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					                             NHS EDUCATION FOR SCOTLAND
                         DENTAL STUDY LEAVE OPERATIONAL GUIDE


1.     BACKGROUND
This guide should be read in conjunction with the NHS Education for Scotland (NES) Dental
Study Leave Policy which takes effect as a draft policy on 1 April 2010. It will be submitted for
consideration by the Dental Committee at NES in 2010.

As stated in the Policy, NES has a finite budget to support the educational activities of dentists
in training and these funds are subject to regular external financial audit. In such
circumstances “value for money” needs to be demonstrated at all times.

The details contained in this guide are intended to inform both dentists in training and their
Educational Supervisors (ES), Training Programme Directors (TPDs), Lead Clinicians (LCs),
SDS Adviser (SDSA) and Hospital Tutors (HT) who will be responsible for the planning of their
respective specialty training programmes. As far as possible, study leave activity should be
planned in advance and this should be done in conjunction with both “service”
colleagues/units and the HT/TPD/ES/LC. Authority for any funding will come from the HT who
will actively manage the budget for their region.


2.      LEAVE YEAR
For the purposes of recording study leave days against individual dentists in training, the
study leave year will run from 1 August each year. Study leave days entitlement will be pro-
rated from the dentist in training‟s date of appointment if they are not in post as at 1 August.


3.     BUDGETARY YEAR
For the purposes of financial audit, the budgetary (financial) year runs from 1st April to 31st
March. Rates of study leave may change from one financial year to another, depending on
number of trainees, overall study leave allocation and overall level of funding for the
organisation.

       (1)     The overall budget for study leave will vary from Financial year to Financial
               year. There is therefore no guarantee of full funding for any application.
               Amount of payment awarded in respect of any claim is at the discretion of
               the Postgraduate Centre.

       (2)     As stated in the guidance notes on the back of the Claim Form, the cheapest
               form of transport should be used at all times. This is in line with the
               principle of “value for money”.

       (3)     Subsistence rates are printed on the back of the Claim Form.



4.      WEEKENDS/BANK HOLIDAYS/ANNUAL LEAVE
Where the study leave activity extends over a weekend or Bank Holiday then these leave
days will be deducted from the individual dentist in training‟s leave entitlement. Similarly, if the
leave activity is on a day when the doctor in training is not due to be working then an
application should still be submitted prior to the activity for authorisation and recording against
entitlement.




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5.       APPLICATION PROCESS

5.1    FORMS
All Applications for Study Leave should be made on the NES Study Leave Application Form.
Forms are available from the following sources:

-     Your Local Postgraduate Centre Office (See relevant Contact Details Section). Applicants
      will have the choice of receiving a paper copy or an electronic copy via e-mail.

-     Via the NES website (www.nes.scot.nhs.uk/dentistry/studyleave)

Whilst Application Forms can be filled in on-line they must then be printed to allow the
relevant signatories to sign them off. Only fully completed original forms will be accepted by
the Postgraduate Centre.


Please note that no photocopies or faxes of Application Forms will be accepted. Fully
authorised original forms must be used at all times otherwise they shall be returned,
causing an inevitable delay in processing.

As stated in the Policy, as far as possible study leave activities should be planned well in
advance of the event. Applications should be made to ES/TPD/LC/SDSAs at least 6 weeks
ahead of the date of the activity. If completed applications are received late (even though not
retrospective) and insufficient time is given for the various stages of approval to be considered
then dentists in training need to be aware that their leave may not be approved. Early
application should prevent instances of expenditure not being recoverable.

5.2      RESPONSIBILITIES FOR FORM COMPLETION

TRAINEE - All dentists in training applying for Study Leave, regardless of funding
requirements, must fully complete Sections 1 and 2 of the Study Leave Application Form in
line with the detailed guidance notes on the back of the Form. Where applicable, it is essential
that realistic estimates of all cost elements are entered at Section 2 of the application form.
As far as possible, any relevant course/activity information should be attached to the
Application Form.

It should be noted that overall responsibility for applications lies with the dentist in training until
such time as it is completed and fully signed off up to Section 4 of the application form and
submitted to the Postgraduate Centre. In view of the fact that the Postgraduate Centre cannot
be held responsible for any Application Forms that may go missing in the post/internal mail it
is advisable for applicants to retain a copy of their Form and any associated attachments.

SERVICE APPROVAL
All Application Forms require appropriate approval from the dentist in training‟s head of
service at Section 3 of the application form which confirms that service cover arrangements
have been considered in light of the Application.

Please note that should the Application not be supported at this stage then the
Postgraduate Centre still require to record this information therefore applicants should
forward the Application Form to their local Postgraduate Centre.

EDUCATIONAL APPROVAL
The Educational Supervisors have management responsibility for all educational activities
undertaken as part of their Training Programme. As such, they will be expected to fully assess
the Application in light of educational need and relevance. Their decisions, based on all


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available information, should be recorded at Section 4 of the application form and will be
confirmed by their formal signature. At that stage, regardless of whether or not is has
TPD/ES/LC support, the Application Form should be forwarded immediately to the
Postgraduate Centre.

