Time out of programme is generally considered not to be in the best interests of an ST’s training or to the service generally. This is because it can lead to disruptions in training programmes and create gaps in the rotas of specialty trainees which may, in turn, potentially lead to disruption to the service and patient care. There may also be delays to slotting back into rotations upon return to General Practice training. For this reason applications are viewed more favourably when the Out of Programme experience will take place between the ST2 and ST3 years (prior to the final General Practice placement and with the agreement of the relevant training practice). Additionally, time Out of Programme is not normally agreed when a trainee has been in a GP training programme for less than one year.

Each application is considered on an individual basis and only in exceptional circumstances will OOPE be authorised. Please read the Peninsula Postgraduate Medical Education policy for OOPE before submitting an application.

Out of Programme applications will normally only be considered when 6 months notice of the commencement of the OOPE is given. Prior to submitting your application the form must be sent to the following for approval and countersignature:

  • Patch APD 
  • Postgraduate Dean or representative

Please also note that Out of Programme experience that does not count towards a CCT does not need GMC approval. Out of Programme Experience for Training (OOPT) or Out of Programme Experience for Research (OOPR) can be prospectively approved for training by GMC and count towards your CCT. This requires you to supply us with the following documents so that we can pass them on to GMC:

  • Recommendation from the competent authority where the OOPE will take place.
  • A letter of support from the College indicating that they are aware of and support the Out of Programme Training and Out of Programme Research placement and including a brief description of the Out of Programme Experience post which covers the following points:
  • Where the Out of Programme experience is based
  • The structure of the Out of Programme experience
  • The educational goals and characteristics of the Out of Programme experience
  • Confirmation that the Out of Programme experience is subject to quality management procedures in line with the GMC Generic Standards for Training.

Once the attached application form is fully completed it should be returned to the GP Manager at the following address:

Health Education England - South West
Peninsula Postgraduate Medical Education
Raleigh Building
Plymouth Science Park


Full Policy and Guidelines