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Frequently Asked Questions


Who is SuppoRTT for?

Supported Return to Training is for any medical and dental trainee who has had a period of more than 3 months out of training. Reasons for this could include parental leave, long-term sick leave, out-of-programme research/experience/additional training or following a career break. 

What should I do before I take a period of planned absence?

If you are about to take a period of planned absence you should ensure that you arrange a Pre-Absence Meeting with your Educational Supervisor/Training Programme Director to discuss how you might keep up to date and any concerns that you may have about returning.

You will need to complete the Pre-Absence Form detailing your discussion and then send a copy to your Training Programme Director and the SuppoRTT team.

What should I do if my time out of training is unexpected?

If your absence from training is unplanned then a meeting can be held at a later date depending on your personal circumstances. This meeting can take place over the phone if you are unable to meet face to face.

What should I do prior to my return to training?

Approximately 8 – 12 weeks before you return to practice you will be required to attend an Initial Return Meeting to discuss what support you may require. For a period of absence between 3-6 months you should meet with your Educational Supervisor, and if over 6 months, you should meet with your Training Programme Director. 

The aim of these meetings will be to create an individualised plan of return which will consist of identifying and discussing:

  • Specific concerns
  • Learning & training needs (including possible assessments or courses that the trainee should attend)
  • Eligibility for supernumerary status
  • A period of increased supervision if required

If you are unsure who your Educational Supervisor will be on your return you can contact your Training Programme Director for further advice.

Remember, returning to full duties, including on-calls without a re-introduction period, could potentially have negative implications for your wellbeing and patient safety. It is perfectly acceptable to ask for help and support.

What is the difference between a supernumerary and a supervised return to work period?

As part of your return to work, you may be entitled to a supernumerary period. During this period, your position will be backfilled to enable you to be an additional member of staff and not required for service provision. A supernumerary period will need to be agreed during your Initial Return Meeting with your Educational Supervisor or Training Programme Director, where you will discuss what activities you will undertake during this time (e.g. shadowing a senior member of staff). 

All trainees who have a period of absence for 3 months or more should undertake a period of increased supervision (regardless if a supernumerary period is taken). During this time, you may have more regular meetings with your educational supervisor, in addition to several workplace based assessments, to ensure you are supported and ready to return to work as normal.