NHS EDUCATION FOR SCOTLAND (NES) – POSTGRADUATE CENTRE OFFICES
Fully completed Application Forms (Sections 1 – 4), including all relevant signatories, should
be returned to the Postgraduate Centre

FINANCIAL APPROVAL
Section 5 is then completed by the Hospital Tutor and confirms overall approval for the
application. Details are recorded against the dentist in training‟s study leave record. Note –
the form will not be progressed unless Sections 1- 4 are complete.

5.3    RECEIPTS
No original receipts should ever accompany an Application Form. Any that are received will be
returned to the dentist in training for inclusion with any subsequent Claim Form.

5.4     RETROSPECTIVE APPLICATIONS
As stated in the detailed guidance on the back of the Form, no retrospective applications will
be processed. Application Forms must be received at least 6 weeks in advance of the start
date of the training event to allow the various stages of approval to be completed. It should be
noted that not being fully aware of the NES Policy and Operational Guide will not be viewed
as an exception to this principle.

5.5     APPLICATIONS FOR LEAVE ONLY (NO EXPENSES)
Any applications for leave only, without reclaimable expenses, should still be submitted in
line with the guidance above. Such Applications still need appropriate authorisation. In such
cases, on receipt of the Application Form the Postgraduate Centre will confirm to the dentist in
training by e-mail that the Application has been approved and recorded.

5.6       DIRECT PAYMENTS TO COURSE/CONFERENCE ORGANISERS
As per the detailed guidance notes on the back of the Application Form, should an Application
be fully supported, then it may be possible for the requested course/conference fee to be paid
directly by NES. In such circumstances it is the responsibility of the dentist in training to liaise
with both Postgraduate Centre staff and the course/conference organiser. Please note that
any unsolicited invoices received by the Postgraduate Centre will be held until the relevant,
fully approved Application Form is received however this is likely to result in a delay in the
process and the Postgraduate Centre will not be held responsible for any potential registration
difficulties that may arise.

All invoices, where applicable, must be addressed to “NHS Education for Scotland” to
ensure payment.

5.7      NON ATTENDANCE/CANCELLATION OF ACTIVITIES
It is the responsibility of the dentist in training to inform the Postgraduate Centre, as early as
possible, in circumstances where they have been unable to attend a previously authorised
study leave activity or where they no longer intend to apply for expenses. This will allow the
Postgraduate Centre to update the dentist in training‟s records as required.

5.8    NON APPROVAL OF LEAVE APPLICATIONS
Where an Application for study leave is not supported, for whatever reason, then the
Application Form should still be submitted to the Postgraduate Centre with the reason for non
approval duly completed. This information will be recorded against the dentist in training‟s
record as part of NHS Education for Scotland‟s Quality Assurance arrangements.


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Rejected Application Forms will be followed up by a letter e-mailed from the Postgraduate
Centre to highlight the reason. Any outstanding issues or concerns about the decision should
be referred directly to the TPD/LC/ES/SDSA.

5.9    ELIGIBILITY

Please note that Locum SHOs are not entitled to study leave.

Higher level Training Locum Appointments (LAT posts) are eligible for study leave.


6.     CLAIMS PROCESS
Once an application for study leave with expenses is granted, an e-mail will be sent to the
applicant informing them of this. Claim Forms can then be downloaded from the NES website
but any claim will only be processed by the Postgraduate Centre in cases where fully
completed and approved Application Forms have been received and recorded, and where the
“With Expenses” box has been ticked at Section 2 of the application form, and the “Approved,
with Funding” box at Section 4 of the application form has been completed.

NHS Education for Scotland‟s (NES) system for payment involves the production of a unique
identifier to ensure that payments are made to the appropriate dentist in training. The basis for
this code is the dentist in training‟s GDC number so to ensure no delay in the payment
process each claimant will be required to confirm their own GDC number as it appears on the
Claim Form. If no GDC number is available then no payment can be made, resulting in an
inevitable delay in the process.

The dentist in training should fully complete the Claim Form before returning it, with original
receipts securely attached, including proof of attendance, to the Postgraduate Centre. In
cases where Internet bookings have been made, print outs of “Proof of Purchase” will be
accepted.

Claim Forms can be submitted at any time after the initial Application has been formally
approved. However, it must be returned to the Postgraduate Centre no later than 3 months
after the study leave activity has finished. Unless there are sufficient specific mitigating
circumstances, claims received after this deadline will not be processed and will be returned
to the dentist in training.

Approved and receipted expenses will be reimbursed by cheque by NES Headquarters and
they will be sent to the home address details per the Claim Form. NES process cheques on
a weekly basis so payment delays will be kept to a minimum. It is essential that any interim
changes to contact addresses are passed to the Postgraduate Centre as soon as they are
known.

