Study Leave for Trainee Doctors

NHS England Thames Valley is committed to supporting trainee doctors in undertaking study leave activities to achieve their specialty curriculum and support professional development.

All the information you need to understand the application process can be found on our website, including the guidance, FAQs, School specific essential/desirable lists, and the application form:

(1) Study Leave webpage:

(2) Discuss any study leave courses/activities with your Educational Supervisor in advance of your application.

(3) All applications for study leave must be made in advance. This should follow the local process for applying for educational approval and time off for study leave activities in your employing Trust.

(4) Retrospective applications will not be accepted under any circumstances. 

(5) Applications should be submitted at least six weeks prior to an event.   

(6) All claims should be submitted for payment within 3 months of event attendance. Any claims received after this deadline will not be paid.

(7) All requests for international events require NHSE approval first.  

(8) Claims made without having first applied for time/funding will not be accepted.

(9) If the course/activity is on the NHSE approved list for your School/Programme AND the total associated costs (including event fees, travel, and accommodation) are £700 or less, then NHSE Thames Valley does not need to be involved in the approval decision.

(10) If the course/activity is NOT on the NHSE approved list for your School/Programme AND the total associated costs (including event fees, travel, and accommodation) are over £700 – it is advised that you wait until you have completed the full approval process (from your Training Programme Director and NHSE Thames Valley) before booking the study leave activity.

(11) If you pay for a course/activity before the approval process is complete, and the request is declined, you will not be reimbursed for any costs incurred.

– Courses/education activities to support trainees to achieve the curriculum requirements/outcomes.

– UK based classroom/workshop preparation course for PG exams.

– Discretionary courses that add value to trainees, support the wider system and meet the curriculum requirements (with NHSE pre-approval).

– Royal College membership and e-portfolio fees.

– Postgraduate exam fees

– Any statutory or mandatory training required to fulfil your clinical role (this should be provided by your NHS Trust)

Trainees in the Thames Valley may apply for study leave activity of any cost for courses that are mandated by the curriculum or those that are not, referred to as ‘aspirational’. The eligibility criteria and process must be adhered to in order for applications to be approved.

Depending on the type and cost of your request, the application process may vary, please see guidance and each Specialty School has created a list of essential courses required for curriculum completion:



Core Anaesthetics

Specialist Anaesthetics

Intensive Care Medicine

Emergency Medicine


General Practice



Acute Medicine


Clinical Genetics



Geriatric Medicine






Palliative Medicine


Renal Medicine

Respiratory Medicine


Sport & Exercise Medicine

Obstetrics & Gynaecology






The study leave policy includes guidance on study leave and study budget arrangements. It also includes travel and subsistence guidance and some frequently asked questions. Please review all guidance and FAQ’s before booking onto an event or course.

(1) Study Leave and Study Budget Arrangements

(2) NHSE National Guidance

(3) Out of Programme (OOP) – Talk to your Training Programme Director (TPD) and Educational Supervisor (ES) as early as possible.

If you have any questions please either direct them to your local Study Leave Officer, or to

If you would like to appeal your Study Leave application decision, then you may appeal to the Postgraduate Dean.

To submit an appeal, please complete the attached form setting out reasons for your appeal and include any relevant evidence.

If you have any further questions, email