Study Leave During GP Specialty Training


Study leave is intended to support trainees with release from timetabled work and financial support for courses to meet career aims and objectives. It should integrate with the individual education plan for each module of training and with the total training package.

There is no budgetary limit, however study leave must be used to meet curriculum requirements. All study leave requests are to be discussed with your supervisors. Leave to meet core curriculum requirements will take priority over discretionary non-curriculum requirements.

Trainees should be free to attend educational events appropriate for their career destination of general practice regardless of which specialty post they are pursuing at the time, provided essential service commitments are covered.

Trainees are advised to plan their study leave at the regular review meetings with their educational supervisor. Ideally an outline plan should be produced for the whole 3-year programme with each course planned at least 6 months in advance. These discussions should be reflected in the trainee’s PDP. This will facilitate release from service commitment and ensure best use of the allowance. The educational supervisor should record this in the e-portfolio either in the review documentation or as an “educators note”

Up to 5 days of Study Leave per year may be taken for private study. This should be for specific work, e.g. exam preparation and agreed with the educational supervisor.

GP Trainees who are progressing satisfactorily may wish to develop an interest in a particular specialty and undertake a limited amount of training to that effect, but they should ensure that this does not hinder their progress or detract from their study of the core GP Curriculum.

Travel and subsistence can be reimbursed in accordance with the current regulations. Please click here for Health Education England's Travel and Subsistence poliy. 

Study leave payments are not intended for costs incurred in taking examinations, e-portfolio costs, affiliation to or membership of the RCGP or registration for certification so none of these will be reimbursed.  However, travel costs incurred to attend examinations may be applied for. Approval for attending courses outside of the region will not normally be granted if there is a similar course in the region. 

LTFT trainees are entitled to pro rata study leave time.

Extension trainees should seek the opinion of their support Associate Dean regarding study leave approval.

The programme APD can decline funding requests if they feel that a more cost-effective alternative exists.


During GP Specialty training study leave should be used at 3 levels, in order of importance:  

Level I

a)    Attendance at the GP specialty training programme structured teaching. Whilst in ST1 and ST2 hospital posts, release to stay in close touch with the training practice and complete the Educational Supervisor Review; (a maximum of five days of study leave per 6-month post).

b)    Appropriate life support training certified to meet MRCGP examination requirements (to achieve BLS)

c)    One Level 3 safeguarding during training

Applications for these will be automatically approved.


Level II

These are courses which will supplement areas of the GP curriculum that may be difficult to access, examples would include Child Health Surveillance and Minor Surgery courses. Please see table below for further possibilities.


Level III

These are courses which are additional and aspirational courses that go beyond the GP curriculum e.g. to aid the development of particular interests. These will be reviewed by the programme team and approval is at their discretion. If supported, these courses will only be funded up to maximum of 50% of the cost of the course


Approved course list 

Level I: Automatic approval for all trainees



Structured Education Programme

Mandatory release, no funding implications

Severn or Tamar Faculty (as appropriate) RCGP CSA and AKT preparation course

One course attendance per trainee

Courses provided by local Educational Provider Organisations through block-booking


BLS training 

One attendance per trainee in ST3

Child protection training 

One course attendance per trainee. Trainees should ensure that they have completed a Level 3 course by the end of ST3.

GP Update Day e.g. NB Medical / Red Whale

For all in ST3


Level II: Courses provided by other organisations that address the difficult to reach parts of the GP curriculum should also be considered, especially if they cover:

RCGP provided or accredited courses or conferences 

Contraception/sexual health courses

Minor surgery

Joint injections

Palliative care





Mental Health

Learning Disability

Medical Education Leadership


Veterans’ Health




Children and young people’s health


Female Genital Mutilation

Equality and Diversity


Information Governance

Leadership and Business Management

Courses related to adult learning, self-regulation and reflective learning

Courses NOT approved for funding, although time off might be authorised

CSA or AKT revision or study courses provided by any other provider (apart from the Fourteenfish AKT package which is available to trainees from the SL budget).

Attendance at courses or conferences overseas

Events outside the Peninsula / Severn region unless authorised by a APD/TPD



Author:          Graham Rutt (HEE NE+NC) on behalf of HEE GP Directors

Date:             Updated 04.12.2018


Application Process

Original receipts should accompany every claim form to verify the authenticity of all expenditure detailed upon it. Claims should be submitted within six weeks of the event taking place and absolutely no later than three months.

Expenses for exams will not be reimbursed. Expenses for travel to/from exams will be reimbursed subject to the rates set out in the trainee guide to Travel & Subsistence expenses. Public transport should be used wherever possible. Flights within the UK may be considered if this is the most cost-effective option, however pre-approval must be obtained. Flights outside of the UK will not be considered. Mileage shall be reimbursed at £0.28p per mile. See guidance for claiming travel and subsistence.

Approval for time off for study leave must be sought and agreed by rota manager (for trainees in hospital placements) or Practice Manager within GP training practices.

Please complete the study leave expenses claim form, have the claim authorised by Patch TPD/APD, and return it, with receipts, to:

Gemma Sams
Health Education England
Plumer House
Tailyour Road