan for each school, which references regional training courses planned for the next year for the Schools and the reference number should be used when/ if you claim any reimbursement for attending these courses.
Postgraduate doctors should apply for study leave time and reimbursements through their employing Trust and work to the Trust policy except for the following specialties:
Any queries regarding Study Leave should be directed to the Postgraduate doctors’ Post graduate Medical Education Team at their Trust in the first instance.
Study Leave Documents
- Course List
- Annual Development Plans
- Study Leave Application Process
- Overseas study leave application form
- Severn Psychiatry doctor in training Study Leave Expenses Reimbursement Guidance
- Educational Supervisor
- Postgraduate doctors
- Head of School and Training Programme Director
- The Postgraduate Medical Education Team
This Guidance sets out the reviewed study leave arrangements for all postgraduate medical doctors who come under the remit of Health Education England, Southwest (HEE SW).
It applies from the 1st August 2022 for ALL eligible postgraduate doctors – current and new in training and supersedes any other policy or guidance.
Any course attended and paid by the postgraduate doctor prior to 1 August 2022 will be reimbursed subject to the claim being submitted within 3 months of having attended the course and with the appropriate receipts / certificate of attendance.
Please note: No extenuating circumstances will be accepted for submissions which do not comply with the policy.
The principles for Study Leave apply across all specialties. However, the processes for Foundation, Primary Care postgraduate doctors and Psychiatry postgraduate doctors in the Severn area are managed differently. Please refer to the HEE Postgraduate Medical Education Team website (linked at the start of this guidance) for more detailed information relating to these specialties.
Any changes to local and/or national policy or practice will be amended through this Guidance and updated accordingly.
The Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME) Team is committed to:
- ensure every postgraduate doctor has the opportunity to gain the competences relevant to their level of training as defined in each curriculum. This means that the PGME Study Leave Team South West will direct funding towards curriculum delivery as a priority;
- improve quality and access to study leave and curriculum support;
- work in collaboration with our Trusts, educators and postgraduate doctors;
- ensure equity of access to relevant education and development opportunities required by curricula;
- support delivery of courses and learning opportunities which are explicitly required by the relevant curriculum;
- provide support, in line with the Guidance, for other reasonable education and development opportunities, relevant at the time of a postgraduate doctor’s training programme and which have been considered significant as part of a postgraduate doctor’s personal development plan (PDP);
- ensure a course list, provided by the School and specialty, to enable postgraduate doctors to manage their study leave appropriately;
- requests for study leave where the course fees cost in excess of £1000 should be discussed in advance with the postgraduate doctor’s TPD. They will also require HEE approval.
NB This doesn’t include overseas courses, postgraduate courses or higher qualifications.
Please Note: The Head of School or delegated representative will have responsibility for final sign off for such a commitment and must be assured it is pertinent to the needs of the postgraduate doctor at their point in training.
It is important that postgraduate doctors:
- refer to the provided course lists by their specialty to access funds;
- take responsibility to ensure that training opportunities are accessed at the relevant time in their training and when it is most appropriate to the needs of the training programme;
- attend courses virtually or based in the South West wherever possible in order to make best use of funds;
- should discuss their curricula and personal study leave requirements with their Educational Supervisor and/or Training Programme Director at the start of each placement and at each educational review to ensure requirements are relevant.
We will review this Guidance annually and following any changes to national policy as they occur to ensure that this Guidance will not have an adverse impact on any postgraduate doctor groups.
• The study leave budget has been held centrally within the Post Graduate Medical Education Team Southwest since 1 April 2018.
- There is a finite budget for each region to support the fundamental principle of study leave. I.e. The main use of the study leave budget is for educational development courses to gain competences defined in each curriculum.
Examples of funding arrangements include:
• Regional study days;
• Other regionally-commissioned internal courses which meet curriculum requirements, such as the Professional and Generic Skills courses (travel costs only and in some instances overnight accommodation);
• Courses which are explicitly required by the relevant curriculum and on the course list;
• Courses which are a cost-effective way of delivering parts of the relevant curriculum;
• Life support courses (e.g. ALS, ATLS, APLS) when these are curriculum requirements. (See Course List)
• Other training which is not required by the curriculum, but has been agreed in the postgraduate doctor’s PDP and is on the course list (postgraduate doctors may be required to contribute towards these courses);
• Other individual training needs which support career progression and have been agreed in the postgraduate doctor’s PDP and are on the course list (postgraduate doctors may be required to contribute towards these courses);
Please refer to the application flowchart to ensure timeframes for applications are adhered to.
Please Note: Any mandatory/statutory training courses, should be funded locally by the employing Trust. Refresher life support courses that are employment requirements and not curriculum requirements should be supported by the Trust.
- Enrolment on to training programme and payment for portfolio access;
- Statutory and mandatory training required by employers;
- Other employer-related leave;
- Courses for specialty examinations during Foundation Programme;
- Interview Leave of any type;
- Courses set up or attended in preparation for a consultant post;
- More than 2 revision courses unless there is a clearly defined exceptional need - such as a recommendation from the Professional Support and Well-Being team at the Deanery, (PSW SW), or the ARCP Panel/Head of School has recommended a postgraduate doctor to attend. Please see Exam Preparations / Revision courses (including Question Banks);
- Travel, accommodation and subsistence relating to employer related requirement;
- Professional examination fees at any point of training – e.g. FRCP exams.
