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Study budget reforms

We’re reforming the study budget system for doctors in training. Though the reforms, we’re aiming to ensure that access to educational resources is fair, based on individual need, and that the process promotes higher quality, more efficiency, flexibility and transparency.


Through our work on Enhancing Junior Doctors’ Working Lives, trainees told us that they were frustrated with the system for accessing their study budget.  They reported that access to the budgets was inequitable between specialties and locations, and that in many cases they paid for educational activity themselves.

In response, we are moving away from a ‘notional individual annual allocation’ of study leave funding that varies across each local office. Our new system will support:

  • all elements of the delivery of all trainees’ curriculum on approved secondary care sector training programmes, including all trust-funded posts; and
  • discretionary courses that add value to the individual and support the wider system.

Our heads of schools and training programme directors will monitor and evaluate the range of funded educational activities undertaken by trainees, to ensure that it is fit for purpose, providing quality and value for money.

The principles for approving study budget-funded educational activities, available below, have been developed through consultation with trainees, their representative bodies, colleges, specialty advisory committees and faculties. 

We have agreed to closely monitor use of the resources to ensure value for money and equity. We plan to publish a formal annual report for the 2018/19 financial year in summer 2019.

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