Less Than Full Time Training (LTFT)

All doctors in training can apply for LTFT training either during their training or ahead of starting.

The aims of LTFT training are to:

  • retain in the workforce doctors who are unable or do not wish to continue their training on a full-time basis
  • promote career and personal development as well as work/life balance for doctors training in the NHS
  • ensure continued training in programmes on a time equivalence (pro rata) basis

There are 3 categories of eligibility for LTFT training:

Category 1

  • Disability or ill-health
  • Responsibility for children under 18 years of age
  • Directly caring for ill/disabled partner, relative or other dependent

Category 2

  • Unique opportunities for personal/professional development
  • Service to the wider NHS
  • Other reasons (must meet the requirement of a ‘well-founded individual reason’)

Category 3

This is a new category that allows trainees to apply for LTFT for personal/general wellbeing reasons. Applicants in this category are not required to provide further details of their reasons for wishing to train LTFT.

Previously only the following specialties were eligible (able to apply for LTFT at 80% and not time limited):

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Paediatrics

With higher physicianly specialties, psychiatry, clinical radiology, intensive care medicine and anaesthetics being added from August 2021 and able to apply for 4 months of 80% LTFT starting from August, December or April.

Now (from 2022) as part of further expansion of the LTFT Category 3 Pilot

  • Trainees in all remaining specialties with the exception of Foundation, are able to apply for LTFT under Category 3.  
  • August 2021- July 2022 is the ‘Lead in year’ where trainees can go LTFT for 4 months at 80%. The standard period is 4 months, however, provided there is agreement between the trainee, employer and Local Office the short term LTFT offer can be extended and this may be appropriate to align with rotation dates.  Approval of application is at the discretion of the HEE local office.   
  • Following the completion of the ‘lead in’ year, specialties will then transition the following year (from August 2022) into the full Category 3 model whereby trainees can undertake an unspecified period of time as LTFT Category 3 – at either 50, 60, 70 or 80% WTE.
  • Foundation trainees will be eligible to apply from August 2022.
  • Approval of applications must be subject to service considerations via TPD approval.
  • Trainees must be in post at time of application.

How to apply

Trainees should first discuss a potential application for LTFT training with their Educational Supervisor, Training Programme Director (TPD) and Programme Manager and ask them to complete their part of the application form below before sending it to us.

Complete the application form and submit, along with copies of supporting documents (e.g. Birth or marriage certificate), to LTFT.TV@hee.nhs.uk

Our aim is to respond to requests as quickly as possible, in most cases within two weeks.

The Gold Guide (section 3) contains more details on arrangements for LTFT training.

Changing percentage of training?

Please discuss and agree this with your TPD before emailing the LTFT mailbox.

Trainees sponsored by HEE

(Tier 2/4 or Skilled Worker Visa) must ensure they check their sponsorship requirements before submitting their application or requesting to amend their LTFT percentage.

Guidance and a helpful online LTFT calculator can be found here