South West Less Than Full Time Training Guide - Summary

This is short summary of the South West Less than Full Time Training Policy for indicative purposes only. For a more comprehensive guide please refer to the South West Less Than Full Time Training Policy document.

This policy applies to the following grades:

Foundation Year 1 (F1)        Foundation Year 2 (F2)


  • All foundation doctors are eligible to apply for less than full time working if training on a full-time basis
  • Doctors must give at least three months’ notice of their wish to train less than full time.

Category 1: Those doctors in training with:

  • Disability or ill health
  • Responsibility for caring (men or women) for children
  • Responsibility for caring for ill/disabled partner, relative or another dependant.

Category 2: Those doctors in training with:

  • Unique opportunities
  • Religious commitment
  • Non-medical development
  • Flexibility for training and career development
  • Welfare and wellbeing
  • Other well-founded reasons

Category 1 applicants will have priority and will be supported by NHS England. 

Access to category 2 is dependent on individual circumstances and the availability of funding. Please ensure that you have the support of your employer/host training organisation.  They will be required to sign your LTFT application form.

Any doctor wishing to work less than full time must have obtained a post in open competition.

All applications for less than full time working must be accompanied by the required supporting documentation (refer to policy) or the request will be declined.

Doctors accepted into the South West programme via an inter-deanery transfer who are already working less than full time will not have to re-establish eligibility, provided they have evidence of their eligibility to work less than full time from their originating organisation.

Subject to eligibility, doctors may train less than full time from the outset or transfer from full time to less than full time (and back again if required).

Training Placements 

Less than full time training may be undertaken in one of three ways listed below. However, opportunities for slot-sharing must be explored first before any alternative arrangements are considered. Any doctor additionally funded or part-time in a full time slot will be required to slot-share should the opportunity arise.


  • Two doctors occupy one full time post and manage the out of hours work between them as agreed by the employer.
  • Each doctor may work up to 60% whole time equivalent.
  • Flexibility will be required where specific working days are required by either or both parties. Typically, slot-sharers will work separate days of the week with overlap on one day or more.

Part Time in a Full Time Slot

  • A doctor occupies an established full-time post but works reduced hours.
  • A doctor may work 0.6, 0.7 or 0.8 whole time equivalent when part time in a full time slot.
  • In exceptional circumstances 0.5 will be considered.
  • Occupational health should be asked to provide a recommendation for whole time equivalent working pattern for applications related to disability or ill health if there is a difference of opinion between the doctor and postgraduate educational support team.
  • If a slot-share opportunity arises then doctors may be asked to accommodate this, even if this involves a reduction in hours. Doctors will be given 16 weeks' notice of this change.

Additional Funding slots

  • This option may only be considered provided there is no detrimental effect on other doctors within the training programme.
  • A doctor may work up to 0.6 whole time equivalent, limited by the funding arrangements from NHSE.


  • Wherever possible, doctors will move between posts on the same basis as a full-time doctor in foundation training.
  • Wherever possible, less than full time doctors will rotate through the specialties allocated to them on their original full-time foundation programme. This cannot be guaranteed and they may find their rotations change to accommodate the needs of the trust or to enable opportunities to slot-share.
  • Doctors working less than full time may also find that their completion date for training may not correspond with August.

Key Facts

  • Less than full time training (LTFT) is equivalent to full time work in all respects.
  • Doctors working LTFT will be required to undertake out of hours work on a pro-rata basis.
  • Doctors will be required to slot-share (up to 60% whole time equivalent) wherever possible. Where this results in a reduction to the total working hours doctors will be given 16 weeks' notice of any change.
  • In line with the GMC position statement on less than full time training (October 2011), doctors will be required to undertake no less than 50% full time training.
  • Doctors working LTFT can undertake other work. Any additional work must be undertaken according to the GMC’s good medical practice and must not impact negatively on their training.

Provisionally registered doctors (foundation year one/F1) must not undertake formal locum posts or activities. Provisionally registered doctors can undertake occasional ad hoc additional/overtime shifts on their current FY1 placement or previous FY1 placements that have formed part of their F1 rotation, where such work is undertaken only within the limits of their current competence and with the support of their educational supervisor. When undertaking such occasional ad hoc additional/overtime work provisionally registered doctors should be clear with other members of their team about their current experience and level of competence. 

  • Where undertaking additional work within the remit of holding a licence to practice the doctor must utilise the annual submission of the Form R (whole scope of practice section) to ensure the Postgraduate Dean as their designated Responsible Officer is aware.
  • The basic pay for doctors training less than full time is pro rata to the basic salary for a doctor employed full time calculated on an average of 40 hours per week.
  • Less than full time doctors are expected to make appropriate personal arrangements to access fixed training days when they are not rostered to work. This will require flexibility on the part of the doctor.
  • Less than full time doctors should refer to the Study Leave guidelines for further information on the allocation and application process of Study Leave.
  • Less than full time doctors will have an ARCP at points where decision relating to progression in training are required and should be assessed not less than annually.