We are aware there are currently issues with siging the forms, and are in the process of making a new application method.

In the interim, if the form breaks and no longer accepts signatures, then it can still be processed as long as each signatory emails it as an attachment, with a message saying they approve it, to the next signatory, so that there is no question of exactly what has been approved.

Thank you for bearing with us as we try and resolve this.


Out of Programme (OOP) relates to Post Graduate Dr’s/Dentists in Training (PGDiT) that wish to participate in an experience that is out of their planned programme of training. There are a number of circumstances that trainees may wish to spend time out of programme; to gain training or clinical experience, to undertake research, an educational fellow post or to take a career break. The regulations around this are detailed in the “Gold Guide” which is updated regularly.


Time out of programme will not normally be agreed until a PGDiT has been in a training programme for at least a year and will not normally be allowed in the final year of training other than in exceptional circumstances. (Please note: The limitation regarding final year of training does not apply to 'acting up consultant' applications)


Before applying for OOP, a PGDiT must discuss their plans with their Educational Supervisor and/or Training Programme Director. This discussion will determine the suitability of the out of programme experience and ensures the proposed post will meet the educational needs of the PGDiT.


NHS England – Midlands (West) requires OOP Application Forms and supporting documentation to ideally be submitted at least 6 months in advance of the proposed OOP start date.

Following OOP approval, trusts will usually require at least 3 months notice and this needs to be considered when agreeing a start date. It is the PGDiT’s responsibility to ensure all relevant information as stipulated in the guidance document is submitted on time and that good communication takes place between the PGDiT, TPD, trust and programmes team.
(Please Note, the timescales of applications for OOPC are dealt with on a case by case basis, due to the nature of the type of request and may be appropriate to start at short notice.)


Completing Locum work whilst OOPC

PGDiT would not normally undertake any locum work whilst on OOPC. In exceptional circumstances PGDiT’s may request specific approval from the Associate Postgraduate Dean in order to complete locum work, or work requiring GMC registration, whilst on OOPC.

Cases will be assessed on an individual basis and a letter of confirming the decision will be issued by the Associate Postgraduate Dean. No locum work can be undertaken without this specific approval and any locum work must first be discussed with your TPD and we recommend that it is taken in either your current or previous trust, with appropriate nominated supervision. There will also be a maximum number of shifts that can be undertaken which will be specified on the approval, if granted, and these need to be declared on the form R


Please note: You must not start your OOP training without receiving a letter confirming your OOP from the Programme Team at Health Education England.

NHS England Midlands (West)  Out Of Programme Guidance - June 2020

Applying for OOP


  • If your form is not completed correctly it will be rejected, which could cause delays in your start date.
  • We should receive one form signed by all your signatories, forms should always be returned to the PGDiT and then you send the form to the appropriate Programmes Team and approval is only given once you receive a letter from them:

E-mail: (Public Health only)

E-mail:​ (GP Trainees only)

E-mail: ( all other trainees Specialty Trainees)

  • Please ensure that the correct OOP application is submitted to the Programmes Team. 
  • The Programmes Team now ONLY accept fully signed application forms.
  • All OOP Application forms must be digitally signed


When sending the OOP Applications to the Programmes Team we should have one fully signed form with supporting documentation.


For Trainees taking time out of programme we would encourage to refer to the resources of the Supported Return to training process which can be accessed

This includes preparing for your return to work and discussing what support you will need with your ES or TPD ideally before you take your OOP and then meeting again with your ES or TPD at least 3 months ahead of your return. This applies to PGDiT undertaking all types of OOP.

Whilst on OOP we would also recommend that you maintain regular contact with your TPD at least every 3 months.


Instructions for Completing & signing PDF forms

OOPT - Out of Programme Training, if time is counting towards training

OOPE - Out of Programme Experience, if time is not counting towards training

OOPR - Out of Programme Research

OOPC - Out of Programme Career Break

OOP_AUC - Out of Programme Acting Up Consultant Post

OOP_AUC - Public Health PGDiT only Out of Programme Acting Up Consultant Post

OOP_AUC Guidance  - Public Health PGDiT only Out of Programme Acting Up Consultant Post

OOP Extension - for all OOPs that you wish to extend


OOP Pause 

OOP Pause is a new application designed to give flexibility for trainees, if you are considering this option please read the below information and discuss with your TPD.

Guidance for Out of Programme Pause_How To Guide Trainees September 2020

OOP-P Phase 3 FAQs September 2020

OOPP Pilot Expansion Project_Guidance_September 2020

OOPP initiation and scope of practice form Ext (must download the form, and open in adobe, not a browser)

OOPP Application 



For Trainees taking time out of programme NHS England would encourage to refer to the resources of the Supported Return to training process which can be accessed here.




All OOP Applications and Correspondence should be sent in one email to the appropriate team of the following:


E-mail: (Public Health only)

E-mail:​ (GP Trainees only)

E-mail: ( all other trainees Specialty Trainees)


Page updated: 20-09-2023