Study Leave 


For the financial year 2018/19 study leave funding is moving away from a notional individual annual allocation of study leave funding, to implement a system that incorporates equity of access for all trainees, in accordance with  ‘Enhancing Junior Doctors Working Lives’. 

Study Leave Policy - revised from April 2018

The revised policy and an outline of how the application process will work that can be viewed at the links below:

Study Leave Policy - revised April 2018

Study Leave Application Flowchart

GP Study Leave Application Flowchart

All documents can also be downloaded at the bottom of this page.

Individual study leave requests

Trainees may claim up to £600 for curriculum requirements (identified in the lists available on the HEE EoE webpages) via their local Trusts application process. Curriculum requirements exceeding £600 and aspirational activity of any cost will require an additional sign-off from the Training Programme Director (RCP Tutor for CMT).



Individual study leave funding is administered by HEE EoE and reimbursed by the lead employer, further details can be found following this link:

Public Health

Due to the nature and requirements of their training programmes, a separate application process and policy apply to Public Health trainees; these can be found here:


The legal requirements for study leave in the Foundation Programme (FP) are complex, as the arrangements for F1 and F2 trainees differ. The principle of study leave within the 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 document available at the bottom of this page and the Foundation webpage here:

Core Medical Trainees (CMT)

The additional sign off process differs slightly for CMT trainees - the HEE EoE additional form will need to be signed off by the RCP Tutor instead of the TPD, as they will have the greatest understanding of their trainees needs. 

Paediatric Emergency Medicine Trainees (PEM)

For trainees on a PEM rotation, the additional sign off form process can be completed by the PEM Lead, Lisa Mackenzie -


How to open the HEE Study Leave form:

If you're unable to open the form, please watch the step by step video guidance.

The additional sign off form cannot be opened directly from this webpage. Please right click over the document at the bottom of this page and select 'save link as', choose a location to save the document (My Documents, Desktop etc.). Finally, on your PC go to the location you have saved the document and open it from there.  

Useful Links

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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.

If you do not see your question or have any further queries, contact us via email:

Why has the study leave process been changed?

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”. 

What support is currently available to me in order to ensure I gain all competences 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.


How much study leave funding can I claim for in the year?

There is no longer a nominal 'allocation' of funding per training year. Each trainee may claim up to £600 for activities identified as a curriculum requirement, via their local Trust's process.  Curriculum requirements that exceed this amount will need additional sign off from the Training Programme Director.

If the application for study leave is for an aspirational activity it will also require additional sign off from the Training Programme Director.

Can I claim any travel and subsistence expenses?

Trainees should be encouraged to use the most economical mode of transport, where this is not possible prior approval must be obtained from the Educational Supervisor or DME.

All travel and subsistence claims must be accompanied by dated receipts and are reimbursed in line with the employers terms and conditions.

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.

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.

The document 'Guidance for Approving Aspirational Activities' can be downloaded from the bottom of this page. 

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. 

If the application is for a curriculum requirement exceeding £600 or an aspirational activity, you will also need to complete the additional approval form available at the bottom of this webpage.

How will HEE EoE ensure quality and access to study leave?

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
Does study leave funding cover the cost 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.

What happens if my course is cancelled?

Inform your local Education Centre if it is cancelled.

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, East of England. 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 

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.

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 a LAS, am I entitled to study leave?

Unfortunately LAS are not eligible for study leave. 

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.

I’m commencing my Period of Grace, what am I entitled to?

There are no study leave entitlements for trainees working their Period of Grace.

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.

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 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.

I am a CMT trainee, can I attend a commercial PACES course?

HEE East of England will not financially support a commercial PACES course outside the region, as these are funded and run locally. Please contact school administrator Sarah Munro for further details on how to access and book a place on a PACES course locally. 

Please be advised these courses are highly subscribed, therefore forward planning is essential in order to secure a place.

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

If your application for study leave has been declined, there is an appeals process to follow, full details can be found in the HEE EoE study leave policy.

Appeals must be submitted to within 10 working days of receiving your application outcome.