In light of the current and ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on training we are offering an opportunity to consider whether a formal, approved interruption to your training, that will then extend your completion date, would assist in your efforts to support the NHS response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
When a formal interruption is approved, the training budget supplied from Health Education England will cease during the interruption period and will be added to the end of the programme to reflect the adjusted completion timeline.
We appreciate that, as many HSST trainees work in senior roles and are likely to be called upon to support clinical services or may be redeployed to provide support elsewhere, this may mean there is limited or no time to train. We want to try and support all of our learners as far as possible and to reassure you that the School is working hard with your education providers to ensure that we take account of the impact the pandemic is having on everyone.
We also appreciate that there will be significant variability across the cohorts and different specialist areas and so some trainees may feel that an interruption is not required. We are happy to try and support all trainees to continue to train and complete their programmes as planned where it is safe and possible to do so.
In the context of the current situation, an interruption will be granted if the COVID-19 pandemic will have a significant and prolonged impact on your ability to continue to undertake training activities (defined as 4 weeks or more). The interruption request must be supported by the current training supervisor who will be asked to sign the request off prior to it being considered by the School.
A formal, approved interruption will mean that you are not undertaking training activities on both the work-based and academic elements of the programme for the period defined/requested. However, if the opportunity arises for you to gather evidence towards your standards of proficiency or academic work then you can continue to do this and access to OneFile and Clarity (for MSF) will be maintained. If only an interruption to the academic programme is required and you feel this does not impact on your expected overall completion date, then this should be requested directly with the University.
You will need to take account of the impact on your training and work with your training supervisor to revise any training plans and to determine what your completion timeline will look like as a result of any approved interruption.
This is an initial step by the School to try and offer support to our learners during a very difficult and challenging time. This process is for the immediate and ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on training programmes only and does not supersede any other exceptional circumstances to which the normal process for requesting changes to training should be made via the Exceptional Extenuating Circumstances process.
How to apply for an interruption to training
The application form to apply for an interruption to training is located within your OneFile e-portfolio. Applications will remain open for an indeterminate period as long as this process is required whilst the pandemic is affecting training.
Initially, you can apply for a minimum of 1 month and a maximum of 6 months interruption. If you need more time beyond the initial application period, then you can apply for a further application period of time using the form within OneFile. Provide succinct and relevant information on your application form, in relation to your individual circumstances to ensure that a swift decision and outcome can be confirmed.
To access and complete the form via OneFile
- Login to OneFile
- Click on the ‘My Portfolio’ tile on your OneFile homepage. To get the best view of this page, select the ‘Simple view’ checkbox at the top right of the page.
- On your ‘My Portfolio’ page, click on the ‘Forms’ tab.
- Under the ‘Forms’ tab, click on the link to the form entitled ‘HSST – Application for interruption to training due to COVID-19’
- On the subsequent page, click the blue ‘Create new instance’ button. You have now launched the form and should complete it fully.
- When you have fully completed the form, you will ‘sign’ it and the form will then be passed in OneFile to your supervisor. Your supervisor will then have to sign the form, confirming that they approve of your application for a formal interruption.
- When you have signed and submitted the form your supervisor will receive a task in OneFile inviting them to review and counter-sign your application. The task will contain the invitation to ‘Please sign the trainee template’ for you. You are advised to inform your supervisor to look out for this task in OneFile.
- When your application has been accepted and is being processed/reviewed by the School you will see a third signature on the application. This does not mean your application has been approved.
- Approval will be issued to trainees in the form of a letter from the School.