Irish Medical Organisation

Flexible Training Arrangements

Flexible Training Arrangements

The IMO has expressed it's disappointment with the level of provision for flexible training arrangements in training schemes. There  are not enough training opportunities that recognise the needs of family commitments, research or other factors and the IMO will continue to fight for more family friendly arrangements for doctors within the Irish health system.

We are keen to ensure that an accessible and transparent system is available to a large cohort of doctors.

It is vital that NCHDs are aware of these options and apply to the NDTP to avail of this facility.

The IMO welcomes the expansion of the National Flexible Training Scheme to all trainees (excluding 1st year BST). While the increase to 32 in the number of trainees who can engage in the scheme is welcome the IMO believes this figure is inadequate to the overall needs of trainees.

We encourage those who are interested in the scheme to apply before the closing date - 9th December 2016.

If you you wish to avail of assistance with your application or are unhappy with the outcome of the process it is important that you contact the IMO directly at

The arrangements for the scheme are set out here and provide:

 - Each flexible training post must be 50% of full time measured over a two week period.

 - Examples of acceptable flexible training working arrangements are

  •        Three days one week, 2 the next;
  •        2.5 days on, 2.5 days off per working week;
  •        5 mornings per week; or
  •        One week on, one week off.

A flexible trainee must have similar exposure to learning and experience – including on-call duties – as their full-time colleagues.

Each approved flexible training post will be approved for 12 months, and will commence in July each year,in line with the training year.

Appointment to a flexible training post is for one year only but applicants may re-apply.

No preference is given to trainees already on the flexible training scheme for subsequent periods on the scheme.

Participation on the flexible training scheme is restricted to a maximum of two years.

Deferral of flexible training places is not permitted. Applicants who cannot take up a flexible training post on the specified date of commencement must re-apply.

To apply you must; 

1.    Be registered (or registered on the date of commencement) on the Trainee Specialist Division of the Register of the Medical Council (of Ireland).

2.    Be enrolled on a BST/HST programme (excluding year 1 BST) under the auspices of one of the Irish postgraduate medical training bodies.

3.    Hold the NCHD Contract 2010 at the time of commencement of the flexible training post.

4.    Have a valid reason for applying for flexible training. Applicants must have well founded individual reasons for flexible training. Applications for flexible training in order to pursue other paid work, paid nonmedical interests or to engage in research will not be considered by NDTP. The most common reasons to date for individual trainees making an application to the National Flexible Training Scheme include

  • Responsibility for caring for others (e.g. children or elderly relatives) and
  • Personal family circumstances.

5.    Have completed and submitted all of the required documentation at the required times, to the satisfaction of NDTP.

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