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Training policies

Most of the regulations and procedures which apply to higher specialist training are found in A Guide to Specialist Registrar Training, informally known as the Orange Book, produced by the NHS Executive.

It is available on the Department of Health website.

Regulations and procedures applicable to trainees commencing specialty training from 1 August 2007 are set out in the First and Second Edition of Department of Health's A Guide to Specialty Training in the UK - The Gold Guide.

Training Departments

Each region and Training Department has a written training policy which prescribes the structure of an acceptable training programme and/or location. This policy will include:

  • arrangements for academic and service supervision
  • provision for trainer development
  • facilities expected in a training location
  • induction programmes for new trainees
  • requirements for learning frameworks (contracts)
  • on-call arrangements
  • opportunities for external attachments
  • arrangements for rotation between training locations
  • study leave
  • and performance assessment and review processes

Maximum Training Capacity (MTC)

Deaneries should read the guidance below and complete the application form when requesting support from the Faculty for a change to their MTC.

MTC Policy
MTC Application Form
GMC Standards Compliance

National Training Number (NTN)

Trainees who have been appointed to a substantive training post will be issued a unique training number by the postgraduate dean. This is their National Training Number (NTN).

There are variations on this number for trainees in particular categories; e.g. those in fixed-term specialist training appointments (FTSTA), an FTN, and those on research programmes, an RTN.

Dual Accreditation

There are at present no dual accreditation programmes in public health. The key factor with such programmes is that they must be in place when the trainee commences training. FPH have developed a framework for the development of the approaches to Dual Accreditation and modular credentialing. This can be found here.

Returning to practice

The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges has issued guidance about doctors returning to practice. Measures to support doctors returning to practice after an absence planned or otherwise are essential as time away from practice can affect doctors' skills, confidence and knowledge base.

The guidance, based on the considerable experience of the Return to Practice working group set up by the academy, alongside a review of existing evidence on return to practice, contains:

  • Advice for managing the issues facing doctors returning to practice
  • Practical checklists for evaluating doctors on and/or before their return to practice 
  • Recommendations for establishing an organisational policy on return to practice
  • Recommendations for setting up an action plan to assist in returning to practice.

All doctors should consult this document and ensure that the appropriate steps are taken in their return to work.


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