Applying for an OOPT in a developing country


How to do it

There are many advantages of getting your time training in a DC counted as an ‘OOPT’.  These include:

  • Implementation of Tooke/Crisp reports and others which extol the virtues of working and training in a DC
  • Time counted towards training
  • A more productive time for the trainee
  • Prevention of ill-prepared trainees going to unsuitable posts
  • Decreased risk to vulnerable patients
  • Improved links between RCoA and overseas fellows

Despite this, trainees often take the time as an OOPE as it is ‘less trouble’.

With some forward planning and knowledge of the OOPT process it is fairly straight forward, and definitely worthwhile. Many of the rules are exactly the same as applying for an OOPT anywhere and can be found on the relevant training pages of the website.

Planning your OOPT

You MUST discuss your plans with your Training Programme Director (TPD) early in your training, even before you have found a programme you want to take up and as with any OOPT you must discuss the timings of your chosen programme with your TPD. This should be no less than six months and preferably at least a year before it starts as visas etc may take a long time to organise and your TPD will need to plan ahead to fill your vacancy.  When you have been provisionally appointed to a programme you will need to formally apply for an OOPT. This requires getting approval from your Deanery/LETB, the RCoA, and the GMC. Your TPD/RA will advise as to how the process works in your Deanery/LETB.

For RCoA approval, the form on the RCoA training pages requires you to attach the following:

  • Objectives of the training, mapped against the appropriate Unit of Training in the CCT in anaesthetics.
  • Job Description.
  • Letter from hospital/authority/NGO confirming agreement to deliver the OOPT and explaining supervision arrangements.

Educational Supervision

You must have an Educational Supervisor (ES). They must have training equivalent to the ESs in the UK. You may have an ES in the country you are visiting. They may not, however, have been trained to the level expected to deliver training in accordance with the CCT requirements.

‘Remote Supervision’
Trained ESs who have had experience in a DC may be able to supervise you remotely from the UK, by email, telephone and video link.  The IP has access to ESs who are willing to assist, if you cannot identify one you know.

On application you MUST supply an Educational Plan that you and your ES have agreed for the period you are in the DC, with clear aims and objectives.

The training plan should describe how WBPAs will be delivered, as well as appraisal and 360 degree assessments where appropriate. There should also be detailed proposals for activities in the following fields: Clinical experience, audit, teaching, and possibly research and management/logistics.

Requirements for a trainee who wishes to undertake an OOPT in a DC

(The RCoA realizes that there is much variation in the programmes, so each application will be considered individually).

  • ST5+, preferably  higher units in ICM, obs, paeds, trauma.
  • Attended a course on Anaesthesia in a Developing Country, e.g. Uganda, Bristol, or similar.
  • Should have done a risk assessment of the place to be visited. You may be asked for details of insurance, medical protection, accommodation, funding, and security.

Mapping your training against the CCT curriculum

There is an optional Unit of Training (UoT) for training in a DC in the ‘Higher’ section of the curriculum. This may allow up to six months of higher or advanced training to be counted in the ‘General Duties’ section.  Other UoTs may also be considered depending on the content of the programme, for instance obstetrics, paediatrics, education, leadership. You may need some guidance from your TPD/College Tutor to assess how this fits in with your overall training programme.

On return to the UK

As with any OOPT, you will be required to write a report for the RCoA Training Committee to finally approve the time towards your CCT/CESR (CP). Please contact the Training Department for any more information you may require.

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