Curriculum Study Leave

For more general information about study leave and the Leave Manager system, please see our main page (

Approved Courses/Events

Each School and Programme has prepared a list of pre-approved events (courses, events or Royal College exams where appropriate) for trainees in their School to attend. The full list of approved events has been added to Leave Manager so that trainees may select the appropriate event from a menu when requesting leave. You can also see the full list at the bottom of this page. Please note that this is a live document and is regularly updated by Schools/Programmes, so we recommend not printing this/sharing over email and instead always checking the version on our website.

Activities classed as Curriculum Requirement for your Programme and Grade are called ‘Standard Applications’.

Standard Applications

These can be submitted wherever the activity is classed as a Curriculum Requirement on the Approved Events list, and is preapproved for your Programme and current Grade. This will also be replicated in the initial drop-down menu when you go to submit a leave request. These activities only require the approval of your Rota Coordinator/JDA/local equivalent (and your Programme Office, if you are in a GP training programme).

If the activity is not on the approved list for your Programme and Grade, you will need to submit an Exception application.

Exception Applications

This will be required for any activity classed as Recommended or Additional on the Approved Events list, or one that is simply not included as an approved event for your Programme and current Grade. Once the application has been authorised by your Rota Coordinator/JDA/local equivalent, it will then be automatically escalated to your Exception approver (who will be your TPD/Head of School as appropriate). Please note that your Exception Approver will not be able to see the request until/unless it has been authorised by your Rota Coordinator/JDA/local equivalent.

Foundation Year 2 Exception Leave

For doctors in Year 2 Foundation training, there is facility to use some of your Taster Leave towards attending Exception activities (i.e. activities outside of your curriculum requirements), including courses and specialty exams. If this applies to you, you must discuss your request with your Educational Supervisor and local FTPD who can advise whether this is appropriate for you in your circumstances and your current progression within the programme. If both agree that this is appropriate then you can submit this as an Exception request on Leave Manager. One day of external leave is allocated to each FY2 trainee automatically, to use for this purpose. If you require more than one day of study leave, please contact us ( so that we can update your entitlements. Please note that neither foundation school will grant study (taster) leave for exam preparation.


What do the School prefixes mean on Intrepid/the Approved Events list?

You will note that some activities have the prefix ‘General’, or the School that they relate to (e.g ‘Paediatrics’). This new prefix format (replacing the old ‘HEEM’ prefix) reflects the Schools that have submitted an approved activity with the same name; a specific School name means that the activity is exclusive to that School, while ‘General’ means that other Schools have also submitted this activity. This is designed to help trainees find Exception activities (as the list will alphabetised by the prefix on Intrepid, so relevant activities would be grouped in either the General or respective School sections), to help Educational Supervisors/Exception approvers determine appropriate activities (approvers can see at a glance whether the activity is from their School’s list, the General list, or from another School’s list), and HEE with reporting and determining the appetite for activities (for example, if there are multiple Schools that have a number of trainees doing the same activity, and spending a large amount of study leave money, there may be scope to run the same course locally across Schools rather than asking trainees to travel around the country for it).

There is no practical difference between the prefixes; they are only there to support ease of use and analysis.

What's the difference between Curriculum Required, Recommended and Additional?

These can vary slightly between Programmes and Schools; however, as a general rule:

  • Curriculum requirement – activities that are explicitly required by the curriculum (e.g. exams) – can be applied for without TPD/HoS approval
  • Recommended – activities which support the acquisition of required curriculum competences, but are not explicitly required by the curriculum (e.g. exam revision courses) – TPD/HoS approval required after rota coordinator approval.
  • Additional – activities which support the acquisition of competences which may be beneficial to the doctor’s career, but the competences are not explicitly required by the curriculum (e.g. conferences, if conference attendance is not explicitly required by the curriculum) – TPD/HoS approval required after rota coordinator approval.
    • These would generally only be supported for a trainee that’s achieving all of their curriculum requirements; otherwise they should be focussing on the above two activities.
How do I submit an Exception request?

If you want to request study leave for an activity that’s not on your programme’s approved list, you need to submit an Exception request. You can do this by checking the box “The event I wish to apply for is not on the approved list above. I therefore wish to apply for an Exception Application”, and either selecting the appropriate activity from the new drop-down, or selecting Other and manually typing in the name of the activity that you wish to attend.

The below video (from 4:46 onwards) shows the process of submitting an Exception request.

What is Internal/External leave?


  1. This will include locally delivered teaching; for example, weekly afternoon teaching and monthly regional teaching and any protected teaching time within job plans. Generally, this leave does not need to be applied for on Leave Manager; however, some Trusts require junior doctors to do so. Junior doctors are advised to check in each Trust as processes could be different around the region. If you need to claim expenses from your CSL budget for these activities, you must submit a prospective application on Leave Manager.
  2. Internal leave also includes internal events (run by your training programme) and, for Foundation, taster sessions. This needs to be applied for on Leave Manager.
  3. Junior doctors should inform their TPD and/or Head of School should they feel that they are not receiving their entitlement of internal study leave.

