Supported Return to Training


Supported Return to Training

Many trainees take a period of absence from training for a number of reasons which can often vary in duration. This can include; Parental leave, OOP, Carers leave and Sickness. HEE understands that regardless of the reason, returning back into training can be a difficult and stressful time for a trainee. However, you are not on your own, Health Education England and your School are here to support and guide you through this process.

Did you know that there is a regional ‘Supported Return to Training Programme Guidancedocument? If you have been absent for a period of 3 months or over, it is strongly recommended that you follow it. It has been designed to be flexible and take into account the differing nature and length of absence, as well as the speciality and stage of your training, to ensure that you can safely return and practice within their training programme.

There is also a regional SuppoRTT programme which includes events and days that can you attend. This includes training and support for; educational days, clinical simulation days, mentorship and coaching, building your personal and professional well-being and practical advice and sign posting.

Remember, Health Education England and your School can provide you with support in every aspect of your role in your return to training. You just need to ask!

Below are several links that can help you to identify what your available options are and how we can support you.

If you have any questions or queries please do not hesitate to contact the SuppoRTT team, via email at supportt.yh@hee.nhs.uk.

Supported Return to Training Guidance
Supported Return to Training Guidance – Trainee Guidance Explained

Trainee guidance explained

Who is this for?

This guidance is for ANY trainee who has had a period of absence from training. This could include; parental leave, sickness, OOP, carers leave and any other reason where you have taken a break from training.

The SuppoRTT programme has been designed to address your individual needs as you make the transition back into your training programme.  

Do I need to read the Supported Return to Training (SuppoRTT) Guidance?

Yes, you should ensure that you thoroughly read this guidance as it defines both the exact rules and requirements that you are required to adhere to. This guidance has been put into place to support you and promote patient safety and quality of care.

The Key Points;

  1. Any trainee that has a period of absence of 3 months or more is strongly advised to adhere to this guidance document.
  2. If you have been absent for less than 3 months you can still ‘opt in’ to the guidance document.
  3. Your supported return to training plan should be individualised to your needs
  4. The relevant meetings and forms must be completed in conjunction with your Educational Supervisor and sent to your Training Programme Director

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 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.

What should I do If my break from practice in unexpected?

If your break from practice is unplanned then this meeting can be held at a later date at more convenient time for you dependent on your personal circumstances.

What should I do prior to my return to training?

Approximately 6 – 10 weeks before you return to practice you will be required to attend an Initial Review to discuss what support you may require.

  • For a period of absence that is between 3-5 months you should meet with your Educational Supervisor.
  • For a period of absence that is 6 months and over you should meet with your Training Programme Director.
  • If you have been absent for more complex reasons (sickness, personal reasons) you will be offered or can request a 1:1 meeting with a SuppoRTT APD.

The aim of this meeting will be to;

  • Agree an individualised plan for return accommodating any specific concerns, learning needs and required assessments and devise a plan that will be inputted into your Individual Action Planner (IAP)
  • Determine if there is a need for a period of supervised practice in accordance with the Supported Return to Training (SuppoRTT) Guidance.  

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 ok to ask for help and support.

Will HEE contact me while I am away from my programme?

Yes, please expect to receive emails from the SuppoRTT team inviting you to attend the activities within in the SuppoRTT programme and to remind you that you should also be following the supported return to training guidance (which includes engaging with your ES/TPD). You can also contact the team if you need any further information or support; supportt.yh@hee.nhs.uk

What is an Individual Action Planner (IAP)?  

An IAP is a document that can allow you to plan what activities you will need to complete prior to your return. The IAP is divided into three sections to help you make a clear plan that addresses all of your needs. You can begin to fill this in independently or with your Educational Supervisor/Training Programme Director. Your ES/TPD can also make recommendations and record this on to your IAP.

The IAP will act as your record of support and should be linked to your E-portfolio. On completion of all planned activities a copy should also be sent to your Training Programme Director.   

What are Return To Training Events (RTT-E)?

Return To Training events are activity days / workshops are provided specifically by HEE that are designed to;

  • Build personal and professional well being
  • Facilitate access to coaches and mentors
  • Provide practical advice and sign posting
  • Provide information/support for trainees who want to work less than full time

You can access these activities via the Y&H HEE website. These events are child friendly.

What are Return To Training Days (RTT-D)?

Return To Training days are training days are supported leaning activities that you access through either your; Trust, School or HEE. This can include;

  • Clinical training including simulation
  • Clinical shadowing days
  • Educational update days

There’s no definitive list on what is or is not available to any specific trainee. You may find or be advised of other courses that you think will address your needs. You can discuss these options with your Educational Supervisor and request the necessary funding through your Training Programme Director. Reimbursement or payment for courses should be claimed via the curriculum delivery (AKA study leave) however your Training Programme Director must authorise these expenses which is why you should first discuss your needs with your Educational Supervisor.

If you have taken parental leave you may have access to 10 paid Keeping in Touch Days (these can be used to attend RTT-D and RTT-E if their employer agrees).

Details for ALL trainees regarding pay should be discussed with your employer.

When will I return to my normal duties?

Your supported return to training will end once you and your educational supervisor are satisfied that all of your needs have been met and you are happy to return to your programme. You will discuss this in your Return Review Meeting.

What should I do if my supervisor isn’t supporting me?

If you are not getting the required support from your Educational Supervisor then we would recommend that you contact your Training Programme Director at your earliest opportunity in order to address your concerns. Alternatively, you can contact HEE for further support and guidance; supportt.yh@hee.nhs.uk.

SuppoRTT Programme - explained


Year Calendar of RTT-Events & Days

Please see below dates that are confirmed. Venues / Location will be updated once confirmed. Once a venue is confirmed the event or day will be added to Maxcourse. You can then book a place on the course through your account. 


Practical Advice & Signpoting 

 Date   Venue / Location
 17 August 18  Tankersley Manor, Sheffield
 24 October 18  To Be Confirmed
 14 January 18  To Be Confirmed

Building Personal & Professional Wellbeing 

 Date  Venue / Location
 24 July 18  Tankersley Manor, Sheffield

RTT- Days

Human Factors & Communication

 Date  Venue / Location
 29 August 18  To Be Confirmed
 7 October 18   To Be Confirmed
 9 January 19  To Be Confirmed
 22 March 19  To Be Confirmed
 8 May 19  To Be Confirmed

Clinical Skills & Communication

 Date  Venue / Location
 3 September 18  To Be Confirmed
 30 October 18  To Be Confirmed
 27 Februray 19  To Be Confirmed
 17 April 19  To Be Confirmed
 14 June 19  To Be Confirmed


 Date   Venue / Location
10 August 18  Don Valley House, Sheffield (full day)
 2 October 18  Willow Terrace Road, Leeds (Half day refresher)
 8 November 18  Willow Terrace Road, Leeds (Half day refresher)


Work place wellbeing- include types of support they can get (examples), myth buster and the contact details of their occupational leads

Please use the below link to locate Well-being resources 

Well-being Resources