Out of programme experience
Out of Programme Experience - Out of Programme Training (OOPT) or Out of Programme Research (OOPR) - refers to experience gained by trainees outside of their official training programme. Not all OOPT/OOPR count towards the 48 months of required CCT training. Trainees considering overseas Out of Programme Experience as part of their CCT training, must note that a minimum of 24 months of CCT training must be completed in the UK.
An example of an OOPT/OOPR that would not count towards CCT training:
This might include several months out of programme (normally not at the deanery's expense), to pursue a special interest for which no training recognition is sought by the trainee concerned.
An example of an OOPT/OOPR that would count towards CCT training:
An approved secondment to an overseas or UK training location outside the host deanery for one to 12 months. All or part of this time would be awarded training recognition through the local RITA process.
Any OOPT/OOPR, which will count towards CCT training, must be assessed after completion as part of the trainee’s overall training programme. The appropriate RITA/ARCP panel will review the educational value of the OOPT/OOPR and confirm the achievement of the planned competences.
Through custom and practice, OOPT/OOPR are not commonly used when a trainee spends an agreed period in a Faculty-approved slot within the area covered by another Deanery for a planned attachment, for instance at a specialist unit, academic department or national centre. Such attachments must be agreed prospectively with the trainee's own Faculty Adviser and with the Faculty Adviser for the 'host' Deanery which is to receive the 'visitor' who will need to ensure that these slots are not overfilled.
Note that RITA/ARCP Form F is also not normally used to cover the MSc year, since it is a routine element of training in PH. For part-time MSc/MPH courses taken over two or more years, a total of one year wte is used as an approximate amount of time allocated as 'out of programme'.
On completion of Out of Programme Experience (OOPT/OOPR) the trainee is asked to submit a confidential report.
Completion of these feedback reports is not compulsory; however these reports are very valuable in assisting the Training Programme Director to approve training in such posts for future placements.
FPH encourages the development of training programmes, which offer trainees opportunities for development. The possibilities may not be limited to those available in one Deanery. Faculty Advisers and Programme Directors can help trainees identify and arrange appropriate experience in a variety of settings: rural or urban, academic or service, Strategic Health Authority or PCT, local government, regional public health group (covering SHA and Government office for the region) or specialist unit. Overseas experience, too, can be very valuable.
Any post should provide excellent opportunities for acquiring learning outcomes outlined in the nine key competency areas related to the three domains of public health practice (health protection, health improvement and service quality). The post should provide experience in one or more of the following key areas:
- Key Area 1: Surveillance and assessment of the population’s health and wellbeing
- Key Area 2: Assessing the evidence of effectiveness of health and healthcare interventions, programmes and services
- Key Area 3: Policy and strategy development and implementation
- Key Area 4: Strategic leadership and collaborative working for health
- Key Area 5: Health Improvement
- Key Area 6: Health Protection
- Key Area 7: Health and Social Service Quality
- Key Area 8: Public Health Intelligence
- Key Area 9: Academic Public Health
It is important that training experience, wherever it occurs, is carefully planned and structured to maximise the training value and that every placement makes a valuable contribution to the overall training plan. The regulations for Out of Programme placements are the same, whether they take place in the UK or abroad.
The FPH Education Committee (normally through the Director of Training) must approve any placement, prospectively before GMC approval is sought.
Please note that any placement longer than 6 months undertaken within the UK must be in a GMC formally approved training 'slot', whether in the trainee's 'home' Deanery area or elsewhere.
The Postgraduate Dean must give approval, normally on the recommendation of the Training Programme Director (TPD). FPH, TPD and Dean's approval must be obtained prospectively before an application is made for GMC approval.
Trainees are advised to clarify the current position with their Deanery regarding any proposed Out of Programme Training (OOPT) or Out of Programme Research (OOPR).
To obtain approval, the trainee will need to identify and agree the following:
- the competencies/learning outcomes (based on the Training Portfolio/Curriculum) which will be met through the placement
- the local (on-site) supervisor (who should have professional links with a named UK trainer)
- educational supervisor in training programme
- the funding arrangements
- local support, as applicable (for example, personal mentor distinct from work supervisor,
- housing, return travel, and others)
- duration (start and finish date)
Trainees need to discuss the potential Out of Programme opportunity with their Deanery and Training Programme Director, requesting their approval.
FPH needs to receive the Out of Programme request (signed by the Training Programme Director) from the Deanery together with a support letter from the Training Programme Director for the OOPT or OOPR.
In addition, the Faculty requires a completed Supplementary Information Form, which will provide FPH with detailed information on the following points:
- programme location;
- project details;
- programme duration;
- arrangements for funding;
- arrangements for educational supervision by programme and locally;
- learning outcomes (discussed with the Training Programme Director and approved): it is expected that the competencies will be met and will add to training needs as identified by RITA/ARCP panel.
Once received FPH will examine and assess the application in order to grant approval. FPH approval is granted by official letter which is sent to the Training Programme Director and to the Dean of the Deanery involved. The Deanery is responsible for submitting the full application (including all approval documentation) to the GMC for prospective approval.
The Postgraduate Dean needs to receive from the Deanery:
- A formal covering letter seeking prospective approval of the OOPT or OOPR placement and confirming that the placement has Deanery support along with the following essential information:
- trainee’s full name;
- date of birth;
- GMC number (if applicable);
- NTN number;
- Confirmation that the Deanery, through appropriate FPH mechanisms, is aware of and supports the OOPT or OOPR placement. The Deanery should also indicate the length of time that the OOPT/OOPR will count towards the trainee’s CCT.
Applications must come from the Deanery. This is to maintain consistency with a policy of holding the Deaneries responsible for local level quality management of education and training. Trainees are therefore advised to liaise with their Deaneries regarding applications for approval.
For further information, please go to the GMC website for up to date guidance.
The Postgraduate Dean and/or GMC will notify FPH and the Training Programme Director once a decision has been made.