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Out of Programme (OOP)


Image of a female medic looking at test results on a computer screenThe usual purpose of Out of Programme Experience (OOPE) is to allow a trainee to to gain additional clinical experience which will benefit the NHS and the trainee or to enable the trainee to undertake a period of research.
If you are considering taking time out of your training programme, there will be a formal process to follow with no guarantee that your proposal will be accepted. In the first instance you should discuss the procedure with your Programme Director.
Please see below a number of guidance documents and the application form.
HEW policy is in compliance with the new COPMed national guidelines (Word) which can be accessed by clicking on the link.

GMC Information and Approval Requirements

With regards to approval, it is important to remember it is a legal requirement for any Out of Programme posts, if the post is not part of the specialty curriculum, for approval to be given prospectively by the GMC if the time is to count towards a trainee's CCT

 If prospective approval is not given then the trainee will no longer be able legally, to be awarded a CCT. In exceptional circumstances if an application is received whilst the trainee is still in post the GMC may consider this request. The GMC can no longer accept retrospective requests given clarification received over the legal obligations around the requirements for the award of a CCT. Therefore if prospective approval has not been given the trainee will need to be moved to a CESR(CP) programme.

Guidance and Application Forms


Out of Programme Pause (OOPP) - for Anaesthetics & Emergency Medicine only

As part of the Improving Junior Doctors' Working Lives programme, Trainees told Health Education England (HEE) that existing out of programme mechanisms (out of programme experience [OOPE], out of programme research [OOPR], out of programme career break [OOPC] and out of programme training [OOPT]) provided a degree of flexibility, however none of these mechanisms recognised that trainees sometimes wish to “pause” their training to undertake an NHS non-training post, gain further experience, take stock of their training, work in another related specialty etc.

Further to these discussions, Wessex will be introducing OOPP in a phased roll out, starting With Anaesthetics & Emergency Medicine.


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