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Medical ACT

Principles for Medical ACT Travel, Accommodation and Subsistence Support

There are two over-arching principles that underpin the guidance for travel, accommodation, and subsistence (TAS) costs; 

  • Limitation of the use of Medical ACT funding for travel, subsistence, and accommodation. 

Each year an amount of Medical ACT funds (up to a maximum 5% of total ACT relating to the relevant medical programme) is top sliced on a regional basis to cover TAS costs. The amount top-sliced each year is based on actual expenditure in the previous financial year but may be adjusted for changes agreed through the relevant regional group. The criteria for the use of TAS funding is defined as: 

  • The provision of accommodation where there is a direct cost to the NHS. 
  • The provision of transport by NHS Boards or medical programmes to facilitate the transfer of students to locations distant from the teaching sites. 
  • Direct reimbursement to undergraduate students for travel and other subsistence costs. 

Payment arrangements are agreed locally through RAWGs and these groups are also responsible for the monitoring of total costs. To ensure accountability and value for money, consistent operational guidelines on travel and subsistence payments were agreed between NES and the programmes, detailed below:  

  • If university policy allows for travel and subsistence payments to be made directly to students, in the first instance, students must, if eligible, apply for reimbursement through the Scottish Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) or other awards agency. Only if funding is not available from such bodies can travel and accommodation costs be met from Medical ACT. It is highlighted that duplicate claims constitute fraud. 
  • Claims for reimbursement will usually only be considered if public transport has been used. However, mileage at university rates may be paid up to the equivalent of the public transport costs. However, if mileage is paid the medical programme will be required to ensure the necessary health and safety requirements in respect of insurance arrangements are met. 
  • Accommodation costs will only be met where no hospital accommodation is available.  
  • Accommodation costs may include breakfast. 
  • If accommodation is provided that has cooking facilities, students will be expected to use them and will not be able to claim subsistence expenses.  If no cooking facilities are available, arrangements should be made with the host NHS Board for students to be able to use hospital refectories.  Such costs, up to a set maximum per day, will be reimbursed and the costs of this arrangement would require to be met by the medical programme from within the funding agreed.  It is hoped that host NHS Boards and medical programmes will work to reduce any administrative burden of this process. If there are no local hospital facilities available, the costs of an evening meal can be included as part of an accommodation package. 
  • Where significant train travel is expected, and the use of railcards would over the course of the year lead to savings in excess of the railcard cost the cost of the railcard may be claimable.  The cost of any evidence, such as photographs, required for the railcard will not be reimbursed. 
  • Reduced fares available when tickets are pre-booked should be used wherever possible.  Costs over this rate need to be justified to the medical school.  Student timetables are known well in advance, and this will facilitate such practice.   
  • This guidance only applies to travel in Scotland. Medical ACT funding should not be used to cover travel out-with Scotland. 
  • Medical ACT funds should only be used for student travel and subsistence.  Staff costs should be met by the medical programme or NHS Board

Please note this will be reviewed in 2024.



This page was last updated on: 20.02.2024 at 11.39