Health Education England (South West) Dental Study Leave Policy

This policy is applicable to:

· Dental Core Trainees
· Dental Specialty Trainees
· Academic Clinical Fellows
· Academic Clinical Lecturers
· Post CCST Trainees

Dental Foundation Trainees are provided with 30 days’ study leave, should any require any additional funding for courses outside of these 30 days then they must raise with their TPD.

Study Leave Entitlement

All trainees are entitled to up to 30 days’ study leave per year, although all of these days may not be needed for Dental Core Trainees and Dental Specialty Trainees. Trainees working less than full time (LTFT) will be entitled to a pro-rata study leave entitlement.

Trainees do not have a specific allocation of funding for study days. Instead, they can request to attend events, suitable to their level of training, and for these to be funded. Trainees must be willing to meet the cost of the study leave in full in the instance that funding is not available.


Study leave requests should be made in line with the employing Trust/Local Education Provider’s local policy. Applications should ideally be submitted to the HEE office, at minimum 1 month prior to the leave episode. Expense claims must be submitted within 3 months of the leave episode, expenses submitted in excess of 3 months may not be reimbursed. All applications and expenses (with scanned receipts) should be emailed to dental study leave postal applications and expenses will not be accepted.

Dental Core Training

Dental core trainees will be provided with a number of mandatory study days that must be attended each year. These courses will be made available on MaxCourse therefore all trainees will be required to book onto the courses via Max Course in addition to submitting a HEE study leave application form. Study leave must be prioritised for these days, local educational and rota approval must still be obtained.

In addition to the set mandatory study days’ trainees are able utilise to the remainder of their allocation of days (where available) for discretionary courses. Trainees must seek local educational and rota approval before submitting an application for these. A list of approved discretionary courses will be provided by the DCT TPDs and Associate Dean. If a course applied to does not appear on this approved list, then the HEE SW office will seek approval from the TPD directly.

One conference per trainee per year may be funded if the trainee has a presentation at the conference, however funding is dependent on availability. This includes travel to the conference and the registration fee. International conferences will only be supported for DCTs in exceptional cases.

Dental Specialty Training (including academic and post CCST training)

HEE SW will provide a number of study days for dental specialty trainees. Trainees must seek local educational and rota approval prior to submitting an application for these days.

In addition to the HEE provided study days, trainees are able to use the remainder of their allocation (where available) for discretionary courses. Trainees must seek local educational and rota approval before submitting an application for these. A list of approved discretionary courses will be provided by the TPDs and Associate Dean. If a course applied to does not appear on this approved list, then the HEE SW office will seek approval from the TPD directly.

International conferences will only be supported for specialty trainees in exceptional cases.
Examination Leave
Trainees will be granted leave to allow them to undertake mandatory examinations. Private study leave is not supported for trainees attempting the examination for the first time.

Trainees that need to re-sit the examination may be able to take some private study leave, if agreed in advance by their Training Programme Director. Examination fees will not be paid.

Out of Programme (OOP) Trainees

Trainees that are out of the training programme are not required to request study leave via HEE SW. OOP Trainees should familiarise themselves with the study leave policy in the department/Trust in which their OOP is taking place.
Academic trainees

Leave for Academic Clinical Fellows (ACFs) and Clinical Lecturers (ACLs) related to academic research is not funded by HEE, funding relating to academic research is available via the university, information and requests should be directed directly to the university via Further information and guidance can be found online at the below links;

Less Than Full Time (LTFT) Trainees

If a study day falls on a non-working day for a LTFT trainee, they should attend the study day in lieu of one of their working days, not in addition to.
Trainees on Maternity Leave

Where a doctor/dentist takes maternity leave their entitlement to study leave continues, and this may be taken during ‘keeping in touch’ days or will otherwise accrue to be taken at a later date.

Process for applying for study leave

A HEE study leave application form must be completed for each study leave episode for both DCT and Specialty trainees. Please see study leave flow chart at the end of this document for further information on the approval process. Once completed and relevant approvals obtained the application must be submitted via email to, postal applications will not be accepted. This will be processed and confirmation emailed. This approval is for the application, it is not approval nor guarantee that expenses will be paid, this is a separate decision.

Process for claiming expenses

Dental core and specialty trainees should claim their expenses via the HEE non-staff claim form. This should be completed electronically, signed by hand or electronic signature, and then emailed to dental study leave along with all receipts. Postal expense claims will be returned without processing.

The claim form should detail the exact postcodes in the start location and finish location sections. If multiple study days are being claimed on one form, please list multiple postcodes.

The title(s) of the study days should be listed in the Purpose of Study Leave section. Do not write “various”, “see appendix” etc. as this causes delays in the claims being processed.

It is the trainee’s responsibility to ensure their claim form is completed. Claim forms that are incomplete, or that do not give specific information on the courses and locations attended, will not be processed.
Claims must be submitted in a timely manner. There is a three-month window for claims to be submitted. Any claims submitted more than three months after the date of the event will not be paid.
Claims take approximately 30 working days to be approved and paid, and this may take longer in busy periods. Please be patient when waiting for your claim.

Study leave appeals 

If a dentist in training disagrees with a decision about study leave made by their supervising clinician, they should in the first instance contact the relevant authoriser that refused the application to request an explanation / review.

If a dentist in training remains of the opinion that the wrong decision has been made, they can appeal against the decision by writing to the Postgraduate Dean or their nominated deputy. Appeals should be made in writing via email clearly stating the reasons for the appeal and submitting any new evidence that may support the appeal process.

Appeals should be submitted within four weeks of the original decision to refuse study leave; failure to do so will mean your appeal will not be processed. Appeals will then be considered by a panel convened within the local office that will include a senior member of the PGMDE team, a trainee representative and the Postgraduate Dean or nominee. The decision of the study leave panel is final. Please submit any appeals to the study leave email they will then be appropriately processed.

The  dentist in training will receive a response to their appeal via email within 20 working days of submission with the result of the appeal outlining the reasons for the decision reached.

The decision resulting from this appeals process is final and there will be no further right of appeal.