Study Leave for GPSTs in HEE SW

General aims of study leave

  • Should relate to the learners’ intended career in general practice
  • Should be focussed wherever possible on specific parts of the GP curriculum
  • Should be based on acquiring general practice competencies

Principles of study leave

  • The overwhelming majority of the study programme to enable learners to acquire a CCT is available through the activities of the Day-Release Course (DRC), the local Education Trusts and on-line resources
  • The trainee will need consent to be released from their normal place of work to attend the requested Study Leave activity. Authorised by Clinical Supervisor/Rota Registrar/Rota Administrator.

The Application for Study Leave / Study Leave funding

  • Study leave should be planned and claimed well before the course. This would be expected to be at least four weeks prior to the course.
  • The application should be supported by the learners’ current Educational Supervisor and a member of the local Patch GP Education Team. This support will be informed by a review of the trainee’s PDP and learning needs.

 Attendance at other courses

GPSTs can ask to attend other external courses. These requests need to fulfill the following criteria;

  1. The request is approved by the trainee’s ES, and
  2. The content provides material which is mapped to the GP curriculum and competencies and
  3. The trainee can demonstrate that the course contributes to their PDP and
  4. The course content is not already provided as part of the programme’s core GP teaching

GP-specialist courses/training

A specialist course/training for extended General Practice skills (beyond the core competencies required for CCT) will only be approved if

a. Agreed by their ES and
b. Their ES states that the trainee is making satisfactory progress and there are
no concerns about completion of core requirements for CCT, and
c. They can demonstrate that it is in keeping with their PDP
- they would only be granted study leave, but no course fees or travel/accommodation costs

Study leave for Specialty seminars and courses not aimed at GPs will not be approved. Examples include;

  • Specialty examinations and courses (e.g. MRCP, FRCA)
  • Sports Medicine
  • Aviation Medicine
  • Expedition Medicine (unless agreed as part of an OOPE)

If a specialist training course is deemed essential by a hospital department such as Paediatric Life Support  or Advanced Life Support, then that department/or Trust would be responsible for costs incurred and attendance would usually be during the trainee’s normal working week (no SL needed)

Private Study leave guidelines for GP trainees

Study Leave for private study is allowed for all doctors in training beyond F2 but is limited to a maximum of 5 working days within a month of an examination and counts against the annual study leave entitlement. Private Study Leave for home-based revision will not be automatically granted. Its aims and objectives should be discussed and agreed between the trainee and their Educational Supervisor and should serve a specific, defined purpose. Private study should only be granted if this does not disrupt the provision of service to patients. 

Professional Leave guidelines for GP trainees

Professional leave for STs is recognised by the GP School for specific activities which are of value to the GP School and/or the National and/or the local GP community. Examples are attendance at:

  • Potential Educational Supervisor Courses and Established Educational Supervisor Courses to help GP Trainers improve their teaching skills
  • QA practice visits as part of the inspecting team
  • GP School committees, e.g. School Board
  • Local professional committees e.g. LMC, RCGP and Severn and Peninsula School
  • National Professional Committees e.g. GPC, RCGP Council
  • Development days for professional assessment e.g. GPST Recruitment
  • In the case of ST1 and ST2 ACF trainees in GP practice: conferences such as the RCGP, SAPC, and the ACF conference, and research methodology training. Applications for these events also requires approval of the relevant academic supervisor in addition to the usual approval process.
  • Medical student (and other) teaching. When done in the GPSTs normal work setting (practice or hospital) it is done as part of the working week.  Up to 2 days per year can be taken as professional leave when teaching medical students in a university setting.  If the trainee is paid then the teaching should be done in his or her own time.
  • GPST recruitment.  GPSTs (particularly scholars) may be asked to help at recruitment, and this may be taken as professional leave

Professional leave should usually be no more than five working days in a twelve-month period and should be approved by both the Educational Supervisor and their member of the local Patch GP education Team using the standard application form and process

Exam fees, travel & accommodation

There is no funding available for exam fees. Travel costs for exams can be reimbursed out of the trainee’s SL budget. Accommodation costs for the CSA can be reimbursed out of the SL budget only if the candidate has a morning sitting and their base is too distant to be able to travel up on the morning of the examination.

 All GP Specialty Trainees within Severn should be familiar with the Severn Study Leave Policy

All GP Specialty Trainees within Peninsula should be familiar with the Peninsula Study Leave Policy.

Trainee Study Leave Allowance 

Most of the study leave budget is used for providing key training requirements such as; induction sessions, regional teaching, free access to MRCGP preparation courses etc. Trainees can apply to access any residual funds to cover specific course attendance as informed by their individual CPD needs agreed after discussion with their educational supervisor. 

How to Apply For Study Leave in Severn

For Severn trainees, application and expenses claims must be made through the Severn Postgraduate Medical Education Online Study Leave Portal. Guidance can be accessed here. For further queries please contact your local Patch Manager. 

How to Apply For Study Leave in Peninsula 

Study Leave /Travel Expenses Application Form - once the form has been signed by the appropriate individuals please post (including all receipts) to:

Sarah Anderson
Peninsula Postgraduate Medical Education
School of Primary Care
Raleigh Building
22A Davy Road
Plymouth Science Park
Plymouth PL6 8BY

For further details please see the Trainee Handbook


Retrospective applications for Study Leave will be considered for authorisation in exceptional circumstances.