Foundation Less Than Full Time Training Guide - Summary

This is short summary of the Foundation Less than Full Time Working Policy for indicative purposes only. For a more comprehensive guide please refer to the South West Less Than Full Time Training Policy document.

This policy applies to the following grades:

Foundation Year 1 (F1)
Foundation Year 2 (F2)


  • All foundation trainees are eligible to apply for less than full time working if training on a full-time basis would not be practical for them for well-founded individual reasons.
  • Trainees must give at least three months’ notice of their wish to train less than full time.

Category 1:

Those doctors in training with:

  • Disability or ill health
  • Responsibility for caring (men or women) for children
  • Responsibility for caring for ill/disabled partner, relative or another dependant.

Category 2:

Those doctors in training with:

  • Unique opportunities
  • Religious commitment
  • Non-medical development

Category 1 applicants will have priority and will be supported by Health Education England working across the South West.

Access to category 2 is dependent on individual circumstances and the availability of funding.

Any trainee wishing to work less than full time must have obtained a post in open competition.

All applications for less than full time working must be accompanied by the required supporting documentation (refer to policy) or the request will be declined.

Trainees accepted into the South West programme via an inter-deanery transfer who are already working less than full time will not have to re-establish eligibility; provided they have evidence of their eligibility to work less than full time from their originating organisation.

Subject to eligibility, trainees may train less than full time from the outset or transfer from full time to less than full time (and back again if required).

Training Placements

Less than full time training may be undertaken in one of three ways listed below. However, opportunities for slot-sharing must be explored first before any alternative arrangements are considered. Any trainee additionally funded or part time in a full time slot will be required to slot-share should the opportunity arise.


  • Two trainees occupy one full time post and manage the out of hours work between them as agreed by the employer.
  • Each trainee may work up to 60% whole time equivalent.
  • Flexibility will be required where specific working days are required by either or both parties. Typically, slot-sharers will work separate days of the week with overlap on one day or more.

Part Time in a Full Time Slot

  • A trainee occupies an established full-time post but works reduced hours.
  • A trainee may work 0.6 or 0.8 whole time equivalent when part time in a full time slot.
  • In exceptional circumstances 0.5 will be considered.
  • Occupational health should be asked to provide a recommendation for whole time equivalent working pattern for applications related to disability or ill health if there is a difference of opinion between the trainee and postgraduate educational support team.
  • If a slot-share opportunity arises then trainees may be asked to accommodate this, even if this involves a reduction in hours, Trainees will be given 3 months’ notice of this change.

Additional Funding slots

  • This option may only be considered provided there is no detrimental effect on other trainees within the training programme.
  • A trainee may work up to 0.6 whole time equivalent, limited by the funding arrangements from HEE.


  • Wherever possible, trainees will move between posts on the same basis as a full-time trainee in foundation training.
  • Wherever possible, less than full time trainees will rotate through the specialties allocated to them on their original full-time foundation programme. This cannot be guaranteed and they may find their rotations change to accommodate the needs of the trust or to enable opportunities to slot-share.
  • Trainees working less than full time may also find that their completion date for training may not correspond with August.

Key Facts

  • Less than full time training (LTFT) is equivalent to full time work in all respects.
  • Trainees working LTFT will be required to undertake out of hours work on a pro-rata basis
  • Trainees will be required to slot-share (up to 60% whole time equivalent) wherever possible. Where this results in a reduction to the total working hours trainees will be give three months’ notice of any change.
  • In line with the GMC position statement on less than full time training (October 2011), trainees will be required to undertake no less than 50% full time training.
  • Trainees working LTFT can undertake other work. Any additional work must be undertaken according to the GMC’s good medical practice and must not impact negatively on their training. F1s holding provisional registration only, should restrict locum activity to posts in a trust they have already worked and in placements where they have already worked.
  • Where undertaking additional work within the remit of holding a licence to practice the trainee must utilise the annual submission of the Form R to ensure the Postgraduate Dean as their designated Responsible Officer is aware.
  • The basic pay for doctors training less than full time is pro rata to the basic salary for a doctor employed full time calculated on an average of 40 hours per week.
  • Less than full time trainees are expected to make appropriate personal arrangements to access fixed training days when they are not rostered to work. This will require flexibility on part of the trainee.
  • Less than full time trainees should refer to the Study Leave guidelines for further information on the allocation and application process of Study Leave.
  • Less than full time trainees will have an ARCP at points where decision relating to progression in training are required and should be assessed not less than annually.