Less Than Full Time Training

Information regarding Less Than Full Time training (LTFT), can be found below and the General Medical Council Position Statement (Nov 2017)

You must first discuss any plans for LTFT with your Training Programme Director (TPD) for your current training programme. For Foundation trainees you must discuss your request with your Foundation School Manager (FSM) (for F1s and F2s) before beginning your application. Once you have discussed your request to train LTFT with your TPD you should complete the LTFT application form, this is available here.

If you are unaware of who your TPD is or FSM, please submit an enquiry below so we can make them aware. We are unable to publish their contact details on the portal. 

What evidence do I need to provide to train LTFT?

Child Care 

For  caring for children, you should provide the actual/expected birth date of your youngest child. Please note you do not need to re-apply after each period of maternity leave unless your first child is over 18 years old. Once you have been deemed eligible to train LTFT for reasons of child-care, you can continue to do so until your youngest child is 18 years old.  Caring for children is for both men and women. You do not need to provide a birth certificate.


For health reasons you will need to provide a letter from the Occupation Health (OH) department at your current Trust with the recommendations for you to train LTFT and how long the request is for. Pending the letter from OH you may provide a Medical Certificate from your own GP. Your TPD can recommend you train LTFT but you need to provide the appropriate evidence. Without the supporting evidence your request to train LTFT will be declined. The letter of support should be dated within the last three months from the date you submit your application

Caring Responsibilities 

For  caring responsibilities apart from child-care, you should provide a letter from the GP of the person for whom you are caring that states you are the primary carer, and an indication of the time commitment. Without the supporting evidence your request to train LTFT will be declined. The letter of support should be dated within the last three months from the date you submit the application. 

Unique Opportunities/Non-Medical Development/ Training and Career Development 

This should be done via the free text boxes in the application form. You can also upload job descriptions and letters of support with your application. 

A brief description of the other work you wish to undertake alongside training LTFT.

How this additional work will benefit your future career.

How this additional work will benefit the wider NHS.

If it is paid or unpaid employment.

How you plan to manage your time between progressing with your training and your additional work.

How long the request is for if for a set period of time.

Why the request cannot be completed as an out of programme request.

Foundation doctors can apply at any time throughout the year.

Notice period is generally 16 weeks, less will only be considered in exceptional circumstances.

Parental care 

Doctors with a disability or ill health- 

Doctors with caring responsibilities 

Application within Windows: 

Foundation doctors that wish to apply under any of the criteria listed below must do so within the given LTFT Windows. The Windows are determined by the month in which you rotate.  

Welfare and wellbeing  

Unique opportunities   

Religious commitment  

Non-medical development   

Flexibility for training and career development  

Notice periods:

We require a minimum of 16 weeks’ notice for all LTFT applications (including Childcare, Health, Disability, Caring Responsibilities) however there is an exception to this which will be by individual circumstances. If less than 16 weeks’ notice is provided/required you must submit evidence of written agreement from your employing Trust that they can accommodate an earlier change.  

Changes to WTE:

Any requests to change a WTE (increase, decrease, return to full time) must be made during windows provided above.

To apply for Less Than Full Time Training please fill out the following form. 

Reduction in choice of placements  

Currently foundation doctors are allocated two-year foundation programmes.  If someone decides to train LTFT, their programme will obviously need to be extended.  Salary is reduced accordingly.  

Usually, extensions are for one or more full 4 month placements, as this provides a better educational experience.  

For example, a one-year F1 or F2 programme would need to be extended as follows:  

  • At 0.8 WTE to 16 months (4 x 4-month placements)  
  • At 0.6 % WTE  20 months (5 x 4-month placements)  
  • At 0.5 WTE 24 months (6 x 4-month placements)  

In practice this means that later placements will need to be changed.  

For example, below is a typical 2-year full-time foundation programme.  

F1  General Medicine  General Surgery  Paediatrics  
F2  Emergency Medicine  General Practice  Acute Medicine  

If a doctor decided to do this instead at 60% for both F1 and F2, then this would take 2 x 20 months i.e. 40 months instead of 24 months  

F1  General Medicine  General Surgery  Paediatrics  
  Geriatrics  General Medicine  F2 Acute Medicine  
F2  Psychiatry  Emergency Medicine  Geriatrics  
F2  Old age psychiatry      

While there would be no change to the initially allocated F1 programme, apart from this being LTFT, additional placements would need to be found to complete the F1 year as emergency medicine and general practice are usually only suitable for doctors with full registration.  

The third placement in the original F2 year could still be utilised, as the doctor has achieved full registration, but the subsequent placements will need to be found from those which are vacant.  This is because the planned F2 year will have already been allocated to another doctor in the following year as part of their two-year programme.  

Local vacancies are often rare, meaning that the priority is given to ensuring a balanced programme including community exposure, but that there is little choice for the doctor concerned.    

In addition, the usual programme balance rules may not apply as each placement is less than full-time, and so in the example above the doctor is repeating psychiatry as in two 4-month placements they will only have done an equivalent of 4.8 months full-time.