Working and Training in Developing Countries


The College is keen to develop and support doctors and trainees going to a developing country for short or long periods, where there is evidence of high quality teaching, training or raising standards.

The International Programmes Department of the RCoA supports the findings of the Lancet Commission (2015). Please see the RCoA statement on this here.

The College strongly supports trainees taking time out of programme to widen their clinical skills and knowledge. To support trainees undertaking OOPT in a developing country, a syllabus has been developed in collaboration with Médecins Sans Frontières to enable trainees to count up to an indicative six months towards the general duties requirement. The advantages of the curriculum include:

  • Increased implementation of Government policy encouraging work in developing countries, also described in the Tooke and Crisp reports
  • More trainees taking up opportunities to work in developing countries as the time there should be counted towards training
  • A more productive experience for the trainee
  • Prevention of ill-prepared and inexperienced doctors going to unsuitable posts
  • Decreased risk to vulnerable patients
  • Improved links between the RCoA and overseas Fellows

The trainee will build upon the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviour gained in ST years 1–5 units of training.  The proposed programme can also include other units of training in the curriculum. Uganda, Zambia and Malawi are some of the developing countries where trainees have undertaken OOP.

The RCoA Training Committee can assess training placements in developing countries and if it can be demonstrated that the learning outcomes will meet the curriculum requirements of the ‘Anaesthesia in developing countries’ unit of training, it can count towards the award of a CCT/CESR(CP) i.e. OOPT.  If not, the College can recommend the placement for OOPE.

For further RCoA guidance on out of programme please click here.

External Educational Supervisors

If an OOPT is undertaken the trainee may need a ‘remote’ Educational Supervisor based in the UK. The RCoA has a number of these. Please contact the IP for details.


Trainees undertaking an OOPT in a developing country should undertake a preparatory course. 

There are also courses run throught the UK by the following organisations:

Developing World Anaesthesia, London

Essentials of Anaesthesia in the Developing World & Remote Locations, Cardiff

Held twice a year in April and October

Anaesthesia in Developing Countries, Kampala, Uganda
Held for one week annually in November

Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland (AAGBI)
The AAGBI has a very active International Relations Committee which supports work in developing countries and resources worldwide.


Global Partnerships Department


Information on how to apply for an OOPT in a developing country
Details can be found in the 2010 Anaesthetic Curriculum for a CCT
Information about programmes which have been previously approved for OOPT in a developing country
Details of useful articles and publications
Information on funding for posts