Less than full-time training

Less than full-time training is increasing in popularity and the RCR is keen to support all those that wish to train in this way. While decisions on LTFT training applications are made locally within training programmes the RCR can offer advice and guidance and we have dedicated LTFT representatives who are willing to discuss individual issues if needed.

Categories of LTFT training

Category 1

Doctors in training with a disability or ill health or responsibility for caring for children or an ill/disabled partner, relative or other dependant. It is expected that those in category 1 will be accommodated to train LTFT.

Category 2

Doctors in training with unique opportunities for their own personal/professional development, for example training for national/international sporting events, or short term extraordinary responsibility, for example a national committee. Doctors with a religious commitment such as training for a particular religious role which requires a specific amount of time commitment or non-medical professional development such as management courses, law courses, fine arts courses or diploma in complementary therapies. Where practical, all efforts will be made to provide flexible training for these applicants.

Category 3

Health Education England and the RCR is committed to increasing flexibility in postgraduate training. Feedback indicates that many trainees would appreciate the opportunity to pursue a more flexible approach to training.

Less Than Full Time (LTFT) Training Category 3 allows trainees to request the opportunity to undertake a period of less than full time training for personal choice and was initially piloted in Emergency Medicine, Paediatrics and Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Following the success of the pilot, this opportunity is now being expanded to Radiology.

Guidance and FAQs on this, including guidance for employers, can be found below.

Applying to train LTFT

The application process usually takes at least three months so as soon as you have made your decision you should discuss your plans with your TPD. The more notice a scheme has the more likely you will be able to be accommodated.

  • Step 1: Notify your deanery stating your reason for wishing to train LTFT. It will need to fall into one of the two categories above and your deanery will assess your eligibility.
  • Step 2: Get agreement for funding from your Trust. You may be LTFT in a full time slot, slot sharing or supernumerary.
  • Step 3: Get your job educationally approved. Speak to your TPD.

This process needs to occur annually or if there are any changes to your training.  

Tell the RCR

If you switch to training LTFT you need to inform us so we can update your expected CCT date. Just send an email to training@rcr.ac.uk If you would like to know what impact switching to LTFT will have on your expected CCT date before you apply for it we can help you with the calculations.


Local support

Most training programs have a consultant lead for LTFT training and many deaneries will have specific advisors.  There is usually LTFT trainee representation on local faculty groups and training committee.

RCR support

  • LTFT Trainee representative - Dr Sam Fossey

There is a nationally elected LTFT trainee representative on the RCR’s Junior Radiologists’ Forum. Dr Sam Fossey is a Brighton trainee who has trained LTFT for many years and she is very active in advocating for LTFT trainees. She has taken time out of training and is very interested in supporting those who are returning after a period away. She is happy to be contacted by any trainee who needs advice or support. If you wish to contact Sam email training@rcr.ac.uk and we will forward your email to her.

  • LTFT Training and Working Advisor - Dr Kate Hawtin

In addition to Dr Fossey, the RCR also has a LTFT Training and Working Adviser. Dr Kate Hawtin is a consultant at University College Hospital in London and current UCH Radiology Training Programme Director. She trained LTFT and although now working full-time is the London School of Radiology's Return to Work Champion and co-wrote their return to work guidance. In her role as RCR LTFT Training and Working Advisor Kate is responsible for advising the RCR, as well as trainees and consultants, on issues relating to LTFT activity.

Dr Hawtin and Dr Fossey work together to ensure both trainees and consultants who practice LTFT are fully informed and supported.

Pro-rata on call/service statement

The RCR supports the Gold Guide statement that less than full time trainees : "will reflect the same balance of work as their full-time colleagues. Day-time working, on-call and out-of-hours duties will normally be undertaken on a basis pro rata to that worked by full-time trainees in the same grade and specialty unless the circumstances that justify LTFT training make this inappropriate/impossible."   If operational circumstances at the employing organisation make pro rata on call/out of hours duties impossible then it must be ensured that legal and educational requirements are met.

2019 LTFT trainee survey

In 2019 Dr Fossey carried out a survey of all clinical radiology LTFT trainees and has published the results and some recommendations for action. Dr Fossey and Dr Hawtin will be working to implement the recommendations and would like input from LTFT trainees. If you have suggestions for them or would like to help please contact training@rcr.ac.uk and we will put you in touch.

Useful resources for LTFT trainees

Below are links to useful information and resources. If you are aware of other items that would be of use please let us know.

The RCR is not responsible for the content of external internet sites