NHS England - South West
Period of Grace Policy
Although doctors in training can apply for consultant posts up to six months before their anticipated CCT date, not all are either able to do this or are successful in their applications. For this reason, many doctors in training are currently eligible to take a six-month Period of Grace (POG). The purpose of this is to offer continued employment (at speciality registrar level) to doctors who have completed training and not yet obtained a consultant post. The extension to employment contract is for a time limited period up to a maximum of six months as set out in the 2016 Junior Doctor Contract.
This document outlines the framework for POGs in NHS England - South West. This document is subject to change resulting from changes to national guidance.
Whilst on a POG, the doctor is no longer considered to be in training, but in post for the purposes of service.
As the doctor is no longer in training, they are not eligible to make applications or enter into arrangements during their period of grace which are normally available to trainees (e.g. Inter-Deanery Transfer, Out of Programme etc). However, the trainee will retain their NTN during the Period of Grace.
The standard Period of Grace is six calendar months following the date of CCT. There is no pro-rata modification for Less Than Full Time (LTFT) doctors in training.
Trainees must notify, in writing, their TPD of their intent to take a POG at least six months prior to their CCT date using the Period of Grace Intent Form. Upon submission, the form will send a copy of the trainee's responses to their TPD and their Education Programme Manager.
Doctors in training will receive details of the location of their POG no later than 14 weeks prior to the date of CCT. The doctor in training will have two weeks in which to accept or decline the post offered.
If the POG is declined, the trainee will relinquish their NTN at the expected CCT date and the trainee will give up the right to a POG.
The POG will start on the CCT date indicated on the applicant’s final ARCP outcome form. A doctor can only commence a POG if they have received an ARCP Outcome 6.
If a doctor takes statutory leave during the POG, the period is paused on the date the statutory leave starts and will resume upon their return from leave. If the doctor does not wish the POG to resume following the end of their statutory leave, they must provide 3 months’ notice of their intent to resign from the training programme.
Placement is subject to the availability of posts within the programme, service needs of the employing trust and the training requirements of those doctors still in training. Therefore, specific location requests may not be possible.
Once a doctor has accepted the offer of a POG, they should provide as much notice as possible to their TPD and Education Programme Manager if they either do not want to take up the POG or if I wish to leave the POG early. Where an employment contract has been issued, the notice period for resignation is at the discretion of the employing trust, but is typically 3 months.
Doctors in the Period of Grace will not be expected to undertake research or other training orientated sessions except as explicitly agreed with the employer. Doctors will not be eligible for HEE funded study leave as this is for meeting CCT requirements. However, they can receive time for ensuring revalidation requirements are met.
Doctors in a Period of Grace are entitled to statutory leave i.e. annual leave, and sick leave according to local Trust policy. They should also be allowed to attend departmental education sessions as appropriate.