Course Dinners – in line with the guidance for Full Day subsistence, any course Dinners
being claimed will only be reimbursed up to a maximum of £20. No other social activities
associated with course/conference events will be refunded.

As stated in the guidance notes on the back of the Claim Form, the cheapest form of
transport should be used at all times. This is in line with the principle of “value for money”.

Subsistence rates are printed on the back of the Claim Form.

In cases where a completed and approved Application Form has been received without any
estimate of costs at Section 2 then it will be assumed that the Study Leave activity has not


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incurred any expenditure. As such, no Claim Form will be generated and the
TPD/ES/LC/SDSA‟s decision will be based on the assumption of no costs being claimed.

„Carry forwards‟ are not acceptable and funds cannot be transferred between regions. If in
doubt please contact your local Postgraduate Centre Office.


6.     STUDY LEAVE APPEALS PROCEDURE
Where a study leave application is rejected by the dentist in training‟s Clinical
Director/Supervising Consultant/Head of Department on service grounds at Section 3 then the
dentist in training should, in the first instance, discuss the matter with their Training
Programme Director/Educational Supervisor/Lead Clinician.

If the study leave application is rejected by the TPD/ES/LC/SDSA at Section 4 on educational
or other grounds and the dentist in training is dissatisfied with this outcome then they should,
in the first instance, discuss the reasons directly with the TPD/ES/LC/SDSA in an attempt to
resolve the issue.

In exceptional circumstances*, where the dentist in training remains dissatisfied with the
outcome after discussions with both their Clinical Director/Supervising Consultant/Head of
Department/Hospital Tutor and their TPD/ES/LC/SDSA then the dentist in training should
formally write to the Postgraduate Dental Dean, outlining in full their grounds for complaint.
The Dean will consider the complaint and, if applicable, investigate the full facts of the
Application before informing the dentist in training of their final decision.

* - Please note that, not being fully aware of NES‟ study leave procedures does not constitute
“exceptional circumstances”.


7.     HOSPITAL TUTORS

7.1     BUDGET MANAGEMENT
In line with the NES Study Leave Policy and the recommendations of the NES Educational
Governance Policy, Hospital Tutors will be responsible for the management of study leave
funding for their Region. Each year the Study Leave budgets will be set and the funds will be
used to support, as far as possible, the study leave requirements of dentists in training within
that programme.

In acknowledging that there is a finite sum of funding available for the purposes of study leave
the principles of “value for money” will be followed at all times.


8.     POSTGRADUATE CENTRE SUPPORT
Throughout the Application and Claim processes outlined above the Postgraduate Centre, via
the details recorded in the NES study leave recording database will provide appropriate
management information to assist the Hospital Tutors in their decision-making. Where
required, reports of previous claims from dentists in training, including number of days study
leave and all associated expenditure, can be provided.

Finance Centre staff will issue monthly update reports to Hospital Tutors, Business Managers
and the administration staff running the Study Leave process to allow them to track in-year
expenditure against their allocated budget.




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9.      STUDY LEAVE RECORDING DATABASE
The study leave recording database will record all Study Leave activity against individual
dentists in training. This includes details of Applications, subsequent claims and also
confirmation of the number of days taken and the total expenditure against each event. Full
details of what information is recorded is available from relevant Postgraduate Centre
contacts.


10.      CONTACT DETAILS

West       Hospital Tutor   Alyson Wray Alyson.Wray@nes.scot.nhs.uk             0141     211
                                                                                9710

           Hospital      Marcia Cook      Marcia.Cook@nes.scot.nhs.uk           0141     211
           Training    &                                                        9711
           Recruitment
           Administrator

           Hospital         Melodye       Melodye.Rennie@nes.scot.nhs.uk         0141 211
           Training/SDS     Rennie                                               9711 /
           Administrator                                                         0141 352
                                                                                 2859
           Postgraduate     West of Scotland Centre for Postgraduate Dental Education,
           Centre           378 Sauchiehall Street,
                            GLASGOW G2 3JZ

East/N     Hospital Tutor   Jan           j.e.clarkson@cpse.dundee.ac.uk        01382 425
E/N                         Clarkson                                            771

           Senior           Alana         Alana.Gowans@nes.scot.nhs.uk          01382
           Administrative   Gowans                                              740961
           Officer

           Postgraduate     Dundee Dental Education Centre,
           Centre           Frankland Building,
                            Small‟s Wynd
                            DUNDEE DD1 4HN

South      Hospital Tutor   Manar         Manar.Elkhazindar@nes.scot.nhs.uk     0131 536
East                        Elkhazindar                                         4936 /
                                                                                4903

           Senior           Jean          Jean.Ramsay@nes.scot.nhs.uk           0131 536
           Postgraduate     Ramsay                                              4965
           Dental
           Administrator

           Postgraduate     Edinburgh Postgraduate Dental Institute,
           Centre           Level 4, Lauriston Building,
                            Lauriston Place,
                            EDINBURGH EH3 9HA




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