- Retrospective applications irrespective of circumstances;
- Fees for courses that are booked and not attended;
- Fees for courses not approved;
- Postgraduate courses e.g. Masters (see Postgraduate courses)
- Royal college membership fees/ E-portfolio fees;
- Travel and accommodation outside of the UK (unless approved by the Postgraduate Dean or delegated representative as part of an application for an overseas course / conference);
- ARCP attendance and associated expenses;
- Taxi fares; (only in exceptional circumstances – i.e. the health and safety of a postgraduate doctor is compromised);
Postgraduate doctors will be reimbursed at the most economical rate of travel. First Class or business class fares will not be supported. Early booking for travel and accommodation should be undertaken wherever possible to minimise the cost associated with attending an event.
Expenses for overseas travel include travel to the point of exit from the UK; it does not include car parking costs nor taxi fares. Postgraduate doctors will be reimbursed at the most economical rate of travel.
Travel arrangements whilst overseas and subsistence are not reimbursed.
UPDATE: HEE SW Position Statement for Face-to-Face Teaching and Training:
While there is no longer a requirement for employers to explicitly consider COVID-19 in their statutory health and safety risk assessments, it is still important for a business, organisation or an employer to continue to comply with its legal obligations relating to health and safety.
HEE is not responsible for managing the employment aspects of its postgraduate doctors in training and reducing the risk of catching COVID-19, however, it does have a duty of care to this group of learners.
As we have eased out of the Government regulations HEE SW has reviewed its face-to-face teaching guidance and the following will apply from the 1 September 2022. (It is subject to change and dependent on the situation associated with COVID-19 either in individual, local areas within the southwest or across the southwest).
Points to follow:
- In principle we have a blended approach to regional/out of base teaching unless it is a practical event;
- The decision to run a course face-to-face is devolved to the programme leads. These events should happen as much as possible in a Trust or other NHS premises and appropriate health and safety measures according to the Trust/ Organisation policy should be in place;
- Drs in training should be given the option to attend virtually if there is no practical element to the course and/or there is no need for them to attend face-to-face;
- If a face-to-face event is planned, it is off NHS premises and HEE are funding the event, it should have been noted and agreed on the Annual Development Plan (ADP); a reference number will have been assigned for that event and needs to be included on the monthly reimbursement return (please liaise with your local MEM for assistance with this);
- If you wish to run any courses on HEE SW premises please liaise with your EPM as these will need to be booked with sufficient notice;
- Organisers who deliver any courses externally and where HEE contributes or funds the event will be required to continue to ensure health and safety measures have been reviewed and managed as applicable to the venue;
- Any courses not on the ADP and which require funding will need HEE SW to approve funding before it can be organised and delivered; (Please use the funding request worksheet on the ADP and submit it in advance for approval to the study leave inbox);
- If a doctor in training wishes to run a face-to-face teaching event which is unplanned and not on the ADP please ensure the Head of School/ Training Programme Director or Educational Supervisor supports this request and any appropriate health and safety measures have been taken; again if funding is required a funding request form will need to be completed and submitted to the study leave inbox prior to running the event;
- It is the responsibility of the faculty member approving the course delivery to ensure the details for running an event are applied and sent to HEE as appropriate as described above ;
- If required all necessary paperwork should be completed to demonstrate health and safety requirements have been adhered to, any funding has been agreed and an appropriate reference number has been provided to the organisers.
- Please ensure the reference number and detail of the course are included on the monthly return by the MEMs/ Trust representative if the Trust needs to be reimbursed.
- When either ALS certification or possessing adult life support capabilities is a curriculum requirement, a relevant course aligned to current Resuscitation Council UK (RCUK) guidelines will be funded from the study leave budget.
- When current ALS certification is required by the postgraduate doctor in training’s Local Education Provider (LEP)/employer but ALS certification or possessing adult life support capabilities is not a curriculum requirement, (for example, when GP doctors in training are in acute medical placements), the LEP should be responsible for funding ALS and the time spent undertaking the course should not come out of the individual’s Study Leave time allowance.
- A blended learning approach should generally be used for initial training minimising the amount of face-to-face training and assessment to save on faculty time and costs. Postgraduate doctors in training should be given Study Leave time for both the online and face-to-face elements of the course. The amount that HEE will reimburse course providers for initial training is usually capped at £275 per delegate.
- Top up training should be delivered through short refresher courses. The amount that HEE will reimburse course providers for one day refresher courses and half day refresher courses is usually capped at £275 and £175 per delegate respectively.
- This cap does not apply to ATLS/APLS and other recognised life support courses, which will be supported if they are required within the curriculum.
Postgraduate doctors should attend online or regional courses as a first point of need.
Postgraduate doctors must have TPD sign-off to attend a PACES course. TPDs will be asked to consider the relevance of attending an external face to face PACES course before signing approval. If further review is required approval should be submitted to the Head of School.
A single PACES course will be approved and reimbursed where appropriate for postgraduate doctors if:
1. this is part of their PDP as appropriate for their stage of training
2. they cannot get the necessary experience within their usual work and training programme
3. they have a place in the upcoming exam or a good chance of being prioritised for a place, based on the MRCPUK criteria
4. they have ES support
Most specialities carry out exam revision courses or run courses in preparation for examinations as part of their local and regional training programmes. Where these courses are available, postgraduate doctors are also supported to attend one additional online revision course up to £500 per programme. If a revision course is over £500, the difference should be met by the postgraduate doctors.
