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Research and OOP

Out of Programme (OOP)

There are a number of circumstances when a trainee might wish to spend some time out of the speciality training programme to which they have been appointed. The purpose of the Out of Programme (OOP) is to allow trainees to take up opportunities that their training programme would not otherwise provide, including:

  • Clinical training experience that is not a part of the trainee's specialty training programme but that has received GMC approval (Out of programme for training - OOPT)
  • Clinical experience which is not approved by the GMC but may benefit the doctor e.g. working voluntarily overseas or supporting global health partnerships (Out of programme for clinical experience - OOPE)
  • A period of research (Out of programme for research - OOPR)
  • A planned career break from the specialty training programme (Out of programme for career - OOPC)


Application process

The ultimate decision of whether a trainee is granted time out of programme (OOP) rests with the local Postgraduate Dean. Requests are usually only permitted once a trainee has been in a training programme for at least a year. Trainees are required to give a minimum of three months notice to their local deanery, but some deaneries may request more notice, or even limit exit from programme to set time-points during the year, to minimise the impact on remaining clinical trainees. Once a trainee has applied to their local deanery for OOP (the application form can be found in Appendix 3 of the Gold Guide), the postgraduate dean will use the information to apply on their behalf to the JRCPTB for final approval of the OOP period. Approval for OOP is sought from the relevant JRCPTB SAC and then requests for training credit will be forwarded to the GMC for approval. Requests for OOP must be made at least eight weeks prior to the start date. Those requests made less than eight weeks before the start date will not be considered for training credit.

Useful links

For more detailed information on OOP applications see the Gold Guide and the 'contact us' form on the new JRCPTB website.

In 2009/10 the ACNR ran a series of articles commissioned by the ABNT and aimed at trainees. Included in this series is a useful summary of the 2009 ABN Research Forum and an article by Geraint Fuller entitled How to do research in the post MMC world.

Specific opportunities offered through the ABN are the ABN Australasian Fellowships and ABN Clinical Training Fellowships. Other opportunities are posted periodically in the ABN newsletters.

For additional advice on OOP application please feel free to contact the ABNT Secretary.

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