Exception reporting

Exception reporting is a system whereby trainees can inform senior colleagues of occasions when they work outside of their contracted hours and receive compensation.

This is not a system to make more money/work overtime. It’s strictly to make sure that you are working safe and contracted hours.

The BMA stipulates four reasons we should be exception reporting:

  • Working outside of contracted hours
  • Missed breaks/rest
  • Missed educational opportunities
  • Lack of clinical support.

Navigate the sections below to find out more, and to view the Guardian reports and Junior Doctor's Forum (JDF) minutes, navigate the file browser at the bottom of the page.

How do you report?

To find out how to submit an exception report, visit the BMA website at https://www.bma.org.uk/pay-and-contracts/working-hours/work-schedule/exception-reporting-for-junior-doctors.

You can also download the Exception reporting - step by step how to guide[pdf] 385KB.

The fine print

Step 1: file your report

If you wish to claim for compensation, you must file your report within 7 days of the exception occurring.

If you believe the event caused a safety concern you must report within 24 hours.

You should submit to either your clinical or educational supervisor. We suggest submitting for all reasons (extra hours, support and missed breaks) to clinical but for missed educational opportunities submit to your educational supervisor.

Always identify the reason you are reporting.

Step 2: discussing with your supervisor

Once you have filed your report, if you wish to receive compensation you must discuss this with your supervisor.

The 7- day limit to discuss the exception with your supervisor is a supervisor deadline and not a trainee deadline. As long as your exception is reported within 7 days, there is no deadline on receiving compensation.

If you cannot meet with your supervisor or they do not respond, let the Guardian of Safe Working know.

Outcomes and compensation

Time off in lieu (TOIL)

If you worked additional hours – the time can be offered back at another time. Agree on the time with your clinical team. It must be taken within the same post.


If TOIL is not practical due to staffing or a change in placement, compensatory payment may be offered. This will be submitted to payroll once the report is signed off and will be paid in the next available pay run.

Work schedule review

If there are recurrent issues in a certain rotation the rota will need reviewing along with staffing levels to ensure recurrent issues are challenged and changed.

Guardian of Safe Working

Each Trust in the UK has a Guardian of Safe Working (GoSW). They will be named on your work schedule before you commence each post. 

Their role is to oversee the exception reporting process and ensure any issues are dealt with in a timely way.

If patterns in reporting are noted, the GoSW will highlight the issues to the relevant clinical lead so they can be addressed.

If there are recurrent breaches of the rota rules as set out in the contract – fines can be applied to the departments, with any money raised available to be spent by the Junior Doctors Forum.

If you do not feel comfortable submitting an exception report directly to your named supervisor, please submit it directly to the GoSW and they will contact you to discuss any issues.

Our Guardians

Basildon - jay.menon2@nhs.net

Broomfield - jay.menon2@nhs.net (interim)

Southend - bandipalyam.praveen@nhs.net

Role of the supervisor

You will be allocated an educational supervisor for each year of foundation training and a clinical supervisor for each rotation of training.

Your supervisor must discuss your exception reports with you if you intend to receive compensation.

Hours exception reported should only need brief discussion and they should agree with you an amount of TOIL you may take.

Support/educational exceptions may need more detail.

They must document discussions on the Allocate system.

What happens next - fines

Fines will be levied when working hours breach any of the following provisions:

  • The 48- hour average weekly working limit
  • Contractual limit on maximum of 72 hours worked within any consecutive 7- day period
  • Minimum 8 hours rest between shifts
  • Where meal breaks are missed on more than 25% of occasions.



Name Size/Type Description Date
Exception reporting - step by step how to guide 395KB PDF 09 Sep 2022
Junior Doctor Forum Minutes - 5 July 2022 (Broomfield) 25KB DOCX JDF Minutes, Broomfield 13 Sep 2022
Minutes JDF Broomfield 2nd November 2022.docx 21KB DOCX Minutes JDF Broomfield 2nd November 2022 14 Dec 2022

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If you need additional support of have a question that's not covered here, please contact mse.medicalworkforce@nhs.net