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Time Out of Programme

Once you have obtained your national training number and settled into your training programme you may wish to take some time out of surgery. Taking time Out Of Programme (OOP) is available for trainees wishing to pursue a learning or development opportunity, or have a career break for personal reasons.

All OOP requests must be discussed with the LETB/deanery and the specialty advisory committee (SAC) for your specialty. We recommend discussing your OOP plans as early as possible. For more information, please visit the JCST website.

Types of OOP

  • Time out of programme for approved clinical training (OOPT). This may be time spent in an approved post in different UK unit, or you can gain prospective approval for overseas posts via GMC. Approved training will count towards your CCT and not lengthen your training programme. You must liaise with the Deanery, SAC and GMC prior to training up a post if you wish it to count towards training as no retrospective approval can be given.
  • Time out of programme for clinical experience (OOPE). These are similar to the OOPT but are not approved and do not count towards CCT. In these cases posts normally last for 12 months but can be extended to 2 years.
  • Time out of programme for research (OOPR). Trainees are encouraged to undertake research if and when they have an interest in doing so. OOPR will allow trainees to undertake research while retaining their training number. Some OOPR can be approved but only if the GMC consider it to be contributing towards clinical training. OOPRs can only be counted towards certification if the individual specialty includes research in its syllabus.
  • Time out of programme for career breaks (OOPC). OOPC can be requested for any reason but priority is given to a few key areas. These include: Care for dependants that cannot be accommodated through flexi training or job share, Illness, and for the achievement of life goals that cannot be deferred this would apply to groups such as athletes. Trainees should bear in mind that career breaks might affect their ability to maintain a current licence to practise with the GMC.

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