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Scotland Deanery

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Trainee information


I am considering resigning from my training programme, what should I do?

We understand that there are a wide range of reasons that doctors on training contracts may not complete their training programme. We acknowledge that for most, this decision will not be undertaken lightly, and we hope that NES can guide and support you through this process.

If you are considering resigning from your training programme before completion, we recommend you arrange to meet with your Clinical or Educational Supervisor, and/or your Training (or Foundation) Programme Director to discuss your intentions and reasons for the resignation.  With your permission and if relevant, they may explore whether there is further support or alternative working arrangements that could be put in place which might enable you to continue in your training programme.

The Trainee Development and Wellbeing Service (TDWS) offers a range of independent advice and guidance, including careers advice, health, and wellbeing support. Click here for more information.

Further information and resources are also available in the Support for Trainees section of the Scotland Deanery website found by clicking here.  If you are on a Skilled Worker visa it's important to be advised on the impact resigning from your training post will have on your right to work. Should you have any concerns you should seek your own advice from an immigration advisor. The NES sponsorship team are also available to discuss your current sponsorship arrangement & advise on how we process resignations here.

If you still wish to proceed with resignation, you can inform NES of your intention by email to training.management@nes.scot.nhs.uk. Please ensure you simultaneously notify your employing health board by copying your email to their HR department. It is essential to also let your employing board HR department know of your resignation as there are separate local processes that ensure you are correctly exited from employment.

The training management team will then communicate your decision to your Training (or Foundation) Programme Director, Associate Postgraduate Dean and Lead Dean Director/Postgraduate Dean.

As part of the resignation process, NES would like to fully support and understand the reasons behind your decision to leave. With that in mind, we would like all doctors on training contracts who resign to complete an online leaver’s questionnaire and be offered a 1:1 supportive meeting with a member of the Trainee Development and Wellbeing Service (TDWS) team. You will also be offered careers advice if you would like it. 

Notice Period

As a doctor on a training contract, you are required to give advance notice of your resignation – minimum notice periods are 2 weeks for FY1, 4 weeks for FY2, 1 month for core training and 3 months for higher specialty training. We recommend meeting with your Clinical Supervisor/ Educational Supervisor and/or Training (or Foundation) Programme Director to advise of your intentions and mutually agree on a suitable termination date. Waiving of this obligation will only be considered in very exceptional circumstances and can only be agreed by your employer.

Leaver’s Process

Once you have submitted your intention to resign, we will ask you to complete a leaver’s questionnaire which will include the option to request a supportive meeting to discuss your experiences and situation. The meeting will be undertaken online (or in person if preferred) and in confidence by a member of our Trainee Development and Wellbeing Service at a mutually agreed time. The aim of this process is to help us understand what has led you to leave training, whether there is further wellbeing or careers support that we can offer, and to help us to improve the overall experience and retention of doctors in training. Your feedback is very valuable to us.

Your responses to the online questionnaire and topics covered within the Trainee Development and Wellbeing Service (TDWS) meeting will be treated in confidence. However, where necessary and with your consent, appropriate action may be taken in response to any issues raised. To encourage learning and response to feedback, collated themes will be shared at organisational level, in an anonymous fashion, to help us identify any specific interventions or improvements we might wish to consider in future. Your lead employer will also process their own resignation pathway in parallel with the NES process and this may also include the offer of a separate questionnaire or exit interview from their respective HR departments.

The full guidance is here: Doctors in Training Resignations

Additional career support resources are available here.




This page was last updated on: 10.06.2024 at 10.15