2010 Curriculum

Published: 25/09/2020

Appendix 2 - The management of maternity, paternity, shared parental or parental leave and sickness absences

  1. The effect of any absences or changes to the training programme resulting from any type of sickness, maternity, paternity, shared parental or parental leave should be assessed on an individual basis. The legal requirements are set out in the Medical Act 1983 [Section 34K(1)(a)]. Any reduction in the indicative 7 year duration of the training programme is only possible if the trainee achieves the core clinical learning outcomes for each unit of training attempted in the broad based programme and is appropriately signed off has having achieved these outcomes.
  2. The “Gold Guide” acknowledges that a competence defined programme of educational progression requires an agreed framework of time to enable appropriate breadth of experience and practice to be gained. Short periods of absence from the training programme may not require extension to the duration of the programme, provided assessments demonstrate continued progression with relevant learning outcomes achieved.
  3. Absence from training, other than for study or annual leave, may have an impact on a doctor’s ability to demonstrate competence and the satisfactory completion of the curriculum and assessment system to enable them to be awarded a CCT/CESR[CP]. The GMC position statement “Time out of training”43 states that if a trainee is absent for a total of 14 days or more within a 12 month period, a review of their CCT/CESR[CP] date will be triggered. This includes forms of absence such as sickness, maternity, parental, compassionate etc but not study or annual leave or prospectively approved Out of Programme Training/Research. The GMC support deaneries/LETBs in implementing the guidance flexibly so that each trainee’s circumstances can be considered on an individual basis and that any changes to the CCT/CESR[CP] date will reflect the trainee’s demonstration of competence. 

    The administration of the absence and decision on any extension to training will be undertaken locally by the relevant deanery/LETB in consultation with the relevant College/Faculty where necessary. A review will be undertaken at the ARCP and consideration will be given to the number of absent days and progression through the training programme. A decision will then be made as to whether further targeted training or an extension to the CCT/CESR[CP] date is required. 

    The Training Directorate will request confirmation from the local Specialty Training Committee or Training Programme Director that the effect of the leave has been discussed, that the programme has been adjusted to take account of the individual trainee and that the provisional CCT/CESR[CP] date needs to be revised as necessary.

    In the case of an extended period away from the workplace, e.g. maternity leave, the College recommends that before the trainee returns to work, a formal assessment of which parts of the programme have been missed along with review of the individual’s remaining training programme occurs. It may be possible to incorporate missing units of training within subsequent blocks but clear educational objectives must be agreed in advance and core clinical learning outcomes as defined in the curriculum must be achieved.

  4. Clinical duties of pregnant trainees – This is a potentially complex area where advice must be sought from the occupational health and personnel departments. With regard to out of hours duties Croner’s information service38 states that:

    “Where a new or expectant mother works at night and a certificate from a registered medical practitioner or a registered midwife shows that it is necessary for her health and safety that she should not be at work for any period, the employer must find suitable alternative work or suspend her from work for so long as is necessary. The employer is not required to take the above actions until the employee has notified them in writing that she is pregnant, has given birth within the previous six months or is breastfeeding. The employer may request, in writing, a certificate from a registered medical practitioner or a registered midwife confirming the pregnancy. If within a reasonable period of time, the employee has not produced the certificate, the employer is not required to continue with the requirements detailed above.”