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Returning to work and assessing readiness to practice

“Having a career break was the best decision ever. In 2-3 weeks of being back I felt confident at work again thanks to great support from my supervisor”

Once you have decided on your return date, you should contact your Educational Supervisor to arrange a Return to Work meeting. This should take place around 6-8 weeks before your start date to allow adequate rota planning.

The Intercollegiate Improving Working Lives Committee recommends an individually tailored return to work program. This meeting should therefore be an opportunity to discuss any specific learning needs or concerns as well as how these may be accommodated. This discussion should be recorded on the first part of Return to Work form 


For the majority of Trainees this will require a period of supervision. During this period you will NOT be expected to be on nights or undertake unsupervised on-call duties that you may not have done for your entire period of absence. You may, however, wish to perform on-call duties (including nights) with appropriate supervision (see Box 1 below).

The length of supervision will depend on the individual Trainee but a period of 2 weeks is recommended. Within this time, you and your Supervisor should agree on what Workplace Based Assessments (WPBAs) or reflections should be completed (see Box 2 below).

If funding for the supernumerary period is problematic, you may wish to consider using some or all of your Keeping in Touch (KIT) days in the weeks prior to your start date to aid a period of supervision.

At the end of the period of supervision, you should meet with your Educational Supervisor again to go over your progress and discuss the need for any further targeted areas of learning before mutually agreeing that you can return back to normal duties.

This outcome should be recorded on the second part of Return to Work form and a copy sent to the TPD and another copy uploaded to your E-portfolio.

*Or local deanery equivalent paperwork


Box 1. Example week during period of supervision activities


AM Acute Gynaecology shadowing

PM Gynaecology Outpatients clinic


AM – Supervised LSCS

PM – Antenatal clinic


AM – Supervised Labour ward

PM – Supervised Labour ward


AM – Special interest session

PM – Day Surgery


AM – Main theatre

PM - Admin


Box 2. Example of targets during period of supervision


Formative OSATs:
Perineal repair, basic LSCS, MROP, Surgical management of miscarriage

Assessing acute gynaecology patient

Discussing common obstetric emergencies



Perineal repair (including 3rd degree), LSCS , operative vaginal delivery, basic laparoscopy

Management of acute gynaecology patient

Discussing common obstetric emergencies, LW management



Complex LSCS, operative delivery, intermediate laparoscopy

Management of acute gynaecology patient

Discussing common obstetric emergencies, LW management