Workforce, training and education
East of England

Out of Programme (OOP)




Please be aware that this webpage and application process is for trainees in the East of England region only. If you are not an East of England trainee you will need to go to the OOP webpage of the region you are training in.


HEE 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. To successfully apply the trainee will need to submit:

  • A fully completed application form (available in the documents section at the bottom of this page)
  • Digital signatures on the application form from their Training Programme Director and Educational Supervisor
  • Confirmed details on the length of time to be taken OOP and what they will be doing
  • Evidence of the research or training they will be undertaking (if applicable – see categories below)

There are six 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): Out of Program Pause is a new opportunity where trainees can step off training to undertake NHS work or similar patient facing work in the UK. They can potentially accrue skills and capabilities which will count towards their training.  OOP(P) has been piloted in other regions and, because of the pandemic, is being rolled out nationally.

Acting up as a Consultant (AUC): temporarily taking on consultant duties in the trainee’s current speciality (subject to confirmation that this is permitted within their curriculum). This counts towards the trainee’s CCT date.


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 Health Education England, and in some cases, the Royal College / JRCPTB / JCST and GMC. Please refer to the guidance on page 1 of the application form, and the FAQ section below.

It is important to remember that time out of programme is a privilege and is granted on an individual basis at the discretion of the Training Programme Director / Head of School and HEE.


Our new fully electronic OOP application and extension forms are now available to download and use in the Documents section below.

Please ensure you save the forms locally (right click and select “Save link as…”) and open as a PDF with Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader before completing. Do not begin completing the form if it has opened as a webpage or in PDF Previewer, as this will disable the electronic signature fields and deem the form invalid.  As an organisation we are moving towards going paperless and appreciate your assistance with this. Please ensure you carefully read the FAQs below and the instructions on page 1 of the application forms prior to completion.

Please do not delay submitting your OOP application form - it can take up to four weeks to process applications.


Please direct all OOP enquiries and application forms to The Programmes Team - OOP Mailbox


Please consult our Frequently Asked Questions page for Out of Programme. 

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Tuesday, 13 November, 2018
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Monday, 21 January, 2019