Less Than Full-Time Training (LTFT)
Giving trainees greater flexibility in their working lives
NHS England (Workforce, Training and Education) is committed to increasing flexibility in postgraduate medical training.
The key aims of LTFT training are:
- To retain doctors within the NHS workforce who are unable to train on a full-time basis
- To promote career development and work/life balance for doctors training within the NHS
- To ensure continued training in programmes on a time-equivalent (pro rata) basis
- To maintain a balance in LTFT arrangements with regards to educational needs and those of the service
New LTFT process from 1 March 2023
NHS England has refreshed the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) on LTFT arrangements to ensure greater flexibility for Doctors in Training. This work has been part of the Enhancing Junior Doctors Working Lives aligns closely to Gold Guide 9th Edition.
- Postgraduate doctors in training across England in any specialty have the right to apply to train LTFT for any well-founded reason, including for their wellbeing or through personal choice
- Postgraduate Doctors and Dentists in Training should meet with their TPD prior to submitting their application
- Trusts are consulted with on applications that have less than three months' notice
- FAQ https://www.hee.nhs.uk/sites/default/files/documents/LTFT%20FAQ%20Final%...
How to apply
For any change in percentage training time, you need to complete the application form (see below). This includes returning to full-time training. If you would like to see an estimate of your completion date based on your new percentage please click here use our calculator tool. This will be an estimate for your information only, your completion date will be formally confirmed at your next ARCP.
Before you apply we suggest discussing with your Educational Supervisor; the document at the bottom of the page gives you a checklist to ensure you consider all the implications.
- Please apply using this Application Form (MS Form).
To ensure alignment with national guidelines, if you have any queries about the process or wish to question an LTFT decision then please email our teams as per the below table. This will then be followed up and may be reviewed with the Associate Postgraduate Dean.
If you are on a Tier 2 or Skilled Worker visa please make sure the LTFT percentage you apply for complies with the requirements of your visa. The sponsorship team have a full list of FAQs which can be found here.
NHSE's Statement for LTFT Trainees Working as Locum's
LTFT trainees can do locum shifts but it is expected that this will be in the department where they are working and have educational supervision. Trainees must follow the Good Medical Practice standards. The expectation is that 1-2 locum shifts per month may be undertaken. If it is more than this then this needs discussion with your Training Programme Director, Associate Dean for LTFT Training to discuss working at a higher percentage of full time. Trainees are encouraged to discuss any issues regarding doing locums they are uncertain about. An LTFT trainee should not be doing locum shifts for slots left empty by them by working LTFT. The other restriction is that postgraduate doctors in training should only be doing locums in the East Midlands and not in other deaneries, to do a locum in another deanery needs Postgraduate Dean's permission.
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Pay: How working LTFT affects your pay
(Please note this video is now out of date with regards to pension information for LTFT doctors, for up to date information please refer to the BMA website here)
Rota Patterns: How to calculate your rota pattern when working LTFT
Educator roles in the process
Each trainee should have a named ES who is responsible for overseeing that trainee’s educational progress over a period of time.
The ES is a trainer who is selected and appropriately trained to be responsible for the overall supervision and management of a specified DiT’s trajectory of learning and educational progress during a clinical training period and/or series of periods. The educational supervisor’s role is to help the student or trainee to plan their training and achieve agreed learning outcomes. They are responsible for the educational agreement and for bringing together all relevant evidence to form a summative report.
In relation to LTFT applications the ES is responsible for supporting a DiT to make career planning decisions at the right time and think about what is needed for their planned consultant/next training level practice.
Training Programme Director
All programmes are overseen by a TPD, or FPD in Foundation. A speciality TPD is a member of the Speciality Training Committee (STC)/Training School and responsible for the delivery of training in that speciality according to the standards set by the GMC and relevant Royal College or Faculty. They manage the programme alongside supporting individual trainees needs and training. They are responsible to the Head of School and Postgraduate Dean.
In relation to LTFT applications the TPD is responsible for considering whether the programme can accommodate the request. They may also support the DiT and ES with guidance about potential opportunities. They may also consult the Associate Postgraduate Dean for Trainee Experience for advice.