Out of Programme (OOP)

Trainees can apply for a range of Out of Programme opportunities including the recently expanded ‘Out of Programme Pause’ initiative.

OOPP (Out of Programme Pause)

OOPP allows postgraduate Doctors in specialty training to step off the training ladder and undertake work in the NHS or a similar patient-facing role in the UK for a period of up to 12 months. Experience and competencies gained outside of training may be then considered on the trainees return to their training programme. 

Additional information on OOPP:

Trainee How To Guide, Project Guidance and FAQs

OOPP initiation and scope of practice form (for use once OOPP has been approved). e-PDF – you may need to download and save to open.

July 2021 – Applications for OOPP can now be submitted until July 2023.

OOPR (Out of Programme Research)

A period of research, e.g. clinical trials or to undertake an MD or PHD. Postgraduate Doctors in training can normally take up to 3 years out of programme for research (in highly exceptional circumstances this can be extended). OOPR can count towards the Doctor’s CCT date for up to 12 months of the agreed period.

OOPT (Out of Programme Training)

A period of clinical training which is not a part of the trainee’s current specialty training programme. OOPT will count towards the trainee’s CCT date for up to 12 months of the agreed period.

OOPC (Out of Programme Career Break)

A planned career break related to personal circumstances or other requirements. This does not count towards the trainee’s CCT date. in most cases the Doctor would not be working clinically or otherwise unless prior agreement has been given.

OOPE (Out of Programme Experience)

Clinical experience which is not approved by the GMC, but which may benefit the Doctor, e.g. volunteering overseas in a medical capacity. This does not count towards the postgraduate Doctors CCT date.

How to apply

Talk to your Training Programme Director (TPD) and Educational Supervisor (ES) as early as possible. All time out of programme must be approved by the Postgraduate Dean and in some cases the Royal Colleges and GMC.

For all OOP opportunities please read the Guidance Document first then complete the OOP Application Form. Please note that you will need approval from your ES, TPD and Head of School and they must complete and sign the relevant sections of the form before your application will be considered (e-signatures are permitted).

GP trainees – please also read the policy statement.

Returning to training from OOP

If you have had a period away from training for any reason (including approved Out of Programme) there is a range of support available to facilitate your return. Please view our SuppoRTT pages for more details.