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Job Planning Guide


A new system of joint job planning and annual review (supported by a joint appraisal system) has been being introduced by universities and their partner NHS Trusts, as part of the implementation of the new national Clinical Consultant Academic Contract. Job plans, reviewed annually, will set out an individual’s duties, responsibilities and objectives as agreed with both her/his relevant UCL manager and a representative of the NHS partner Trust. The aim of the Job Planning Guidance is to provide information and advice to support the job planning process at UCL and to assist Clinical Academics and their managers, to undertake job planning successfully.


This guidance applies to Consultant Clinical Academics holding a substantive contract of employment with UCL and an honorary NHS contract and also NHS staff with honorary UCL contracts. Consultant Clinical Academics hold honorary NHS contracts for reasons of clinical governance and to protect their interests by making clear the nature of their relationship with the NHS organisation(s) under whose aegis they work with NHS patients. Job planning is a joint activity with the NHS and consideration should be given to the substantive and honorary contracts together and their interface with each other.

What is job planning?

The purpose of job planning is to review the range of work activities of Consultant Clinical Academics and record the balance of academic and clinical duties undertaken in order that workloads can be better planned and appropriately rewarded. The review of job plans will be an annual process through which the Consultant Clinical Academic and their Head of Department or his/her nominee will agree individual programmes of work that contribute to the achievement of departmental objectives and the elements of NHS service provision in which they are involved. The plan should contain reference to the resources that are required to achieve agreed objectives and the review of job plans informs decisions regarding eligibility for pay progression.

UCL’s position in terms of job planning

The job plan will reflect

The job planning process


Objectives will set out a mutual understanding of what the Clinical Academic will be seeking to achieve over the coming 12 months - based on past experience and reasonable expectations of what might be achievable. Objectives must be appropriate and can be qualitative or quantitative.

Objectives will be an integral part of the job plan, although not contractually binding in themselves. Consultant Clinical Academics will be expected to work towards the delivery of the objectives set out in the job plan, recognising the impact of local circumstances and resources on delivery. Progress against objectives and factors affecting their delivery, will be considered at the annual job plan review.

Agreeing a job plan

Job plans must be the result of a 3-way discussion between the Consultant Clinical Academic, his/her Head of Department or nominee deputy and the Medical Director/Clinical Director or other lead clinician, nominated by the Medical Director of the relevant NHS Trust.

The Clinical Academic should prepare for the job plan meeting by maintaining a record of how they have carried out their existing job plan - see checklist at Appendix A. Job planning is separate from, but should be closely linked to, the process of Consultant Clinical Academic appraisal and agreement of personal development plans. Job planning may help provide a record of the Consultant Clinical Academic’s practice that could form part of the evidence for appraisal and revalidation.

Agreeing duties and responsibilities

The special nature of the Consultant Clinical Academic’s job derives from its academic and clinical components, which are of equal importance and together make up the integrated workload. The job plan should set out the main duties and responsibilities of the post and the service to be provided, for which the Clinical Academic consultant, or group of Clinical Academics, will be accountable. A checklist for managers involved in agreeing job plans is at Appendix B and a template for recording the job plan is at Appendix C.

The working week

Work undertaken by Clinical Academics who accept the new contractual arrangements will be expressed in Programmed Activities (PAs). The working week will be expressed in terms of timetabled programmed activities and each programmed activity could involve a combination of duties.

It is anticipated that the basic working week for full-time Consultant Clinical Academics will be 10 programmed activities, plus one additional academic programmed activity (each with a notional value of 4 hours), based on the ability of the individual to justify this in the job plan. UCL would have to offer the Clinical Academic the opportunity to carry out this additional PA per week as part of a standard commitment. In certain instances one or more additional programmed activities may be offered by the NHS Trust for service to the NHS, in which case inclusion of these would be subject to approval by the Dean, on the principle that they should not compromise academic activity. The timetabled PAs may be programmed as blocks of four hours or in half-units of two hours each.

Part-time consultants will agree with their employer the number of programmed activities which will make up their core working week. During the hours of 8am to 10pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 1pm Saturday and Sunday all programmed activities will be paid at plain-time rates. Where clinical duties are required to be undertaken in Premium Time (outside 0700 - 1900 Monday to Friday), one PA will constitute 3 hours’ work.

