Out of Programme

Information and guidance on Out of Programme (OOP). Health Education England Wessex offers trainees the opportunity to take a planned period out of their training programme, subject to agreement with their Training Programme Director and Educational Supervisor.

There are four main types of time taken out of programme:

Out of Programme Training (OOPT)

undertaking 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.

Out of Programme Research (OOPR)

undertaking a period of research, e.g. clinical trials. The trainee cannot take more than 3 years out of programme for research unless in highly exceptional circumstances (subject to approval by the Head of School and HEE). OOPR can count towards the trainee’s CCT date for up to 12 months of the agreed period.

Out of Programme Experience (OOPE)

gaining clinical experience which is not approved by the GMC, but which may benefit the trainee, e.g. volunteering overseas in a medical capacity. This does not count towards the trainee’s CCT date.

Out of Programme Career Break (OOPC)

planned career break related to personal circumstances or other requirements. This does not count towards the trainee’s CCT date.

Out of Programme Pause (OOPP)

As part of HEE’s response to the current COVID emergency, HEE has developed a new offer for doctors in training. The new offer is an extension of the Out of Programme Pause (OOPP) pilot which will expand to all specialties for a one-year application window from August 2020. This will allow trainees to “pause” their training to undertake an NHS non-training post, gain further experience, take stock of their training, work in another related specialty, or concentrate on their wellbeing.

This pilot initiative also gives trainees the opportunity to have any competencies gained whilst out of training assessed upon their return. This may allow trainees to minimise the impact on the time out of programme has on their CCT date.

Please read the guidance documents for further information about OOPP

Covid OOPP information pack

OOPP project guidance

OOPP FAQs

If a trainee wishes to take time out of programme, they should first discuss with their Training Programme Director and Educational Supervisor 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.

How to apply to take time Out of Programme

Read through the OOP Guidance document

Complete OOP application form

Ensure digital signatures are inserted on the application form from the Training Programme Director and Educational Supervisor

Confirmed full details on the length of time to be taken out of programme and provided evidence of the research and/or training that will be undertaken.