Where a revision course is not run as part of the training programme, postgraduate doctors can access one external revision course and one additional online revision course up to the value of £500 (course fees) each per programme.
When there is a clearly defined exceptional need, an additional revision course will be funded per programme - such as a recommendation from the Professional Support and Well-Being team at the Deanery, (PSW SW), or the Dean/ Deputy Dean, or Head of School has recommended a postgraduate doctor to attend an examination preparation/revision course to support exceptional circumstances, funding will be approved.
HEE provide postgraduate doctors with an opportunity to attend Leadership and Development courses throughout their training, therefore, leadership courses run by independent providers or as part of a School regional teaching programme will not be supported for funding.
Please Note: HEE-SW supports and offers the opportunity to attend the HEE-SW Keele Clinical and management course. Postgraduate doctors are advised to book onto the HEE-SW Keele course. Other Keele courses which are school specific will not be funded.
Please find a list of further HEE leadership and management courses and information on how to apply here.
HEE provide postgraduate doctors with an opportunity to attend Peer Mentoring and Mentoring courses throughout their training and do not fund these courses individually or as part of a School regional teaching programme. Further information on mentoring can be found here.
Postgraduate doctors will be supported to attend one ‘train the trainer course’ during their training if this is approved by their Educational Supervisor, Head of School or Training Programme Director (and in some cases their Associate Dean). This will be fully reimbursed.
Educational Supervision courses from HEE-SW Faculty Development are available to attend in the latter part of training (during the final two years of training) at no cost to the postgraduate doctor. Please send expressions of interest to Faculty Development.
External Educational Supervision courses (specialty-specific) will be supported up to a maximum of £300- attendance in the final two years of training.
Postgraduate doctors can apply for a PG Cert Clinical Education course through the Bursary application at different points in their training, which is 50% funded and in most cases is at a reduced cost to the postgraduate doctors. Further information on bursaries can be found here.
Please note: Postgraduate doctors wishing to apply for bursaries are advised to plan well ahead to ensure that they meet the application deadline. Applications will be advertised on the deanery websites.
HEE will fund step-up courses as part of the regional teaching programme. These should be included on the annual development plan (ADP). HEE are able to fund step-up courses on an individual basis at category 3.
- It is the responsibility of the Trust to ensure that study leave claims are managed according to the Guidance.
- Study Leave should only be approved once postgraduate doctors have completed all statutory and mandatory training.
- Requests for study leave time and reimbursement should be made to the postgraduate doctor’s employing Trust following the Trust local application process (excluding Overseas Study Leave);
- General inquiries, except for Overseas Claims, from postgraduate doctors that come directly to the Postgraduate Medical Education Study Leave team will be re-directed to the employing Trust office to respond;
- Postgraduate doctors are unable to be reimbursed for any courses attended if they are on annual leave days;
- Study leave days are taken as part of the postgraduate doctor’s working days. If it is necessary to take them on non-working days (e.g. weekend or rostered day off), then time in lieu days should be agreed with the Educational Supervisor at the time of agreeing the study leave, within a reasonable time frame from the activity. Both Educational Supervisor and the postgraduate doctor should ensure this does not make the postgraduate doctors breach their contract requirements on hours worked or European Working Time Directive (EWTD). If study leave time is not allocated to the activity the Post Graduate Medical Education Team will be unable to reimburse the postgraduate doctor.
- Postgraduate doctors should refer to the course list for approved/acceptable courses to attend.
- Payments for individual study leave requests will be made to postgraduate doctors through their payroll process by the employing Trust following attendance at the course. (Exceptions to this are Primary Care postgraduate doctors in the Peninsula and Psychiatry postgraduate doctors in Severn).
- If a postgraduate doctor is unable to attend an event because of ill health and is unable to recover some or all of any advance costs, the postgraduate doctors should inform their trust administrator in accordance with the Trust policy. The Training Programme Director or Head of School will be required to determine the legitimacy of the reasons and make the final decision for payment. Payment should be made through the employing Trust and comments noted by the Trust administrator on the monthly report;
- If a postgraduate doctor is unable to attend an event or part of an event because they have been required to work by their employer, the cost will be met by the employer;
- Postgraduate doctors should provide proof of attendance and other receipts for external courses to the Trust when applying for reimbursement;
- Receipts will be required for all claims;
- Notwithstanding the requirements as set out above, postgraduate doctors must submit their expenses with adequate time for this to be processed by the Trust office. The expected timeframe would be at least 6- 8 weeks after the event and NO LATER than 3 months of having attended a course and having paid for it. This is in line with NHS Financial Regulations and NHS Terms and Conditions.
- The timeframe is required by all NHS employees and provides the postgraduate doctor with adequate time to submit a claim;
- Any claims submitted AFTER the deadline will not be reimbursed.
The Specialty Head of School and/or education faculty will have provided HEE SW with a list of courses suitable to attend. The list is an aid to postgraduate doctors in identifying the most appropriate time to attend courses during their programme.
The course list is updated quarterly for category 2 and 3 courses. Category 1 courses are updated annually only.
