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Trainee information

Less Than Full Time Training (LTFT)

Guidance for trainees who wish to train on a Less Than Full Time (LTFT) basis.  Please see our flier for brief summary info! (PDF)

The guidelines below are intended to address the specific needs of those who wish to train on a LTFT basis.  The terms flexible training and less than full-time training are synonymous and equate to training that is carried out on a part time basis.  The guidelines apply equally to dental trainees.  

LTFT training is now an integral part of Postgraduate Training in Scotland.  LTFT training is administered and managed through the Deanery.  To arrange your initial eligibility meeting, please contact the relevant Associate Postgraduate Dean as listed below who will provide confidential advice and information on all available options for working LTFT.

 East Region  Shilpi Pal shilpi.pal@nhs.scot   
 North Region Joy Miller joy.miller2@nhs.scot  Tel 01224 805100
 South-East Region Alastair Leckie Alastair.Leckie@nhs.scot  Tel 0131 6502824 
 West Region Andrea Caldwell andrea.caldwell@nhs.scot  Tel 0141 223 1507 

If you are a DENTAL trainee, please use the following contact for advice:

Associate Dean of Postgraduate Dental Education Contact

If you are a GP trainee, please contact your TPD whose details can be found on the TPD page.

If you are a Foundation trainee, please click here for specific information and guidance.

A new (2017) position statement (pdf) has been issued by the GMC for further clarification on LTFT training and educational requirements. 

LTFT training is available for doctors and dentists who select not to train full-time because of 'well-founded individual reasons' (European Union Council directive 93/16-/EEC 1993 [pdf]) and those with eligible child care responsibilities (Employment Act 2002 [doc]).  It is an important part of NHS Scotland's ambition to create family friendly policies and to ensure all members of staff are able to contribute their full potential to the service.

The information contained on this website should be read in conjunction with current guidelines and legislation, ie. Gold Guide, European Union Council Directive 93/16-/EEC 1993, Health Department NHS Circular PCS(DD)2005/7 and the Employment Act 2002.

What is LTFT training?

  • Any training undertaken that is not full-time (for details of training grade contract terms and conditions see the BMA website).
  • Doctors must have well-founded reasons for requesting consideration for LTFT training (see eligibility criteria).
  • LTFT training may be available to all grades of trainee (foundation, specialty, LAT) in all specialties and to both genders.
  • The proportion of working hours of the training programme is by mutual agreement with the trainee, the Associate Dean, the appropriate Training Programme Director and the Service.
  • LTFT training can be any proportion of the full-time training programme depending on the training grade, the individual circumstances, the needs of the Service and availability of funding. However, training at a rate of less than 50% will only be approved under extenuating personal circumstances, and then, only for a short period. Most LTFT trainees train between 50-80% of full time.
  • LTFT training allows doctors to train in posts which have educational and the Postgraduate Dean's approval. (See NHS MEL(1999)36 [pdf]).
  • LTFT posts may require specific approval from Colleges or GMC and this must be obtained in advance of commencing the post.
  • It is possible to undertake an entire training programme on a LTFT basis, but trainees may find it beneficial to undertake some of their training on a full-time basis.  In some specialties some periods of the training may have to be undertaken on a full-time basis.
  • Returning from parental or sick leave - you will be guaranteed to return to your programme and to a placement appropriate to your stage of training and educational needs.  It is important to note that even after being given an indicative rotation in the  programme, you may have to change or have placements in your rotation altered at short notice. This could be for a number of reasons:
    • your training needs
    • working time regulations
    • all training placements must be rota compliant and educationally appropriate
    • national directives
    • service redesign - as the work pattern in some programmes may change from year to year due to local organisational circumstances - for example new hospital developments.

Out-of-hours experience must fulfil the minimum educational requirements (see individual Royal College curricula) but as more rotas move to shift patterns, detailed job descriptions require detailed local planning.  Generally, out-of-hours work should be pro-rata to the out-of-hours requirements for full-time trainees, but this may vary depending on funding and service needs.

This page was last updated on: 26.07.2021 at 12.46