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Extension Process for NIHR CL posts


Recommendation 11 from the NIHR Strategic Review of Training is to allow NIHR CL posts (including badged/match-funded) to span Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) or Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training for dentists (CCST).

This recommendation has now been implemented. The guidance and application process for extensions beyond CCT/CCST is accessible to all NIHR CLs that are in post on or after 1 April 2019, i.e. the extension process is also available to NIHR CLs appointed in previous allocation years.

NIHR expects this extension process to be followed for NIHR-recognised, locally-funded (badged/match-funded) CL posts.

Extensions are not automatically given; they are considered on a case-by-case basis and are not guaranteed to be granted.

Please note: The process for extending a CL post beyond CCT does not apply to GP CLs, as they are fully qualified.


  • The option to apply for an extension post-CCT/CCST is open to all NIHR CLs, dependent on the CL submitting, among other documents, a supportive letter from their host Higher Education Institution (HEI) justifying the need for an extension, as detailed below.
  • If the trainee does not reach CCT/CCST by the end of the 4 year (1.0 Whole Time Equivalent (WTE)) CL post period, then no extensions will be considered by the NIHR.
  • Should a trainee reach and attain CCT/CCST at the end of the 4 year (1.0 WTE) period of funding for the post, then no extensions will be considered by NIHR. Should partnerships wish to continue to fund the post from another source beyond the 4 year maximum, then they may do so and the post will become a locally-funded CL.
  • Should a trainee reach and attain CCT/CCST earlier than the 4 year (1.0 WTE) period of funding for the post, then exceptionally an application can be made to NIHR to extend the post beyond CCT/CCST.
  • Applications for extension must be made at least 6 months prior to CCT/CCST.
  • A trainee that wishes to apply for an extension must have been appointed to their CL post with more than 12 months (1.0 WTE) remaining of their training at the time of application to the NIHR CL post. Trainees with less than 12 months (1.0 WTE) to CCT at the time of application to their NIHR CL post will be considered ineligible to apply for an extension beyond CCT/CCST.
  • Extensions may not be used to offer a post to a trainee who presents at interview with 6-12 months left before reaching CCT/CCST and immediately request an extension of the CL post-CCT.

Extension Duration

  • On reaching CCT/CCST the NIHR CL will have completed clinical training. It is anticipated that the request to prolong the post beyond CCT/CCST is to acquire additional academic competencies to enable the individual to make the transition to research independence. It is expected that the majority of activity will be research orientated.
  • The duration of the CL extension would be dependent on the time remaining in the 4 year (1.0 WTE) post, with the extension phase being no more than 1 year (1.0 WTE).
  • Except in exceptional circumstances, post-CCT/CCST CLs must reduce their clinical commitments to 2 clinical sessions per week, which should be sufficient to maintain clinical skills and remain appointable as a NHS consultant. Those employed in the craft specialties may undertake up to 4 clinical sessions per week, with the extension request accompanied by an explanation for this requirement.

Employer and Responsible Officer

The CL will remain employed by the Higher Education Institution (HEI), or substantive employer post-CCT/CCST with an honorary contract with a NHS Trust. The Medical Director of the associated Trust will become the responsible officer, post-CCT/CCST.

The CL post-CCT will need to be appraised jointly, both clinically and academically, via the Follet Report principles with adherence to the joint working checklist, with academic progression managed by the substantive employer’s HR processes.

Extension Process

Eligible NIHR CLs that wish to invoke the extension must gain prospective approval for the extension from their Postgraduate Dean.

Following approval from the Postgraduate Dean to extend the CL post beyond CCT/CCST, the trainee will need to coordinate the submission of the following documentation via their HEE local office.

Cover Letter addressing the following points:

  • NIHR CL Start Date
  • Target CCT date
  • The extension request has the approval of the Postgraduate Dean
  • The intended academic / clinical time split

Trainee Statement of Intent (1-2 pages) addressing, for example, the following points as befits the personal circumstances of the individual:

  • What are your career ambitions?
  • What research and academic training will be undertaken during the extension?
  • What will your clinical duties consist of?
  • Are there any publications in preparation / under review?
  • What stage are you at with applications for further funding (grants/fellowships etc.)?
  • If a fellowships application has been submitted but was unsuccessful, what steps are being taken to address the feedback?
  • What is the intended submission date for a future fellowship / grant application?
  • What support is the host institutional partnership offering to facilitate applications for further funding?
  • In the event that the fellowship or grant application is unsuccessful, will the host institution provide bridging funding?
  • Has the host institution offered a substantive post at the end of the NIHR CL award?

Letters of Support indicating how the CL will benefit from the extension both academically and clinically from the following:

  • The NIHR Academic IAT Lead
  • The academic supervisor
  • The clinical supervisor/Training Programme Director
  • The host HEI, justifying the need for extension. Commitment from the academic institution should also include a post-CCT/CCST job plan

To discuss extensions further on a case-by-case basis, please contact