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PLEASE NOTE: This study leave guide and forms are for foundation grade trainees only.  For all other grades of Dr please refer to the Junior or Senior Study leave guide and forms which can be found via the Study Leave tab above.

You can find the full  Health Education England (HEE) policy, including the course list on their website,  Below is a copy of the F2 study leave policy and some key policy highlights:







Study leave for Foundation Year 1:


F1 trainees cannot access study leave time or expenses, except in the below circumstances. This is because your study leave time is allocated to regular weekly teaching at the PGMC (Core Teaching). 

Any study leave borrowed from your F2 allowance must be recorded as per the F2 study leave record below and uploaded to your portfolio ready for ARCP. 


  • ALS Course Attendance: You will be pre-allocated two study leave days to cover the ALS pre-course e-learning and  on-the-day ALS course. These days will be borrowed from your F2 allowance.  

  • F1 trainees may borrow 5 days from your F2 allowance to attend a Taster Week in another department. Please get in touch with the Foundation team if you are considering doing this. 

  • F1 trainees may borrow 1 day from your F2 allowance to attend a careers planning workshop offered by HEE (SW). Please get in touch with the Foundation team if you are considering doing this. 

  • F1s invited to present at a conference can borrow study leave from their F2 allowance but express permission must been sought from and granted by the Head of Foundation School for the Peninsula for this. Please get in touch with the Foundation team if you have been invited to present at a conference. 

Study leave for Foundation Year 2:


F2s have access to a total of 30 study leave days over their 12 month training year. Some of this is pre-allocated and/or may be "borrowed" from F2 and taken in F1 (please see above).  Please also refer to NHSe (HEE) guidance here


You must ensure you are familiar with the study leave policy below and follow this when booking ANY study leave including regional teaching, GP Set Learning Days, Taster Weeks and other courses. All study leave must be applied for at least 6 weeks in advance of the course/conference date for UK study leave.


Conferences/courses outside of the UK will not normally be supported.  Support will be considered for DITs attending an overseas conference to deliver an oral, poster or paper where the F2 is an author or co-author.  These applications require HoS approval.

Below is a summary of how some of the study leave is pre-allocated as set out by the foundation school. 

  • 1 day simulation training (delivered in 2 half days)

  • 5 days Tasters (can be taken in F1)

  • 3 days GP Set Learning Days 

  • 2 days ALS (may be taken in F1)

  • 5 days Foundation Teaching (min 4 days from regional programme (Maxcourse) plus an additional 6 hrs (1 day) from foundation specific teaching (e.g. pain management ) or another day from the Maxcourse regional programme

The above means that trainees NOT undertaking a GP placement will have 17 days available for other courses and those doing GP will have 14 days.


The pre allocated study leave detailed above cannot be used for anything else so if you choose not to undertake a taster week you cannot use those 5 days for other courses.  Foundation Teaching, SIM, GP Days and ALS are mandatory.


All approved study leave must be recorded on the document below so that a cumulative record of the number of days taken can be kept.  This document needs to be uploaded to your portfolio at the end of your training year and ready for ARCP.  Please upload to "course/seminar/other learning attended"





NHSe divide study leave into three categories; Category 1, Category 2, Category 3.

  • 1. Courses/activities aimed at developing foundation curriculum / skills: An indicative list is included below. This is comprehensive but may not be complete. If an FPD is not sure if the course or activity is appropriate to this category, then approval should move to the Head of School. Please see the deanery course list: South West Deanery Course List

    • ALS (or equivalent)

    • NLS/PROMPT (only if neonates undertaken as a placement within foundation programme)

    • ASCERT

    • Train the trainer / teach the teacher

    • Travel for SFP DiTs to attend PgCert (Peninsula SFPs only)

    • Expenses to facilitate DiT to present a poster or oral presentation at a UK Conference

    • National UKFPO foundation conference

    • Time only to attend a postgraduate examination (not for private study)

    • Xray / radiology skills for junior doctors

    • F2 Regional Teaching days (advertised on Maxcourse)

    • Any conference specifically aimed at foundation doctors 


  • 2. Courses/activities intended to support future career intentions:

    • These activities will only be supported if the DiTs ePortfolio is on track for a successful outcome at ARCP. This will be assessed by the FPD or FSD.

    • It must be clear to the FPD or FSD how the activity will support future career intentions. This should be done through a written supporting statement. The career intention must be included in a PDP on the ePortfolio and be discussed with the ES or FPD.

    • Where possible, experience should be gained through local training/activities before supporting travel to other regions.

    • In some cases, part-funding may be considered – reflecting both NHSE and the DiT’s commitment to their enrichment. Some applications may only receive support for study time with no funding. ​

  • 3. Courses/activities for FPD approval: obvious alignment to a recognised specialty

    • Life support courses e.g., ATLS, APLS, EPLS etc

    • Surgical skill courses e.g., BSS

    • Attendance at non foundation conferences without presentation

    • Specialised Foundation Programme DiT requests for academic related activity - so long as the request has been supported by their Academic Supervisor.

  • Courses / activities requiring HoS approval:

    • No direct alignment to recognised specialty

    • FPD unsure of relevance to an individual’s career intention

    • Non UK activity e.g.