HEE will continue to support postgraduate doctors’ requests to attend courses which are deemed category 2 or 3 during the year if they are not on the course list. They will need to be approved by the TPD or HoS.
NB Category 1 courses will not be approved during the year, only annually (August update).
Please note any course over £1000 (for course fees) will need HEE approval. Requests for approval should be submitted to HEE from the Trust not the postgraduate doctors.
The timetable for updates will be as below for 2022/23.
All categories updated, new list to apply from 4th August
Categories 2 and 3 only updated
Categories 2 and 3 only updated
Categories 2 and 3 only updated
All categories updated, new list to apply from 4th August
Courses are classified in 3 categories:
- (Cat 1) Required within the curriculum and unable to achieve competences through their training programme or regional teaching. These courses will be fully funded and updated on the course list at the start of each academic year only.
Course fees over £1000 will be by exception and will require the postgraduate doctor to request TPD approval prior to submitting an application. HEE sign-off is requested through the Trust study leave office.
- (Cat 2) Enhanced knowledge – not recognised as a requirement for the postgraduate doctor’s curriculum, however activities will help the postgraduate doctor complete parts of the curriculum. It is expected that those applying for these courses will have met their core curriculum competencies for their stage of training;
Postgraduate doctors will be asked to contribute 25% of the cost towards the event, course fees over £1000 will be by exception and will require the postgraduate doctor to request TPD approval prior to submitting an application. HEE sign-off is requested through the Trust study leave office.
- (Cat 3) Career Progression - these courses should only be required at the latter stage of training. These courses should only be approved for funding if the postgraduate doctor has achieved their core curriculum competencies for their stage of training.
Postgraduate doctors will be asked to contribute 50% of the cost towards the event, course fees over £1000 will be by exception and will require the postgraduate doctor to request TPD approval prior to submitting an application. HEE sign-off is requested through the Trust study leave office.
Important: There are some courses whereby categories do not apply and have separate funding arrangements as detailed in the study leave guidance. These courses are listed below with links to the related guidance.
- Leadership and Management Courses (including Professional and Generic skills)
- Revision Courses
- Train the Trainer, teaching, and educational supervisor courses
- Postgraduate and Higher Courses
- Life support Courses
Please note: It is the responsibility of the employing trust to manage any requests for retrospective claims. HEE are unable to support retrospective claims under any circumstances.
- For course fees that cost more than £1000 (excluding overseas requests), the Training Programme Director or Head of School will need to approve irrespective that it is on the course list. It is the responsibility of the Training Programme Director or Head of School to ensure that a postgraduate doctor is attending an appropriate course and that it is value for money in attending;
- All courses requested must be in the postgraduate doctor’s PDP, however they should also be on the course list;
- Funding will also be supported by HEE Team in line with the 3 categories noted in the Head of School Annual Development Plan and/or on the course list.
- Many specialties provide preparation for examinations as part of their local and regional training programmes e.g. CASC courses for the MRCPsych programme.
- Postgraduate doctors will not be funded to attend interviews for consultant posts;
- Regional training days should not incur a cost against the study leave budget for postgraduate doctors. However, postgraduate doctors may apply for travel expenses to be reimbursed in accordance with this Guidance.
- Study leave should not be used to prepare for specialty examinations during foundation training;
• The ADP for each school provides an overview of any planned regional teaching and each event is given a related reference number. The reference number should be used when/ if postgraduates doctors claim any related expenses (i.e. travel) for attending these courses.
Occasionally postgraduate doctors would like to deliver extra regional training events and these may be supported. Postgraduate doctors should discuss their plans with their Training Programme Director and/or Head of School and if appropriate should contact Study Leave Team for further information.
- Postgraduate qualifications (PG Certificates and Diplomas) are no longer in curricula so would only be considered in exceptional circumstances and maybe supported as a category 2 or 3. Any such applications must be rationalised by a commitment that the qualification will be integral to the postgraduate doctor’s future career.
- Applications for any postgraduate academic qualifications which are listed as an option as part of the specialty/sub specialty curriculum should be discussed with HEE prior to approval for funding and maybe supported as a category 2 or 3.
- The PGME Study Leave Team will continue to provide postgraduate doctors with an opportunity to access funding for Postgraduate courses (excluding Masters courses) through the competitive Bursary application process each year. Applications will open in April/May and in some instances in September each year and information will be posted on the website here.
- Masters and PhD courses will not be funded under any circumstances.
- International Study Leave is not an entitlement and, in general, should usually only be contemplated by exception. International Study Leave should occur when the learning outcomes from the course/conference are not available in the UK (joint societies with a UK and Ireland remit for these purposes are considered as UK). Notwithstanding the aforementioned approval would be required by the Postgraduate Dean or delegated approver at the Postgraduate Medical Education Team;
- One overseas conference/meeting, providing all other curriculum requirements are met, will be considered for each doctor in training for any one programme, which can be defined as Foundation, Core, Higher, or otherwise every three years (so as not to disadvantage doctors on a run-through programme);
- Postgraduate doctors will be expected to provide a clear and descriptive supporting statement explaining why competencies gained from an activity cannot be achieved from local and/or regional programmes, what will be their personal gain, as well as how it will enhance the needs of the wider NHS agenda;
- Funding for overseas study leave will only be considered if there is a documented discussion with the Educational Supervisor about the clear need of the course/conference to meet curriculum requirements, the course/conference provides a clearly stated curriculum outcome and one of the following criteria is met:
- For conferences, when the applicant is the first author and sole presenter of a paper which has been accepted for a poster or presentation. This poster or presentation must be based on the postgraduate doctor’s own research undertaken as part of a clinical training programme or an NIHR recognized academic clinical fellowship or clinical lectureship;
- For other courses or activities when there is no equivalent course or activity in the UK. (For example, an international conference for a very small specialty which does not have a UK conference);
- When the funding required is less than that of attending the cheapest equivalent activity in the UK it is the postgraduate doctors’ responsibility to provide evidence of this when applying for funding.
