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 support trainees within their region and feed back into the LTFT committee.

You can download our full guide and other resources below.

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.

Applying for LTFT training

All doctors can apply for LTFT training - you just need a well-founded individual reason. Requests cannot be guaranteed and are dependent on the capacity of the programme.

The needs of trainees in Category 1 (own ill health or caring responsibilities) will take priority. Applications for LTFT training under Category 2 are usually for a fixed time period. See the Gold Guide (reference guide for postgraduate specialty training in the UK) for more information.

  • Contact your Training Programme Director (TPD) to find out early where you will be placed. It is likely you will share a slot with another LTFT trainee.
  • Discuss with your RCPCH College Tutor how you will best use the training opportunities and provide the required service cover - for example, find out when local / regional teaching takes place so you can organise your rota to optimise your learning opportunities.
  • Arrange childcare early and try to have a back up plan.
  • Apply as early as you can, as it can take three months to process your application. Applications are through your Local Education and Training Board (LETB) or deanery. Look at their websites for further details.
  • Try to discuss LTFT training with those already doing it, so you are clear about what is involved. Daytime working, on-call and out of-hours duties are normally undertaken on a pro rata basis.

Progression

LTFT trainees should have an Annual Review of Competency Progression (ARCP) at points where decisions relating to progression in training are required, and they should be assessed not less than annually. Workplace based assessments are pro rata, and require one multisource feedback (MSF) per training year. 

Training is competency based. There is therefore the possibility to achieve these more quickly; however, if you are working at 60% training, it is likely you will achieve 60% of the competencies achieved by your full time colleagues in the same frame. If you wish to progress more quickly discuss this early with your TPD to ensure appropriate support and allocations can be made.

Period of grace

This is entirely discretionary and decided by your TPD. It is fixed term (six months) and not usually pro rata.

Extra time for LTFT trainees in need of support

Whenever a LTFT trainee needs extra time to meet training requirements (for example from an ARCP outcome 3 or not passing the MRCPCH), the time extension to meet the requirements can be pro rata where a TPD can arrange this.

Locum work

Restrictions are not applicable to LTFT trainees and locum work. However, if you are working many extra hours, it may be worth discussing this with your TPD. They can help you consider the option of increasing your LTFT % so these extra hours can count towards your training time and speed up progression.

Reduced subscriptions

RCPCH - We provide concessions on membership and training for trainees working seven or fewer sessions per week - apply for a concession.

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. If not using registration and off the register, then a restoration fee of £410 is payable in addition to annual retention fee.