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Scotland Deanery

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Trainee Information

Less Than Full Time Training in Foundation

National Information

Advice on the UKFPO website is as follows:

Can I still do the Foundation Programme if I want to work part-time?

If you have a well-founded personal reasons for wishing to work part-time you should discuss your requirements before you begin your foundation training with the person responsible for LTFT working in your deanery/foundation school. It is possible to move from part-time to full time-training (and the other direction) within your two year Foundation Programme. However, this would normally only take place between FY1 and FY2 year or on return from maternity leave. Reasons for undertaking LTFT training include: disability or ill-health; caring for an ill/disabled partner, relative or other dependent; or childcare.


See also the FP Reference Guide (2010) (Paras 8.60-8.67) which states:

Less Than Full Time training

8.60 Foundation doctors wishing to train flexibly must compete with all other applicants for entry into the Foundation Programme.

8.61 Deaneries and foundation schools should make it clear how foundation doctors may access Less Than Full Time training. The conditions for access to Less Than Full Time  training, funding and study-leave arrangements should be clear and fair.

8.62  Once accepted into foundation training, foundation doctors who are training Less Than Full Time should have equal access to foundation training opportunities.

8.63 The current main reasons for undertaking Less Than Full Time training are:

  • disability, which means the doctor needs individual arrangements
  • ill health;
  • responsibility for caring for children
  • responsibility for caring for ill/disabled partner, relative or other dependent.

LTFT training is available to both genders

8.64  Although foundation doctors taking LTFT foundation training may meet the necessary competences before they complete two full years of training, they still need to complete:

  • an overall total of one year (full-time equivalent) of F1 training; and
  • an overall total of one year (full-time equivalent) of F2 training.

8.65 Foundation doctors taking LTFT training should usually be offered slot-sharing arrangements; that is typically two doctors working in the same post.

8.66 Out-of-hours contracts for all F1 and F2 doctors depend on service need and are a part of the rota. Slot-sharing doctors will need to agree how to cover this and it should be pro- rata. - this should be done via official channels for rota management - not by the doctors themselves. Employers are responsible for meeting the cost of out-of-hours work.

8.67 The deanery/foundation school is responsible for publishing their process and managing appeals against decisions relating to LTFT training.


Scotland Specific information

In Scotland we are committed and keen to encourage LTFT training in the Scottish Foundation School and adhere to the relevant regulations as set out in the Foundation reference guide.

The operational arrangements to allow Less Than Full Time training in Foundation are potentially complex and this document outlines these. There is no guarantee that a doctor can be placed in any specific programme. All placements are the result of discussion with all parties.

General principles:

All Applications for LTFT training should be directed to the Associate Postgraduate Dean with responsibility for LTFT training (APD - LTFT) in the first instance whose responsibility will be to confirm eligibility. This information will then be passed to the Foundation Lead (usually Associate Postgraduate dean - Foundation) who will meet with the trainee to discuss what options are available including location of programmes and availability of slot shares. This will include close liaison with the relevant Local Education Provider (LEP)

It is important to note that even if eligibility is confirmed, trainees need to be aware that:

  • LTFT training is encouraged and supported but cannot be guaranteed
  • Availability of LTFT training will depend upon availability of suitable posts
  • Availability of LTFT training will depend upon availability of colleagues able to job share
  • All LTFT trainees need to complete the GMC's requirement for the equivalent of one full year at F1(WTE) and one full year at F2(WTE)
  • Once committed to LTFT training trainees are bound, within reason, to maintain that status for at least one calendar year (August - July)
  • The service LEP has the ability to veto requests for LTFT training, based on service needs or financial constraints
  • Geographical proximity cannot be guaranteed in the allocation of LTFT training posts
  • If a trainee moves from a full time established post, there is no guarantee that they will be able to stay in their individual programme and may need to accept another programme. 
  • The Deanery can only make 1 offer regarding any single request
  • The norm for LTFT training will be based on two trainees slot-sharing at 50% each. Only in exceptional circumstances will alternative proportional allocations be possible. Working less that 50% would require specific Occupational health certification supporting the case and is unlikely to be approved, other than for short focused periods. Early completion of foundation competencies is not sufficient reason alone for alternative arrangements
  • Specific rotations able to accommodate LTFT training may have been identified and selected by the Deanery for this purpose.
  • Close liaison is required between LEP and the Deanery in the management of all LTFT requests.
  • Returning from Parental or Sick Leave
    • You will be guaranteed a 2 year foundation programme. It is important to note that even after being matched to and starting an individual programme within the 2 year foundation programme, you may have to change from the indicative allocated individual programme or have placements within your individual allocated programme altered at short notice. This could be for a number of reasons, including your training needs, working time regulations, national directives and service redesign.
    • In addition, we believe that the work pattern in some programmes will change each year. The principal reasons are:

- the need for all Foundation posts to be rota compliant and educationally appropriate.
- local organisational circumstances - for example new hospital developments.

Additional operational issues apply to the following:


LTFT training is based on the assumption that a complete year at LTFT will be required. In exceptional circumstances, completion of alternative time blocks will be considered but always based on complete WTE 4 month blocks. This will usually only occur when an individual is returning from maternity leave part way through a year. It may only be possible to return to work at the beginning of a 4 month rotation due to the requirement to fill a slot.

If a trainee has completed less than one block WTE in F1 before moving to LTFT training, then they will always be required to complete two years at F1 since the previously worked time will not count

Wherever possible, LTFT training will be maintained at the same LEP unit (as dictated by the current WTE programme) throughout the required time to completion. Occasionally this may not be possible and the APD (Foundation) in conjunction with the relevant DME and APD (LTFT) will agree an alternative programme.

LTFT training during F1 cannot be linked to a specific F2 programme Therefore posts during F2 for the continuation of LTFT training are subject to both suitability (see below) and availability. Therefore trainee preferences cannot always be met either for the specialties involved or the geographical situation of the posts.

The expectation will be for a two year rotation with usually 4 months slot shares in each specialty. This may mean rotating through 8 specialties in the two years of LTFT F1 training.


The expectation, as for F1, will be for completion of 1 year WTE in a slot share environment. Exceptions to this rule will be at the discretion of the APD (Foundation) and APD (LTFT) supported by relevant occupational health and general practice certification.

It is anticipated that a programme will be identified that is suitable for LTFT training. Each Deanery will have its own guidelines on this. The norm will be for job-sharing paired trainees to rotate through the required programme together. If this does not apply then LTFT training cannot be guaranteed

The expectation will be for a two year rotation with usually 4 months slot shares in each specialty. This may mean rotating through 8 specialties in the two years of LTFT F2 training.


All correspondence regarding applications for LTFT training and management of the operational arrangements will be copied to APD (Foundation), Foundation Administrator, APD (LTFT), LTFT Admin support, DME of relevant Health Board(s), HR department of relevant health board(s) Plus the relevant Lead FPDs and FPDs.



All Foundation Doctors who are working less than full time (and usually at 50%) will be required to complete assessments and requirements for completion for each year on a pro rata basis. This may be spread out over the two years. The minimum requirements will be the same as for full time doctors on a pro rata basis. However, there will be a requirement for an end of placement review form completed by the Educational Supervisor for each placement. This will probably mean that they will have more End of Placement Reviews than the full time doctors.

All foundation doctors working flexibly will be reviewed at the end of foundation programme year (June) to ascertain progress and review of LTFT working circumstances. At this review, discussion will also take place on working pattern and locations for the next year.