Training out of Programme (OOPE and OOPT)

For the award of a CCT, trainees must complete the GMC approved anaesthetics programme in its entirety. There are opportunities for trainees to undertake approved periods of time outside of the approved programme as experience, research or training. Lots of trainees do this overseas. When contemplating undertaking a period out of programme, trainees should discuss the options and consequences of taking time out of programme with their Educational Supervisor, College Tutor and TPD. There are two options for trainees:

Out of Programme Experience (OOPE)
OOPE is defined by the GMC as: 'Out of programme clinical experience that does not count towards the award of a CCT or CESR(CP).' 

OOPE may be obtained in clinical or research posts in the United Kingdom or overseas that have not received prospective approval from the GMC. For instance, a trainee may request permission from the Postgraduate Dean for up to three years Out of Programme time if he/she wishes to undertake research leading to a PhD or MD.

Although College approval is not required for this out of programme experience, it is essential that trainees inform the Training Department of the dates of all OOPE so that prospective completion dates can be revised.

Out of Programme Training (OOPT)
OOPT is clinical training, taken out of programme that will count towards the CCT or CESR [CP] provided certain conditions and requirements are met. They are:

  • Only one year in total during the ST years 5, 6 and 7 can be taken as OOPT
  • The OOPT programme must map to competencies identified in the Higher/Advanced CCT programme
  • The OOPT post must be prospectively approved by the GMC with support from the Postgraduate Dean and College (several months should be allowed for the approvals process).
  • OOPT may be in appropriate higher or advanced level clinical posts in the UK or overseas
  • The last six months of the CCT training programme normally should be in the UK, and
  • The trainee on his/her return must complete a report on the time spent on OOPT and submit it, together with an assessment report from the local supervisor, to the Deanery and the Medical Secretary of the RCoA Training Committee


The process for applying for an OOPT is:

  • You should first check that the training location does not already have GMC approval. If the location already has GMC approval then you do not need to apply to the College for OOPT if you also have local approval. You can find out if the location already has approval by contacting the GMC at or by viewing the updated list at
  • You should discuss your OOPT request with your local trainers in the first instance to ensure that they will approve the time off-rotation in order to undertake your OOPT
  • Once agreed locally, an OOPT application is sent to the RCoA for approval of the OOPT training content by the Training Committee. This application form can be found at Please note the checklist on page 3 as all of these documents will be required in order to process your application
  • The application will be assessed by the Training Committee at the RCoA only when the relevant documents have been received
  • Following approval by the committee, the RCoA will provide a confirmation letter via email
  • You will need to make a subsequent request to the GMC for approval of the post, which includes the RCoA confirmation letter. This may be handled by the local administrator – please contact your local administrator to discuss the process further


The most popular developed countries where trainees have undertaken OOPT
Information for trainees who wish to spend time in developing countries