Taking Time Out of Programme

Out of Programme

We understand there are a number of reasons why a doctor in specialty training may want or need to take time out of their approved programme. All time out of programme has to be approved by Health Education England, and in some cases, the Royal College / JRCPTB / JCST and GMC. We recommend you start discussing any time you wish to take out of programme with your Training Programme Director and Educational Supervisor as early as possible.

It is important to remember that time out of programme is a privilege and is granted on an individual basis at the discretion of the Training Programme Director / Head of School and HEE. Time out of programme is not normally agreed until a trainee has been on a training programme for at least one year.

Important note: Any OOPT or OOPR applications requesting time to count towards training must be made in good time (6 months notice prior to the OOP start date where possible), and must be submitted with a supporting letter from the Royal College or Faculty / JRCPTB / JCST. Once in receipt of the relevant documentation HEE local team staff are required to make an application to the GMC for approval prospectively. Applications made in retrospect will not be accepted by the GMC.


All OOP Applications and Correspondence to:




Please follow the link below for guidance on NHS Pensions.  You may wish to provide a copy to your employer regarding this: 

Whilst the guidance linked above advises that contributions cannot be paid retrospectively we have had confirmation from the NHS Pensions Division that where contributions are paid late, due to the employer not facilitating current collections, then the period can be pensioned in arrears.   

Information provided by the Senior Pensions Officer, British Medical Association.



Please follow the link below for guidance: