2. Focal Point


At an officer level Focal Point is the programme that is used by Sustrans to record your working hours, book annual leave and manage any TOIL requests.

Focal point is also used by Sustrans Management to manage individual projects, approve leave request, administer budgets which in turn is used to make informed decisions and reports to funders.

IMPORTANT NOTE: FocalPoint works best using FireFox browser – if you use Chrome etc some of the functionality will be lost or force errors.


To enter time against a project you will need to know the correct Project and Budget code, e.g. 12771 I Bike Edinburgh.

These codes  are updated at the start of each project engagement year.

In general for I Bike your daily time should be 7.5hrs with a weekly total of 37.5hrs for FT officers. This excludes lunchtime as this is unpaid.

99% of the time entered to Focal Point will always be under the category heading of (STA -DEL01 – Project Delivery)

Annual Leave

Annual leave balances are currently calculated Apr to Mar, from 2022 Annual leave will be calculated by calendar year (Jan to Dec).

To request annual leave, select ‘+‘ option from within the absence menu. Annual leave and TOIL (Time off in Lieu) is calculated in hours. To view the days remaining from your yearly allocation, select “Absence Summary” this will show all remaining balances and hours already booked. To view your allocation in days , divide hours by daily hours, e.g. 154/7.5.

If you need to check days previously requested, this can be done using the “Absence Calendar” filtering the options using the drop down menus at the top of the page.

Our work is often very demanding and consumes lots of time and energy, it is important to regularly schedule your time off throughout the year to ensure you have time to relax and switch off from your daily work load.




Requesting and Using TOIL 

TOIL can be requested when you work 2 or more hours, e.g. when travelling to support other areas, training outside normal working hours etc. All TOIL should be pre-approved with your line manager. Where possible you should aim to balance out working weeks by starting later, finishing earlier to avoid accruing TOIL. For more information on TOIL please review the Sustrans TOIL policy linked below.

To book or request TOIL, requests can be made in the same way as Annual Leave selecting the correct option from the drop down menu.

  • Request TOIL Allowance = When you have worked additional hours you wish to claim back
  • Use TOIL = When you want to book time off using the previously accrued TOIL.

You can only use TOIL which has been approved by your line manager. All TOIL must be used within 3 months and cannot be carried over to a new holiday year.



Top Tips

1 Use Firefox Browser
2 Focal point works in hours – divide you holiday allowance by 7.5 to calculate no. of days remaining
3 Put time aside each week to complete your timesheets (5min job)
4 If you are assisting another officer with delivery, time should be coded to their project
5 Check monthly for any un-posted timesheets using the 2a My Unposted timesheets.
6 A/L and TOIL is your time and should be booked regularly throughout the year to avoid accumulating large outstanding balances.





Helpful Links

Link to FocalPoint portal. This can only be accessed via a Sustrans Laptop connected via the VPN. Please also use Firefox browser.
Susnet link to centrally produced guidance for using Focal Point
Susnet link to centrally produced guidance for Annual Leave
Susnet link to centrally produced guidance for TOIL
Bank Holidays 2020 – 2021 & Christmas Closure 2020