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Trainer Information

Study Leave

For full details, please consult the: Study Leave Policy and Operational Guide.

Please see also the information provided to trainees in relation to study leave.

We have developed the following set of FAQs to help you in relation to your study leave role - if anything is missing, or could be better explained, please don't hesitate to get in touch.


The study leave team are based at the NES offices in Glasgow. Stuart Brown is the Study Leave Officer and is supported by Laura MacDonald, our Study Leave Administrator. You can contact Stuart or Laura via study.leave@nes.scot.nhs.uk or call them on 0141 2231536.

TPD has management responsibility for all educational activities undertaken as part of their training programme. As such, they will be expected to fully assess each application in light of educational need and relevance as well as financial considerations in relation to their budget. Their decision is based on all available information in the study leave application made by a trainee.  Each trainee is entitled to use up to 30 days of study leave per annum. 

TPDs have the discretion to approve any application within the National Study Leave Policy guidance with a maximum financial restriction.

It is the doctor in training’s responsibility, in conjunction with their Programme Director and/or Educational Supervisor, to prioritise and plan their respective training programme and use of their study leave appropriately.  All doctors in training should develop coherent plans for study leave in the context of their training programme and curricular requirements, taking into account their individual educational needs as agreed with their Programme Directors and/or Educational Supervisors.  Study leave activity should enhance clinical education and training with activities planned in advance. This should be done in conjunction with both “service” colleagues/units and the Programme Director. Authority for any funding will come from the Programme Director who will actively manage the budget for their training programme.

Please note that foundation trainees are subject to different rules/guidelines in relation to study leave.  Please consult the Study Leave Policy and Operational Guide for full details.  FPDs will consider all study leave applications made by their trainees and approve or not based on the Foundation eligibility within the Study Leave Policy and Operational Guide.

All applications for study leave should be made (by trainees) and approved (by programme directors) via Turas, the NES Trainee Management System.  'Old style' paper forms will be not be processed and will be returned to the trainee. When a trainee completes the application form on-line, they are required to complete a declaration which confirms that permissions have been sought for time out of clinical duties (i.e. service approval). Once the application is submitted, an automated email will be sent to the selected programme director for approval. 

Once you have logged onto Turas you will see a list of applications which are Pending Approval – click on this application and review the information submitted by the trainee.

Scroll down the Review Application and select option from the drop-down list: TPDs can 'Approve with funding', 'Approve without funding' and 'Not Approve'. Please contact the Study Leave Team for any information which might aid your decision.

If approving with funding, the amount you are approving should be entered in the relevant fields, then click on save & submit.

An email is then automatically sent to the trainee confirming what has been approved.  If the application is approved by PD, the trainee then receives a claim form on which they can claim any related expenses.

Turas will not allow retrospective study leave applications to be made therefore leave must be planned in advance of the activity taking place. As much detail as possible regarding the activity should be entered, all mandatory fields must be completed and, where applicable, realistic estimates of all cost elements should be entered to allow full consideration by the PD.

Any applications for “Leave Only”, without reclaimable expenses, should still be submitted in line with the guidance above. Such applications still need appropriate service and PD approval however they will not result in the subsequent provision of a claim form. In such cases, an automated email will be sent to the applicant.

Stuart Brown will provide you with all details of your study leave budget on an annual basis [contact: study.leave@nes.scot.nhs.uk / 0141 2231536].  Programme budgets are based on a nominal allocation of £500 per NTN per annum. 

This is currently not available to view on Turas. Programme budgets are communicated by Stuart Brown at the beginning of the financial year and you will receive an update from Stuart Brown on a monthly basis.  In the future Turas will be able to provide you with budget information direct, we are working on this functionality and hope to make available asap.

If you feel all trainees (Regionally or Nationally) would benefit from a collective training activity, your budget can be used to pay for a course/meeting. This expense will be deducted as a Programme Claim rather than a charge against each individual trainee.

Please contact the Study Leave Team to discuss.

There are currently no study leave reports available directly via Turas - however we are working on this functionality and hope to have useful options available asap.

Improvements to the user experience of Turas are with the Digital Team and are awaiting testing and deployment. Any updates will be communicated by the Study Leave Team to all TPDs as they become available

The study leave budgets are bound by the financial year because NES works on that basis, and because the SG funding is allocated on the financial year.

Although foundation trainees work on the basis of the academic year, many other trainees do not, with various starts out of sync, e.g. posts starting in February, maternity leave, OOP etc. For that reason there is no real basis for the study leave budget working to the academic year.

Stuart Brown (Study Leave Officer) will contact TPDs individually in December/January each year to review underspends and any pending applications.

However, the remaining funds left in your budget are also available in the study leave reports sent monthly to you.

Towards year end it is possible to review applications which have been entered onto TURAS, so trainees are encouraged to submit all applications, even if it is likely that funding will not be approved. On initial application TPD can approve without funding (or with limited funding) as appropriate and then the application can be looked at again at year end.  

Study Leave on Turas will be updated to include a ‘Review at Year End’ option which will simplify this process. Unfortunately this option is not fully available as yet.

Yes, it is not possible to link a trainee to more than one TPD on Turas. In these situations we would recommend liaison with the other TPD, i.e. anaesthetics, to double-check that the application is appropriate .

Yes, exam preparation courses are eligible for study leave funding. TPDs are advised to consider their budgets when approving these as they can be expensive.