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Out of Programme

The purpose of taking time out of a specialty training programme is to support the trainee 
  • undertaking clinical training that is not a part of the trainee’s specialty training programme (OOPT) 
  • gaining clinical experience that may benefit the doctor (e.g. working in a different health environment/country) or that may help support the health needs of other countries (e. g. with Médecins Sans Frontières, Voluntary Service Overseas, global health partnerships) (OOPE) 
  • undertaking a period of research (OOPR) 
  •  taking a planned career break (OOPC)
OOP can only be agreed if it has the formal approval of the Postgraduate Dean. The trainee should give their Dean and their employer (current and/or next) as much notice as possible. Three months is the minimum period of notice required so that employers can ensure that the needs of patients are appropriately addressed. 

Trainees will also need to submit the OOP document annually, ensuring that they keep in touch with Health Education England and renew their commitment and registration to the training programme with the Postgraduate Dean. This process also requests permission for the trainee to retain their training number and provides information about the trainee's likely date of return to the programme as well as the estimated date for completion of training and revalidation documentation. For trainees undertaking approved training out of programme, it should be part of the return for the annual assessment process. It is the trainee’s responsibility to make this annual return, with any supporting documentation that is required.

Any proposed period of OOPT or Out of Programme Research (OOPR) must be arranged at the earliest opportunity as gaps created within the rotation will need to be filled and if the OOPT is to be spent overseas, the acquisition of visas and the necessary licensing documentation for clinical work may be lengthy and difficult.

It is the responsibility of the trainee to provide all necessary information in their applications to the Deanery. An application form and checklist can be downloaded from the OOP pages of the Deanery website and the College website.

Trainees must complete the last 6 months of their CCT training in-programme and in the UK.


Some of the places where previous Oxford trainees have been OOP are:

Austin Hospital, Melbourne

Great Ormond Street, London

St Michael's Hospital, Toronto


Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Perth


British Columbia Women's Hospital, Vancouver


British Columbia Children's Hospital, Vancouver


The Royal Women's Hospital, Melbourne


King Edward Memorial Hospital for Women, Perth


The Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, Queensland

L'Insitut de la Main, Paris


Alder Hey Hospital

Birmingham Children's Hospital


National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square


Children's Acute Transport Service (CATS)


Golden Jubilee National Hospital, Clydebank


Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston

University of Michegan, Ann Arbor