UCL Doctorate In Clinical Psychology


Section 35a

Leave requirements for self-funded international trainees

Expectations regarding annual leave and attendance for

self-funded international trainees

Section 35 of the Training Handbook sets out the annual leave and attendance requirements for NHS-funded trainees. Because international trainees are not employed by any organisation these requirements do not apply in the same way. Nonetheless the expectations regarding attendance at college and placement are essentially the same, and are set out below.


Attendance at lectures

Trainees are expected to attend all college teaching days and to sign a register of attendance (kept in the General Office). Trainees are responsible for ensuring that they sign in, as it is a formal record of attendance.

If you are unable to attend college, you must notify the office as early in the morning as is practicable (by phone), indicating the reason for your absence. Appropriate reasons for absence are the usual and obvious ones, such as illness, urgent medical consultations that cannot be scheduled for any other time, or unforeseen crises.

Persistent failure to attend lectures without good reason will be investigated, and could render a trainee subject to disciplinary action.

Taking leave during academic terms

During academic terms trainees cannot take periods of leave that include days when lectures take place. This does not mean that trainees cannot take any breaks during term-time - there is no bar on taking leave on placement days.

Exceptions to this rule: There will be occasions when trainees have a legitimate reason for wishing to be absent on academic days. For example, they may have been given a time to attend for medical treatment on an academic day which is difficult to reschedule, or they may be acting in a caring role for an individual who requires medical intervention. Sometimes there are significant (as opposed to routine) social occasions that a trainee wishes to attend- for example, family weddings, funerals, or special events involving partners. Occasionally there may be a need to think about leave because this has to be coordinated with a partner. In all such cases trainees should talk to Tony Roth before arranging any leave.

Since we are responsive to reasonable requests, we expect trainees to discuss any requests for exceptional leave arrangements in advance. It is inappropriate to request leave retrospectively, and especially inappropriate if the request is made after making travel arrangements (for example, after purchasing tickets), since this can be presented as a fait accompli. It is within the course's rights to refuse leave, even where this would involve some financial loss.


Annual leave

NHS-employed trainees have 27 days of annual leave per annum, with a leave year that runs from 1st April, first year trainees have 14 days leave from when they start to the end of March. In their final year, third year trainees have 14 days from the 1st April to the end of September (when they complete the Course). The Course expects that self-funded trainees will mirror these figures.

Carry-over of leave

NHS-employed trainees can carry over up to 5 days of leave from one leave-year to the next. The principle is to allow some carry-over from one leave-year to the next, but not to allow large amounts of leave to accumulate.

Because of its impact on planning of clinical work, supervisors must be given as much warning as possible about any plans for leave. It is expected that trainees will identify, and be prepared to negotiate, leave arrangements with their supervisors as early as possible in the placement - including any special leave arrangements such as religious holidays, etc.

As far as possible, trainees should plan to take equal amounts of leave in each placement, because taking only a few days in one placement means that the burden of leave falls to the next placement

Taking a block of about 2 weeks continuous leave does not require any special permission (though as above, supervisor should have good notice of any plans for leave). However:

a) taking a block of more than 2 weeks continuous leave in one placement may cause disruption to clinical work. For this reason taking longer periods of leave (especially anything over 3 weeks continuous leave) need to be negotiated carefully, in advance, with supervisors.

b) a long periods of continuous leave (for example, around 4 weeks) may not be possible if it caused significant disruption to clinical work. However, there may be good reasons why this length of leave is requested, and there should be prior negotiation with supervisors (in the first instance) and with Tony Roth (as your line manager).

As described above, leave cannot be taken during academic terms if this results in missing lectures.

Sick leave

Arrangements for sick leave mirror standard employment practice:

· if you are unable to attend work, you should notify your placement as soon as possible - normally on the first day of any sick leave. At the start of each placement it is a good idea to identify the person to contact who can notify anyone who will be affected by your absence

· if sick leave lasts between 3-7 days, fill in and submit a self-certification form to college (this can be obtained from your GP practice).

· if sick leave lasts more than 7 days you must submit a certificate or letter from your GP or from an appropriate doctor. Bear in mind that you should include weekends in this count (it is not a count of working days off, but of total days of continuous illness).

You should alert your supervisor/ placement and college of any illness as soon as is practicable.

Leave for exceptional circumstances

Trainees sometimes need to take exceptional periods of leave, usually to manage unforeseen circumstances - compassionate leave is a good example. As far as possible trainees should alert relevant parties to the need for leave, but they should use their discretion if they have to leave work at short notice in order to deal with a crisis. In such cases they should follow the arrangements for sick leave (which means contacting supervisors and college as soon as possible, informing them of the situation and requesting special leave and authorisation to leave work or college).


Trainees should complete the leave form here  to notify the Course of any absence. As above, arrangements for leave cover the 'working week', and hence the form includes any absence from placement or from college, and covers:

· any annual leave

· any sick leave

· any other absence (for example, compassionate leave)

Annual Leave Form

Leave years 2011-12 and 2012-13


Please use the forms to record all forms of leave. This includes annual leave, sick leave and any other form of leave, whether taken from placement or (when appropriately scantioned) from college.

Please refer to Section 35 of the Training Handbook for details of all entitlements.

An updated copy of this form should be returned every 3 months (the submission points are indicated by the double line in the table). For example, a return is due at the end of December 2011, at the end of March 2012 (etc).

Returning the leave form

Forms should be emailed to:



So that we can maintain an electronic record of your returns the subject line should include:

· your name

· the phrase' Leave Return'

· the month

An example of a subject line would be "Jane Smith Leave Return December 2011"

If you have any queries please contact Tony Roth.