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. However, the study leave budget is finite and by HEE EoE funding regional courses we aim to provide high quality and breadth of teaching using this budget to maximum benefit for all trainees. Therefore, it is important that you check for regionally funded courses before booking any commercial course.
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 & to be added as PDP objective on e-portfolio.
A list of approved curriculum requirements can be found here.
Please ensure you obtain TPD/ES approval on our digital study leave form prior to committing to any course/resource. This can be helped considerably by providing a good description in the narrative box as to how this course will help you in your GP training.
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, prior to committing.
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 RCA Preparation courses am I entitled to reimbursement for?
Please book onto our regionally funded courses in the first instance. We aim to provide our trainees with inhouse courses, however, we appreciate there is a large demand and therefore, other courses may be approved where it was not possible to attend those already funded by HEE EoE. We are aware of more expensive commercial packages that are available, in general these will not be reimbursed via the study leave budget apart from in exceptional circumstances.
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).This includes attendance at regional exam preparation courses too although it does not include participation in SOX programmes.
Audiobooks and Podcasts are not usually eligible for reimbursement, however, taking into account individual preference, these packages may 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 funded in exceptional circumstances only and this needs to be discussed with your TPD. Please provide an explanation about your additional need in the narrative box.
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 RCA 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 can be accepted only in very exceptional circumstances.
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. Please see our fellowship posts here.
Can I claim for the DFSRH fees?
Following the usual study leave funding application, approval and claiming process you can claim the following fees:
- £285 application fee
- Up to £250 towards the Summative Clinical Assessment and Independent Learning Portfolio Sessions and Assessment
The Diplomate membership fee is not eligible for funding.
Can I claim for a Conference?
Study leave applications to fund attendance at a national conference will not be considered, unless trainees are presenting a paper or poster.
All 3 RCGP Faculties in our region are 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.
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 email@example.com 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.