Your career

Employment arrangements

As trainees working in LTFT you are subject, the same as FTE colleagues, to the New Junior Doctors Contract 2016. The detailed arrangements regarding pay protection, on-call payments, and nodal pay points can be accessed by the BMA and NHS Employers Guidance.

LTFT trainees can also get advice within their trusts from the Champions of Flexible Training, who work alongside the Guardians of Safe Working in each England NHS Trust. Pension calculations are based on pro-rata FTE pensionable income. Bank holidays are taken as leave pro rata to FTE colleagues.

My career and training LTFT

As a trainee that works in LTFT you are expected to obtain all the same clinical and non-clinical competencies over the course of your training, and the same Intended learning
outcomes as detailed in our curricula.

In effect this means that you have fewer hours per calendar year of work, but more years of work, to achieve the same required competencies.

LTFT trainees are expected in each training year, i.e.

  • CT1
  • 2 and 3
  • ST4-6

to achieve all the required competencies for that training year.
However, this may take more than a 12-month calendar year for the LTFT trainee to achieve.

For example, if you’re a trainee that works 50% LTFT, you‘ll be expected to take two calendar years to achieve each of your training year competencies. Therefore, as an LTFT trainee, you will be expected to undertake the requirements for assessment as set in your relevant curricula on a pro-rata basis and to spread the balance of workplace-based assessments evenly through the period of time being assessed.

As an LTFT trainee, you will be expected, in line with the Gold Guide to have an ARCP not less than annually (i.e. 12 calendar months). Therefore, at each ARCP you will be expected to provide pro-rata evidence of competency acquisition. For example, if you work 60% LTFT you will be expected to evidence 60% of the numbers of WPBAs, and other evidence of a FTE colleague. As is the case for some FTE colleagues, the ARCP will not always neatly occur at the end of a training year.

If any trainee, LTFT or otherwise has an ARCP in line with their calendar year of training but has not reached the end of a training year, e.g. CT1, CT2, ST4, ST5, the ARCP review is a comment on whether progression towards the end points is satisfactory for the time at which they are completing the report.

When you are an LTFT trainee, in a similar way to FTE colleagues, you can assess your progress through Higher Training and calculate your CCT, using our CCT calculator.

Return to Training

Many trainees take a period of absence from training for a number of reasons which can often vary in duration. This can include:

  • parental leave
  • carers’ leave
  • sickness.

It may also include Out of Programme Experience or Research. You are advised to seek BMA advice for issues such as impact of statutory and sick leave on Period of Grace and eligibility for Consultant application close to CCT.

In some cases, if you have had a prolonged period of absence you have been expected to immediately return to full duties, including on-calls without a re-introduction period, which potentially has negative implications for the trainee and patient safety.
The purpose of the HEE Supported Return to Training Guidance (SuppoRTT) is to improve patient safety and quality of care, whilst giving trainees an opportunity to regain their confidence and previously acquired skills more quickly and safely.
The SuppoRTT Guidance is designed to be flexible and take into account the differing nature and length of absence, as well as the specialty and stage of your training, to ensure that you can safely and confidently return and practice within your training programme.

If you have been absent for a period of 3 months or over, it’s strongly recommended that you follow the SuppoRTT structures and procedures. It has been designed to be flexible and take into account the differing nature and length of absence, as well as the specialty and stage of training, to ensure that you can safely return and practice within your training programme.

There is also a regional SuppoRTT programme in each training area which includes events and days that as trainees you can attend. This includes training and support for; educational days, clinical simulation days, mentorship and coaching, building personal and professional well-being and practical advice and signposting. Return from leave HEE Yorkshire and Humber Guidance (there are similar in each HEE Deanery area)

Read more to receive further information regarding a career in psychiatry