Less than full time training - guidance

This page includes statutory and RCPCH guidance, as well as contacts, for trainees who work less than full time (LTFT). Our LTFT Advisors advise trainees and raise LTFT training issues within their region, and bring them to our attention.

About LTFT training

Paediatrics has higher numbers of less than full time trainees than most other hospital specialties. We are keen to recognise initiatives to support these trainees.

We believe LTFT training can provide solutions for trainees who wish to combine family commitments or other interests with their career.

The essentials on applying for LTFT training

  • All doctors can apply for LTFT. There are different categories, and you can find out more in the Gold Guide (reference guide for postgraduate specialty training in the UK). If you wish to train LTFT because of caring for children or a relative you are highly likely to get approval.
  • You may still be required to work antisocial hours and training positions with limited remit. Make sure that you function well as part of the team and share the less popular tasks.
  • Apply as early as you can as it takes at least three months to process your application. Application is through your LETB or deanery. Look at their website.
  • Discuss LTFT with those in your LETB or deanery already doing it. Be absolutely clear about what is involved.
  • Your LETB/Deanery's LTFT Advisor is a good source of information.
  • Find out early where you will be placed. It is likely you will share a slot with another LTFT trainee. Discuss how you will best use the training opportunities and provide the required service cover - for example, find out when the regional teaching takes place. Please contact your RCPCH College Tutor to find out.
  • Arrange childcare early and always have a back up plan.
  • You need to have an Annual Review of Competence Progress (ARCP). This applies even if you are out of programme or on parental leave. Workplace based assessments will be pro rata. You must do one multisource feedback per post.
  • Training is competency based. There is the possibility of achieving these more quickly, however. If you are in a post working 60% of that which full-time trainees work, it is very likely that you will achieve 60% of the competencies that they do.
  • LTFT trainees should complete their workplace based assessments pro rata and ensure that they are spaced evenly between their different posts.

Period of grace

This is entirely discretionary and decided by your training programme.

It is fixed term (six months) and not usually pro rata.

Locum work

The Gold Guide (6th edition), Less than full time training section states:

Trainees should not normally be permitted to engage in any other paid employment whilst undertaking flexible training, however, there will be occasions on short notice that additional duties are required in order to deliver a service to patients and LTFT may undertake extra duties to assist colleagues as this is professional behaviour.

This should usually be in the Trust that employs you.

The LTFT RCPCH Advisor of your LETB or deanery is available for further advice.

Extra time for LTFT trainees in need of support

Whenever a LTFT trainee needs extra time to meet training requirements (eg from an ARCP outcome three or not passing the MRCPCH), the time extension to meet the requirements can be pro rata where a training programme can arrange this.

Reduced subscriptions for LTFT training


We provide concessions on membership and training for trainees working seven or fewer sessions per week. Make your application here:

British Medical Association

Membership fees are salary based (up to 7th year following qualification). A salary link can be claimed by any member whose gross professional income is not expected to exceed £33,724. In addition, there are spouse/partner concessionary rates available to married couples or to unmarried partners in a long-term relationship with financial interdependence and a joint home.

Medical Protection Society

Concessions are available for part-time doctors. Trainees in run-through grades: ST4 – ST7 pay a flat rate, lower grades pay the same fees as full-time. There are separate rates for part-time specialist registrars for those working 28 hours and 28 – 40 hours (trainees working 40 hours/week or more pay full-time rate).

Medical Defence Union

Concessions are available for part-time doctors, defined as those working six sessions or fewer (three days/week), from ST4 onwards. At lower grades, part-time workers pay the same fees as full-time.

General Medical Council

50% reduction for anyone with a gross annual income of £21,862.

You need to complete a lower income discount form. Any overpayment of retention fee will be refunded following receipt of form. Need to inform GMC when reduction is no longer required. NB If not using registration and off the register, then a restoration fee of £410 is payable in addition to annual retention fee.