The working week for Clinical Academics

A.  Programmed activities for the University could include for example:





Teaching preparation, delivery, assessment and examining of undergraduates U2

Teaching preparation, delivery, assessment and examining of postgraduates


Departmental research seminars, journal clubs, etc


Conferences or work at other centres for academic purposes


Academic departmental, faculty or UCL administration or management activity


Preparation, and delivery of lectures, including travel time


UCL/Medical School committees


Other Department/Faculty/UCL wide roles


Preparation of research grant applications


Staff development activity


Other academic related duties, specify in job plan


It is important to note that undergraduate medical student teaching is regarded as a University PA for Clinical Academic staff, but is an NHS PA for consultant staff with honorary university contracts

B. Programmed activities for the NHS could include:

Direct Clinical Care



Emergency attendance


Out-patient or other clinic


Operating session (including anaesthetists)


Ward round


Other patient treatment or relative consultation


Telephone advice to hospital


Multidisciplinary meeting about direct patient care


Investigative, diagnostic or laboratory work


Public health duties


Travelling time between sites, not to usual place of work


Patient administration


Supporting professional activities

Undertaking Training


Continuous Professional Development




Audit/Clinical Governance


Job planning/Appraisal




Clinical management


Additional responsibilities

Duties as a Caldicott guardian


Audit lead or clinical governance lead


Clinical tutor


Medical/clinical directors' and lead clinicians' PAs by substitution or additional remuneration


Other additional responsibilities


Other duties

BMA duties


AAC external member




Work for Royal Colleges


Undertaking inspections for the Commission for Health Improvement


Specified work for the General Medical Council


Other, specify in job plan


Additionally remunerated work

Private practice


Category 2 work


Other additionally remunerated work, specify on job plan


Non work activity

Absent from work (annual or sickness leave)


Other (i.e. time spent not working)


On-call status

Predictable on-call


Unpredictable on-call


Annualisation of work activities

Job plans may cover a week or where a weekly cycle is not appropriate, a month or a year, where such a period is agreed by all parties as appropriate.

Signing off job plans

Job Plans for UCL staff will be developed by Department Heads who will have the authority to agree a job plan containing up to 11 PAs. Heads may however, assign this role to a senior Clinical colleagues who is more closely allied to a particular clinical area, but in that case a clear line of reporting back to the Head of Department will be required. In the event that UCL is only able to meet the costs of 10 PAs where an 11 PA job plan has been agreed, UCL has the right to limit its salary commitment to 10 PAs. But the additional PA(s) should remain in the job plan so that if additional resources become available these can be applied at a later stage. Initial job plans will be ‘signed off’ by the Dean of the Clinical Faculty or the Directors of the Postgraduate Institutes who will approve any proposed additional PAs.

Following the annual Job Plan review, the Head of Department or his/her nominee and the relevant NHS clinical manager will submit a report confirming whether job plan commitments have been met and jointly recommend a decision about pay progression to the Dean of the Clinical Faculty or Director of a Postgraduate Institute. This will be copied to the individual and the NHS partner Trust where the honorary contract is held. The completed job plan must be forwarded to the Dean/Director no later than Monday 22 March 2004 at 12pm for a final decision on pay progression.

The Dean of the Faculty of Clinical Science and the Directors of the PGIs, will make the final decision on pay progression, having consulted with NHS partner Trust(s). Where one, or more, of the criteria for pay progression is not achieved in any year, UCL will have the discretion to decide, where appropriate (for example because of ill health), that the individual should nonetheless be regarded as having met the job plan commitments for that year.

There will be a right of appeal against a decision that an individual has not met his/her job plan commitments in any given year. In the event of an appeal, it will be UCL’s responsibility to show why this decision was taken, drawing as necessary on the views of the relevant NHS Trust.

Job plan reviews

The appraisal process and job plan review produce the information on the quality and quantity of the Consultant Clinical Academic’s work over the previous year. Both processes involve

Appraisal is designed to facilitate review of a Consultant Clinical Academic’s work and performance, to enable consolidation of good performance and identification of development needs which will be reflected in the personal development plan for the coming year. Job plan review will take into account the outcome of appraisal discussion on working practices, including the role of the individual consultant in the clinical team, clinical governance responsibilities and completion of continuing professional development activity as set out in the agreed personal development plan.

