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There are a number of circumstances in which you may seek to spend time out of Paediatric specialty training, the majority of these requests will only be granted if taken early within level 3 training (ST 6&7). Please also note a recent decree from the GMC re OOP time and NO retrospective allowance being given towards training.

OOP time may be in order to:


  Undertake training that is not offered in the local training program


  Undertake a period of research (OOPR)


  Gain additional experience which is not a requirement of the Paediatric curriculum as such but may benefit the individual (OOPE)


  Take a career break (OOPC)



A minimum of six months notice must be given in order to take time out of program, so it is generally advisable to begin the process a full year prior to the proposed date of the start of the OOP experience. It is recognised that requests for a career break may require a more urgent interruption of training in exceptional circumstances. OOPT or OOPE is not generally allowed by the training programme until after the completion of ST5 (training level 2).


OOPR would generally be taken following ST2 or 3 (depending on the trainees progression towards competencies) or ST5. OOPE, OOPR and OOPT will not be allowed during the final year of training. This would usually be granted for  registrable higher degrees (i.e. Masters, PhD or MD) but some discretion may be possible for other research opportunities availablein Oxford.


The Training Program Director, Regional Adviser and Postgraduate Dean must be informed and assess all requests for out of program experience, regardless of whether the training aspect is to contribute towards a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT). The Regional Adviser acts on behalf of the Royal College of Paediatrics and assesses the training component of the time out of programme (if any) that can be applied towards obtaining a CCT, and advises the Postgraduate Dean accordingly.  The training must be prospectively approved by the GMC (see below) only if the trainee requires any of it to count towards training. Any clinical training that has not been prospectively approved will not contribute towards the award of a CC.


Any OOPR requests need to be approved by the academic regional adviser.


Please note that as maintenance of the integrity of the program for all trainees remains a high priority there is no guarantee that time out of

program will be possible for any of the experiences listed above.



General guidance about OOP opportunities can be found in the gold guide, and on the RCPCH website.




Applying for Out of Programme time

When a trainee requests any time out of programme they are required by the Deanery to complete the OOP application form, obtain all the necessary signatures and return to Vicky Beal at the Deanery ( with all the necessary supporting paperwork i.e. a synopsis of what they are going to be doing where, CV, current ARCP record etc. Trainees must ensure that the paperwork is properly completed (all the necessary signatures obtained) and ensure that requests are received at least 3 months in advance of the start date. Please ensure that the relevant Training Programme Directors are also copied into any correspondence about the application so that they have advanced warning to plan the training programme.



If the trainee does not wish the OOP time to count towards training time for CCT, then the Dean or his deputy will sign off the form and a copy will be sent to the trainee and the Programme Manager for their records.


However should the trainee require this time out of programme to count towards their CCT, they must obtain a College letter of support (from the Regional Advisor) to accompany the OOP request and assorted paperwork in order for the Deanery to make an application on the trainee’s behalf for approval from the GMC. Individuals cannot make the application to the GMC for approval.

All of this documentation and further guidance documents can be found on the Deanery Website


Before going out of Programme

In order to ensure that your training needs are met, please complete an Absence from Training form with your Educational Supervisor to plan your time away. This needs to be sent then to the Training Programme Director for your grade and a copy left with the Educational Supervisor who will remain the same while you are away from the programme.



If you are planning to take time out of program for any reason and plan to work outside the NHS or cease work altogether, then your pension contributions will be affected during your time away. It is therefore essential that you contact your local Human Resources department well before you leave. This contact will be a necessary condition for approval of time away and must be confirmed by a signature of your Educational Supervisor.


While you are away

An Annual Review Document must be submitted to the Deanery to confirm the retention of the NTN and to review the anticipated date of return to the program as well as the date of the completion of training. Trainees will undergo an ARCP whilst out of programme.

If you are on OOPT, you need to continue to complete your e-portfolio as if you were in the programme, and complete all workplace-based assessments etc; your Educational Supervisor in your placement will need to be able to access this and you will need to ask the College to arrange this.

If you are OOPR, you will need to obtain an annual report from your Academic Supervisor and submit this to the Deanery in time for the ARCP.

If you are on OOPE you will need to ask for a similar report of your progress to confirm that you have completed the placement but you do not need to fill in the e-portfolio and WBAs unless you wish to show that you have completed various aspects of the curriculum.

It is recommended that if any of your time away involves clinical work, that you ensure that your resuscitation and safeguarding training remain up to date.

Any extensions of OOP time must also be formally requested on the deanery paperwork together with any supporting documentation. There is no guarantee that extensions will be granted unless there are exceptional circumstances.


Returning to training after time OOP

In all cases of agreed time out of program, the anticipated date of return and date of original or revised CCT must be discussed at the outset.

When time is taken out of program for research, a non-training experience or a career break, the trainee should give at least six months notice of the return to work.

Although every effort will be made to accommodate the trainee in the next available vacancy in the program, there is no guarantee that the return date or a specific rotation can be accommodated. Trainees should be aware of this at the outset when a request for time taken out of program other than for training is requested.


It is essential that you complete a Return to Training form with your Oxford Educational Supervisor before you return to the programme so that any extra training and support needs can be identified. This needs to be returned to the relevant Training Programme Director. A period of skill refreshment and updating may be necessary for trainees who undertake significant periods away from training. This is at the discretion of the Program Director and the Postgraduate Dean.


Please feel free to contact the Regional Adviser for Paediatrics for the Oxford School of Paediatrics or Other Senior School Personnel for advise.

Time Out of Programme (OOP)