Guidance for trainees on requesting a change to training due to exceptional extenuating circumstances

Information for trainees who want to use the EEC policy to apply for a change to their training.

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How do I apply for a change to my training?

Follow the steps below, when making an application using the Exceptional Extenuating Circumstances Policy. We also recommend that you read the guidance on what is, and is not, covered by this policy.

  1. Download the application form and complete all the required information.
  2. Highlight in the application form how the circumstances have impacted on your ability to work and complete the training activities.
  3. Make sure the application form is signed by the relevant Training Officer/Supervisor, to demonstrate support for the request on behalf of the employer.
  4. Make sure you attach a proposed revised training plan to the application form. The plan must identify how the change will be managed.
  5. Email your completed form and supporting evidence to nshcs@hee.nhs.uk.
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What happens next?

The application will be considered by the School’s Training Management Panel.

You will receive a decision by email within five working days of the Training Management Panel meeting. There are three possible outcomes:

Approved

If the application is granted, you will usually be given an appropriate amount of additional time (which the panel will decide) within which to complete the training without penalty. If you have been granted a deferral, step off or career break, an alternative timeline for return and completion of training will be identified.

Declined

If the application has not been successful, you may be able to resubmit if there is additional or further evidence to support the request. If the application is not upheld, you will continue to be subject to the original required deadlines for the programme.

Further evidence required

If it is requested, you must submit further professional evidence within 10 working days of receiving the outcome. Instructions on how to do this will be provided in an email.

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Timescales for your application

Typically, for extensions of time, it is expected that the Training Management Panel will consider applications for trainees in their final year of training, where the following timescales apply:

  • Exceptional Extenuating Circumstances applications and evidence submitted to the School, at least 5 working days prior to the panel review (this does not include the day of the panel).
  • Panel review held – meetings are usually held on a monthly basis. Panel dates, together with submission and outcome dates are available.

It is important that you submit your application in a timely manner to ensure sufficient support can be put in place for the required changes. It is also to ensure that trainees that have their request declined, have sufficient time to complete the programme within the original deadlines.

The trainee, the training department, commissioner, and where relevant the University, will be informed of the panel’s decision within 5 working days following the Training Management Panel.

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Examples of circumstances and the types of evidence that may be required

Hospitalisation

Application supported by medical evidence/doctor’s note or occupational health report.

Example – Trainee A was involved in a car accident and was in hospital. The trainee was absent from the workplace for some time and was unable to study. Because of this, the trainee could not complete all the required training activities. The trainee applied for an EEC for extension of time and attached a letter from their doctor, as well as medical certificates, as proof of their circumstances.

Mental or physical illness

Application supported by medical evidence/doctor’s note or occupational health report, counsellor or person of Religious authority and supporting statement from a Supervisor, Training Officer.

Example – Trainee B recently suffered from severe depression and anxiety. This meant the trainee has not been able to concentrate on work and hasn’t been able to complete all required training activities. The trainee has applied for an EEC for extension of time and attached a doctor’s note confirming the situation.

Trainee C has been seriously ill for the past twelve weeks. This has meant that the trainee has not been able to complete all required training activities. When the trainee returned to work and study, they filled out an EEC application for extension of time and attached a doctor’s note stating how long they had been ill.

Bereavement

Application supported by a death certificate or supporting statement from a Supervisor, Training Officer, Counsellor or person of Religious authority.

Example – Trainee D has suffered the death of their father. They have been deeply affected by this loss and it has affected their ability to work and study and complete all required training activities. Trainee D applied for an EEC for extension of time and attached their father’s death certificate as evidence.

Unexpected carer responsibilities

Application supported by medical evidence/benefit entitlements or supporting statement from a Supervisor, Training Officer, Counsellor or person of Religious authority.

Example – Trainee E has been affected by the recent news that their mother has cancer. The trainee has become the sole carer for their mother and has found this both emotionally and physically draining. They are also suffering from a lack of concentration and the ability to prioritise their work effectively. The trainee feels that they have not been able to give as much effort, to complete as many of the required training activities as they would have liked. The trainee has submitted an EEC for extension of time with medical evidence of their mother’s condition, as well as a supporting statement from their supervisor and now awaits a panel decision.

Sudden return home (abroad) following family emergency

Application supported by medical evidence, if applicable, or supporting statement from a Supervisor, Training Officer, Counsellor or person of Religious authority if relevant, evidence of flights and time away from training.

Example – Trainee F has received news that their father has fallen very ill. The trainee suddenly needs to return to their home country to care for him and the rest of the family. The trainee applied for an EEC for additional time and attached a medical letter confirming their father’s condition. The trainee also attached a copy of the flight tickets, as evidence of the times that they were out of the country.

Training delivery/capacity or quality issues within the host department

Application supported by evidence of levels of supervision, planning and support available to the trainee or any other documentation relating to the training that would demonstrate potential barriers to completion. For this circumstance the views of the Training Officer and/or Head of Department would be relevant.

Example – Trainee G has been unable to meet regularly with their training officer for the past 3 months due to urgent and compelling clinical commitments. No suitable individual has been able to provide alternative support. The projected training plan is insufficient and does not enable the trainee to fulfil all the required assessment activities of the programme, for one of the modules. The trainee filled out an EEC application for extension of time with evidence of the areas, as yet not covered, together with details of the training and supervision plans available from the department.

Deferral

Example – Trainee H has experienced new and debilitating symptoms of anxiety which resulted in a prolonged absence from training. Medical advisors suggest that the trainee is not fit to train and may need a period of recovery before attempting to return. The trainee, with support from their employer, submitted an EEC to request a deferral for 6 months, with details of the medical diagnosis and prognosis to confirm the recovery period required.

Step off

Example – Since Trainee I started the programme, there has been some large scale, service reconfiguration which involved their department. Several staff have left or been redeployed and there is insufficient support for the training. Trainee I have a substantive post with the department and considers that the department is not currently able to train. The trainee has submitted an EEC application to request a step off for 6 months, whilst the department completes the restructure. The trainee has provided written evidence of the situation from the employer, with a revised training plan and commitment to recommence the programme once the structure has been stabilised.

Example – Trainee J has been asked to lead and support the development and implementation of a new, high profile clinical service, which will have a significant impact on their training time. The new service is critical to improving patient care and outcomes, and the employer has indicated that this must be the departments priority for the next 6 months. Their involvement in the development of the service will be an excellent experience for their learning, so there is a clear rationale that this will benefit their training in the long term. Trainee J has made an application to step off the programme for 6 months, with full written support from the department.

Career break

Example – Trainee K’s partner has recently been offered a fixed term employment opportunity in Australia. The couple have 2 children between them. Keen to support their partner and not break up the family, Trainee K has made an application for EEC to take a career break. They have included written confirmation of the offer of employment as evidence. Trainee K also seeks support from their employer and the University and confirms in writing their commitment to return to training following the end of their partners employment contract.