Workforce, training and education
East Midlands

Frequently Asked Questions for Educators

Click on the blue headings for more information. You may also find the FAQs for Trainees useful. 


What does the SuppoRTT Team offer Educators and Supervisors?

SuppoRTT for Educators and Supervisors includes:

  • Signpost to available support and advice so that Educators feel they can provide the best help to their Doctors in Training who are returning to training
  • Provide courses such as the which focus on helping Educators to understand the issues faced and how to provide the support needed
  • Referral for coaching, counselling, study skills or Occupational Health support where necessary (this may need a PSW referral).
  • Signpost support available from Trust Champions and School Champions – Champions are experienced Consultants who can provide practical support and advice to Educators about aspects of SuppoRTT.  We are in the process of assigning a Champion for every Trust and School in the East Midlands. See here for details.
  • Reminding doctors in training about keeping in touch with their training programme and prompting them to contact their ES/TPD in good time prior to their return to training.  
What is the role of the Educational Supervisor in the provision of SuppoRTT?

Doctors in Training should meet with their ES to discuss and complete the SuppoRTT forms at three phases in their time out of training journey:

  • Prior to any long term absence (where possible)
  • Prior to returning to training
  • After returning to training.   

During their time out of training we encourage Doctors in training to keep in touch with their training programmes as this has been shown to improve patient safety and reduce anxiety on returning to training.  We also write to doctors in training some months before their return to explain the return to work process and encourage them to contact their ES well before their return to training to set up a return to training meeting.

What is a SuppoRTT Plan?

Supervisors will work with doctors in training to create an individual SuppoRTT Plan. In doing so doctors in training should participate in structured planning and review meetings before leaving (where applicable) and on returning to training with their TPD/Educational Supervisor (for GP trainees, their Programme Manager should also be informed of any plans).  This will enable tconsideration of when they should stay in touch with their training programme whilst out of programme and also facilitates the timely identification of any support required upon returning to training.

There are three key components to creating an individual SuppoRTT Plan:

  1. Planning Your Time Away from Training (see the Planning your Leave - Click here for the form)
  2. Planning Your Return to Training (see the Planning your Return - Click here for the form)
  3. Reviewing your Return to Training (see the Reviewing your Return - Click here for the form)

The forms are designed to lead doctors in training through the return to training process and act as a prompt regarding potential issues they may need to consider with you as their Supervisor. 

At NHSE WT&E we are reliant on the knowledge and extensive experience of Educators to create and review each bespoke plan with doctors in training about what is best to support their return.

What is the difference between a period of enhanced supervision and a supernumerary period?

For all doctors in training who are out-of-programme for longer than three months, it is recommended they have a period of enhanced supervision on their return. In the East Midlands this can be for up to 80 hours (two weeks) or pro rata if LTFT (this needs to be negotiated with the Training Programme and Trust). A full range of duties can be undertaken (the trainee is not supernumerary) with an increased level of supervision provided, particularly when undertaking out of hours activities.  Activities and competencies within work can be assessed using workplace-based assessments.  This period needs to be agreed between the Educational Supervisor, rota co-ordinator and Doctor at least three months prior to the return. 

A further explanation can be found here Enhanced Supervision | Health Education England East Midlands (

There may be rare occasions when a doctor in training or supervisor feel a full Supernumerary period is required on return, for example following a prolonged period of being off sick. Supernumerary is a period where the trainee is an additional member of staff, not required for service provision, can shadow other members of staff but is not restricted in their practice (e.g. they can still perform procedures etc.). This will generally be held at the training site you will continue to work at on completion of this period. Due to the workforce issues, a supernumerary period needs to be discussed and agreed with the ES, TPD and rota co-ordinator at least three months in advance and should not be organised at the last minute. Doctors in training will be paid as normal by the Trust and NHSE WT&E will refund the Trust the cost of the doctor in training's basic salary.