For clarity with the exception of criterion 3, funding will be limited to one overseas activity per training programme or one overseas for any one programme, which can be defined as Foundation, Core, Higher, or otherwise every three years;
- It has been nationally agreed that joint UK and Irish Society meetings will not be counted as an overseas conference when they are held in Ireland.
- If service requirements prevent attendance at a UK based educational opportunity, an international alternative/equivalent could be considered.
- An overseas conference/meeting where the individual will attend remotely (not in person) will usually not be considered as International Study Leave. However, the suitability of the specific conference/meeting and remote attendance fee should be discussed between the postgraduate doctor and their Educational Supervisor/equivalent and must be listed on the speciality course list. The TPD/equivalent should also be consulted to confirm the impact factor/quality of the specific international conference/meeting proposed.
- If an individual wishes to fund a period of International Study Leave by other means, the Educational Supervisor/equivalent should still ensure the activity aligns to the curriculum or PDP. This must be the case for any period of International Study Leave irrespective of how it is funded.
- The application process includes application for funding and application for time. Application for time is through the employing NHS trust in accordance with local trust policy;
- Application for funding should be submitted to the PGME Team Study Leave inbox with the full agenda/conference details attached (including costs); Costs for accommodation and travel should also be included. The email subject heading should read “Overseas REQUEST for Study Leave” and sent at least a minimum of 8 weeks prior to the event; (Overseas Application Form)
- Where there are different ranges of fees for the event and approval is given to attend, postgraduate doctors will only be reimbursed for the early bird fees. Membership fees which are included in the event fees will not be reimbursed.
- Upon receipt the application is logged and dated and postgraduate doctors will receive an email acknowledging receipt. This will be within 4 working days of receiving the application;
- Postgraduate doctors should not commit to the costs of international events until approval has been received. Study leave applications for overseas activity must be approved by the Southwest Postgraduate Dean or the nominated deputy BEFORE applying for reimbursement.
- It is the postgraduate doctor’s responsibility to ensure the application is submitted to the correct email addresses and in time for it to be processed by both the employing trust and HEE study leave.
- A decision will be returned between 5 to 10 working days from the date of the acknowledged receipt email. If approved a copy of the outcome and reference
- number will be sent to the postgraduate doctors and the employing Trust in order to facilitate a smooth process for reimbursement;
- It is important to ensure that postgraduate doctors provide all the information required in order for the PGME Study Leave Team to make an informed decision. The application must be signed by the Educational Supervisor/Training Programme Director or Head of School – whichever is appropriate to the needs of the request. Confirmation from the sponsor’s email will be accepted if a signature is difficult to obtain stating they support the application under the terms of the overseas guidance requirements.
- Applications will be returned if there are any details missing or there is insufficient information. This may delay a postgraduate doctors’ application and fail to meet the required timescale;
- Events where postgraduate doctors require longer than 4 days attendance will need to be agreed by the HoS and in some cases funding may only be reimbursed according to the involvement of the postgraduate doctor at the conference;
- Postgraduate doctors cannot claim for any reimbursement to an overseas event if they are using annual leave;
- If a postgraduate doctor meets the application criteria and their application receives approval, The PGME Team will consider funding either the cost of the course/conference fees or the cost of economy travel and/or accommodation whichever is the lower amount;
- Requests for reimbursement of overnight accommodation costs will only be granted where it is not reasonable to travel on the day of the event or end of the event; the overnight rate should not exceed £150 per night. Subsistence expenses will not usually be re-imbursed by HEE
- Subsistence and travel whilst abroad must be met by the postgraduate doctor;
- Travel to the airport in the UK will be reimbursed at the most economical rate – which may be the equivalent to standard rate train fares or coach. Airport car parking or taxi fares will not be reimbursed.
- Postgraduate doctors will be given a reference number for the application and this should be given to the Trust, along with any other documentation required by their Trust when submitting a claim. The Trust will include this on the monthly Study Leave return. Trusts are unable to reimburse a postgraduate doctor without the reference number;
- Postgraduate doctors should not send any claims for reimbursement to the PGME Team as they are unable to process these;
- If an external body such as a Medical Royal College suggests a doctor in training attends an international conference, the PGME Team will expect that body to contribute at least 50% of the costs;
- Overseas revision courses will not be approved;
- Any costs incurred by the postgraduate doctor without having prior approval will be borne by the postgraduate doctor.
- On the rare occasion that a postgraduate doctor can attend an international event that has no associated registration or course costs, the amount of support towards travel and accommodation will be limited to the amount that the postgraduate doctor would have normally been expected to pay for registration or course costs. Postgraduate doctors will be expected to provide evidence of the normal event or registration costs to support their claim. If this evidence cannot be provided there will be a limit of £120 (equivalent of one overnight stay) to support postgraduate doctors attendance at the international event.
