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SAS Development Fund Application Process

Scottish Government is providing annual funding for SAS doctors' and dentists' training and development needs.

This is not to support routine CPD, which should be funded as normal via your employer's study leave budget, but is rather to provide assistance to individuals by way of a contribution towards the cost of carrying out a course of study or project, for the purpose of meeting a specific aim as outlined above.


What's included?

SAS Professional Development Programme funding is run on an annual basis, currently approved until March 2020. Funding has been provided to support future course fees plus reasonable travel and subsistence costs (within the UK only), but in order to optimise the number of applicants who may benefit from the SAS Development Fund the monies CANNOT be used to support examination fees, exam preparation courses or college related fees (to present a CESR application).

For courses which extend beyond a single academic year, objective evidence of successful achievement within the first year will be required from the applicant prior to approval being granted to fund subsequent years.

To date, we have received a total of 394 applications for funding, of which 82% have been approved for funding.

Please find our application process flowchart here which includes information on eligibility and how to correctly complete your application.


What courses can I apply for?

To date, the Development Fund has supported applications for activities including:

Train the Trainer (Endoscopy) course, ALS Instructor training, CCRiSP courses, Laparoscopy courses, ADOS Autism Diagnostic Observation Skills courses, Cardiac/ECHO training, Transvaginal Ultrasound training, Rheumatology Ultrasound training, and other postgraduate qualification in specialty specific disciplines such as Palliative Medicine, Paediatric Neuro-disability and Conscious Sedation (Dentistry) courses amongst others. This list is not exhaustive.

Applications for assistance from the Development Fund should relate to projects or courses of study which can clearly demonstrate enhanced or improved clinical service provision and patient care and safety. These projects or courses of study should lead to an increased contribution by the recipient to the National Health Service both in general and locally.

Applications may be considered for:

  • short-term top-up training for CESR in accordance with current GMC specialty specific guidance
  • postgraduate qualifications which may be certificates/diplomas/masters in clinical areas or others such as leadership, education, ethics etc.
  • short-term clinical secondments for additional experience, which are of relevance to the individual and the Service they support.
  • other training and development opportunities which are considered to enhance the development of that individual doctor/dentist and the service they can provide.

Applicants must hold a substantive SAS grade post and will require approval from their Head of Service/Clinical Director and their Director of Medical Education before their application can be considered. If potential applicants require help and support in the process this will be provided by the locally appointed SAS Education Adviser in their board area.

The national SAS Programme Board consists of the following representation:

  • Postgraduate Dean and Professional Development Workstream Lead, Dr Alan Denison
  • NES General Manager for Medical Professional Development, Mr Adrian Dalby
  • Associate Postgraduate Dental Dean, Mr Donald Thomson
  • Associate Postgraduate Dean (SAS), Dr Lynne Meekison
  • Representative of the DMEs group
  • Representatives of the British Medical Association (BMA)

This SAS Programme Board meets four times a year to assess and approve applications for funding, and to try and improve the delivery of training and development for SAS doctors working in Scotland over and above their study leave entitlement.


When can I apply?

Applications can be submitted at any time during each funding approval cycle. The cut-off dates for the next cycle are as follows:


The Programme Board will next meet on THURSDAY 23RD APRIL 2020 to assess applications for funding.

To ensure bids are received in time to be considered by the Programme Board - APPLICANTS MUST:

1. Submit their bids for internal approval by THURSDAY 9TH APRIL 2020, at the latest.

2. Email their fully completed, approved and authorised applications to SASDevelopment@nes.scot.nhs.uk no later than THURSDAY 16TH APRIL 2020.

Please remember applications can be submitted AT ANY TIME, and we strongly recommend that you do not leave it until the closing date.

The subsequent funding panel will meet on the following date: July 2020 (exact date tbc)



Applicants must contact their local SAS Education Adviser prior to application submission, for relevant advice and guidance. If you are unsure who your local EA is, please contact SASDevelopment@nes.scot.nhs.uk

Applicants will require approval from their Head of Service/Clinical Director and their Director of Medical Education before their application can be considered.