Taking Time Out of Programme


Covid19 - We are taking OOP applications but these will be subject to local service requirements in support of the pandemic response


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.

*If you are on a Tier 2 Visa please make sure you read the guidance carefully before applying. A full list of FAQs can be found here.

All OOP Applications and Correspondence to:




If you are applying for an OOPT to act up as a consultant please see below section 3.166 from the Gold Guide (8th Edition):

"Trainees may be able to take OOP to act up as a consultant and may be able to credit this time towards a CCT or CESR(CP) if there is specific provision for this in their specialty curriculum. This would normally be undertaken in the final year of training. Trainees acting up as consultants will need to have appropriate supervision in place. If the experience afforded by this post is in a location already approved for training in the relevant specialty by the GMC, additional prospective approval for OOPT is not required from the GMC. If acting up as a consultant is undertaken in another location, prospective approval will only be necessary if the acting up placement is relevant and contributes to gaining the competences/capabilities, knowledge, skills and behaviours required by the curriculum. In these circumstances, OOPT will normally be for a period of three months or pro rata for LTFT trainees. However, length of periods approved for acting up as a consultant may be specified in the relevant curricula and where referenced in a curriculum, specific provisions around acting up roles need to be adhered 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:


*Update from the Study Leave Team regarding OOPT

"As you know, the national study leave guidance has been updated to support OOPT trainees with study leave entitlements, bringing national policy in line with HEE East Midlands’ policy and ensuring an equitable experience for trainees across the country. These applications will only be approved and funded where there is clear evidence linking the application to the specific curriculum requirement for the trainee’s individual specialty. For these trainees, the host HEE local team is responsible for the management of both study leave and expenses, as that is where your employer for that time is based; i.e. if your OOPT placement is in the East Midlands, you’ll follow the East Midlands study leave process and HEE East Midlands will support your study leave through Leave Manager, but if you’re in London, HEE London will support your study leave and you’ll need to follow the London study leave process, so please ensure that you’re following the correct local process.

Unfortunately, for trainees taking OOPT outside of England (i.e. HEE’s remit), your employer will not be based within a HEE local team, and we will not have a payment agreement with them. We have raised this nationally as an issue, but as you are no doubt aware, HEE is only able to pay study leave expenses through a trainees’ employer in line with IR35 guidance; this means that we are currently unable to support study leave/expenses for trainees OOPT outside of England. We will keep you updated with any information and changes that may come into place following national discussions, but wanted to ensure that you were aware where things currently stand."


Covid19 - We are taking OOP applications but these will be subject to local service requirements in support of the pandemic response