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Scotland Deanery

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Trainee information

Deanery guidance on OOP experience

The Scotland Deanery is committed to giving doctors who are in our training programmes opportunities to extend their experience by allowing them a chance to leave their programmes to gain experience that their programme may not afford them.

A short life working group was convened to define and clarify the circumstances when OOPE should and would be granted in the Scotland Deanery, in keeping with the Gold Guide guidance. The group involved trainees, HR representatives, DMEs and experts in medical education and simulation. The group agreed the following principles:

  • Out of Programme Experience (OOPE) should aim to deliver ‘recognisable achievements’ that are beyond the requirements of the specialty curricula, and that would enhance a trainee’s future practice. This could include enhancing skills in medical leadership, medical education, simulation training or patient safety.
  • The expected ‘recognisable achievements’ that are anticipated from an OOPE, how the post will be structured and how the doctor in training will be supported / mentored to achieve these objectives should be described and submitted with the OOPE application. It is expected that ‘recognisable achievements’ could not be achieved other than by taking time OOP.
  • ‘Recognisable achievements’ have been agreed for OOPE in relation to academia and simulation training. Where an application is to enhance the development of other skills, these anticipated ‘recognisable skills’ should be outlined in the application. Simulation Fellowship example
  • With the exception of OOPE supporting Government Global Health Partnership or Global Citizenship working in developing countries such as Malawi, the expectation is that OOPE opportunities would have little service commitment and typically no more than 20%.
  • OOPE will be limited to one-year and only exceptionally would 2 years be approved. Exceptional circumstances typically comprise an unanticipated significant incident, or a set of circumstances, not of a trainee's own making, which results in a trainee not being able to complete the anticipated activities within the time originally planned and for which approval was granted.
  • On completion of the post, trainees should be provided with a summary of their achievements.
  • Trainees must complete OOP application form providing supporting information (as above) and individuals who sign these should clearly understand in what capacity their signature is being provided: i.e.
    • the Educational Supervisor’s signature recognises that a discussion has been undertaken with the trainee and that they support the request on behalf of the career intentions of the trainee.
    • the Training Programme Director’s signature denotes that release of the trainee will not adversely affect delivery of the programme to other trainees.
    • the trainee will provide all information about the post, especially the objectives, which should be included in the request form.


This page was last updated on: 07.02.2023 at 11.03