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Extension Process for NIHR CL posts


Published: 09 March 2022

Version: 1.1 - 2022

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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) / Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training (CCST).

This recommendation has now been implemented. The guidance and application process for extensions beyond CCT is accessible to all NIHR CLs that were either in post on or have been appointed from 1 April 2019.

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.


  • The option to apply for an extension post-CCT is open to CLs in specialty training provided they are within the 4 year’s funding for the award.
  • If the trainee does not reach CCT by the end of the 4 year CL post period, then no extensions will be considered by the NIHR.
  • Applications for extension must be made at least 6 months prior to CCT.
  • A trainee that wishes to apply for an extension must have more than 12 months remaining of their training at the time of appointment to the NIHR CL post.
  • Trainees with less than 12 months to CCT will be considered ineligible.
  • GP CLs are ineligible for a post-CCT extension, as they have already gained CCT and are fully qualified.

Extension Duration

  • A CL extension is for a maximum of 24 months beyond CCT, or until the 4 year funding maximum is reached. For example, a CL who uses 3.5 years of the funding to reach CCT will be offered a 6 month extension.                                                     

  • 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 with an honorary contract with a NHS Trust. The Medical Director of the associated Trust will become the responsible officer, post-CCT.

The CL post-CCT will need to be appraised jointly, both clinically and academically, consistent with Follett 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, the trainee will need to coordinate the submission of the following documentation via their HEE local office.

The completed extension request is to be sent to NIHR by the HEE local office and not the trainee.

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 fellowship 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