Supported Return to Training (SuppoRTT)
There are many reasons why a trainee may have a prolonged period of absence from clinical work. There is strong evidence reporting time away from clinical practice can impact on a trainee’s competence, technical skills and confidence. Recognising this, in 2017 the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC) produced their Return to Practice guidance which recommended a framework for ‘Pre-absence Planning’ and ‘Return to Work’ assessment to enable doctors and supervisors to mutually formulate action plans in which individual needs are recognised and acted upon.
The SuppoRTT programme
Health Education England (HEE) has committed to ‘remove as far as possible the disadvantage of those who take time out due to, for example, caring responsibilities’. HEE has developed its Supported Return to Training initiative "SuppoRTT" which provides generic documentation for trainees in all specialties to use when planning an absence and when planning their return.
The SuppoRTT programme also has a dedicated pot of funding which is available to training programmes and to individuals through their local HEE office. While this particular scheme does not exist in the devolved nations, trainees and their trainers are encouraged to follow this process.
The scheme has been designed for trainees across all specialties returning to practice after at least 3 months of absence. It is a structured process with resources to develop an individualised programme for each and support both the period of absence and return to training. The programme is based around three meetings with the trainee and their Educational Supervisor or Training Programme Director prior to the period of absence, 6-8 weeks prior to the return and at the conclusion of the supported return period.
Accessing HEE funding
Every HEE region has been allocated funding to be used for the provision of support to trainees returning from absence. Trainees can make individual applications to this fund and all who are getting ready to return should be encouraged to do so.
It can be used for a variety of activities such as return to training courses and supernumery clinical sessions. Applications to the fund can also be made by trainers wishing to establish return to training courses or other activities that would fall under the SuppoRTT umbrella. Go to your HEE Local Office's website to find out how to apply.
(It cannot be used for KIT days which are specific to parental leave and funded by the local employing trust).
Developing a local return to work course
Frequently asked questions
A number of FAQs have been compiled to address the most common questions trainees have about returning from a period of absence. If you think there are others that could usefully be added please let us know.
Return to training toolkit
We are keen to support radiology and oncology trainees who are returning to training. With this in mind we have developed a toolkit which provides advice and guidance tailored to each specialty. We hope this will support trainees undertaking generic return to work programmes and facilitate such activities in regions that have yet to establish anything similar.
The resources contained within the toolkit are heavily based on the HEE's generic documentation, as well as resources produced by the the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
Clinical oncology return to training toolkit
This return to training toolkit is aimed at any trainee who is planning an absence of 3 months or more, or who has been out of training for other reasons eg. sick leave or redeployment.
Clinical radiology return to training toolkit
This return to training toolkit is aimed at any trainee who is planning an absence of 3 months or more, or who has been out of training for other reasons eg. sick leave.
Send us your feedback
We are keen to ensure that the toolkit and the guidance on these pages is useful and appropriate for all clinical oncology trainees who are returning from a period of absence. To ensure that is the case we need your feedback and suggestions.
Please let us know your thoughts on the resource and tell us about your experience of using it to plan your own return. Feedback and any queries about the toolkit or returning to work can be sent to [email protected].
The development of the toolkit has been led by Dr Sarah Needleman, Clinical Oncologist at the Royal Free, based on similar work done by the RCR for Radiology.
Our specialty training
Learn more about how the College sets the standards and curriculum that lead to the award of a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) and entry onto the GMC's Specialist Register.