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Scotland Deanery

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Trainee Information

Out of Programme (OOP)

Guidance for trainees wishing to take time out of their approved training programme for research, acting up, sabbatical or another reason.

Specialty Trainees including GP Trainees (OOP)

Taking time out of programme is governed by the Gold Guide which sets out arrangements agreed by the four UK Health departments and is maintained by COPMeD (Conference of Postgraduate Medical Dean in the UK), or if you are a dentist, by COPDEND (Committee of Postgraduate Dental Deans and Directors in the UK). 

Medicine: Application form for OOP/Acting Up

Dental: Please refer to Dental Gold Guide. Dental trainees should refer to the application form (Appendix 3) within the Dental Gold Guide and submit it to the Associate Postgraduate Dean.


There may be a number of circumstances why a trainee may wish to take time out of their approved programme to which they have been appointed. All OOP has to be approved by your Postgraduate Dean.

Guidance on OOPE (Experience)

Guidance on OOPR (Research) 

Guidance on OOPT (Training) 

Guidance on OOPC (Career Break)


Please see also: Out of Programme Approvals Process – Protocol 2015 [Updated 2017, 2018 and 2020]

Further information on Out of Programme applications and eligibility is available on the GMC website.


Are you a Foundation trainee? (TOFP)


This page was last updated on: 12.01.2021 at 17.00