Additional programmed activities and Spare Professional Capacity

Consultant Clinical Academics will not be expected to undertake, on average, any more than 10 PAs per week to meet the relevant criterion for pay thresholds.

UCL has agreed that additional PAs for clinical work may be offered by the relevant NHS partner on a mutually agreed annualised basis, as part of the integrated job planning process. Agreeing to undertake additional PAs will be voluntary on the part of the Clinical Academic.

Where a Clinical Academic intends to undertake private practice other than such work specified in his or her integrated Job Plan, s/he must first consult with her/his manager.

Where a Clinical Academic undertakes privately remunerated work that has not been expressly agreed in the integrated Job Plan, s/he may be asked by either the NHS Trust or UCL to undertake one additional PA. Agreeing to undertake an additional PA, if asked to do so, will form part of the criteria for pay progression. If UCL offers an additional PA and this is accepted by the individual s/he will have the right to engage in private practice for personal gain. In the event that UCL does not offer the additional PA the Clinical Academic still has the right to engage in private practice for personal gain outside the integrated Job Plan.

Where a full-time Clinical Academic who is currently working the equivalent of 11 PAs or more transfers to the new contract and it is agreed that the same level of activity should form part of their integrated Job Plan under the new contract, s/he will not be expected to offer additional work over and above these 11 PAs.

The requirement to offer an additional PA because a Clinical Academic undertakes private practice does not apply where the profits from that work are retained by, or used for the benefit of, the substantive employer. Where such privately remunerated work is undertaken, it should be agreed as part of the integrated job planning process.

Part-time Clinical Academics who wish to use some of their non-contracted time to undertake private practice will not be expected to offer any more than one extra PA in addition to their normal working week

If a Clinical Academic declines the opportunity to take up any additional PAs (above 10) that are offered in line with the provisions above, and the Clinical Academic subsequently undertakes remunerated clinical work, this will constitute one of the grounds for deferring a pay threshold. If another consultant (NHS or University-employed) in the group accepts the work, there will be no impact on pay progression for any consultant in the group.

Honorary job plan

Programmed Activities under the honorary contract may be scheduled either as a single block of four hours, or sub-divided into smaller units of time.

The precise length of Programmed Activities worked within the integrated Job Plan under the honorary contract may vary from week to week around the average assessment set out in the integrated Job Plan. Any variations in scheduled weekly commitments should be averaged over 26 weeks, so that your average commitment is consistent with the provisions of the Working Time Regulations.

Clinical Academics Employed By More Than One NHS Organisation

In some cases a Clinical Academic may undertake work for a number of NHS Trusts under the provisions of a single honorary contract. Where this is the case, the lead NHS employer should hold the honorary contract and represent the other NHS Trusts involved, for the purposes of the integrated Job Plan review

On-Call Availability Supplement

If you are required to participate in an on-call rota as part of your duties for the NHS, UCL will pay you a supplement (in addition to your basic salary) on behalf of the NHS Trust. The supplement will be paid in accordance with, and at the appropriate rates according to, the terms and conditions of the contract. Although entitlement to this allowance can be identified from the job plan, a separate instruction from the appropriate NHS trust is required for payment to be made.

In some cases a Clinical Academic’s duties for UCL may comprise an on-call commitment, for example as part of a patient-based research project. This should also be recognised as a commitment in the integrated Job Plan.

Out - of - hours - work

All programmed activities (including additional activities) between 8am - 10pm Monday to Friday and 9am - 1pm Saturday and Sunday, and any emergency work arising from on-call commitments during these times; will attract equal recognition within the job plan. Consultants will be given equivalent time-off for all work on statutory and public holidays.

Location of duties

Consultant Clinical Academics will normally be expected to be in the workplace for all their programmed activities during the working week, except where agreed in the job plan. Arrangements to work off-site or at home at specified times could be agreed in the job plan in relation to specified duties. Consultant Clinical Academics may however be required to work at any site belonging to UCL, one of its collaborator institutions or those of its partner NHS Trusts. Travelling between work sites will count as working time but travel between home and work or between work and private practice premises will not be regarded as part of working time.

Consultant Academic Checklist

Manager's checklist