Accessibility Translation Skip to content

Work Schedules

Host Organisations and Placement sites are required to complete work schedules for each colleague-in-training. This will set out the hours of work, the working pattern, the service commitments and the training opportunities during the post or placement. 

Once a colleague commences in post, the work schedule will be personalised to include appropriate and identified personal objectives that have been agreed between the colleague and their educational supervisor, and will set out the relationship between these personal objectives and local objectives.

The objectives will set out a mutual understanding of what the colleague-in-training will be seeking to achieve over the placement period and how this will contribute to the objectives of the employing organisation.  Work scheduling can be used to drive improvements and quality of patient care.

The 2016 TCS puts a considerable emphasis on safe working for the benefit of both colleagues-in-training and their patients, including:


Weekly Hours

Maximum average working week is 38 hours over 26 week reference period (with a WTR opt out 56) with a maximum of 72 hours in any one 7 day period.

Daily Hours

Maximum is 13 hours.

Consecutive Shifts

Maximum is 7 without a break (night shifts is 4) unless of 10 hours or more when the maximum is 5.

Meal Breaks (paid)

Shifts up to 5 hours = no break

Shifts of 5 hours plus to 9 hours = 1 x 30 minute break

Shifts of 9 hours plus = 2 x 30 minute breaks

All breaks are paid.
Split Shifts No split shifts.

Break between shifts

Minimum of 11 hours.
Break between a run of consecutive shifts Minimum 48 hours (except for a run of 3 or 4 consecutive night shifts, 46 hours).
On Call Maximum length 24 hours, minimum 8 hours rest.


There is a mutual obligation to plan leave around requests, balancing the need for adequate staff cover to provide a safe service whilst ensuring that all staff can take full leave entitlement.


Generic Work Schedules - GP 

We've created an example of work schedules for GPs, please see below the different grades: 


Further information on work schedules is available via the NHS Employers, see below for different guides: