If you have a query that is not covered in the below FAQs, please get in touch with our team at ltft.eoe@hee.nhs.uk

Am I eligible to train less than full time?

Any trainee in a substantive HEE approved post can apply for less than full time training. If your eligibility is approved, this will be accommodated as soon as practically possible.  Anyone can apply for less than full time training, but they must have well founded reasons why full time training is impractical. Reasons for wishing to train less than full time have been nationally agreed upon, and are divided into two categories (outlined below).

The needs of trainees in category 1 will always take priority. Applications in category 2 may be considered but permission will depend on the capacity of the specific training programme and availability of resources.


Category 1 – Those doctors in training with:

- Disability

- Ill health

- Responsibility for caring for children (men and women)

- Primary carer for ill/disabled partner, relative or other dependent


Category 2 - Those doctors in training with:

- Unique opportunities for their own personal/professional development (example training for national/international sporting events)

- Short term extraordinary responsibility (for example a national committee)

- Religious commitment – involving training for a particular religious role which requires a specific amount of time commitment

- Non-medical professional development such as management courses, law courses, fine arts courses or diploma in complementary therapies.


Category 3:

The programme permits all higher EM trainees (ST4+), current ST3 run-through trainees and current ST2 Emergency medicine run-through trainees (who are on the Emergency Medicine ACCS curriculum) who are expected to progress to ST3 in August 2020, to apply for LTFT training, without needing to meet Category 1 or 2.

The expansion permits also all Obstetrics & Gynaecology and Paediatric junior doctors to apply for LTFT training, without needing to meet Category 1 or 2 including NIHR Academic Clinical Fellows and Clinical Lecturers.

Trainees on these programmes are able to apply for LTFT as a personal choice and are not required to meet either category 1 or category 2 criteria as stated above. 


Other well-founded reasons may be considered but it would be dependent on the particular situation and the needs of the specialty in which the individual was training.

Category 1 applicants have priority and HEE will support all category 1 applicants on the grounds of their health, disability or caring responsibilities, subject to available funds and training capacity.  Access to Category 2 is dependent on individual circumstances and the availability of suitable training placements. Where an application is refused by HEE the applicant has a right of appeal, but, the overall training capacity of a training programme and service commitment will have to be taken into consideration.


When do I need to submit a change in plan form?

Trainees are required to submit a Change in plan form only if they wish to change their percentage of full time work. The Change in Plan form is located on the same form as the stage but it appears after selecting the change in plan dropdown on page 2.

A Change in Plan form should be submitted 3 months before the planned start date.

Trainees are no longer required to complete a renewal form whenever they rotate trust or practice as they will be notified of the trainees' LTFT status prior to joining the trust.


How far in advance should I apply?

Applicants should apply to HEE with no less than 12 weeks (3 months) notice of their proposed LTFT start date. You must receive written confirmation of your Form 1: Eligibility Assessment & Training Plan (or From 2: Renewal Training Plan if you are renewing) before you begin to train LTFT. Please note that it may not be possible to accommodate your proposed LTFT training plan straight away.

At what percentage of full time can I work?

The GMC Postgraduate Board have issued a position statement determining that trainees will be required to undertake no less than 50% of full-time training.

For the small number of trainees who experience exceptional difficulties, it has been agreed that postgraduate deans should have flexibility to reduce the time requirement further. The absolute minimum would be 20% of full-time training, with an expectation that trainees should not undertake a placement at this level for more than 12 months.

What is the maximum age my children can be to meet the priority criteria?

You will be awarded priority for LTFT Training if you have a child up to and including the age of 16 years old, or a disabled child who is under 18 years and receives disability living allowance.

I want to revert back to full time, what do I need to do?

In the first instance you really need to discuss this with your TPD and Medical Staffing / Practice, as they will need to ensure you can be accommodated. If this is agreed with your TPD and Medical Staffing / Practice, we need a confirmation email from yourself and your TPD stating whom this has been agreed with and what date you will be commencing 100% from. We will then let the necessary people know of these changes in order for any financial adjustments to be made.

If I train at less than full time, how much longer will I have to extend my training by?

