GMC Logo Search the register GMC Online

Information for educational supervisors and training programme directors

It's important you give doctors in training correct information about out of programme. If the doctor is advised incorrectly, they may not be able to apply for a:

  • certificate of completion of training
  • certificate of eligibility for specialist registration (CESR) (combined programme)
  • certificate of eligibility for general practice registration (CEGPR) (combined programme).

You should refer to your home deanery or local education and training board (LETB) website for further out of programme guidance.

You should advise doctors if they want an out of programme post to count towards their certificate of completion of training or CESR/CEGPR (combined programme), our approval is needed before the post starts. This is a requirement of The Directive on Recognition of Professional Qualifications

Your responsibilities

If a doctor has secured a post outside of their training which starts in the next few weeks, you should manage their expectations and advise them, it’s highly unlikely they’ll get approval in time.

This doesn’t mean they can’t take the post. But the time out won’t count towards their training. Their training completion date may need adjusting to allow the doctor enough time to gain the required competencies in approved training posts.

The doctor must get support and endorsement in writing from the postgraduate dean and the royal college or faculty, before our approval.

It can take up to three months for the doctor to obtain the completed forms we need to give approval. The doctor must also give their employer three months’ notice.

Other considerations

The Gold Guide recommends time out of programme will not normally be agreed until a doctor in training has been in programme for at least a year. This is whether or not the time is to count towards their training.

Doctors in training must submit the Appendix 4 document annually. You can find details of this form in the The Gold Guide.

Out of programme for training is normally for no more than one year, but in exceptional circumstances, can be up to two years.

Out of programme for research is normally for a higher degree, such as a PhD or a master’s degree and will not normally exceed three years. Doctors in their final year will not normally be granted out of programme for research.