Sick, Annual and Other Leave Policy

University of Exeter 

As per Chapter 12 of the Learning and Teaching Support Handbook from the TQA manual, if you are absent from your programme due to ill health then a Personal Sickness Certificate will need to be sent to for periods of up to 7 consecutive days. Any absence beyond this will require a doctor’s certificate.


The University's Statement of Procedures on interruption is accessible from the link below.

Statement of Procedures: Periods of Registration and Changes to Registration Status for Graduate Research Student

If you feel you would benefit from a period of interruption, you should discuss the matter with your Supervisor or Appraiser. 

In order to make an interruption request, you will need to complete the Interruption Form which is found in MyPGR.


Somerset NHS Foundation Trust

Trainees should notify the PGR Support Team immediately if they are unable to attend teaching, placements or other programme related activities for reasons of sickness or other exceptional reasons (e.g., attending funerals). For HCPC purposes you are required to sign to register your presence in teaching on a daily basis.

Annual Leave

Trainees are entitled to annual leave in accordance with Agenda for Change provision (27 days annual leave for people with less than 5 years NHS service). 

Trainees should let the programme administrator know about planned annual leave in advance. Normally annual leave must be taken outside university term time. Trainees are expected to negotiate leave times with their placement supervisors.It is important as part of our self-care that we take all our annual leave within the year. Annual leave cannot be carried over into the following year.

In exceptional circumstances, up to 5 days of untaken annual leave can be carried forward at the discretion of the senior management group. Please send any requests to carry over annual leave, with the rationale for the request, to

Booking Annual Leave

Annual leave applications must be booked in advance. 

Trainees should let the PGR Support Team know about planned leave in advance.

Normally annual leave must be taken outside academic teaching times and therefore trainees are expected to negotiate leave times with their placement supervisors and to ensure their leave card is authorised by the supervisor.

Reporting of Sick Leave

Trainees have a responsibility to be familiar with the trust’s procedures for managing sickness and to co-operate with its implementation.

All trainees are expected to attend work and carry out their duties.

When unable to do so you are required to:

  • Inform your place of work of your non-attendance as soon as possible and provide a reason for the absence together with a likely date of return. In this respect the nominated person will be the PGR Support Team ( and in addition, if on clinical placement, your clinical placement supervisor.  
  • Report the absence no later than one hour after the start of your working day.
  • Notify the nominated person of your intended date of return to work as soon as possible.
  • Provide a GP certificate if the absence lasts 8 calendar days or more.
  • Complete a Return to Work Interview Record on completion of the absence and return it to the PGR Support Team.

Within the trust’s Managing Sickness Policy, a Return to Work interview should be completed upon an individual’s return from their absence. In the case of trainees on placement this can be difficult, therefore trainees will be required to complete the Return to Work form. 

Failure to report sickness absence will mean that non-attendance will be marked as unauthorised leave and as such will be unpaid.

As with all absences in the workplace, only those members of staff who need to be informed of your absence will be. This is likely to be the teaching staff who delivers a session on the day and your appraiser on a need to know basis.

For extended absences (inexcess of 28 days), interruptions or withdrawals, the programme staff, as detailed above, will be informed of the occurrence and likely duration of the absence.

If a trainee is signed off on sick leave for 4 weeks or more they should also apply for an interruption via Mypgr and upload the sick note as medical evidence. A guide on how to apply for an interruption via Mypgr can be found here: MyPGR - Academic Services - University of Exeter

Other Leave Arrangements

All other leave requests such as Unpaid Leave, Compassionate leave, Emergency leave, will firstly need confirmation from the employer that in principal it is acceptable before it can be considered and approved by the programme.

For information about Somerset NHS Foundation Trust Special Leave Policy, please see the document on this page: