Less Than Full-Time Training

Postgraduate medical training on a less than full-time (LTFT) basis is well established.  Previously known as flexible training, now entitled LTFT it differs from full-time training only in the period of time over which it is undertaken.


Over the past decade the number of doctors in this type of flexible training has increased, supported by the Royal Colleges and the Deaneries / LETBs in recognition of the rising number of doctors wishing to work on a less than full-time basis for a variety of reasons.  There are few barriers to part-time working and the majority of trainees say that they are well supported and find their work extremely fulfilling.

Training recognition

Training recognition is awarded pro-rata, e.g. if working 60% then ten months equals six months whole time equivalent (WTE). Out of hours duty should be organised pro rata and include the full range of duties and shifts. An individual trainee should be neither advantaged nor disadvantaged by training LTFT. The LTFT trainee will be reviewed on an annual basis (ARCP) and move between posts on the rotation to ensure they receive a programme that is educationally comparable with that undertaken by full-time trainees.

Managing a successful transfer to LTFT 

  • Consider contacting another LTFT 

Someone who has been through the process can provide advice; there may be one based in your department. Your Faculty Tutor should be able to give you the name of the local LTFT advisors at the LETB and School should you require any further information. Some School websites have local information on LTFT training in their area.

  • Communication 

This is is an essential component of a seamless transfer to LTFT.  Start by ensuring your Training Programme Director and Regional Advisor are aware of your request to change to LTFT. Don’t ever assume someone else will have told them!

  • Complete the application form 

These will be available from your Local Education Training Board (LETB), Health Education “X” (LETB or Deanery equivalent in some regions), NHS Scotland or Deanery.

  • Confirmation of eligibility for LTFT

This will come from your LETB.  As you are applying from a substantive post, no interview is required. Once you have confirmation of eligibility, contact your TPD who will identify a potential space – and agree a date with you for transfer to LTFT. 

If you are going to a new hospital LEP, consider contacting the Faculty Tutor and administrative lead in that department to ensure they are aware of your LTFT status This is also an opportunity to discuss and/or confirm which days you will be working and how the OOH is to be managed.

For slot sharing positions it is valuable to meet with your slot share ‘partner’ in advance of starting LTFT to discuss working arrangements, including maximising training opportunities. To ensure correct payment at the end of the month, HR will need a timetable of your working week to confirm your hours and LTFT banding supplement.

Please don’t forget to inform the Training Department at the Faculty of the exact date you changed to LTFT along with the percentage of full-time work you are doing.

LTFT in Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine: an A-Z guide

The purpose of this A-Z guide on less-than-full-time (LTFT) training is to collate the information from a variety of sources including the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland (AAGBI), Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA) and the British Medical Association (BMA) to make it easier for Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine (ICM) trainees to access information regarding LTFT training as well as to offer suggestions on how to maintain a successful LTFT training programme.

Originally based on a document written by trainees of the Northern Deanery it has developed into a generic document of relevance across the country most recently updated in July 2020.

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