EXTERNAL (including Private and Examination Leave)

  1. External leave is for events provided outside the region and/or training programme. It also includes Private Study Leave and Exam Leave.
  2. Events not on the pre-approved list for the junior doctor’s grade and specialty will be considered, as exceptions, by the TPD or Head of School (the Exception Approver on Leave Manager). These exceptions should be of educational benefit and value for money. Exception requests always come from a junior doctor’s external entitlement.
How do I check my study leave/budget entitlements?

Once you've logged into your Leave Manager account (at, go to Leave Entitlements (under the LEAVE MANAGER tab on the left-hand side). Look for the current training year (this will normally be at the top of each section).

As a reminder, the study leave year runs from changeover date in August to the changeover date the following August except for programmes with nationally agreed start dates in September, where the leave year is September to September. This applies regardless of individual trainees’ progression dates.

What happens if the course I want to attend is not on the list?

Each Programme has nominated at least one Exception Approver who will review any request which is not a Curriculum Requirement. They will only be asked to consider your application if you apply for something that is not a Curriculum Requirement or is a Recommended or Additional activity for your Programme.

Can I transfer days between my Internal and External entitlements?

In principle, yes. As the Internal/External split is set by your Programme at the start of each training year, we require approval from your TPD/Head of School to transfer days between your entitlements.

Please contact your TPD to confirm

  1. Your planned study leave for the year
  2. The number of days you need transferring from Internal to External (or vice versa)

If they are in agreement, please ask them to email (or forward their email approval to this address) and we'll update your account accordingly.

I think [activity] should be on the approved list

The approved activity lists are agreed by the TPD/Head of School for the specialty/school; if there is an activity that you feel should be on the approved list of activities, please contact your TPD/Head of School, who will review this and confirm to the study leave team the specialties/grades for whom the activity should be pre-approved.

My TPD/Head of School can't see my leave request!

There are two possible reasons for this:

  1. TPD/Head of School approval is only required for Exception applications (see above); it's not required for Standard applications (Curriculum Required).
  2. The Exception appprover (TPD/Head of School) doesn't see leave requests until/unless it's been approved by the rota coordinator/JDA/practice manager/local equivalent. If your TPD/Head of School can't see your Exception request, it's worth checking that it's been approved by the rota coordinator/etc. first.
How do I check if my leave has been approved?

You will receive an automated email stating your application has been approved or declined.

You can also check the progress of your leave applications by logging into your Intrepid Leave Manager account (at, and going to the Leave Manager section (under the LEAVE MANAGER tab on the left-hand side). Open the relevant leave request, and scroll down to the Approvers section.

Applications are approved in ascending sequence, so if your rota coordinator (Sequence 30) hasn't approved the request yet, it won't be visible to your Exception approver (Sequence 35) yet.

Where provided, approvers’ notes are recorded against their decisions – it is important you read these as there may be some important information for you.

Can I claim for [activity]?

HEE is not generally in a position to advise whether you can claim for specific activities.

If the activity is on the list of pre-approved activities for your Programme and Grade (please see the Approved Events list below), then it will generally be funded. If it is not, or if you are unsure, please contact your TPD and/or Head of School to discuss the request.

What expenses can/can't I claim?

In line with the CSL policy (and NHS Terms & Conditions of Service) you can claim the following expenses:

  • Course/Conference fees
  • Public transport (at standard rate)
  • Mileage (at NHS Terms & Conditions of Service Reserve Rate)
  • Parking (at standard rate)
  • Overnight accommodation (in line with NHS Terms & Conditions of Service rates)
  • Subsistence (in line with NHS Terms & Conditions of Service rates)

The rates (including links to the relevant NHS Employers pages for NHS Terms & Conditions of Service) are specified in the CSL policy.

No other expenses can be claimed through CSL as standard. Below are examples of excluded expenses, but the list is not exhaustive:

  • Retrospective applications
  • Examination fees
  • Membership/subscription fees
  • Credit card charges
  • Conventions
  • Ceremonies
  • Equipment, incl. books
  • Publication, abstract submission or printing costs
  • Visas, application fees
  • International travel, incl. flights (see "Can I claim study leave days/budgets for international activities?")
  • Any costs where evidence of payment cannot be provided (i.e. receipts)

Please note that whether costs can be claimed or not is not affected by whether it is a standard (pre-approved) or Exception request; the above list applies regardless.

Can I claim study leave days/budget for international activities?

As a general rule, study leave days/budget should not be used for international activities; with the exception of a few sub-specialties, all of your curricular competences can be attained through activities in the UK.

However, we recognise that some Additional activities (such as presenting at conferences) may take place overseas. In those instances, you should include them in your planned PDP for the year and discuss them with your Educational Supervisor to confirm that it's appropriate for you to attend. If they are in agreement, you can submit the leave request as an Exception request on Leave Manager, which will require the approval of your TPD/HoS to ensure that equitable support is being offered across the programme.

You can claim the following expenses for international activities if your leave request is approved, and they should be included when you submit your leave request on Intrepid:

  • Course/conference fees
  • Accommodation (at standard rates - see the CSL policy)
  • Subsistence (at standard rates - see the CSL policy)
  • Mileage (at standard rates - see the CSL policy) within the UK
  • Public transport costs within the UK

In essence, international activities are treated as though they are activities within the UK in terms of the expenses you can claim. Please note that this means international flights and travel while overseas cannot be claimed from CSL budgets.