Accessing Centralised Study Budgets - Specialty Course Guidance 

The following information is offered as guidance and is not finite or exhaustive; there may be other courses that would be accepted that are not listed here. All study leave applications should be discussed with Educational Supervisor or Training Programme Director who will review the application against curriculum requirements and your personal development plan (PDP). This discussion will highlight whether the courses is aligned to curriculum and achievement of Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) or whether the course is of an aspirational nature. Part-funding may be considered to support aspirational activity; however, approval must be sought form the TPD or HoS.

Please note this information may be subject to change.


Study leave for GP trainees – general principles


GP Trainees are referred to the local HEE area policy for study leave for details of the relevant processes and principles. In all areas, the following principles should apply:


  • GP doctors in training should discuss their progress, aspirations and intentions regularly with their Educational and Clinical Supervisors. This should entail discussions in general terms at every Educational Supervision meeting, with more detailed discussions with their CS at the start and of every placement. These discussions should be reflected in their PDP.  HEE does not encourage the taking of private study leave for any reason. This includes exam preparation, as the best preparation for both AKT and CSA is consulting and reflecting on casework.


  • In general GP doctors in training should be meeting core curriculum requirements before considering discretionary enhancement activity. 


  • GP Trainees who are progressing satisfactorily may wish to develop an interest in a particular specialty and undertake a limited amount of training to that effect, but they should ensure that this does not hinder their progress or detract from their study of the core GP Curriculum. At all times (with the sole exception of taking an exam or when so advised by a TPD), the Regional Teaching Course provided by the local School should take precedence. 


  • Attendance at the School’s Regional Teaching courses and educational supervision with their GP trainer are mandatory (refGMC Promoting Excellence standard R3.12:  Doctors in training must be able to take study leave appropriate to their curriculum or training programme, to the maximum time permitted in their terms and conditions of service.


  • Other courses relevant to GP training and for which doctors in training should be granted study leave except in exceptional circumstances are listed below.


  • Finally, there is a list of discretionary enhancement activity where study leave should be considered but not automatically granted, depending upon the trainee’s progress in the post and the approval of the rota manager. 


  • Trainees should apply in the way described in the local policy using the form specified in that policy, with the general variations that:
    • GP doctors in training do not need TPD or ES approval to attend individual courses provided they are on the HEE “approved” list and the CS agrees that they are making satisfactory progress. 
    • Overnight accommodation will only be considered in exceptional circumstances and with the express approval of a TPD


HEE Approved course list for GP Trainees


Automatic approval for all trainees, whether requiring extra support or not



Regional teaching

Mandatory release, no funding implications

RCGP-provided or accredited CSA or AKT courses

One course attendance per trainee. For online courses, up to 5 days (total) study leave time can be requested for this in hospital posts, but in GP posts, self-directed study time should be used for this activity.  

HEE commissioned simulation courses, CSA or AKT support

One course attendance per trainee. For online courses, up to 5 days (total) study leave time can be requested for this in hospital posts, but in GP posts, self-directed study time should be used for this activity.   

BLS training 

One attendance per trainee in ST3

Child protection training 

One course attendance per trainee. Trainees should ensure that they have completed a Level 3 course by the start of ST3. This could be an online course.

GP update/red whale handbook

For all in ST3

IMG support programmes




Courses NOT approved for funding, although time off might be authorised

CSA or AKT revision or study courses provided by any other provider

Attendance at courses or conferences overseas unless authorised by a TPD

Events outside the region unless authorised by a TPD



Specific courses for trainees requiring extra support


These courses will only be available with TPD agreement

Dyslexia support 

Linguistic support

Reflective writing

Specific support programmes