It is possible to take time out of programme (OOP) once you have started your specialty training for a number of reasons, which could be either personal and professional. Approval must be obtained from your Deanery or LETB beforehand in order for you to retain your National Training Number.
There is always concern that any time out from your training could lead to a fading of your skills and knowledge. However, if it will give you more experience and a chance to develop your skills, then it can be seen as a benefit.
For any OOP experience to count towards your CCT (certificates of completion of training) it must have prior approval by the GMC. Usually approval is obtained by your Deanery or LETB (local education training board).
The overall purpose of time OOP is to allow trainees to take up opportunities that their training programme would otherwise prevent. There are four types of OOP you can take any point of your training, read our guidance on OOP, that covers which OOP is right for your stage of training and how to apply.
You may also consider less than full time training, which is available to all junior doctors who are unable to train full time due to 'well founded individual reasons'. This could be due to illness or caring responsibilities that prevent you from training full time. Read our guide to flexible training and see if you're eligible to apply.
If you are considering volunteering or working in a low-resource setting as part of your OOP, get all the information from our guide on volunteering abroad.
If you are on a visa and plan to delay the start of, or take time out of, training contact the BMA immigration service for advice.