What you need to know about your new rota

Lots of people are involved in coordinating your training placements. This leaves a lot of room for errors in communication – which can be frustrating when you’re waiting for your rota. The diagram below explains how your placements are coordinated.

Code of Practice

The code of practice is a document provided to all trusts with guidance on what they must provide to junior doctors. This states that trusts must provide junior doctors with their generic rota at least 8 weeks ahead of time, and personalised rota 6 weeks ahead.

Your department must provide you with at least  6 weeks notice if they want to change your rota – and a mutual agreement is required for them to do it if they tell you after you’ve started work with them. If you’re worried that the Code of Practice guidelines aren’t being followed, you can contact your union for further advice.

Your personal life is important, so plan your annual leave as far head as you can. Here are some tips to increase your chances of getting annual leave when you want it.


    • Get your rota early! You can plan ahead once you have it – and you can access the contact details for your department via Messly if you don’t already have them
    • Contact the department to request annual leave booking process. Following procedure will increase your chances of success.
    • Get to know people on your rota – they’ll be your saviours when you need to swap an on-call!
    • Don’t book any flights until you have confirmed leave. You can’t guarantee you’ll get it, so it’s best not to chance it.
    • Remember that the new contract states leave must be given for significant life events (e.g. getting married). You can use this policy when you need to.


If you’re not working full-time, contact your department early to get your personalised rota and to find out if you’re slot-sharing. That way, you can contact your slot-share partner to start arranging who will cover which shifts.  If you are occupying a slot by yourself, figure out which shifts you’re covering and send back to department for approval. Ask them to confirm approval before you make plans.

To read an overview of the 2016 Junior Doctor Contract head here.

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