Bradford’s Study Leave Policy

BRADFORD’S STUDY LEAVE PROTOCOL

If you want to go on any course, you have to follow this protocol:

  1. Arrange cover for your absence first: in a hospital post, this means liaising with your peers. In a GP post, this means liaising with the practice manager.
  2. Fill out a Study Leave application/approval form first. The form is basically to say that you can or cannot go.  Get your Consultant or GP Trainer and Training Programme Director to approve your request and sign their part of the form.   Forms must be submitted as far in advance as possible but in any event no later than 6 weeks prior to the proposed leave.
  3. If study leave is approved, go ahead and pay for the course yourself.   If study leave is not approved a brief explanation will be provided.
  4. When the course is over, then fill out the Study Leave claim back expenses form, which helps you to reclaim what you’ve personally forked out.
  5. Along with that claim back expenses form, fill out the Study Leave evaluation form. Send both of these forms back.  Claim forms must be submitted as soon as possible after the study leave has been completed.  Claims submitted after a 3 month period has elapsed will NOT be eligible for payment.  Claim forms will not be processed unless accompanied by an evaluation form and receipts.  Forward the completed forms to the local Postgraduate Centre (Sofya Loren, Bradford GP Training Scheme, Field House, Bradford Royal Infirmary, Field House Teaching Centre, Duckworth Lane, Bradford BD9 6RJ). Your local Postgraduate Education Centre will forward the claim form and evaluation form to the Deanery on your behalf.
  6. Then just wait for £££ to come through.
All forms are also available on the ‘Downloadable Forms’ button on the Bradford VTS homepage.

last updated 2011

WHAT TYPES OF COURSES WILL BE FUNDED?

Because of limited resources, we are unable to promise funding for any specific courses. We may be able to consider funding for courses relevant to GP (e.g. STIF, GP related diplomas), but we will need to consider each case individually.   The current priority for funding is for LOCAL courses where the educational activity:

  1. Prepares you for the requirements of MRCGP (like local AKT and CSA courses).
  2. Tackles an essential component of being a GP (like Child and Adult Protection).

Educational activities to pursue your personal learning interests or development towards a potential role as a GPwSI role will not be given priority even though this interest is included within the GP curriculum.   However,  funding may be considered if resources allow – but DO NOT assume that it automatically will – it depends on the amount of money left in the study leave pot at the end of the financial year.  The decision is down to the TPDs.   So, if you are a trainee reading this, essentially you need to decide whether to pursue going on a course in the knowledge that reimbursement of your expenses may not be honoured.  A simple way of doing this is to decide whether FOR YOU, you think the course is a) absolutely necessary and essential or b) simply interesting and desirable.  But again, remember, even if you decide to go on the grounds that you feel for you it is absolutely necessary and essential, reimbursement is still not guaranteed.

Also remember…

  • Time off for study leave must be agreed by your Trainer/Hospital Consultant and the Practice Manager/Rota Coordinator.
  • You must fulfil the service requirements of your post.

EXAM/EXAM-PREPARATION LEAVE

  • Exam leave for the day of the MRCGP:
    For the first attempt, leave is granted with pay and expenses.
    For subsequent attempts, leave is granted without pay and expenses.
  • Exam leave for the day of a diploma (such as DRCOG, DFSRH, DCH, DGM):
    Provided educational approval is given, leave will be granted without funding.
  • Exam preparation leave
    There is no automatic entitlement to Exam Preparation Leave for private study in order to prepare for an exam.
    In exceptional circumstances, the employing body may grant leave for up to 2 days to prepare for an exam but no more than 3 days in a year.
    Again, please remember that this is discretionary and there is no automatic individual right.

