Important documents for current Trainees

Trainees looking at notes.

HSE Clinical Course and Examination Refund Scheme

The HSE Clinical Course and Examination Refund Scheme covers the cost of examination fees and clinical courses such as ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support).

You can claim up to €450 per clinical course or examination. In relation to clinical courses, you can claim for re‐certification after a two-year period.

The refund is payable by the HSE following your first sitting of the clinical course or examination, regardless of whether you pass. There is no limit to the number of applications that you can make to your employer for specific clinical courses or examinations, however the HSE will only issue a refund once per clinical course/examination. You can claim for a re‐certification in a clinical course after a two-year period.

To claim a refund you need to print the application forms attached to the HSE’s guidance document on the Clinical Course and Examination Refund Scheme. 

Forms must be submitted to the Medical Manpower unit in your hospital within three months of undertaking the course or exam.

Doctor checking blood pressure.
Paediatrics at RCPI

Leave of Absence in Higher Specialist Training

Do you need to take sick leave or maternity leave?

If you need to take sick leave, maternity leave, compassionate leave or Force Majeure Leave during Higher Specialist Training, you must let your HST coordinator know.

You will need to complete a leave of absence form, available below.

You can obtain a maximum of three months’ credit for approved leave of absence during HST. If you take more than three months’ leave during HST, your period of clinical training will be extended accordingly.

For further information, please read the Higher Specialist Training Guides at the end of this page.

In Basic Specialist Training?

If you want to take leave of absence, retain training credit and return to the BST programme, this must be agreed in advance with your programme director and RCPI. Please contact your BST Coordinator for advice.

For further information, please read the Higher Specialist Training Guides at the end of this page.

Specialist Training Fund for Higher Specialist Trainees

The Specialist Training Fund was introduced by the HSE to support SpRs’ participation in education and training activities in addition to the mandatory elements of HST provided by their training body.

You can claim up to €500 per year for participation in relevant non-mandatory educational activities (such as attendance at conferences) from the Specialist Training Fund is for Higher Specialist Trainees.

To be eligible, you must be in a clinical SpR post and hold an NCHD contract. The funding available to you is €500 per year. You can carry over €500 each year but you can’t claim such funding in advance.

For further information, please read the Guidance Document prepared by the HSE, available below. To claim funding you must complete the Reimbursement Form, also available below.

If you have any questions about the reimbursement process, please contact Deirdre Murray in RCPI at

Trainee at College event
Trainee talking to colleague.

National Flexible Training Scheme For Higher Specialist Trainees

The HSE National Doctors Training and Planning Unit operates a National Flexible Training Scheme, which allows a small number of SpRs to train part-time for a set period of time.

To qualify you must be in Higher Specialist Training and have a well-founded reason to apply, e.g. responsibility for young children or elderly relatives, or personal family circumstances. You cannot apply for flexible training in order to pursue other paid work or research.

Applications for flexible training can be made up to 12 months in advance of the proposed date of commencement of flexible training. We recommend applying as soon as possible, as applications are considered in the order in which they are received and places are limited.

The equivalent of 12 whole-time places are available on the National Flexible Training Scheme. The actual number Trainees on the scheme at any given time ranges from 20 – 26. There’s no guarantee that you will be successfully placed on the scheme but each application is considered on its own merits and within the capacity of the scheme and the resources available to the HSE.


For details of appointment and funding arrangements for flexible trainees, please download the details of the National Flexible Training Scheme, available below.

Computer lab

Out of clinical programme experience (OCPE)

If you want to undertake research, overseas training or other out of clinical programme experience during Higher Specialist Training, you need to notify your National Specialty Director  by completing an OCPE (out of clinical programme experience) Form, available below.

An OCPE Form must be submitted to your National Specialty Director  prospectively, before you take up a training, teaching or research post overseas.

Completed applications for OCPE posts commencing in July  of a given year must be received no later than the end of the preceding December.

Completed applications for OCPE posts commencing in January of a given year must be received no later than the end of the preceding September.

For further information, please read the Higher Specialist Training Guides at the end of this page.

Post Re-Assignment

If you have had an unforeseen and significant change in your personal circumstances since the commencement of your current Training Programme which requires a change to your agreed post/rotation you will need to complete a Post Re-assignment form, available below.

For further information, please read the Post Re-assignment Policy also available below.

Job Sharing

If you want to apply for a job sharing training post you can avail of job sharing opportunities for a set period of time.  Job sharing works on the basis that two trainees will share one full-time post with each working 50% of the hours.  It can only be accommodated if applications are received from two trainees who are eligible to be matched to one post.  Job sharing training posts will ordinarily be for the period of July to July each year, in line with the training year.  You will need to complete the Job Sharing form, available below.

For further information, please read the Job Sharing Policy also available below.

Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures for Trainees

If you would like to report an issue of concern in relation to your training site or trainer, please refer to our Grievance and Disciplinary procedures, available below.

Our Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures are designed to guide trainers and trainees on how to deal with any grievance and disciplinary issues that arise. Our appeal mechanism is also outlined in this document.



RCPI Bullying Policy

The RCPI is committed to the promotion of an environment for work which upholds the dignity and respect of all staff and which supports every individual’s right to work in an environment which is free of any form of harassment, intimidation or bullying.


HST Allocations Policy

The process for allocation of trainees on the Higher Specialist Training Programmes is available at the link below

Dr Richard Steevens' Scholarship 2019

The Health Service Executive is now inviting applications from SpRs / SRs for funding for the eleventh round of the Dr. Richard Steevens’ Scholarship for clinical training overseas, where such training is either unavailable or limited in Ireland.

Deadline for submission of applications to relevant Training Body: November 23rd 2018

Higher Specialist Training Guides

For further information on all of the above areas please read the individual Training Body Higher Specialist Training Guides below.

Equal Opportunities Policy

Download our Equal Opportunities Policy