Study Leave



Study Leave Funding 

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’. 

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 Trust process. Curriculum requirements exceeding £600 or aspirational activity will require an additional sign-off from the Training Programme Director.

GPs and Public Health trainees

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

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.

For GP and Public Health trainees individual study leave funding is administered by HEE, EoE and reimbursed by the lead employer (new policy is coming soon).

How much study leave funding can I claim for in the 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.

What is considered an approved curriculum based activity?

Your Educational Supervisor or Training Programme Director can advise you on which activities are part of the curriculum.

These can also be found on the HEE EoE website here: Curriculum requirements by school

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.

Trainees applying for 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. 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.

How do I apply for study leave?

First, you will need to speak with your Education Supervisor (or Training Programme Director) to arrange your study leave plans. 

You will also need to ensure you have approval from your rota co-ordinator. Please consider local timescale processes.

Finally, you will need to complete a study leave application form and submit it to your Education Supervisor (or designated person) for review and approval.

You can find the study leave form here (study leave form coming soon). If you cannot see it, then please contact us:

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, using the Document in Appendix 2
  • - Monitoring the quality of the training delivered to ensure it is of an appropriate standard and meets trainees’ needs
When will I be reimbursed for the course I attended?

You will need to submit an expense claim to your employing NHS Trust in accordance with the timescale processes, which is typically within 8 weeks of attending the course. If you are a GP trainee, you will submit your expense claims directly to HEE EoE.

You will need to include proof of attendance and billing information received.

Once approved, your Trust will reimburse you in the following monthly pay.

Does study leave funding cover the cost of my exam fees?

Exam fees cannot be claimed from the study leave budget.

However, exam fees are associated to preparatory exam 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.

I'm a foundation trainee, what am I entitled to?
F1 trainees

Currently, F1 trainees are entitled to a maximum of 15 days allocated study leave which includes school training days. As an F1 trainee, you are entitled to use up to 5 days for tasters for future career decision making activities.  Study leave will be granted flexibly and tailored to individual needs.

F2 trainees

Currently, F2 trainees are entitled to a maximum of 30 days allocated study leave which includes curriculum based activities including ALS, or equivalent and periods of sitting exams aligned to future career choices.  Study leave will be granted flexibly and tailored to individual needs.

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 GP / Public Health trainee, what am I entitled to?

For GP and Public Health trainees individual study leave funding is administered by HEE, EoE and reimbursed by the lead employer – Please click here for further information (link to page and policy)

Public Health trainees do have a study leave entitlement, but due to the nature and requirements of the training programme a separate policy applies, this can be found here: Public Health trainees Study Leave information

GP trainees: select  GP study leave webpage for further details 

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 maternity leave, how does this affect my study leave allowances? See also for ‘paternity leave’.

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 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 maternity leave does not affect study leave entitlement trainees should be permitted to take study leave days, providing this does not affect safe service provision.

The same for paternity leave, typically a shorter period of time, although the same Policy is applied. You may not be required to take “keeping in touch” days.

Can I claim any travel expenses?

Subsistence is only applicable as identified in the current Study Leave policy. All costs must be accompanied by dated receipts when submitting a claim to your employing trust.

  • Meals allowance per 24 hour period = £20.00
  • Lunch allowance = £5.00
  • Evening meal allowance = £15.00
  • Actual receipted cost of bed and breakfast up to a maximum of £55.00 in a 3* hotel or equivalent.

The following limits apply to travel claims arising from a period of approved study leave:

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. Travel expenses are subject to the following criteria:

  • Mileage is paid at public transport rate (24p per mile/28p  per  mile  on  2016  contract)
  • Rail tickets - Standard Class only
  • Air fare – prior approval necessary and only where it is demonstrated as being the cheapest form of transport
  • Fares will only be paid from UK port of entry

Documentary proof of expenditure will be required.

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 should include any of 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 and must be made within 10 working days of being notified of their outcome.

Two members of the senior management 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.