Trainee FAQs header.001


OOPE = out of programme experience. The deanery doesn't count this time as training so it’ll delay the date of your certificate of completion of training (CCT). But you don't need to prove that you'll be receiving 'UK-standard training' and for most global health placements it's the best option.

OOPT = out of programme training. The time counts towards CCT. The deanery and college need to be satisfied that a) you can't get the training within your deanery b) you'll be receiving 'UK-standard training' and c) you'll be satisfying all the normal training requirements throughout i.e. supervision reports, eportfolio assessments. Not an option for most global health placements.

OOPR = out of programme research. A proportion of the time counts towards CCT. Potentially a great option if there's a subject you're passionate about (write-up is a nightmare otherwise!) and you can find both local and destination supervisors you trust to be helpful and available. Contact us for advice about potential supervisors.

How do I plan a global health placement?

  • Start early! You usually need a placement, supervisor and funding confirmed before you even apply to the deanery for time out, and your deanery application must be made at least 6 months before you go. There are often delays when communicating with organisations in other countries and your original plan may need to change.
  • Research your options. Find opportunities (see our global links page), network and hear about other people’s experiences e.g. at PiNGHS events!
  • Discuss and document your wish at every educational supervision meeting and ARCP to help show your commitment. This will give the School of Paediatrics team plenty of notice and will help add weight to the OOP application when it is submitted.
  • Don’t give up.

When should I go?

There is no right or wrong time; don’t let anyone make you feel you have to do it the same way they did. It depends on the objective(s) and particulars of your placement. However, we recommend at least obtaining MRCPCH before considering clinical global health work (this is in fact a criterion for RCPCH Global Links). Working as registrar and being used to independent decision-making will help you transition into less supported low resource settings.

How and when should I make my OOP application to the deanery?

The deanery meets twice a year to discuss applications for the next 'period' (Sept-Feb/March-Aug). An email is circulated to trainees a few months before the meeting with details about upcoming submission deadlines. Contact the HR team for further information e.g. Kelly Baxter on  or Adele Simpson on It is important also to inform your educational supervisor.

Here is the link of the document you will need as well as the complementary notes that you must read to understand the process and what is required.

HEENE Out Of Programme Policy (see Appendix for OOP application form)

What is needed on the deanery application?

Be as clear as possible in your application about the reason for applying and how this experience will enhance your learning and development as a paediatrician. Outline SMART objectives for the OOP and how these will be achieved. You also need a named supervisor, placement address and some details of job role on the form. A letter of recommendation from the sponsoring organisation will strengthen your application.

How can a global health placement achieve UK competencies?

Of course it depends on what you're undertaking during OOP. If the RCPCH generic curriculum is considered, running teaching sessions with local colleagues to ensure sustainability should be considered. This can involve lectures, practical sessions, or simulations in the clinical environment. Most trainees with RCPCH Global Links have also instructed on courses in-country and now have opportunities to instruct internationally. Getting involved with local clinical governance and quality improvement is a useful way of evidencing acute awareness of ‘effects of local, national and international policies on the health of children’, which is a subsection of the generic curriculum. Leadership and managerial skills will be enhanced especially when considering any locally agreed system changes, for example, with organising and chairing meetings to gain consensus.  There will also be the opportunity to gain experience of infectious diseases such as malaria and TB which are not seen often in the UK, and other clinical conditions unique to resource poor settings e.g. severe acute malnutrition.

When will I get a decision about my application?

A decision will be emailed approximately two months after the submission deadline.

How supportive is the deanery when it comes to OOP for global health work?

The deanery is quite supportive if you

  • Make them aware as early as possible of your wish to take time out at some point
  • Apply with clear objectives for enhancing your career with experience that cannot be obtained locally
  • Give detailed information about your placement showing organisation and a robust plan

Good luck!