Study Leave

Resources, including funding, for Study Leave at Foundation level are intended to be used to: support the aims of the foundation programme; achieve the foundation outcomes; explore career opportunities and improve wider professional development. 


  • Foundation Doctors may take up to 10 days Study Leave, as long as this is approved in advance by their local Foundation Programme Director and is consistent with maintaining essential service.
  • In general trainees should be meeting core curriculum requirements before considering discretionary enhancement activity.
  • Career based Taster Days are available in the third placement of FY1 and throughout FY2. Any Study Leave granted for these taster days will be deducted from your FY2 allowance
  • ALS is not provided automatically, instead ILS is provided free in FY1. If a foundation doctor wishes to complete ALS they need to apply under study leave however, the amount of funding available is capped at £350 by NHSE. Trainees may therefore have to pay a small cost towards the ALS course.
  • The ATLS and APLS courses can be supported by study leave resources, as it appears that credit may be given for these courses in some ST applications, even though this is not necessarily signalled in the job specifications on the various websites. Similarly, Basic Surgery Skills (BSS) courses can be supported from the study leave allowance.
  • Approval of funding for activities not held locally within NHS E will not automatically include entitlement to reimbursement for travel or subsistence. Travel and subsistence, including overnight accommodation costs, may be claimed for activities undertaken within the local NHS E region but may only be claimed for courses and events outside the local region if there are no similar opportunities available locally. This includes reimbursement for resuscitation courses required for sign off. Where no available places remain in the North West reimbursement for travel will be permitted.
  • The overnight accommodation allowance outside of London should not exceed £120 a night which falls in line with the rates agreed nationally for recruitment expenses.
  • International study leave requests to attend overseas study courses and conferences will only be considered in exceptional circumstances and on the grounds that there is no opportunity to gain the identified Foundation competences or experience from any other local or regional course or event. For approved applications the school will consider funding either the full cost of the course/conference fees or the full cost of economy travel and accommodation, whichever is the lower amount.   Any accommodation costs should not exceed the maximum amount permitted for study budget claims within the UK. The trust must seek prior approval from the school for all intended overseas claims.
  • Foundation doctors who are training less than full time are entitled to pro-rata access to study leave resources.

Study Leave funding will not be available for the following:

  • Applications for Study leave time allowances that are declined. Funding can only be claimed towards approved Study leave.
  • Costs associated with sitting national professional examination/college examination courses and preparation courses, including other expenses involved in undertaking them
  • Commercial preparation for specialty/GP recruitment courses or assessment days.   Such training should be delivered, as part of the generic teaching programme, utilising local and NHS E resources.
  • Payment for local trust employees delivering formal teaching or simulation. In regard to locally delivered teaching, only costs associated with necessary equipment and consumables to deliver specific topics as part of the formal programme will be reimbursed.
  • Catering expenses for trainees attending the trusts formal teaching programme

Application process:

  • All requests must be made a minimum of 6 weeks in advance, to allow time for the approval process to be completed prior to the date of the Study Leave applied for
  • Approval will be given by the FPD based on your individual education plan, the amount of funding available and the amount of leave and funding already awarded in the year (this includes the cost of ALS)
  • Retrospective Leave will be rejected and any incomplete forms will be returned
  • Any money paid in advance for study leave before the application is approved is at your own risk
  • An application form  must be completed by the foundation doctor, approved and signed by the Supervisor and the Rota Co-ordinator, before submitting to the FPA.
  • Trainees will be required to demonstrate via the application form how the course/activity benefits their foundation portfolio or their future career interests
  • The completed application form is to be returned to the FPA by hand or email
  • You will shortly receive a letter confirming whether Study Leave has been awarded
  • If you disagree with the FPD decision, an appeal can be made in writing to the Medical Education Committee (MEC), chaired by the Director of Medical Education
  • If you have any queries regarding your Study Leave application, please do not hesitate to contact the Foundation Programme Administrator

Claiming Study Leave Expenses:

You are only able to back date funding claims for three months. Allow one month for processing, so claim within two months of the event date.

  1. Make sure you get proof of attendance at the course; a letter, register or certificate. Also make sure you have proof of payments.
  2. Submit an application through Easy Expenses (link here is EASY | Login ( ) Guides are available via your study leave approval email. make sure you attach proof of attendance and proof of payments. Payments claimed cannot be more than the amount approved by the programme director, as detailed in your approval letter.
  3. Inform the FPA when the expense has been submitted and they will ask the postgraduate manager to log on and approve the expense.

Further Information:

Useful Documents for this section:

This page was last updated in November 2023.