    • wilderness and extreme medicine

    • sports medicine

    • Climate change courses

    • Diving / hyperbaric medicine courses

    • Humanitarian aid courses

    • Global medicine courses

    • Courses aimed at specialised areas with a base specialty 

 If your study leave falls under Category 2 or 3 (or is over £600) the following steps will be followed after we receive your fully completed SL application (please see below for process).​

  •  Foundation Programme Director (FPD) approval is essential before booking on to any courses.  You must have achieved all of the following:

    • Statement from trainee to FPD clearly defines how the activity supports intended career​

    • A PDP with a clear objective which reflects what has been requested.

    • All mandatory CS/ES meetings that would be expected at the point of applying.

    • An up to date Teaching Log.

    • Evidence of sufficient SLE activity.



Exams, Preparation for Exams and Interviews 

Study leave cannot be used to prepare/revise for speciality exams during foundation training but may be used to take a speciality exam.  If the study leave request is for a course associated with a speciality application it must follow the same process as Category 3 applications detailed above.   There is no provision in the Study Leave budget for interviews.  This needs to be taken as professional leave but you do need to apply for the time using the Foundation Study Leave application form but mark it INTERVIEW & PROFESSIONAL LEAVE.  The time will be deducted from your study leave allowance.

Overseas Courses and Conferences

These are not normally permitted & approval is given only on rare occasions.  Trainees must be the presenting author for the paper or poster presentation and applications can only be made once during the foundation training programme.  Exceptional permission will need to be given by the Head of Foundation School for the Peninsula.  There is also a specific process you need to follow to apply for overseas study leave and expenses so please contact the foundation team for further information.


All study leave time must be applied for regardless of whether you will be claiming expenses or not.

Under no circumstances can we accept retrospective applications.

Applications can only be approved by a Foundation Programme Director or Head of School - Educational Supervisors cannot approve study leave.  However your ES can approve your taster week application - taster weeks do not need FPD approval.

Study leave expenses can only be claimed if you have pre-approved study leave from the Foundation Team. Therefore, if you plan to attend a course/conference on an off day, you must liaise with your rota coordinator to ask if they can re-allocate your off day as your study leave day must be a normal working day on your roster.

If the below steps are not followed, we cannot guarantee that your study leave or any related expenses will be approved.

  1. Check the NHSe Course and Conference list, available here. Refer to Foundation section on the list and check whether your course or conference appears there as Category 1, 2 or 3.

  2. Download the Foundation study leave application form via the link below. 

  3. Discuss the time away from your department with your rota coordinator and have them sign the form.

  4. Ensure your portfolio features the below items:

    1. A PDP with a clear objective which reflects what has been requested.

    2. All mandatory CS/ES meetings that would be expected at the point of applying.

    3. An up to date Teaching Log.

    4. Evidence of sufficient SLE activity

  5. Forward your application via email to the foundation team at PGMC (  If the course is not a CAT 1 on the course list then include in your email a statement that clearly defines how the activity supports your intended career.

  6. PGMC will forward your application & covering email to FPD if required 

  7. PGMC will forward your application to NHSe for their consideration if this is required.

  8. PGMC will be in touch with you with the outcome of your application. Study leave can only be considered as approved once you receive an approved email from the PGMC Foundation Team. 

Please do not submit to the Junior Drs study leave email account as it could be missed.  Foundation trainee study leave applications should either be dropped down to the foundation team at PGMC or emailed to the foundation inbox (


When Study Leave is approved you will receive an approval email from the Foundation team which includes an expenses claim form and details on how you can claim back your related expenses.


All receipts need to be attached to your expenses claim form.


What can be claimed for currently (please note this is subject to change, so please always refer to your approval email for the most up to date claims information:

Travel and Subsistence

Overseas flights are ineligible; however travel to port of exit is accepted. 

Internal flights are eligible, providing cost does not exceed total return mileage.  All public transport must have receipts attached.  If you are driving, mileage to and from the event is £0.30/mile, and extra passengers (£0.05). This should be completed in full on the expense form.


Accommodation within London £150 per night. Overnight accommodation outside of London should not exceed £120.                   

  • Subsistence £15                               

  • Lunch £5


Once the expenses claim form is fully completed with signature and receipts, the form must be sent to the PGMC for final authorisation. Expenses are then reimbursed through payroll and these should be received by them no later than 10 weeks after the course/event date. Please note, you cannot claim back expenses until after the study leave event has taken place. 


A new expense claim form must be completed for each different event/date.

Payroll deadlines vary each month, but are generally towards the beginning of the month. We will do our best to submit in time for month end, however, if this is missed, you will receive payment in the following month. 

Taster Weeks: 

To arrange a taster week you will need to follow a number of steps:

  • As above, you will need to allow at least 6 weeks for the process.  Your current rota coordinator and the department where you wish to spend your taster week need time to adjust the rota's to accommodate your request.

  • Speak with your current department/rota coordinator to plan the best week to take your taster.  Try and have 2 or 3 choices of week to offer the chosen taster department as they may not be able to accommodate your 1st choice.

  • Speak with the department where you would like to spend your taster week to plan the best dates to come for your taster.  Discuss with them what you would ideally like to experience and what you want to get from spending a week with them.  As them what you will be doing day to day and who you will follow.  Most departments offer a really good taster week timetable with a great deal of variety to enable you to get the most out of your time with them.

  • Speak with your Educational Supervisor regarding your choice of taster department and how this will help and inform future career decision making.

  • Complete a study leave form (available above). Return to PGMC fully completed & signed off by relevant persons.

  • Complete a taster week application form (available below). Return to PGMC fully completed.

  • Complete a taster week report within 1 month of completion of your taster week (report form available below).​

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