Study leave funding moved away from a national individual annual allocation of study leave funding in 2018/19, to implement a system that incorporates equity of access for all trainees, in accordance with ‘Enhancing Junior Doctors Working Lives’.
GP Study Leave still follows the principles of the East of England Study Leave Policy, which can be viewed here. However due to HEE processing the forms, GP Trainees follow a slightly different process.
Please see the blue drop-down boxes below for information and guidance.
The Study Leave Application & Claim Form can be downloaded from the bottom of the page.
How to complete your electronic form
The GP Study Leave Claim Form is now available in electronic format and can be downloaded from the bottom of this page. Please ensure you download and save the document locally on your PC/laptop, then open it as a PDF with Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader before completing. If you're unable to open the form, please watch the step by step video guidance.
Please be aware that unless you provide ALL of the following information for your study leave application, we will not be able to process your payment:
- An electronic study leave application form - part 1 and 2 completed
- Proof of payment
- Proof of attendance or certificate
Please allow 3 months for your payment to be reimbursed within your monthly salary.
How to complete your electronic signature
Please refer to the video below for guidance on how to complete your digital signature
Electronic form guidance for Mac users - Mac user guidance
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The GP School runs a number of regional teaching days to support trainees. These courses are run and funded centrally via the Regional Teaching Fund and will not incur an attendance cost. Please click here for further information.
How much study leave funding am I entitled to?
There is no longer a nominal ‘allocation’ of funding per training year.
Individual GP Study Leave requests are now split into three areas:
- Curriculum Requirements (Under £600 per activity) – Requires ES Sign off
- Curriculum Requirements (Over £600 per activity) – Requires TPD Sign off
- Aspirational Activities (To include Exam Preparation Courses) – Requires TPD Sign off
A list of approved curriculum requirements can be found here.
How many study leave days am I entitled to?
As a GP trainee you have an annual study leave entitlement of 30 days of which 15 days are allocated to the half-day release programme. Part-time trainees are entitled to study leave on a pro-rata basis.
You must ensure you confirm the time off required for study leave with the Clinical Supervisor/Rota Coordinator/Practice Manager in accordance with local processes (minimum of 6 weeks in advance).
How and when will I be reimbursed?
Trainees will receive reimbursement through their payroll, via the Lead Employer.
You will receive reimbursement as soon as possible, but please allow 3 months for your payment to be reimbursed within your monthly salary.
Is there a deadline for claiming?
Claims must be submitted within one month of the course/event date. Any claims received outside of this time frame will not be processed or paid.
I am attending a free course and will need to claim for travel only. Who needs to sign off my study leave form?
If the course is a regional activity which is run and funded centrally via the Regional Teaching fund, then the study leave funding form will require ES sign off.
If the course is an aspirational activity, then the study leave funding form will require TPD sign off.
How many GP Update courses am I entitled to reimbursement for?
Trainees are entitled to reimbursement for a maximum of 1 GP Update course, throughout their training.
Additional GP Update courses may be attended in exceptional circumstances only and this needs to be discussed with your TPD.
How many AKT and CSA Preparation courses am I entitled to reimbursement for?
Trainees are entitled to reimbursement for a maximum of 1 AKT preparation course/resource claim and 1 CSA/RCA preparation course/resource claim throughout the course of their training (this includes travel and subsistence).
Audiobooks and Podcasts are not usually eligible for reimbursement. However, during the Covid period, these packages might be approved provided they are supplied by a recognised examination preparation provider. These would count as being equivalent to the one AKT preparation that trainees are able to claim reimbursement for.
Additional exam preparation courses may be attended in exceptional circumstances only and this needs to be discussed with your TPD.
How much private study leave can I take prior to an exam whilst in a GP/Community placement?
HEE does not encourage the taking of private study leave for any reason during a GP/Community placement. This includes exam preparation, as the best preparation for AKT and CSA is consulting with patients and reflecting on casework. Additionally, whilst in a GP placement, self-directed study time should be used for private study.
Individual host employers should consider 1-2 days of exam leave to allow the trainee to take the exam.
How much private study leave can I take prior to an exam whilst in a hospital placement?
