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 trainees who are returning to training
  • Provide courses such as the which focus on helping Educators to understand the issues faced by trainees and how to provide the support they might need
  • Refer trainees 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 trainees about keeping in touch with their training programme and prompting trainees to contact their ES/TPD in good time prior to their return to training.  
What is the role of the Supervisor in the provision of SuppoRTT?

Trainees are encouraged to 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 trainees to keep in touch with their training programmes as this has been shown to reduce trainee anxiety on returning to training.  We also write to trainee's several 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 Trainee SuppoRTT Plan?

Supervisors will work with trainees to create an individual SuppoRTT Plan. In doing so trainees 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 trainees to consider 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 Pre-Absence Form 1)
  2. Planning Your Return to Training (see the Pre-Return To Training Form 2)
  3. Reviewing your Return to Training (see the Post-SuppoRTT Form 3)

The forms are designed to lead trainees 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 HEE we are reliant on the knowledge and extensive experience of Educators to create and review each bespoke plan with trainees about what is best to support their return.

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

For all trainees 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 longer for LTFT trainees (this needs to be negotiated with the Training Programme and Trust). A full range of duties can be undertaken (the trainee is not supernumerary) but an increased level of supervision will be 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 Trainee at least three months prior to the trainee's return. 

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

There may be rare occasions when a trainee or supervisor feel a full Supernumerary period is required on return, for example when a trainee has been off sick for a prolonged period of time. 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. Trainees will be paid as normal by the Trust and HEE will refund the Trust the cost of the trainee's basic salary.