Less Than Full-Time Training Guide

For all you need to know about training less than full-time in the West Midlands, we have put together a comprehensive guide.

 

This publication is an important step in the process of ensuring that clear, accurate and presentable career advice is available for doctors and dentists who wish to train less than full-time. We need to ensure that trainees, trainers and Trusts understand the need and the possibilities in relation to the opportunities to train less than full-time.

The guide indicates the availability and process in the West Midlands.   It is comprehensive but continues to be modified and up-dated.   It represents our commitment to ensuring that those who are not able to train full-time, know that this Deanery will help to achieve their educational and training goal.   The individual sections of the guide can be accessed through the menu to the left.

Less Than Full-Time (LTFT – formerly flexible) Training allows doctors and dentists to work less than full-time in posts that are fully recognised for training, and have the educational approval of the Postgraduate Dean, the Royal Colleges and the GMC.   In some specialties it is possible to work flexibly for the whole of postgraduate training, whereas others require some of this training to be full-time.

Background

Initially, part-time training was ad hoc and depended on the region and specialty. The number of part-time doctors in training increased in 1979 when a national scheme allowed senior trainees to work part-time. In 1994 the “Working Party on Flexible Training” report was published and two more schemes were introduced, resulting in the numbers of LTFT trainees increasing substantially. The publication “A Guide to Postgraduate Specialty Training in the UK” (2007) (Gold Guide) includes LTFT training as an alternative to full-time for Specialist Registrars/Specialty Registrars. All regions in England and Wales have also introduced LTFT posts for Foundation doctors. As a consequence, numbers of LTFT trainees nationally and in the West Midlands continue to rise.

Year

1994

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

Total England  Wales (inc Scotland wef  2003 )

719

1918

2086

2016

2063

2454

2262

2839

3378

3777

4424

Total West Midlands

20

167

192

183

172

205

216

235

279

320

338


Information

Information about postgraduate training is available from the local Postgraduate Dean’s office. Usually one Associate Dean or Manager has a designated responsibility for LTFT Training in the region.

Each Royal College should have an advisor with responsibility for LTFT training nationally. In the West Midlands there is a regional LTFT Training Advisor for the majority of specialties. Their names can be found in the sections describing LTFT training in each specialty in this handbook. Each hospital has a Postgraduate Clinical Tutor who can provide information about LTFT training, and refer further enquiries appropriately. At a more local level, college tutors and educational supervisors should be aware that LTFT training is available. Induction courses may provide information about LTFT training.

Undergraduate courses at British Medical Schools include advice on careers, full-time and LTFT postgraduate training. The British Medical Journal Careers Section has a category for part-time training and includes LTFT training in the description of training posts at the beginning of the careers section.

Despite all this information, some doctors in training grades are not aware that LTFT training exists. Awareness that LTFT training is possible seems to be the lowest among overseas doctors and in specialties with fewer women trainees. The major influence on awareness is the presence of LTFT trainees in a specialty or at the same hospital.

Training Grades for LTFT Training

 LTFT posts are available in all training grades:

F1 and F2 Foundation Years
ST Run-through grades – Specialty Trainee
SpR Specialist Registrar
GP ST General Practice Specialty Trainee
GPR General Practice Registrar

Hours of work for LTFT Trainees

All LTFT trainees are expected  to work a minimum of 50% of a full-time post in order to keep their skills up to date and gain training competencies. The number of hours will vary as they must be pro rata of the hours worked by full-time trainees at the Trust where the post is proposed eg if a full-timer is working 52 hours then a LTFT trainee working at 50% works 26 hours; if a full-timer works 48 hours then a LTFT trainee at 50% will work 24 hours.