There are a number of circumstances when a trainee may seek to spend some time out of programme (OOP). All such requests need to be agreed by the Postgraduate Dean in advance so trainees are advised to discuss their proposals with their Training Programme Director as early as possible. 

Time out of programme will not normally be agreed until a trainee has been in a training programme for at least one year. Occasions where OOP is granted to core trainees are likely to be exceptional given the length and the nature of their training. 

The purpose of taking time out of programme is to support the trainee in: 

  1. undertaking clinical training that is not a part of the Oxford School of Anaesthesia training programme (OOPT) 
  2. gaining professional skills that would enhance a trainee’s future practice. This could include enhancing skills in medical leadership, academia, medical education or patient safety, or enhancing clinical skills related to but not part of the curriculum. Such experience may benefit the doctor (e.g. working in a different health environment/country) or may help support the health needs of other countries (e.g. with Médecins Sans Frontières, Voluntary Service Overseas, global health partnerships) (OOPE). 
  3. undertaking a period of research leading to a DPhil (OOPR) 
  4. taking a planned career break (OOPC) 

Trainees should give as much notice as possible, and this would normally be six months so that the needs of patients are appropriately addressed. Trainees will also need to ensure that they keep in touch with Health Education England Thames Valley and renew their commitment and registration to the training programme with the Postgraduate Dean on an annual basis. This process also requests permission for the trainee to retain their training number and provides information about the trainee’s likely date of return to the programme as well as the estimated date for completion of training and revalidation documentation. For trainees undertaking approved training out of programme, it should be part of the return for the annual review process. It is the trainee’s responsibility to make this annual return, with any supporting documentation that is required. 

Trainees must maintain their licence to practise while on OOP as well as their connection with Health Education England Thames Valley for the purposes of revalidation.