Please see the answer above. However, whilst HEE does not generally encourage the taking of private study leave for exam preparation, we recognise that during a hospital post, trainees do not have specific self-directed study time each week in their contract of employment. So, in recognition of that, GP trainees could potentially request a total of 5 days during the total period of time in non-GP/community placements for either private study leave or online courses (please see FAQ below) prior to an exam. We would expect this private study leave to be taken in the month immediately prior to the exam. We recognise that hospital placements will need to consider the ability to deliver a safe service when assessing these study leave requests
Individual host employers should consider 1-2 days of exam leave to allow the trainee to take the exam
How much online study time can I take prior to my exam?
For online courses, up to 5 days of study leave during your time in non-GP placements can be requested for this. This 5 days is a total combined with private study leave, please see above FAQ. In GP/Community posts, self-directed study time should be used for this activity
Can I claim for exams or letters of competency?
Reimbursement of exams and letters of competency are excluded expenses from the study leave budget.
Can I claim for ALS?
Please note that until August 2021, the possession ALS certificate was an entry requirement to all ST1 training. However, the possession of an ALS certificate is not a curricular requirement of GP training, nor a mandatory element of MRCGP, and its on-going validity is not monitored by the School.
Therefore a trainee’s ALS certificate could expire during their GP Training Programme. If a trainee rotates through a department that requires them to possess such a certificate (or any other non-curricular qualification) in order to work in the department, it is the Host Trust's responsibility to ensure that the trainee has a currently valid certificate, and if necessary provide them with access to the relevant course and fund it.
It is the trainee’s responsibility to contact the Host organisation ahead of their placement and follow any necessary processes to approve and attend ALS courses.
In no circumstances will ALS courses be funded through HEE’s study claim process.
Can I claim for an Academic Course such as a Postgraduate Certificate, Diploma or Masters?
Study leave applications to fund a Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma during General Practice training will not be funded.
General practice training is for a relatively short period of time with a lot to fit into that time. For that reason, we feel that you should be concentrating your time and energy on meeting the requirements to qualify as a GP.
If you have a passion for a particular area, we would encourage you to consider applying for a ST4 or post-CCT Fellowship as a way of pursuing your interest.
Can I claim for the DFSRH Course of 5?
Following the change in the format of the DFRSH in December 2020, we are currently reviewing this FAQ and will update the answer as soon as possible.
Can I claim for an RCGP Conference?
Study leave applications to fund attendance at a national RCGP conference will not be considered. However, we have discussed this with all 3 RCGP Faculties in our region and they are all offering several bursaries for GP trainees to fund attendance at the national RCGP conference.
Study Leave applications to fund a regional RCGP conference will be considered providing the agenda for the regional conference has been approved by HEE. If this is the case, the conference will be funded via the Regional Teaching fund, and will not incur an attendance cost to the trainee.
I am on the Targeted GP Training Scheme (TGPT). Am I entitled to study leave?
GP Trainees on the Targeted GP Training Scheme will be allowed access to the same Study Leave arrangements as any ST3 trainees in an extension. It is not appropriate for them to undertake study towards discretionary/enhancement activities unless they are both progressing satisfactorily and have passed all outstanding exams.
This means that TGPT Trainees will be entitled to study leave for approved curriculum requirements only. A list of approved curriculum requirements can be found here.
Can I claim for study leave funding if traveling overseas?
Trainees may apply for overseas activities and these are classed as aspirational, eligibility criteria can be found in the study leave policy.
The approval of such activities will be made by the Postgraduate Dean or his/her designated deputy and must be submitted using the 'additional aspirational application form' and selecting 'Overseas Activity' for the type of activity or course field. This must be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org a minimum of 6 weeks prior to the date of attendance.
If the application is approved, HEE will consider funding either the cost of the course/conference fees or the cost of economy travel and accommodation whichever is the lower amount.
For more information on the overseas policy, please click here.
Study Leave - COVID-19
Attendance at regional training days, other study days and examinations will again be subject to a local decision. We can confirm that if trainees have planned study leave for which they have received confirmation of reimbursement of funding from HEE, this funding will be honoured even if you are unable to attend due to COVID-19. Additionally, as we are aware that trainees are more likely to be participating in online study courses from home, these will be approved beyond the current 5 days of personal study time. Please provide the programme for the online course when requesting approval.