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Support and Guidance Information

The Hospital Department offers advice and support to doctors in training and School Boards on all matters relating to Specialty Training.  The following sections provide guidance – for a list of our Trainee Policies and Guidance visit our Trainee Policies / Guidance page:

A trainee may seek to take time out of their specialty training programme whilst retaining their NTN.

Trainees must apply prospectively to the Associate Dean for Hospital Specialty Training to take time out of programme. Trainees considering a period of Out of Programme Training, Research, Experience or Career Breaks (OOPT/R/E/C) should discuss their plans with their Head of School (and/or Training Programme Director where appropriate) before proceeding with an application.

Trainees will not be permitted to spend the last 6 calendar months of training prior to CCT outside a GMC approved UK training programme.  This is to facilitate the requirements for revalidation. Approval of OOP will depend on the following:

  1. The application meets the criteria set out in this document
  2. The ability of the training programme to accommodate the request
  3. The impact the resulting vacancy would have on service delivery
  4. The relative merit of the application in relation to other OOP applications received The Deanery recommends that applications are submitted at least 6 months prior to the date of the planned OOP to ensure sufficient time is available to obtain prospective approval for OOP and to enable 3 months’ notice to be given to the employer.


For further guidance and information on applying please see the following:


Out of Programme Policy including Application


The Gold Guide – 9th Edition (published August 2022)

There has been a recent change to the NHS Pension Scheme which will have an impact on trainees going out of programme.  For more information please see the link below:

If you are planning on going out of programme, you are strongly advised to contact your current employing Trust and/or NHS Pensions to discuss how this may impact on your individual circumstances.

Application Window Now Open – February 2024 Commencement

The National Inter Deanery Transfer (IDT) process has been established to support trainees who have had an unforeseen and significant change in their personal circumstances since the commencement of their current training programme, or for those who, since accepting an offer, require a transfer.

The process is managed by the National IDT team on behalf of the Conference of Postgraduate Medical Deans (COPMeD), Health Education England (HEE) and all UK regions.

In order to provide a consistent, transparent and robust process for all trainees, the National IDT team will make all decisions on eligibility and allocations in accordance with the published guidelines and criteria.

You can read these guidelines and criteria as well as find out much more about the process by visiting the National IDT webpages at

All FAQs are now hosted on the PGMDE website which can be accessed via

Further information can be obtained from Anna Ciepielewska, NIMDTA IDT contact by emailing

Timeline for Applicants, Educators and Regions


Supporting documentation and process available  

4th July 2023 

Application window opens & Application form available on the PGMDE Support Portal 

31st July 2023 (noon) 

Application window closes 

18th August 2023 (noon)  

National Team carries out eligibility checks 

31st July - 30th August 2023 

Eligibility confirmations sent to applicants  

1st September 2023 (no later than) 

Eligibility data sent to regions. 

(anonymous for incoming applicants, Identifiable for outgoing applicants) 

4th September 2023

Vacancy Declaration Process (Regions) 

4th - 20th September 2023 

Allocation Panel (Random Ranking Exercise) 

2nd October 2023 

Conditional offers Round 1 opens 

w/c 2nd October 2023 

Conditional offers Round 2 opens 

w/c 9th October 2023 

Conditional offers Rounds close  

16th October 2023 

Allocation Information to Regions 

17th October 2023 

Regions to contact successful applicants to finalise offers  

24th October (no later than) 

Transfer of Information between regions 

w/c 30th October 

Allocated transfer window  

7th February - 3rd April 2024 

Waiting List Opening  

6th November 2023 

Waiting List Closing 

5th January 2024 

Waiting List Transfer window 

7th February 2024- 28th June 2024 

Acting up as a Consultant provides trainees with the experience of navigating the transition from junior doctor to consultant, while maintaining an element of supervision associated with being a trainee.

NIMDTA are supportive of this valuable developmental opportunity for the following reasons:

  • The clinical aspects of the job will provide insight into the role of the consultant: supervising the admissions take, leading ward rounds and multidisciplinary teams, and running clinics.
  • Trainees get a chance to experience and appreciate the often large non-clinical side of the consultant role, such as participation in departmental, directorate, and committee meetings; engaging with management teams; report writing; and service improvement planning.
  • Acting up allows trainees to understand the idea of working as independent practitioners by leading a team and being responsible for their own time and decision making.
  • Trainees gain a better understanding of consultant job planning and of what to look for in a job plan when applying for a substantive post.
  • The experience will help trainees to cultivate certain skills, such as learning how to maintain an approachable disposition but to balance it with the necessary authority.
  • Acting up provides an opportunity to gain a deeper insight into how to negotiate professional relationships with medical colleagues, nurses, and allied health professionals.
  • Being able to draw on the experience of acting up will be useful when completing applications for consultant posts, when asking for references, in the interview process, and during the early stages of a career as a consultant.

Trainees who are in their final year of training are eligible to ‘Act Up’ as consultants for one single fixed period of time, up to a maximum period of three calendar months.

Where doctors in training are acting up, this should be for the duration of their entire working week including any out of hours responsibilities.

Less than Full Time (LTFT) trainees are also eligible to act up as a consultant for one single fixed period of time, however this can be pro-rata.

The period of ‘acting up’ cannot extend past the date of CCT but may be counted towards CCT or CESR (CP) with approval from the relevant Royal College.

When in post, the term ‘acting up’ and not ‘locum’ must be applied.  Trainees who are post CCT will not be eligible to ‘Act Up’ but will be expected to take up the post as Locum Consultant.

Upon taking a Locum Consultant post trainees will be asked to resign their National Training Number (NTN).

Out of Programme Policy including Application


Regional Guidance on Relocation, Removal and Excess Travel Expenses for Doctors in Training


Monitoring Guidance for Junior Doctors