DEANERY & NATIONAL POLICY

  • Click here to see Yorkshire & the Humber Deanery’s policy on study leave
  • Study leave that prepares the trainee for the requirements of the core curriculum defined by the RCGP and RCGP membership examination is prioritised above any personal learning interest or development towards a potential role as a GPSI even though this interest is included within the GP curriculum.
  • Study leave is currently a maximum of 30 days per annum.
  • Study leave does not include workplace-based training and protected teaching time within the working week.
  • It does, however, include training activity arranged as an integral part of the training scheme’s programme, such as HDR and modular courses, unless you are required to return to work after the teaching (as for HDR in some hospital posts).
  • LTFT trainees are entitled to study leave pro-rata
  • If study leave funding for a course is granted, travel and associated costs will be funded.
  • You must make sure you attend the required number of Half Day Release and/or modular courses, which take priority over any other demands for study leave.  Courses specifically run for the local training scheme take priority over other courses.
  • Local courses take priority over more distant courses – study leave will not normally be funded for distant MRCGP preparation courses.
  • GP Update, refresher and Hot Topics courses are not normally funded as they are not considered the most effective way to prepare for AKT.
  • Trainees near the end of their training who are doing well in their assessments may be funded to attend local RCGP courses aimed at established GPs, if they have educational approval and if our resources allow.
  • ‘GP re-orientation leave’ – the Deanery supports the use of study leave (on days negotiated with Clinical Supervisor and the Rota Co-ordinator) for hospital trainees to return to their first training practice for a day’s GP work or to complete an audit, as well as for Educational Supervision meetings.

BRADFORD'S INTERPRETATION OF DEANERY POLICY (click to open me)

Because of limited resources, we are unable to promise funding for any specific courses. We may be able to consider funding for courses relevant to GP (e.g. STIF), as well as courses for the GP related diplomas, but will consider each case individually.  To increase the likelihood of your study leave application being approved, follow these guidelines.

  1. Make sure the learning need for which you are applying for study leave is on your PDP, clearly described and justified in relation to your career in GP.
  2. If you are in any doubt, talk to a TPD before going any further.
  3. Use the approved study leave application form.
  4. Get the request approved by your Hospital Consultant or GP Trainer and a TPD.
  5. Get approval from the Rota Coordinator (hospital post) or Practice Manager (GP post).
  6. Apply 8 weeks in advance of the course if possible.
  7. Pay any upfront charges required by the organisers of the course – these will be reimbursed unless you fail to attend the course.

WHAT STUDY LEAVE IS NOT FOR

Study leave is not usually allowed for private study, but may be appropriate in exceptional circumstances. All study leave must be approved by the Trainer or Hospital Consultant and a Training Programme Director.

STUDY LEAVE IN RELATION TO HALF-DAY RELEASE

Officially you get 30 days per year of Study Leave (=15 days every 6 months). But attending HDR already eats up all of this (15 days per 6 months). We (the TPDs) recommend that trainees be allowed up to 5 EXTRA study leave days every 6 months in addition to HDR attendance. Included in this extra 5 days is time off to sit compulsory exams. This additional study leave may be granted if the trainer agrees that it is appropriate for the trainee’s professional development needs. However, trainees need to understand that this additional leave is entirely discretionary (and is almost impossible during hospital posts).

STUDY LEAVE - NOTES FOR THE PRACTICE MANAGER or HOSPITAL ROTA CO-ORDINATOR

  • Identify the course or other activity for which the trainee wants study leave.
  • Check how much study leave they have had already.
  • Talk to their GP Trainer or Hospital Consultant, who will liaise with the trainee and decide whether it is educationally appropriate, and whether to approve it
  • The Practice Manager/Rota Co-ordinator should try to accommodate the trainee’s request if it has been approved by the GP Trainer  or Hospital Consultant and if the trainee has not had 5 days on top of HDR. You are okay to decline the request if there are too many other doctors away at that time, and the trainee’s absence would seriously compromise the service provided by the practice or department – but please talk to the Trainer/Hospital Consultant first and get his or her approval.
  • If the trainee has already had HDR plus 5 days, the Trainer/Hospital Consultant may agree to grant additional study leave if there are good reasons. Please view all requests sympathetically.