Severn Foundation School Study Leave Policy


The Study Leave Policy has been designed to ensure that the management of Study Leave across the Severn Foundation School is in line with the national Foundation Programme Reference Guide 2016.

Whilst there is some diversity between Local Education Providers (LEPs) in the way in which training and education is delivered, the management of Study Leave must be within a common Foundation School framework, to ensure that trainees in different Trusts receive equal treatment.


This policy relates to trainees in foundation programmes within LEPs/Trusts in the Severn Foundation School. It does not extend to trainees undertaking F2 overseas as there is no Study Leave entitlement for these trainees. This is because the total Study Leave budget is determined by the number of local training posts; and because the trainee is an employee of a host organisation for F2 overseas, which has its own entitlements for leave and training.

Study Leave

According to the Foundation Programme Reference Guide 2016

  1. The generic teaching programme and study leave are provided to support the objectives of the foundation programme.
  2. In particular, both the generic teaching programme and study leave should be used to support the acquisition of the outcomes set out in the curriculum and to enable foundation doctors to explore career options.
  3. There should be a generic teaching programme in both F1 and F2.The generic teaching programme should be mapped to the curriculum. A register of attendance should be maintained and a minimum of 70% attendance or equivalent should be achieved in each year.

The Severn Foundation School considers 60 hours over the year to be equivalent to 70% attendance.


Study leave allowances are dictated by the Terms and Conditions of Service for NHS Doctors and Dentists in Training 2016.

Grade Days per annum
Foundation Doctor Year 1 15 days
All other doctors in training 30days

 35. Study leave for Foundation Year 1 doctors will take the form of a regular scheduled teaching/training session (or similar arrangement) as agreed locally.

Foundation year one (F1)

F1 doctors are entitled to 15 days study leave.

The majority of this will be used for the F1 generic teaching programme, made up of in-house, formal education as part of their working week, which should be relevant, protected (‘bleep-free’) and appropriate to their F1 training. Foundation doctors must be released to attend and should give their pagers to someone else so that they can take part.

This weekly in-house, formal education may be aggregated to release whole days for generic teaching during F1. Study Leave may also be used for ALS (or equivalent).

F1 doctors may undertake up to 5 taster days towards the end of the F1 year. To fully benefit from tasters, foundation doctors should discuss their career aspirations with their educational supervisor and review their requirements for tasters and the timing around the middle of the F1 year.

Please click here to download the F1 Study Leave Form

Foundation year two (F2)

F2 doctors are able to take up to 30 days study leave as set out in their terms and conditions of service. Foundation doctors training less than full-time are entitled to pro-rata access to study leave funding and time allocations.

The majority of this should be used for the F2 generic teaching programme, the Severn F2 Regional Teaching Programme, ALS (or equivalent) and Taster sessions.

Study leave days which have not been allocated to the F2 generic teaching programme, taster sessions, ALS (or equivalent) and Regional Teaching Programme may be taken as long as this is consistent with maintaining clinical services. Study leave must be agreed in advance to avoid disruption to services. It must be supported by the Educational Supervisor and the Foundation Programme Director. It should be used to:

  • support the aims of the foundation programme;
  • achieve the foundation outcomes; or
  • explore career opportunities and improve wider professional development (see Aspirational Courses below)

Study leave should not be used to prepare for specialty examinations during foundation training but may be used to take a specialty examination.

The authorisation of Study Leave will be based on the satisfaction of five distinct criteria:

  • Availability – that the trainee can be released from their normal place of work to attend the requested Study Leave activity.  Authorised by Clinical Supervisor/Rota Registrar/Rota Administrator
  • Relevance – that the chosen course of study/activity is of direct relevance to the trainee’s curriculum attainment and professional development.  Authorised by FP Director under guidance from the Foundation School
  • Learning Agreement – that an approved learning agreement or equivalent has been submitted to support the requested activity.  Usually this PDP will be recorded in the trainee’s e-Portfolio.  Authorised by FP Director
  • Eligibility – that the trainee has sufficient remaining Study Leave days to cover the requested activity.  Authorised by Foundation School
  • Funding – that there is sufficient funding, within defined limits, to cover the costs of the activity, or the trainee has agreed to self-fund the activity and has indicated this on the application form.  Authorised by Foundation School

The trainee should NOT assume that leave is authorised until written confirmation is received from the Foundation School. The Foundation School will be responsible for recording the Study Leave that has been taken, so that this can be monitored across the programme.

