Out of Program Experience

From HEEoE

Time Out of Programme (OOP) in the East of England General Rules for Trainers and Trainees

The details about OOP are explained in detail in the Gold guide, sections 6.96-6.119:


As a quick guide, we have summarised the key features below:

Time out of Programme is at the discretion of the TPD who needs to take into consideration the needs of the whole training programme before allowing a trainee to take time out. Trainees are expected to give 6 months’ notice when applying for OOP (OOPC may be an exception). Trainees should discuss with their educational supervisor and TPD prior to applying for OOP. OOPT/E/R is not allowed in the first year of training and very rarely allowed in core training. It is not allowed in the last year before your CCT.

There are four types of Out of Programme (OOP) opportunities:

Time out of programme for approved clinical training (OOPT)

OOPT counts towards CCT and needs to be approved prospectively by the GMC. In surgery and anaesthesia it is often for sub specialty training. OOPT can be within or outside the East of England. These posts are usually highly competitive and we are very happy to support trainees who are successful in gaining such a post .OOPT is generally for 1 year but can be for a maximum of 2 years.

Time out of programme for clinical experience (OOPE)

OOPE is not recognised towards training and is designed to allow clinical experience that may benefit the trainee (e.g. working in a different country) or may support others (e.g. Medicins Sans Frontiers). The expectation for an OOPE is that trainees would gain experience which cannot be gained as part of the programme. It is not usually for trust appointed Clinical Fellow jobs as opportunities within these posts are often available as part of the training programme or post CCT. It is generally for a maximum of one year.

Time out of programme for Research (OOPR)

This is generally for a higher degree and is for no more than three years. Health Education England (HHE), east of England (EoE) is almost always happy to support OOPR leading to a recognised higher degree. If the research contains a clinical component trainees may be able to have some time recognised towards their CCT, but this needs to be prospectively approved.

Time out of programme for a career break (OOPC)

Planned OOPC will permit a trainee to step out of the programme to pursue other interests. Before agreeing to OOPC, the TPD will need to take account of the whole training programme. OOPC is generally for a maximum of two years and the return date or place of return cannot be guaranteed. Parental leave is considered separately and you do not need to apply for OOPC for this. Ill health should not be managed under OOPC. OOPC can be at any point in training.