- It is the responsibility of the employing trust to manage any requests for retrospective claims. HEE are unable to support retrospective claims under any circumstances.
- If a postgraduate doctor has reason to believe that their study leave application was processed unfairly or incorrectly, they are able to request a review of the process by which their application was considered by making a written submission to Health Education England, Southwest. Postgraduate doctors should use the email address StudyLeave.email@example.com with the subject title “Appeal for Study Leave”;
- This should include the reason/s for the appeal and any evidence to support their appeal;
- All written submissions must be sent with the original application form and outcome received. This should be made within 10 working days of being notified of the outcome;
- Receipt will be acknowledged within 5 working days;
- Members of the PGME Senior Education Team or the members from the SW PGME Study Leave Oversight Group will review the evidence submitted and whether the process was followed fairly - as stated in the Southwest Study Leave Guidance. They will, as a result of this review, consider whether the outcome was fairly and equitably reached;
- The Postgraduate doctors will receive a response within 10 working days from the acknowledged receipt of the complaint;
- The decision following the appeal is final.
- Each postgraduate doctor will have an annual entitlement of 30 days’ study leave, with the exception of Foundation Year 1, who have an annual entitlement of 15 days. Please see the information on the website. Doctors study leave will take the form of a regular scheduled teaching/training session as agreed locally.
- Study leave for doctors at Foundation Year 2 and above will include periods of regular scheduled teaching/training sessions, and may also, with approval from the educational supervisor and service manager, include: -
- Undertaking an approved external course;
- Periods of sitting (or preparing for) an examination for a higher qualification where it is a requirement of the curriculum.
- Regional teaching and training days are included in the 30 days allowance, and the time off will need to be applied for prior to attendance.
- The PGME Study Leave Team supports the use of time for private study leave (up to 5 days from their allocated study leave days) before exams but only where this fits in with the policies and service requirements of the department in which they will be employed at the time of the study leave. Postgraduate doctors need to be mindful of any impact of their taking private study leave on colleagues sitting the same exams.
- Postgraduate doctors attending local teaching should not have any need to submit an expense claim.
- For the purposes of allocating time for study leave, each postgraduate doctors’ study leave year runs from the changeover date of their programme to the changeover date in the following year (e.g. for programmes with nationally agreed start dates in August, the leave year is from the first Wednesday in August until the last Tuesday in August the following year);
- Postgraduate doctors who start or complete their training part way through the study leave year will have a pro-rata entitlement until the end of their programme’s leave year;
- Less Than Full-time (LTFT) postgraduate doctors will have a pro-rata entitlement;
- Unused study leave entitlement cannot be carried forward to the next leave year
- Where a postgraduate doctor takes parental leave, their entitlement to study leave continues. This may be taken during ‘keeping in touch’ days (maximum of 10). Alternatively, it will accrue and should be taken at a later date; however, the accrual of study leave will depend on the requirements of the curriculum for the individual’s stage of training and to ensure the needs of service delivery can be safely met
- The entitlement to Study Leave ends once a postgraduate doctor reaches CCT. Postgraduate doctors are not entitled to Study Leave during the Period of Grace.
- Requests for reimbursement of overnight accommodation costs will only be granted where it is not reasonable to travel on the day of the event (for example, the distance to the event is greater than 100 miles round trip ‘door to door’);
- Accommodation costs to be covered by the PGME Study Leave Team South West will be limited to the duration of the event plus one night, either before or after the event dates;
- Overnight costs will be reimbursed up to a maximum limit of £120 including breakfast (outside of London) and £150 (in London) (bed and breakfast).
- Postgraduate doctors can claim up to £20 per night if staying with friends or family.
Please note the following information from the NHS Staff Council
“Reimbursement of travel costs Joint statement on behalf of the NHS Staff Council – December 2022
In accordance with the process set out in the NHS TCS handbook, mileage reimbursement rates are reviewed twice a year to allow the latest costs to be incorporated into the calculation. As stated in annex 12, paragraphs 12-15 of the handbook, the review in April looks at motoring costs such as fuel prices, road tax and insurance. In contrast, the November review only looks at fuel prices, and specifically checks the average fuel price in the twelve-month period ending in October.
The latest review from November 2022 has resulted in an automatic change to the rates set out in the TCS handbook. This is due to the significant increase in fuel prices in 2022, and these prices being sustained at a high level for a number of months”
As a result, the reserve rate will increase from 28p to 30p per mile. This will apply from 1 January 2023
- Every claim form must be submitted with proof of expenditure and submitted within 6-8 weeks, and absolutely no later than 3 months, of the expenditure and/or attendance after the event date if the event is later than the date of payment. Any claims received without proof and after the deadline will not be reimbursed;
- Travel must be taken using the most cost-effective means possible and the Postgraduate Medical Education Study Leave Team reserves the right to reimburse travel at the most cost-effective rate if submissions are excessive;
- It is the responsibility of the Trust to monitor and challenge these expenses prior to submitting them to the Postgraduate Medical Education Study Leave Team on their monthly return, failure to do this will result in the Trust having to reimburse the postgraduate doctor;
- Reimbursement for alcoholic beverages will not be reimbursed under any circumstances;
- Flights within the UK may be considered if this is the most cost-effective option, however pre-approval from the Head of School must be obtained;
- Mileage shall be reimbursed at £0.30p per mile;
- Evening meal allowance (more than ten hours away from base and return after 7:00 pm) UP TO £15.00 on any ONE receipt – the expectation is that one receipt supports one meal - please do not submit multiple receipts to the value of £15 to the Trust office;
- Evening meal allowance per 24 hour period is UP TO £20.00 on any ONE receipt - please do not submit multiple receipts to the Trust – the expectation is that one receipt supports one evening meal;
- Lunch allowance (more than five hours away from base, including the lunchtime period between 12:00 pm to 2:00pm) UP TO £5.00 on any one receipt - the expectation is that one receipt supports one meal - please do not submit multiple receipts to the Trust office.
