In Scotland we are committed and keen to encourage Less-Than-Full-Time (LTFT) training in the Scottish Foundation School and adhere to the relevant regulations as set out in the Foundation reference guide.
The operational arrangements to allow LTFT training in Foundation are potentially complex and this document outlines these. There is no guarantee that a doctor can be placed in any specific programme. All placements are the result of discussion with all parties.
All Applications for LTFT training should be directed to the Associate Postgraduate Dean with responsibility for LTFT training (APGD - LTFT) in the first instance whose responsibility will be to confirm eligibility. This information will then be passed to the Foundation Lead (usually Associate Postgraduate Dean - Foundation) who will meet with the trainee to discuss what options are available including location of programmes and availability of slot shares. This will include close liaison with the relevant Local Education Provider (LEP).
It is important to note that even if eligibility is confirmed, trainees need to be aware that:
LTFT training is based on the assumption that a complete year at LTFT will be required. In exceptional circumstances, completion of alternative time blocks will be considered but always based on complete WTE 4 month blocks. This will usually only occur when an individual is returning from maternity leave part way through a year. It may only be possible to return to work at the beginning of a 4 month rotation due to the requirement to fill a slot.
If a trainee has completed less than one block WTE in F1 before moving to LTFT training, then they will always be required to complete a full 12 months WTE before moving to F2.
Wherever possible, LTFT training will be maintained at the same LEP unit (as dictated by the current WTE programme) throughout the required time to completion. Occasionally this may not be possible and the Associate Postgraduate Dean (Foundation) in conjunction with the relevant DME and Associate Postgraduate Dean (LTFT) will agree an alternative programme.
LTFT training during F1 cannot be linked to a specific F2 programme therefore posts during F2 for the continuation of LTFT training are subject to both suitability (see below) and availability. Trainee preferences cannot always be met either for the specialties involved or the geographical situation of the posts.
Trainees will be expected to rotate at the same time as standard trainees to ensure they receive appropriate induction. This may require moving every 4 or 8 months. We would not support out-of-sync rotations.
The expectation, as for F1, will be for completion of 1 year WTE and the amount worked will be agreed with the Associate Postgraduate Dean (Foundation) and your employer. Trainees will be expected to rotate at the same time as standard trainees to ensure they receive appropriate induction. This may require moving every 4 or 8 months. We would not support out-of-sync rotations.
It is anticipated that a programme will be identified that is suitable for LTFT training.
All Foundation Doctors who are working LTFT will be required to complete assessments and requirements for completion for each year on a pro rata basis. The minimum requirements will be the same as for full-time doctors on a pro rata basis. However, there will be a requirement for an end of placement review form completed by the Educational Supervisor for each placement. This will probably mean that they will have more End of Placement Reviews than full-time doctors. All Foundation doctors will receive an ARCP every calendar year. The outcome will be based upon the progress they have made in relation to the training time.
All foundation doctors working flexibly will be reviewed at the end of the Foundation Programme year to ascertain progress and review of LTFT working circumstances. At this review, discussion will also take place on working pattern and locations for the next year.
Foundation Programme Reference Guide
The FP Reference Guide (2010) (Paras 8.60-8.67) states:
8.60 Foundation doctors wishing to train flexibly must compete with all other applicants for entry into the Foundation Programme.
8.61 Deaneries and foundation schools should make it clear how foundation doctors may access Less Than Full Time training. The conditions for access to Less Than Full Time training, funding and study-leave arrangements should be clear and fair.
8.62 Once accepted into foundation training, foundation doctors who are training Less Than Full Time should have equal access to foundation training opportunities.
8.63 The current main reasons for undertaking Less Than Full Time training are:
LTFT training is available to both genders.
8.64 Although foundation doctors taking LTFT foundation training may meet the necessary competences before they complete two full years of training, they still need to complete:
8.65 Foundation doctors taking LTFT training should usually be offered slot-sharing arrangements; that is typically two doctors working in the same post.
8.66 Out-of-hours contracts for all F1 and F2 doctors depend on service need and are a part of the rota. Slot-sharing doctors will need to agree how to cover this and it should be pro-rata - this should be done via official channels for rota management - not by the doctors themselves. Employers are responsible for meeting the cost of out-of-hours work.
8.67 The deanery/foundation school is responsible for publishing their process and managing appeals against decisions relating to LTFT training.
Advice on the UKFPO website is as follows:
Can I still do the Foundation Programme if I want to work part-time?
If you have a well-founded personal reasons for wishing to work part-time you should discuss your requirements before you begin your foundation training with the person responsible for Less-Than-Full-Time (LTFT) working in your deanery/foundation school. It is possible to move from part-time to full time-training (and the other direction) within your two year Foundation Programme. However, this would normally only take place between F1 and F2 year or on return from maternity leave. Reasons for undertaking LTFT training include: disability or ill-health; caring for an ill/disabled partner, relative or other dependent; or childcare.