RCoA Position Statement

As at November 2015

In 1993 the EU Directive (93/16/EEC) stated that hospital training on a part-time basis should be at least 50%. In 2005, Article 22 of EU Directive 2005/36/EC changed this by deferring the decision on minimum percentage for part-time working to the competent authorities in each individual member state, as long as ‘the overall duration, level and quality of such training is not less than that of continuous full-time training’. PMETB, as the UK competent authority at this time, chose not to set a minimum basis for LTFT training.

In 2011 the General Medical Council, as the current competent authority, undertook a review of the minimum percentage for LTFT and concluded this should be 50% and that only in exceptional circumstances should training be undertaken at less than 50% of full time.

In anaesthetics it remains unusual to train for any length of time at 50%. For a trainee who requests LTFT training at <50%, the College would recommend that their RA and/or TPD contact the College Training Directorate and Bernard Johnson Adviser to discuss how training is to be delivered in so few hours.

The College recognises and values the contribution made by LTFT trainees to the specialty. College data indicates that the majority of LTFT trainees work 60-80%. The evidence suggests that this part-time training supports career progression and a healthy work-life balance.

The College continues to follow the advice from ‘Principles underpinning the new arrangements for flexible training 2005’ that LTFT training be undertaken on a pro-rata basis, including OOH as this  remains an essential component of the anaesthetic training programme:

  • An opportunity to experience and develop clinical decision making
  • An opportunity to learn when to seek advice
  • A reflection of professional anaesthetic practice

Advice for CT1 Trainees considering LTFT Training
Commencing as a novice anaesthetic trainee on a 50-60% LTFT basis is extremely stressful for both trainee and department. There are very few who start an anaesthetic career on a LTFT basis.  Information gathered at the College suggests that many of these trainees have failed to gain their Initial Assessment of Competence by 6 months. The College Training Committee recommends that, if at all possible, the trainee should gain their initial 3 month competencies on full-time basis and then revert to LTFT training once this has been achieved.


Contact information:

020 7092 1554
020 7092 1555
020 70920 1559