- Exam fees are not funded. Travel to the exam, accommodation and subsistence can usually be claimed from the study leave budget in accordance with the above guidance.
- Postgraduate doctors on Out of Programme Experience (OOPE), Out of Programme Research (OOPR), Out of Programme Career Break (OOPC) or Out of Programme Pause (OOPP) are not entitled to study leave for the period they are out of programme.
- It may be appropriate for postgraduate doctors to access Supported Return To Training (‘SuppoRTT’) funding/opportunities in preparation for returning from OOP. Please contact your trust suppoRTT champion for further information.
- Postgraduate doctors 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;
- Applications for individuals on OOPT will only be approved and funded where there is clear evidence linking the application to the specific curriculum requirement (category 1 courses only). Where uncertain, this will be at the discretion of the ‘base’ Postgraduate Dean or delegated Responsible Officer(s).
- The employing Trust will be responsible for the OOPT postgraduate doctor and all claims should be made to them. Their course attendance should be captured on the Postgraduate Medical Education Team return. If issues are encountered the study leave teams will work across the Deaneries to resolve so postgraduate doctors should contact them directly in these rare instances.
Please send queries to firstname.lastname@example.org with a subject heading “OOPT payment query”
- Academic Clinical Fellows and Academic Clinical Lecturers are entitled to study leave on a pro-rata basis, in line with their clinical work allocation;
- Academic Clinical Fellows follow the same procedure for study leave as other postgraduate doctors;
- Academic Clinical Lecturers are employed by a University they will need to contact the Postgraduate Medical Education Study Leave Team’s generic email address StudyLeave.email@example.com BEFORE any study leave is supported or reimbursed. Please use the subject heading “ACL Study Leave”
- To ensure they enact the Guidance in line with the requirements and liaise with the Training Programme Director and Head of School to ensure there is clarity in the decision-making and approval process;
- To familiarise themselves with the course list for their speciality
- To discuss personal development plans which are aligned to the postgraduate doctor’s needs at that time in their training; ensure all mandatory training should be completed prior to any approval for study leave and career progression activity should only be approved if the core competencies are being met satisfactorily;
- To ensure courses/educational activities are approved at the right time in training;
- To verify the postgraduate doctor has met the core curriculum requirements before approving study leave;
- To authorise study leave in timely manner as applicable;
- Not to approve retrospective requests for payments under any circumstances.
- should only apply for study leave when they have completed their mandatory training;
- should familiarise themselves with the course list for their speciality
- should gain TPD or HoS approval of any courses not on the course list or over £1000 (course fees only).
- should prioritise their application for study leave in line with their needs at the point of training and consider the integrity of the requests for training which are not aligned to their curriculum requirements;
- must meet the standards expected of them, in accordance with their obligation to demonstrate professional integrity, when applying for a course, event or conference;
- will be expected to adhere to the NHS Financial Regulatory Terms and Conditions when submitting a claim;
- must be aware of local policies, where some units require a notice period of at least 8 weeks prior to applying for a course (e.g. overseas requests);
- should ensure they apply for local approval of study leave in good time after discussion with, and the approval of, their Educational Supervisor (or Training Programme Director or Head of School where applicable);
- must apply for study leave using the local provider system;
- must seek approval for time off in advance and approval for the time must be approved by the postgraduate doctor’s Rota Coordinator (or equivalent);
- Postgraduate doctors should provide proof of attendance in line with the Trust policy for other courses for which they are claiming study leave time and/or costs.
- All applications for study leave approval must be made in advance to the employing Trust with the exception of requests for overseas courses/conferences – (See Overseas in this Guidance);
- Where a postgraduate doctor rotates to a different region, they will follow the study leave policy/guidance of that region.
- To work collaboratively with Training Programme Directors and/or Educational Supervisors to assist with identifying their educational training programmes- both local and regional;
- To provide support to update the course list for their speciality on an annual basis;
- It will be the responsibility of the Head of School to provide the Postgraduate Study Leave Team with their Annual Development Plan - Appendix 5[DM8] – and the Postgraduate Study Leave Team will confirm to the Heads of School the funding allocated to support these courses. Each course will have a unique reference number and must be included against the expenditure on the monthly return. (Postgraduate doctors should be able to gain access to the unique reference number on the Postgraduate Study Leave Team website regional teaching days if they wish to self-certify attendance and claim any expenses related to that event);
- To offer advice, clarification and approval for study leave if required;
- Assess where a course or equivalent is available locally or regionally, funding should only be approved in truly exceptional circumstances for a postgraduate doctor to undertake the course elsewhere;
- To work collaboratively with the PGME Study Leave Team to ensure that study leave funding is managed with integrity, according to the principles of this Guidance, ensuring equity and fairness is applied in the process.
