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Frequently asked questions
Below you'll find answers to the questions we get asked the most about applying for study leave.
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In previous years funding to support education and development for junior doctors has been made available to Trusts from Health Education England East of England (HEE EoE) local office through a number of different avenues. Funding streams have historically included placement fees, the school based study leave fund (SBSL) and the simulation fund.
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” - as of 1st April 2018
Individual study leave funding is available 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 aspirational activities are part of their PDP, as discussed with their Educational or Clinical Supervisor.
There is no longer a nominal 'allocation' of funding per training year, however the application process may vary depending on the type of claim. Curriculum requirements with a total cost under £600 are managed and applied for locally by the employing Trust, their process must be followed. For curriculum requirements with a total cost that exceed £600, additional sign off from the Training Programme Director is required.
If the application is for an aspirational activity (of any cost) it will also require additional sign off from the Training Programme Director.
Travel and subsistence can be claimed, in line with eligibility criteria.
When attending study leave overseas travel is only eligible from UK port of entry, this means your travel up to the point you leave the UK e.g. travel to the ferry port/airport
An activity that is not part of your curriculum is considered an aspirational activity, this includes exam preparation courses - although you are required to pass the exam, attending a preparation course is not mandated by the curriculum and therefore remains aspirational.
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.
Part-funding of courses may also be considered, depending on the overall cost of the course. For example, if a course is available locally but you choose to travel outside the East of England to attend the course in a different location, your TPD may feel it is reasonable for your course fees to be reimbursed, but travel and subsistence declined.
Post-graduate courses will need to be rationalised with your Educational Supervisor or Training Programme Director.
The document 'Guidance for Approving Aspirational Activities' can be downloaded from the bottom of this page.
Trainees are expected to discuss their study leave plans with the Educational Supervisor (or Training Programme Director) at the start of each placement.
You will need to follow the local application process (& additional HEE EoE form when relevant) to apply for study leave funding, if your aspirational activity has no cost attached the HEE EoE form does not need to be completed, the time can be agreed locally via the Trust study leave process. 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.
In order to improve quality and access to study leave and curriculum support HEE EoE 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
Exam fees cannot be claimed from the study leave budget, this includes any associated travel and subsistence.
However, exam preparatory courses will be considered for study leave under the ‘aspirational activity’ criteria.
Yes. All trainees are required to attend teaching days and study leave should be applied for via the employing Trust’s local process.
If the course is canceled inform your local Education Centre at the earliest opportunity.
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, East of England. This must be done within 10 working days of receiving your outcome and should include the reasons for your complaint, and 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 email@example.com
Two members of the Senior Leadership Team at HEE, EoE will review the decision made, taking into account the evidence submitted and HEE EoE’s Study Leave Policy.
The decision following appeals is final; there is no further right of appeal.
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.
Unfortunately LAS posts are not eligible for 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 in our region.
There are no study leave entitlements for trainees working their Period of Grace.
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.
Where a course is available locally, funding should not be approved for a trainee to undertake the course, unless exceptional circumstances apply and have been discussed and approved by the TPD.
Funding of overseas study leave will only be considered for an individual who is the first author and sole presenter of a paper which has been accepted for presentation at a conference abroad and will only be available from UK port of entry.
It must be remembered that the overall study budget held by HEE EoE is finite. As such trainees are reminded to act sensibly and professionally when requesting funding and use the cheapest local option available, wherever possible.