There are several points at which an academic trainee may decide to leave the academic training pathway. The most common exits from academic awards is Out of Programme activity. Going Out of Programme ends the academic award.


As long as clinical competences have been successfully achieved, the doctor would be able to re-join the non-academic specialty training programme, retaining their NTN, relinquishing the (a) suffix and losing entitlement to run through.


Trainees must attain the relevant competencies to pass the joint clinical and academic ARCP, failure to meet these criteria may lead to the trainee leaving the ACF post and returning to clinical specialty training. Under these circumstances the trainee would no longer have run-through into higher specialty training.


Continued commitment to the integrated academic pathway is determined by the IAT partnerships who manage the posts. A lack of commitment may lead to the ACF post ending and thus loss of run-through.


In all instances, it is important to remember that the Clinical Training Programme Director (acting on behalf of the Postgraduate Dean) would have to identify a suitable placement in the clinical programme, and that in some cases this could take up to one year. It is therefore important to give warning to the Postgraduate Dean as soon as the possibility of early exit from the programme arises. It is hoped that it will not occur, but it is possible that the individual leaving the academic training programme might have to wait for a suitable clinical placement while retaining their NTN. During this time, they may have to find other work. It is essential, therefore, that the trainee gives as much notice as possible of their intentions to avoid this.

Early exit from an ACF might occur at the following points:

  • during the course of the three year ACF programme (four years in General Practice) the funding should continue until exit from the programme to allow “seamless” return to the clinical programme
  • early exit might occur due to the trainee going OOP for non-statutory reasons, such as OOPE, where the OOP experience is not related to the ACF

Loss of Run-Through: ACF

Reasons for ending an NIHR ACF post early may include going OOP for reasons unrelated to their research.

Trainees must attain the relevant competencies to pass the joint clinical and academic ARCP, failure to meet these criteria may lead to the trainee leaving the ACF post and returning to standard specialty training. Under these circumstances the trainee would no longer have run-through into higher specialty training.

Continued commitment to the integrated academic pathway is determined by the IAT partnerships allocated the posts. A lack of commitment may lead to the ACF post ending and thus loss of run-through.


Early Exit CL:


If the trainee is successful in obtaining a further intermediate fellowship before the scheduled end of the CL, then their post will end. Should there be any clinical training still outstanding, then this will either need to be accommodated within the next fellowship or the trainee will return to full time clinical training upon completion of the fellowship. If CCT/CCST is reached before the maximum time allowed The CL phase will normally end at the Completion of Clinical Training (CCT/CCST).