To make certain the Principles of Study Leave are managed by:
- ensuring probity of allocation, expenditure and approval is applied equitably and fairly;
- ensuring they provide to HEE the information required as set out in this Guidance;
- ensuring funds are allocated correctly and to support delivering quality educational activity that meets postgraduate doctors and local needs;
- working collaboratively with the Study Leave Oversight Group members and Trusts to ensure a mutually fair, transparent and equitable process is in place;
- working collaboratively with the Heads of School (and/or Training Programme Directors);
- ensuring the Study Leave process is fit for purpose.
- Each Local Education Provider Education Centre is expected to keep a clear and concise record of all study leave time taken by individual postgraduate doctors. This must be submitted in a timely manner on a monthly basis to the HEE local office.
- All staff involved in the approval of study leave must ensure that they are familiar with and follow The PGME Team Southwest Study Leave Guidance. This is essential if we are to ensure that study leave funding is allocated in a fair, equitable and consistent way;
- Ensure through discussion with clinical leads and/or process that payment is made appropriately and in a timely manner;
- Where a doctor takes maternity leave the Trust will ensure that their entitlement to study leave continues; this may be taken during ‘keeping in touch’ (KIT) days or will otherwise accrue to be taken at a later date;
- The Trust will ensure that LTFT and academic postgraduate doctors will have equitable access to study leave.
Primary Care Postgraduate doctors should refer to the following links:
Peninsula: HEESW Primary Care Study Leave Guidance
- Postgraduate doctors claiming for Overseas courses should follow the same process as mentioned in this Guidance.
- The legal requirements for study leave in the Foundation Programme (FP) are complex, as the arrangements for F1 and F2 doctors differ;
- The principle of study leave within the Foundation Programme (FP) is that professional leave or study leave should normally only be granted for the purposes of supporting the FP curriculum. For full guidance please refer to the Foundation webpage:
- Peninsula Foundation School
- Severn PGME Foundation School
- The principles as noted in this Guidance apply to all Psychiatry Specialty postgraduate doctors.
- Currently the process for administering study leave approval and payments for Severn postgraduate doctors is through the Postgraduate Medical Education Study Leave Team Local Office arrangements
- Study Leave is managed through an online system called ‘Accent Leave Manager’; previously this was Intrepid.
- The Study Leave Guidance sheet (Appendix 7) has been adapted to support a more robust process and eliminate any gaps when submitting claims for reimbursement.
- We will continue to review the integrity of this process to ensure it is providing both you and HEE with what is needed in order to process the study leave claims and payments. We are also discussing the possibilities of the Trusts managing study leave in the near future and will keep you posted.
- The Guidance Sheet (both in narrative form and in flowchart form) should be comprehensive and provide a step by step guide to the process. The following highlights the main changes in the process followed currently:
- There is no longer a need to submit a separate application form to that which is requested on Accent, signed by your educational supervisor. However, by applying for study leave time and to attend an event we will assume you have had approval from your ES and that it is a necessary course required at your specific point in training.
- By not completing an application form we will need to know what category of event it is and will ask you to indicate if the course is CATEGORY 1, 2 or 3.
NB: This information should be added when you fill in the “Course Name” on Accent Leave Manager (for example ‘Psychiatry Conference – Category 1’). Information on the categories 1/2/3 can be found here. (In brief Cat 1 is a mandatory requirement of the curriculum to achieve CCT, Cat 2 is a course to support enhanced knowledge (not required to achieve CCT) and Cat 3 is a course which would support career progression (not required to achieve CCT). This is important information we require for audit purposes. Regretfully we will be unable to accept your request on Accent without this information and your request will be rejected and will incur a delay for approval.
- When we process your claim for payment, we will send an email confirmation of receipt within 5 days. If you do not receive this please contact us SevPsychiatry.firstname.lastname@example.org Subject Heading: Issue with submitting claim for payment. If, however, you experience any issues when submitting your claim for payment please contact us immediately. SevPsychiatry.email@example.com. Subject Heading: Issue with submitting claim for payment. We can then look into it and take steps to resolve the issue.
- As a fail safe to the point above HEE will monitor the system and check the expected course dates; If HEE have not received a request from you for payment within 4 weeks of having attended the event, HEE will contact you. This will not only close the potential gap and delay in reimbursing you, it also ensures that if you are experiencing any difficulties we are aware sooner and it helps to ensure that the payment request is received within the 3 months deadline.
- The curriculum requirements for MRCPsych are achieved from attending this course, therefore there should be no additional (required) courses that should be applied for to help achieve CCT. However, from time to time other courses may be considered if they are on the course list and essential to the postgraduate doctor’s curriculum needs.
Applying, approval and payments
- Core and Higher Postgraduate doctors will continue to submit their application to their employing NHS trust in accordance with local instructions and policy.
Appendix 1 Course List (updated November 22)
Appendix 2 Study Leave Application Flowchart
Appendix 4 Face to Face Risk Assessment
Appendix 5 ADP Course Reference List
Appendix 6 Overseas Study Leave Application