Flexible training should be counted exactly the same as full-time work in all respects. Use the table below to calculate the length of training completed by a flexible trainee who is undertaking 5, 6, 7 or 8 sessions a week.

For example, a trainee who has been doing 5 sessions a week for three years, accrues 18 months training time, likewise, if you need another 3 years full-time training to complete, it will take another 72 months at 5 sessions a week

Full Time Equivalent Table








5 sessions a week = 6 months per

 12 months

 24 months

 36 months 

 48 months

 60 months

 72 months

6 sessions a week = 7.2 months in each year

 10 months   

 20 months


 40 months

 50 months 

 60 months

7 sessions a week = 8.4 months in a year

 8.5 months   

 17 months 

 25.5 months

 34 months

 42.5 months

 51 months

8 sessions a week = 9.6 months in each year

 7.5 months    

 15 months

 22.5 months

 30 months 

 37.5 months

 45 months

I am in an academic training programme, can I work LTFT?

Academic training programmes may be appropriate for LTFT trainees, but these should be discussed on an individual basis with the Postgraduate Dean. Under normal circumstances, an academic training placement done at less than full time should be a minimum of 50% of the full-time placement.

Is less than full time training available to LATs, LAS or Locums?

LAT Foundation doctors may apply for LTFT training, and must complete the process in the usual way however there will be no approval for additional time required. However identification of a placement may not be immediately available.

LAS doctors and locums are not associated with HEE and therefore may not apply to work LTFT through HEE's application channels. We recommend discussing your need to work LTFT with Medical Staffing/HR at your employing Trust.

Is my less than full time post recognised for training?

In conjunction with Royal Colleges / Faculties, LETBs have responsibility for ensuring that all LTFT training of any kind is undertaken in prospectively approved posts and programmes which meet the statutory requirements of the General and Specialist Medical Practice (Education, Training and Qualifications) Order 2003 and the requirements of the Foundation Programme Curriculum. 

HEE will therefore usually approve LTFT training (subject to reasoning), unless the introduction of LTFT / supernumerary training increases post numbers above the specialty maximum capacity for HEE.  Trainees should be aware that they may require approval from their Royal College, and should discuss this with their Training Programme Director or Head of School.

How will I be paid in relation to my full-time colleagues?

The method for calculating pay for LTFT trainee’s can be found in the following national guidance from NHS Employers; Equitable pay for flexible medical training

Any detailed queries or guidance regarding individual pay should be directed to the employing (or prospective employing) organisation.

Can I work part time in another job whilst training less than full time?

LTFT trainees may now do additional paid work, including locums.  This will not count towards their training time and must comply with the terms of their contract.

  • The trainee should not feel pressurised to do additional work
  • If the trainee chooses to work additional hours, they should be paid for them
  • Additional work will form part of their practice, so they must declare it on their Form R.
  • The trainee has a professional duty to maintain patient safety and a healthy work/life balance
  • If the trainee is noted to be doing an excessive number of shifts, their eligibility for LTFT training may be questioned.
How much annual leave am I entitled to?

Annual leave for LTFT trainees is calculated on a pro-rata basis, so if you work 60%, your annual leave entitlement will be 60% of that of a full-time trainee. You should contact your employing Trust or lead employer for exact calculations.

Do I need to inform HEE if I go on maternity leave?

Yes, you should inform you employer, TPD and HEE of your planned maternity leave dates as soon as possible. Please email the Programme and Information Team: edit.eoe@hee.nhs.uk and they will ensure your records are updated at HEE accordingly.

If your LTFT plan will now end sooner than the date originally agreed (due to commencement of your maternity leave), it is important that you inform HEE of this ASAP, as this will impact on funding to your employer.

If your LTFT plan needs to be extended up to the point of your maternity leave start date, you will need to inform the HEE LTFT team ASAP. If you wish to continue training less than full time upon your return from maternity leave, you will need to submit a Change in Plan Form 2 months in advance of your proposed return to work date.

Please note: you are not required to submit an LTFT application to cover your maternity leave period.

Can I appeal against HEE’s decision not to allow me access to apply for LTFT Training?

