Our policy for the use of this funding is generally in accordance with the 'Staff and Associate Specialists development funding - best practice guidance' by the BMA.  To read more about it, please follow this link.

Best Practice Guidance (BMA)


Policy for the SAS Doctors' Career and Development Fund

This policy has been generated taking into view the BMA’s recommendations for using the SAS funds, and had has input from Severn and Peninsula SAS tutors. 

  1. SAS funds are available for eligible doctors to be used in addition to the normal study leave budget of the Trust and are not meant to be a replacement for that. A doctor may use the Trust and SAS funds in any order and does not necessarily need to have their Trusts’ study allowance spent first.
  2. The use of funds can be for a combination of Deanery- and Trust-based activities, but is best used for innovation and opportunities not normally funded by the usual study leave budget allowance.
  3. It should generally be used to fund career development opportunities as opposed to maintaining current professional practice which should be funded by the Trusts’ study leave budget.
  4. It is the responsibility of the SAS Tutor/ SAS Trust Lead of every Trust to ensure that the local policy for the allocation of funds is in keeping with the Deanery recommendations, that it is transparent, and that all the spending is well-documented.
  5. The SAS funds will be released to each Trust on a monthly basis. The SAS funds are based on a head-count/ Trust formula and will include SAS Doctors but not Trust Grade doctors. The Trusts will be informed of the allocation at the start of a financial year so that the DMEs/ SAS Tutors can plan their educational activities accordingly.
  6. All Trusts/ SAS Tutors are required to send in funding returns twice-a-year, an annual funding return by 15th May and a mid-year funding return by 15th November each year. We request that these dates be followed unless there are compelling reasons – failure will result in immediate withdrawal of ongoing funding.
  7. The SAS Doctors funding will be subjected to strict and regular scrutiny measures.
  8. There should be a standardised pro-forma as a feedback mechanism to demonstrate what benefit this fund has brought to the individual doctor and the service in general. All SAS doctors should be required to provide this feedback. The annual reports should include a collation of this feedback.
  9. The SAS Tutors/ Trust Leads should discuss the priority of allocation of funding with the SAS doctors and any special needs/ developmental requirements should be in keeping with the departmental and Trust objectives. DMEs should be kept up to date with the local requirements.
  10. The main theme is to help the educational development of SAS doctors, and there may be some courses that need more investment; the SAS Tutors/ Trust SAS Leads have agreed to take the responsibility of deciding about these cases on an individual basis, with the understanding that there would be a robust mechanism locally to prevent misuse and all individual allocations above £1,500 should be done by a panel comprising SAS tutor and DME.
  11. It is important that funding distribution amongst SAS doctors in a Trust is fair and equitable, i.e. it is inappropriate to give one person a higher amount, e.g. £2000 when it is foreseen that the total fund will run short at the end of the year to meet the demands of other doctors.
  12. This funding is to be used for the development of Specialty Doctors, Staff Grades, and Associate Specialists who are in substantive posts and all applications from these doctors will be considered.
  13. The funding is not meant for Trust Grade posts. However, any such request which is strongly supported by the department can be discussed with the respective SAS Tutor/ Trust Lead, and approved only if surplus funds are envisaged by the end of the financial year. This is to support Trust Grade doctors (with at a least 6-month contract), as a high proportion of them will go on to become substantive Specialty Doctors.
  14. This funding is not for locum posts.
  15. The SAS Tutors/ Trust Leads, in consultation with the SAS doctors in their Trusts can organise local study days and courses which would be offered to SAS doctors throughout the South West – this would promote uptake on the courses and allow for doctors to exchange ideas.
  16. The courses arranged by HESW from using SAS funds will be free at the point of delivery.
  17. The SAS doctors who wish to attend the courses arranged by HESW will be required to register for the courses using a standardised pro-forma which includes credit card details. A payment of £50 will be deducted from the credit card for non-attendance without adequate notice as advertised at the time of booking.
  18. SAS funds must not be used for buying individual laptops, iPads, tablets etc.
  19. SAS funds cannot be used towards exam fees, although travel and accommodation for exam would be permitted.

Please also read the FAQs  for more information.

The following has been taken from BMA website:

Six suggestions for development funding use

  1. Top-up training to meet requirement for a CESR application or for CPD, CME or revalidation. Employers could also consider weekly sessional commitments to a specific specialist unit where applicable or providing other specialist clinic or theatre placements 
  2. Secondment opportunities - time limited post or secondment for a specific training opportunity or requirement 
  3. Workplace based assessment - a system should be put in place to monitor and assess experience and skills and to assist in identifying a training element in the work that SAS doctors are doing for those that require this; Introduce a voluntary Record of Independent Assessment to certify SAS doctors to work autonomously within agreed boundaries for use as part of portfolios. This should be signed at the time of appraisal and a copy should be kept by the deanery 
  4. Specific clinical management or other educational skills courses or workshops could be provided where not already funded within study leave budgets 
  5. A Regional Study Day for SAS doctors 
  6. Leadership training, master classes, coaching and mentoring and management training. Distance learning could also be considered as a practical alternative. 

Development funding is additional and must be regarded as entirely separate from existing study leave monies; present and future study leave budgets should not be compromised by this additional funding.

Note: the following should already be funded and should not usually necessitate use of the development funding:

  • SAS representation of SAS Doctors at regional and national level for educational planning (e.g. MEE); 
  • Training for processes involved in recertification or revalidation; 
  • Work needed for movement between service and training posts; 
  • Support or time for interaction with SAS tutors; 
  • Opportunities to develop new skills and innovative initiatives; 
  • Support for Trust-based CPD opportunities aimed at SAS Doctors collectively; 
  • Back-filling posts when SAS doctors are seconded for training purposes.