Out of Programme

Registrars will need to follow the LETB/deanery, FPH and GMC approval processes before they can start their out of programme. GMC Guidance on OOP (including the length of OOP) is available in the Gold Guide.

The OOP posts should provide experience in one or more of the key areas as outlined in the curriculum. 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.


Out of Programme Training (OOPT)

FPH approval is needed if the placements is

  • not approved by GMC or

  • based overseas or

  • GMC approved and may involve working overseas. Registrars going to any UK placement that may involve working overseas(as opposed to going to conferences) for even short periods should be advised to apply to their HEE/Deanery for OOPT and to FPH for recognition of the time towards training before they start in the post, even if they cannot give the exact dates of time to be spent overseas at that point. Not more than three calendar months in total in any six month UK placement should be spent working overseas.

FPH approval is NOT required if the placement is approved by GMC and does not involve working overseas. HEE/Deanery should notify FPH of the OOP and the new CCT date.

Please refer to the list of GMC approved placements.

Out of Programme Research (OOPR)

FPH approval is required if time is counted towards CCT (up to 12 months of OOPR can be counted towards CCT upon approval from HEE/Deanery, FPH and GMC).

FPH approval is NOT required if OOPR does not count towards 48 months of Specialty Training. FPH should be notified of the OOPR and the new CCT date.

Out of Programme Experience (OOPE)

FPH approval is NOT required. This OOP will not count towards 48 months of Specialty Training. FPH should be notified of the OOP and the new CCT date.

Out of Programme Career Break (OOPC)

FPH approval is NOT required. This OOP will not count towards 48 months of Specialty Training. FPH should be notified of the OOP and the new CCT date.

The FPH Education Committee (normally through the Director of Training) must approve any placement prospectively. 

Applications must be submitted by registrar's HEE/Deanery. FPH will not accept applications directly from registrars.

The OOP Request Form must be completed and submitted to educ@fph.org.uk a minimum three months before the placement begins to ensure the application is assessed in good time.

Once received FPH will assess the application in order to grant approval. FPH approval is granted by official letter which is sent to the HEE/Deanery. The HEE/Deanery must then submit full application (including all approval documentation) to the GMC for their prospective approval.

Approval cannot be given retrospectively once the registrar has started the post. All of their Specialty Training must have been prospectively approved by FPH. If approval from FPH has not been granted, the time spent out of programme will not count towards registrar's CCT or CESR (CP). This means their completion of training date will be pushed back.

An Extension to Time out of Programme 

If a registrar is already on an Out of Programme placement that has been approved by FPH and wishes to extend the time, they will need to submit the completed OOP Request Form including new dates, additional information and the Faculty approval letter.

Please note no more than 12 months will be awarded for an OOP placement including any extensions.

AUC posts are normally taken in the final year of specialty training and usually last for 3 months. AUC posts may count towards registrar’s CCT or CESR (CP). The usual OOP approval process must be followed to obtain prospective GMC approval. The Postgraduate Dean may allow exceptional extensions for a longer period of AUC.

ACFs are specialty training posts that incorporate academic training. Posts are usually held for a maximum of three years (full time equivalent). About one quarter of the time spent in training will be devoted to training in research and education and the remainder to training in public health.

ACFs are advertised and appointed about the same time as clinical recruitment – which is going ahead this year. Most are NIHR funded (which are only open to medics and dentists), but some are locally funded which provides flexibility in who can apply and how they operate. For further information please see 2020 NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowships (Medical) Guidance for Recruitment and Appointment.

There is also the NIHR Integrated Clinical Academic (ICA) Programme which is open to ‘Non-Medical Public Health Specialty Trainees, Specialists and Consultants’. This programme operates slightly differently and should be discussed with your local university and training programme.