Study Leave

GP trainees are entitled to 15 days (30 sessions) per 6 month general practice post. The entitlements are the same whether the trainee is full or part time.   

This includes mandatory attendance at the weekly half day release (HDR) sessions. Study leave may only be taken with prior approval from your trainer/supervisor.

During any break in the GPST HDR this session should remain an educational session. It can be used in a self-directed manner or for targeted educational activity in agreement between the trainee and trainer, i.e. the trainee still has 7 clinical and 3 educational sessions that week.

When trainees take leave during the week the ratio of clinical: educational sessions should be maintained with flexibility being exercised by both the practice and the trainee when required. A suggested and appropriate balance for any given week might be:

5 Day working week: 7clinical: 3 educational sessions

4 Day working week: 6 clinical: 2 educational sessions

3 Day working week: 4 clinical: 2 educational sessions

2 Day working week:  3 clinical: 1 educational session

1 Day working week:  2 clinical: 0 educational sessions

(Or the pro rata amount for those trainees in LTFT placements).

Attendance at HEIW half-day or day release courses, including any appropriate 'Regional Teaching Events', is counted as part of the study leave entitlement. This attendance is mandatory for trainees in GP placements.

For a 12 month placement in General Practice, 60 sessions are allocated for study leave, 46 of which are already incorporated into the HDR (or additional SDL when the HDR is not in session).Therefore a total of 14 study leave sessions remain for courses etc which should only be granted following the prospective agreement between the trainee and the educational supervisor. (The pro rata amounts would apply to trainees in 6 month placements.)

Time for private study e.g. to prepare for an examination or to write up research will be limited and would be up to a maximum of 10 sessions per annum prior to an examination.

If an approved course takes place when the trainee is not in work then the trainee does not use up any study leave allowance for this, however the trainee does not accrue any time in lieu.

Applications should normally be received at least six weeks before the course.  Retrospective claims will not be accepted.

Study Leave Entitlement

GP trainees will have a study leave budget of £300 per 6 month whilst in a general practice post.

The following will normally be part of the allowance:

  • Attendance at HEIW half-day (HDR) or day release courses including regional teaching events which take the trainee away from service.
  • The half day release (HDR) in ST2 and ST3 general practice placements. GP training schemes that run the half day release for ST1 and ST2 placements must refer to their local Programme Director for advice.
  • Leave to sit examinations necessary for the career advancement of the trainee in his/her chosen specialty is permitted from within the 30 day study leave allowance; however only two such attempts in total or per exam phase per calendar year are permitted, it may be necessary for 'annual leave' to be taken for third and subsequent attempts. Examination fees are not reimbursed.
  • Leave for private study is allowed for all doctors in training above Foundation grade but is limited to a maximum of five working days within the Study Leave twelve month period against the annual Study Leave entitlement. No expenses are paid for private study even if leave is granted. Trainees should not be contacted whilst on approved Study Leave. 

Out of Programme Experience

Study Leave for trainees on out of programme (OOP) will not be supported financially as the funding will be required for the trainee filling the post vacated.

Maternity Leave

Trainees on maternity leave continue to be entitled to take Study Leave and expenses, within their allowance, during their maternity leave. This is a matter of personal preference for the trainee and in no circumstances should the trainee be explicitly asked to take Study Leave.

Other Paid Employment

Other paid employment must not be taken during any period of Study Leave. Infringement of this rule is a disciplinary offence.

CSA courses

HEIW, together with local RCGP Welsh faculties, has established a range of CSA courses that provide authentic and high quality support to all ST3 trainees in Wales. Utilising our links with RCGP local faculties and Welsh CSA examiners, all trainees will be able to access a one day course which is available across Wales throughout the year, providing the opportunity to prepare for each diet of the CSA examination. The courses are highly rated by previous trainees who have attended, with comments including:

"I got a better understanding of what examiners are looking for in the [CSA] exam."

"I learnt as much from watching as I did from role play."

"Good to practice so many cases and to role play with real actors rather than with each other."

"Good to get honest feedback from CSA examiners."

Further details are available on the RCGP website.

To ensure the success of these courses and to satisfy ourselves that our trainees are receiving quality advice we have implemented a 'Wales first' CSA course policy which ensures study leave reimbursement for trainees if they attend their first CSA preparation course in Wales. However, in exceptional circumstances, reimbursement may be approved for courses outside of Wales. 

Contact Details

GP Study Leave Administrator, HEIW, GP Section, Ty Dysgu, Cefn Coed, Nantgarw, Cardiff, CF15 7QQ








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