Clinical academic doctors and dentists in training

There is no national contract for clinical academics below the level of consultant. UCEA publishes pay scales for this group of staff, which mirror the pay arrangements in the NHS. A new pay system has been introduced in HE which mirrors the new junior doctor pay system (2016).  The following UCEA briefing describes how that pay system applies in HE, including the new pay points:

Pay briefing - new clinical academic trainee pay scale (England)

The following worked examples, agreed with the BMA, illustrate how the transitional pay arrangements operate in some different scenarios in HE:

Examples of the new pay system in operation in HE

The new pay system includes an academic pay premium for trainees who have completed a PhD or equivalent during their training. Receipt of the premium is subject to eligibility criteria that have been developed for the NHS:

Academic pay premium - eligibility criteria

The new pay system for includes transitional pay arrangements. At the end of the transition period, all trainees are expected to be on the new pay system, without any pay protection. UCEA has developed model contract clauses to facilitate the move of trainees on to the new pay system at the end of the transition period.

UCEA model contract clauses for clinical academic trainees


The terms and conditions of employment for clinical academics in Englandare based on the NHS Terms and Conditions - Consultants (England) 2003.

NHS Terms and Conditions Consultants (England) 2003

Clinical academics, including senior academic GPs, who provide clinical services to NHS bodies hold two contracts:

  • an honorary contract with an NHS body for their clinical work

          2013 Honorary NHS consultant contract

Their salary is paid by the 'substantive employer' (the HEI) who must put in place arrangements to recover the costs of any work done from the 'honorary employer' (the NHS).

More guidance is available.

2013 Consultant clinical academic contract - guidance notes      

Sometimes the contracts work the other way round. 

A few clinical academics have a substantive contract with the NHS because that is where they mostly work. But if they also provide academic services to an HEI (teaching and research for example) they will need an honorary contract from the HEI. Their salary is paid by their substantive NHS employer and the costs for any academic work will be recouped by the NHS from the HEI. 

A model honorary HE contract contact for this type of arrangement can be purchased from UCEA. For more information, please contact Nicola Carter.

Senior academic GP (SAGP) contracts 

For SAGP contracts please contact Nicola Carter for further information.