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Scotland Deanery

Home of medical and dental excellence

Trainee information

OOP acting up

'Acting-Up’ into a consultant post can only be undertaken by trainees in the final year of their training programmes and completed before the award of their CCT. The maximum period of ‘Acting Up’ is three months (pro rata for LTFT trainees) and normally only one period of ‘Acting-Up’ will be given approval.*

The term “Acting Up” should be applied and not locum.  Trainees undertaking ‘Acting Up’ roles must have a named educational supervisor for the duration of the ‘Acting Up’ period. The ‘Acting Up’ post must be within the United Kingdom.

Trainees benefit from Acting Up in Consultant posts.  The post should be a vacant funded consultant post which offers the trainee genuine consultant level experience while still retaining supervision.

Trainees must have the support of their Programme Director (TPD), the unit where their training post is based at the time of the acting up, and the unit in which they would be acting up, including identifying a named supervisor. Trainees will retain their NTN whilst undertaking the ‘Acting Up’ post.

  • If the “Acting Up” post is not explicitly allowed by College/Faculty (either included in curriculum or within College/Faculty guidance) but is to be counted towards CCT, OOP forms need to be completed and the Deanery should apply for approval of the post in the same way as for OOPE
  • For specialties that allow acting up experience within training (either included in curriculum or within College/Faculty guidance) the following process should be followed
  • Trainees may only Act Up with the prior written agreement of the Lead Dean/Director responsible for their training
  • Applications to Act Up must be made using the application form here
  • Trainees continuing in Acting Up post which extends post CCT date must advise the Deanery and will be relinquishing the period of grace; after CCT the role would change to Locum Consultant
  • Trainees who wish to take up a Locum consultant post whilst in their period of grace will be required to resign from their NTN, with sufficient advanced warning aligned to their T&C contract.


Information required for Acting Up requests – please include

  • title and location of post with detail as to the benefits to your training
  • description of educational and clinical supervision
  • evidence of approval from clinical lead of your current placement (if Acting Up post is in another department or Health Board)
  • agreement from the clinical lead of the acting up placement that a funded vacant consultant post is available


Timelines for Acting Up requests

To ensure that arrangements can be put in place to support your Acting Up placement and to support the trainees in the programme, the Lead Dean/ Directors and Directors of Medical Education have agreed that:

If the Acting Up post is within the same Health Board, the Acting Up request must be received by the Lead Dean/Director at least 2 weeks before the start date.

If the Acting Up post is within a different Health Board, the Acting Up request must be received by the Lead Dean/Director at least 4 weeks before the start date.


*COVID agree derogations may result in amendments to the timeframes


Clarification of difference between acting-as and acting-up




Fully immersive and doing everything a consultant would do– and stepping into a vacant consultant post



Has named clinical supervisor



Needs OOPT approval



Expected duties if has demonstrated the requisite competence

Can be ‘entrusted’ to take on individual components of a consultant role eg leading a clinic or leading a ward round or leading a post-receiving ward round, etc. Over a period, a variety of activities might be undertaken, but not assuming all of the roles of a consultant all of the time on a continuing basis.

100% of the roles and responsibilities of a consultant, all of the time (essentially what would be done as a locum other than that there must be a named clinical supervisor for the trainee in this role)

Which rota is trainee on

Trainee rota

Consultant rota


This page was last updated on: 07.02.2023 at 11.03