Workforce, training and education
Yorkshire and Humber

Out of Programme Activity (OOP)

The School of Anaesthesia is supportive of Trainees who wish to take a period of time Out Of Programme (OOP) during their training in order to develop themselves further. OOPs can take multiple forms and are possible with prior approval from the postgraduate dean via the training programme for multiple reasons, and discussion with your TPD is strongly encourage prior to application. As a trainee taking an OOP will affect the training rotation and other trainees, and (potentially) recruitment, we advise applying for OOP as early as possible to improve your chances of a successful application. OOP is discouraged during core level training but this may change when this period increases to 3 years. Trainees undergoing OOP will still need to contribute towards ARCP.

HEE is considering changing or adding to the types of OOP in the near future, but currently OOPs are divided into four categories:


Training (OOPT): A period of training outside the School, but obtaining competencies applicable to your CCT. GMC approval of the training MUST be obtained in advance, or the planned post must already be part of another training scheme. Your CCT date may not change.


Experience (OOPE): An opportunity to gain professional skills that will enhance your future practice, but are not part of the core curriculum. This could include enhancing skills in medical leadership, academia, medical education or patient safety, or enhancing clinical skills related to, but not part of the curriculum. Such experience may benefit the doctor (e.g. working in a different health environment/country) or may help support the health needs of other countries (e.g. with Médecins Sans Frontières, Voluntary Service Overseas, global health partnerships) OOPE will not contribute towards CCT in anaesthetics or ICU therefore CCT date will almost always be extended


Research (OOPR): undertaking a period of research leading to an MD or PhD. Some of this time may contribute to CCT in anaesthetics or ICM. Time taken out for research purposes is normally for a higher degree (e.g. a PhD, MD or Master’s degree) and will not normally exceed three years. OOPR exceeding three years will need the specific prospective approval of the Postgraduate Dean. Trainees in their final year of training will not normally be granted OOPR


Career Break (OOPC): taking a planned career break.  Planned OOPC will permit a trainee to step out of the training programme for a designated and agreed period of time to pursue other interests (e.g. domestic responsibilities, work in industry, developing talents in other areas and entrepreneurship). It is generally not ideal to be used to manage health issues which ought to be managed via the lead employer’s occupational health department where possible.


Pause (OOPP): An Out of Programme Pause (OOPP) pilot is currently in progress. For more information click here.


Doctors in training are required to obtain formal approval from the Postgraduate Dean (PGD) to take time out of a clinical training programme whilst retaining their national training number. Applications should be submitted at least six months prior to the intended start date. 

A trainee whose annual review of progress is deemed unsatisfactory or with unmet objectives identified at their ARCP will not normally be granted a period of OOP. Time out of programme will not normally be agreed until a trainee has been in a training programme for a least one year, and will not normally be granted in the final six months of a training programme.

A trainee's CCT date will be extended in line with their time out of programme. If a trainee wishes for some, or all, of their training to count towards their CCT, they will need support from their Royal College and from the GMC/GDC. 

Additional GMC information can be found HERE

HEE OOP Guidance