Supported Return to Training (SuppoRTT) FAQsLEARN MORE
SuppoRTT is a national programme in England, set up by Health Education England as part of the ‘Enhancing Junior Doctors Working Lives’ programme aiming to improve the experience of returning to work after a period of absence. This is to help restore the doctor’s confidence and previous skills required in their post.
This is a process designed to support trainees who are returning to training after a period of leave. Up to 10% of post graduate doctors may be on leave from training at any given time.
The AoMRC (Academy of Medical Royal Colleges) has suggested that a 3-month absence is likely to have a significant impact on doctors’ clinical skills and confidence.
The leave period covered by SuppoRTT processes is nominally 3 – 12 weeks or longer and includes funding that can be applied to through HEE. While this programme does not exist in the same way in the devolved nations, trainees in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales should speak to their local medical education offices who should be able to advise on whether similar support exists.
SuppoRTT processes are based on 3 meetings held by trainees with their educational supervisor (ES) /training programme director (TPD):
Pre-Absence meeting prior to taking leave. During this meeting the following should be covered:
- Duration of leave
- Expected return dates
- ARCP date and requirements
- Informing HR/TPD
Initial Return Meeting 3 – 12 weeks before return date. This should include:
- Outline a return to work plan
- Complete application forms for funding
- Liaise with HR and rota coordinators
Return Review meeting. This should include:
- Complete return meeting form
- Follow up/review meeting following return to work to review progress and any additional needs
If you are a trainee in a training post and you have had time off work for 3 – 12 weeks or longer, you can use SuppoRTT to help your return to training.
(If you are off for less than 2 weeks but have concerns about your return then HEE will still consider your application)
Trainees from foundation to higher speciality training can apply.
The process is based on 3 meetings with your ES or TPD:
- A pre absence meeting 3 - 12 weeks prior to absence
- Initial return to work meeting 3 - 12 weeks prior to return
- Follow up/review meeting within 4 weeks of return
These meetings underpin the SuppoRTT process, the additional trainee needs can then be organised with application for funding from HEE to cover these.
The initial return to work meeting will be the point at which the online funding application form is completed.
- Parental leave
- Carer leave
- OOPE, OOPT, OOPC, OOPR
- Unplanned leave
This will depend on your individual needs but can include:
- On call cover for initial return
- Enhanced clinical supervision
- e.g. Shadowing for initial work or being supernumerary on calls,
- Supervised clinics
- Refresher Courses
It is important that these options are discussed prior to your return in your initial return to work meeting with your ES or TPD to find the right support for you.
The type of support will depend on the trainee’s individual needs and should be discussed with the ES or TPD during the initial pre absence or return to work meetings as part of the SuppoRTT process.
Please inform your department, ES, TPD and speciality school with your dates and reason for absence.
Please arrange for a pre absence meeting with your ES and complete pre absence forms.
- Consider your expected return date
- Ensure you are aware of your current ARCP requirements
- Consider your concerns for your return to work
- Consider whether your return to work be full time or less than full time (LTFT)
HEE will fund up to £3000 per trainee, or max £1000 for the first three weeks of return to training. This funding goes directly to the trust to reimburse costs of providing locums etc. Trainees in the devolved nations are advised to speak to their local medical education office for advice on available funding.
SuppoRTT funding will cover up to £3000 for your first 3 weeks back at work.
SuppoRTT does not pay trainees directly. The trust initially pays costs and then the funding is reimbursed to the trust for additional cover or supervision. For example, the funding will cover the cost of locums for on call shifts. The funding will not pay for you to come back to work early and shadow prior to your official start date.
Returning to work prior to your agreed start date is not advised as you are not covered by Trust Indemnity prior to your start date and you will not be paid for time spent at work prior to your start date.
These are specific to parental leave and are funded locally by the employing trust: they are not part of SuppoRTT. There are refresher courses available from different speciality schools that are available but please note KIT days are for parental leave.
A trainee on parental leave is eligible for a maximum of 10 KIT days in one year. If parental leave is being shared then both parents are eligible to up to 20 shared days shared between the two parents.
KIT days can be used to perform supervised clinical work, attend meetings, courses, conferences, local/regional teaching days or to attend departmental induction days. They can be taken as a half day or full days.
In the case of maternity leave they can be taken at any time after the first two weeks of compulsory leave. However, the number of days taken and pay awarded have to be mutually agreed between trainee and employing trust. They are usually paid at a basic rate, and they must be prospectively approved.
No, not unless you are returning from parental leave as these are not part of the SuppoRTT programme.
You can still apply for SuppoRTT funding and this will apply to your new post.
As stated above, do not start attending clinics/shadowing prior to your formal start date as this has implications for trust indemnity and you will not be paid for these days.
Following unplanned leave, arrange a meeting/review with your Trust Education Lead (TES), ES or TPD when convenient to discuss potential return dates/ARCP needs and to make a plan for your return to work
Complete the required pre absence forms and start the SuppoRTT process as soon as possible.
Please inform HR/ ES/TPD and occupational health if appropriate.
Please keep in touch with the ES/TPD and HR during your leave
Please discuss this decision with your ES/TPD.
The application for this would be through the HEE Portal.
You need to apply at least 16 weeks prior to returning to ensure you are paid correctly and the process works effectively.
Supported Return to Training (SuppoRTT)
A guide to the SuppoRTT scheme produced by the AoMRC.
Regional Specialty Advisers
Regional Specialty Advisers perform a vital role in assuring, on behalf of the RCR, that national standards for training, curriculum delivery, and workplace-based assessment are maintained.