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. 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.

Up to five days of study leave per year may be taken for private study. This should be for specific work for example, exam preparation, and agreed with the educational supervisor.

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

Study leave payments are not intended for costs incurred in taking examinations, ePortfolio costs, affiliation to or membership of the RCGP or registration for certification.  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 Postgraduate Dean (APD) regarding study leave approval. The programme APD can decline funding requests if they feel that a more cost-effective alternative exists.

Study leave for GP trainees – general principles

GP Trainees are referred to the national principles for study leave and local processes. In all areas, the following principles should apply:

  • GP doctors in training should discuss their progress, aspirations and intentions regularly with their Educational and Clinical Supervisors. This should entail discussions in general terms at every Educational Supervision meeting, with more detailed discussions with their CS at the start and of every placement. These discussions should be reflected in their PDP
  • In general GP trainees should be meeting core curriculum requirements before considering discretionary enhancement activity
  • GP trainees 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. At all times (with the sole exception of taking an exam or when so advised by a TPD), the regional teaching course provided by the local school should take precedence
  • Attendance at the school’s regional teaching courses and educational supervision with their GP trainer are mandatory (ref GMC Promoting Excellence standard R3.12: Doctors in training must be able to take study leave appropriate to their curriculum or training programme, to the maximum time permitted in their terms and conditions of service).

 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. 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 via email, with receipts, to Gemma Sams