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 five 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.

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 direct all OOP enquiries and application forms to The Programmes Team OOP mailbox (oop.eoe@hee.nhs.uk).



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


Useful Links




During this national emergency, we are grateful to all doctors in training who have courageously provided frontline healthcare. We highly value their important contribution as the NHS faces unprecedented and rising demand for healthcare services.

HEE remains fully committed to supporting and developing doctors in training to improve care for patients. Many have chosen flexible training opportunities to expand their portfolio but now want to return to frontline healthcare to support the NHS response to the COVID-19 pandemic.​

Management of Requests for Out of Programme (OOP)

Sadly it is currently not possible to accommodate OOP requests. We wish to reassure all trainees that processes to support OOP requests will resume once the COVID-19 pandemic ends.

New requests for OOPs

  • Trainee requests to take up the following Out of Programmes will be suspended until further notice:
    • Out of Programme Research (OOPR);
    • Out of Programme Training (Out of Programme Training)
    • Out of Programme Experience (OOPE)
  • Trainees may request Out of Programme Career Break (OOPC) where there are extenuating circumstances through agreement with the Postgraduate Dean
  • Out of Programme Pause (OOPP) opportunities available in psychiatry and anaesthetics will be suspended

Current OOP requests submitted but not agreed

  • All current requests for OOPT, OOPR and OOPE will be paused until services return to normal planning and delivery. Trainees can be reassured that they will receive an email from the local office team supporting resubmission in due course.
  • Where a trainee has submitted a request for an OOPC, this will be reviewed. These will be granted only on the basis of extenuating circumstances and in agreement by the PG Dean

Recently agreed OOPs where the trainee is yet to take up the placement

  • All such OOPs are currently on hold as subject to the “delay” in training programme rotations as outlined by HEE’s national response

Extensions of OOPs for trainees already out of programme

  • Unfortunately, extensions will not be granted unless there are exceptional circumstances e.g. the trainee is abroad and unable to return due to restrictions

We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience and frustration this may cause you and would like to thank you for all the hard work you have been doing to support the NHS in this difficult time.


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