This article is relevant for those currently in training programmes in the UK.
Taking time out of programme (OOP) is mentioned in ‘The Gold Guide’ as an option available to trainees after at least a year in a specialty training programme. This period needs to be prospectively approved by the postgraduate dean.
Appendix 4 for the OOP needs to be signed by the Educational Supervisor, Training Programme Director and Postgraduate Dean.
This refers to any period of time away from your prescribed training pathway which will count towards your Certificate for Completion of Training (CCT). This program is usually approved prospectively (but can be also achieved retrospectively) by your Postgraduate Dean, Specialty College or the GMC for a maximum of 2 years
Job opportunities overseas can be approved as OOPT from 6 months to 2 years, however regular reviews and submission of competency evidence may be required.
This refers to prospectively approved clinical experience which will not count towards your CCT. This also includes job opportunities overseas, locum Consultancy or working in another area of clinical practice (Fellowship or specialty) which will enhance your professional development.
Most trainees will take time out for research which will contribute towards a higher degree (e.g. phD). In some situations, this time can be counted towards CCT if prospectively agreed, or alternatively part of an academic training post.
This is for trainees who wish to take time out of a training programme for non-medicine related reasons (e.g. working in an alternative industry, domestic reasons, ill health, pursuing other interests).
If you are considering working overseas and currently in a training post, all 3 options could be relevant to your application. In our experience, some individuals mix and match OOPs (ie. Take 6 months OOPE followed by 6 months OOPT) when working abroad.
This is completely at the discretion of your Postgraduate Dean and Educational Supervisors, hence it is important to gather as much evidence as you can about your intended post or experience before you apply to increase the chances of success in your application.
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