Please click here to download the F2 Study Leave Form.

Study Leave Expenses

Funding for study leave should be directly aligned to achieving curriculum outcomes. There is recognition that different programmes have different requirements and as a result trainees will, by definition, have access to differing levels of funding.

Trainees should discuss their progress, aspirations and intentions with their supervisor. This is of particular importance when considering funding applications for discretionary activity that is not directly aligned to curriculum outcomes. Financial support for discretionary activity will only be considered if the trainee has met their core curriculum requirements and they can demonstrate how the support required will allow them to fulfil their potential, facilitate career development and meet potential employer requirements.

Foundation year one (F1)

F1 doctors are not eligible to claim study leave expenses. This is because their study leave entitlement is taken up by their formal in-house generic teaching programme.

Foundation year two (F2)

F2 doctors may claim study leave expenses to cover the costs of educational courses/activities that support their curriculum attainment. The expectation is that the majority of F2 Study Leave Expense claims will relate to attendance of the Severn Regional Teaching programme.

Advanced Life Support or equivalent

It is expected that trainees will undertake their ALS training in a location approved by their Trust. If trainees elect to undertake their ALS training in an alternative location, they will be responsible for self-funding the course (except for the Resuscitation Council fee).

Aspirational Courses

Courses which are not curriculum specific are deemed to be Aspirational. A contribution towards the cost of the course will be at the discretion of Health Education England.

Eligibility for funding for aspirational courses

Discretionary funding is available to F2 trainees for one aspirational course/activity which adds value to the individual and supports the wider system. If you plan to apply for this, to avoid disappointment, please ensure you discuss this early with your Foundation Programme Director and make sure you have achieved your required curriculum and competencies to support your application. You will also need to ensure that the Foundation School Director approves your request. Funding for such courses is at the discretion of HEE after having taking into consideration the rationale for the application. HEE will then support a contribution of either 50% of course fees or up to £1000 toward a course. Reimbursement of travel and accommodation will remain the same as it would in other circumstances.

What can be included in your claim?

Study Leave budgets DO cover:

  • Courses / education activities to support you achieving the curriculum
  • Management and leadership skills
  • Discretionary courses that add value to the individual and support the wider system
  • Conference fees
  • Travel and subs such as travel to and from courses/conferences. Travel should be as cost-effective as possible.
  • Fees for courses outside of the UK, but not travel.

Study Leave budgets DO NOT cover:

  • Royal college membership fees
  • Eportfolio fees
  • Postgraduate exam fees or any associated costs
  • Any statutory or mandatory training required to fulfil your clinical role (this should be provided by your NHS Trust)
  • Travel outside of the UK

Study Leave Application Process

  1. Trainee obtains Foundation School Study Leave application form from Foundation School website or from LEP/Trust.  Only applications made on the correct form will be accepted/processed.
  2. Trainee completes and submits form to Clinical Supervisor/Rota Registrar/Rota Administrator for approval (requires authorised signature)
  3. Trainee completes and submits form to Foundation Programme Director for approval (requires authorised signature)
  4. Foundation Programme Director authorises that the course is appropriate for trainee (under guidance from Foundation School) and verifies that copy of learning agreement/personal development plan has been provided
  5. Application form, together with any supporting documentation, is forwarded to Foundation School for approval
    1. FS checks all required signatures have been completed
    2. FS checks against Study Leave days taken to date
    3. FS records Study Leave on database if approved
  6. Foundation School emails trainee confirming whether or not Study Leave has been approved, enclosing expenses claim form if appropriate

Study Leave Expense Claim Process

  1. After Study Leave has been taken, trainee completes expenses claim form, to be accompanied by original receipts and proof of attendance.
  2. The expense claim must link to a corresponding Study Leave Application - trainees are only eligible to claim fees or travel for prospectively approved, authorised courses.
  3. Claim forms, receipts and proof of attendance must be received within three months of the course having taken place.
  4. Claim form, together with supporting documentation, is forwarded to Foundation School for approval.
    1. FS checks whether course is eligible for funding
    2. FS records on Study Leave database if approved
    3. FS forwards to Finance department for processing if approved