Out of Programme Research (OOPR)

As a UK SpR trainee you can count up to 12 months research towards training, provided you have both provisional and final support from the appropriate bodies.

If you do not wish to count your OOPR towards training but you are undertaking over fifty percent clinical work during your OOPR, you could make an OOPT application to count the clinical time towards training.

Even if you obtain SAC initial support for your OOPR, your certification date will be extended by the whole of the OOPR period. It is only at your RITA meeting following your OOPR post that your certification date will/could be amended to take into account the months of OOPR counting towards your training.

To go on OOPR you will need to:

  • Discuss your intention with your Training Programme Director (TPD) and gain their support
  • Contact your Deanery/LETB and ask what applications you need to make to them to gain their support
  • If the time is not going to count towards training, you just need to send the JCST a fully completed and signed OOP Request Form
  • If the time is to be counted towards training, once you have the support of your TPD you will need to make an initial application to your SAC for provisional support
  • Once you have TPD, Deanery/LETB and SAC support, but before you start your OOPR, your Deanery/LETB will need to apply on your behalf to the GMC to seek its approval for your research

Please note that the GMC will not issue approval retrospectively - see full guidance here.

Applying for SAC provisional support

Before you start you will need to forward to the JCST:

  • A fully completed and signed copy of your Deanery/LETB OOP Request Form or a letter of support from your TPD – these will need to show:
  1. The exact dates of your research
  2. Whether the time is counting towards training
  3. That your Deanery/LETB is aware of the time out of programme
  • A signed offer letter
  • Details of your research
  • Name and contact details of your OOPR supervisor
  • Up to date CV

In addition to the above:

Neurosurgery trainees will need to submit:

  • Their current logbook listed by SAC Indicative Operation Groups

Please note that the JCST office and the SACs can take up to six weeks to process and issue SAC provisional support.

Applying for SAC support for an OOPR extension

If your OOPR is extended beyond the original dates you will need to forward to the JCST:

  • A fully completed and signed copy of your Deanery/LETB OOP Request/Extension Form or a letter of support from your Training Programme Director
  • A signed offer letter for the extension period
  • An up to date CV
  • An update report from your supervisor

Please note that the GMC must approve extensions of OOPR - see full guidance here

Once you finish your OOPR, your RITA panel should look at the evidence submitted and decide then what proportion, if any, of the OOPR can count towards your training.