Yes, though it is recommended that you first attempt to resolve any issues informally in discussion with HEE. If agreement cannot be reached you may then wish to utilise the formal appeals process. The Appeals Process can be downloaded from the Policies & Procedures section of this website.

Does LTFT apply to my Period of Grace?

No. Period of Grace for full time and LTFT trainees is on a fixed term basis for 6 months only and not pro-rata.

How do I find out who my Training Programme Director (TPD) is?

For Foundation TPDs (FTPD) please click here: https://heeoe.hee.nhs.uk/node/2686 and select your Trust from the options on the left hand side.

For GP TPDs, please click here: https://heeoe.hee.nhs.uk/gp_programme_directors and identify your programme area.  

For all other specialty TPDs, please click Medical Training. Once on the Medical Training page please locate your School from the blue menu options on the right hand side of the page. Once located please select your specialty, then click on the 'Contact Us' menu option on the right hand side of your specialty page which will include contact details of the TPD(s) for the specialty.  

I will be working in an on-call rota or in General Practice on a sessional basis, can I still apply?

Yes you are still apply to apply, however if you are working in either of the above you will need to provide a schedule of what you will be doing each week / in each half-day session, ensuring you have confirmed that this is pro-rota with your full-time colleagues.

This information is essential so we can check that you are getting enough experience whist working LTFT. Applications will not be approved without this information.

What are the minimum requirements for my visa status?

In order to comply with Home Office regulations for Tier 2 sponsorship, you need to be earning a minimum of £30,000 per annum which is calculated on basic salary and excludes any allowances or bonuses. Minimum salary requirements differ for trainees who have held a Tier 2 visa prior to April 2017: the table below shows current salary requirements for visa holders:

In addition, Tier 2 visa holders who applied for their visa under the shortage occupation requirements (which came into effect in October 2019) are required to work at least 30 hours per week. If you are unsure which category applies to you, please contact the EoE Immigration Team at immigration.eoe@hee.nhs.uk for further advice.

Who needs to sign the LTFT form?

The form will need to be signed the trainees' Training Programme Director or Head of School and their Educational Supervisor or College Tutor. For GP trainees, the form will also need to be signed by their Practice Manager.


How does slot sharing work?

Slot-sharing works on the basis that two trainees occupy one full time post and manage the out of hours work between them as agreed by the employer.

Each trainee may work up to 80% whole time equivalent. Health Education England working across the East of England will provide surplus funding as an incentive to the employer to support the less than full time training placement.

Where two trainees share one slot, HEE provisionally agree to provide an uplift in funding of up to 20% of basic salary to enable both trainees to work at up to 60% of full time. This is subject to receipt of approved training plans for both trainees. If the LTFT percentage exceeds 120%, the additional funding will need to be provided by the respective trust, so this needs to be agreed with the relevant staffing prior to submitting an application. 

Slot-share trainees must agree their working pattern with their Educational Supervisor to ensure educational and service needs are met. Flexibility will be required where specific working days are required by either or both parties. Typically, slot-sharers will work separate days of the week with overlap on one day or more.

Please note: If you are slot sharing in a post, you and your partner’s stage 1 training plan form must be submitted for approval at the same time.

Can Foundation trainees work LTFT?

Yes. The only time limitation is that provisional registration (i.e. F1) can only be held for 3 years and 30 days but most trainees can complete their Foundation programme within that time working at e.g. 60% LTFT.

How are LTFT working patterns calculated?

Trainees applying for LTFT should consult with the Educational Supervisor at their Trust to ensure they receive an appropriate amount of training with their reduced hours. If working in General Practice, the applicant will need to provide a proposed weekly timetable listing their working days and activities.

Trainees can offer to negotiate shifts with the Trust if they feel the need. HEE looks to support LTFT training and all trusts and departments are expected to do so. We would not encourage rotational changes that might unbalance rotations except in exceptional circumstances.

Can I choose which days I will work?

This needs to be negotiated with your employer as soon as possible. They will try to honour your chosen working pattern, but this is not always possible both for LTFT in a Full Time slot and LTFT trainees who are slot sharing. This should also be discussed with your TPD and Educational Supervisor.

Thursday, 31 January, 2019
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Thursday, 31 January, 2019