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MTI for Medicine Doctors

  • October 13, 2022

We receive lots of queries from international doctors who have completed the earlier parts of their MRCP or have completed IELTS/OET and would like to be considered for the MTI scheme. Unfortunately, we’re unable to assist with these applications as they are handled directly by NHS Trusts and the Royal College of Physicians however, we’ve compiled some of the incredibly useful information that the RCP have to offer in this blog article in order to help:

What is the MTI Scheme?

According to the Royal College of Physicians’ website:

“The Medical Training Initiative (MTI) is a mutually beneficial scheme that provides junior doctors from all over the world with the opportunity to work and train in the UK, while giving hospitals a high-quality, longer-term alternative to using locums to fill rota gaps. The scheme facilitates General Medical Council (GMC) registration and tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange) visa for those eligible.”

There are currently more than 300 international doctors working in the UK on the RCP’s version of the MTI scheme, making it the largest of all the UK college programmes.

What jobs can you apply for?

Before you can be considered for MTI sponsorship by the Royal College of Physicians, you need to have secured a suitable post and the hospital should support your intention to obtain sponsorship in order to take up that post. The position must meet a number of criteria:

  • The post should have appropriate training and educational content, as well as the approval of the regional postgraduate deanery/local education training board (LETB).
  • Posts should be at core medical training (CMT) equivalent or above for the duration of 3 months to 2 years.
  • The RCP only provide sponsorship for posts where at least 50% of the time is spent in clinical training. The RCP are unable to sponsor the clinical elements of postgraduate studies.
  • The RCP will not sponsor applications for posts in private hospitals under any circumstances.
  • The post will need to be fully funded from one of the following sources: (a) a scholarship, (b) official funding, or (c) a salary.
  • The funding should be equivalent to UK salary for the level of work being undertaken and must last for the duration of the post.
  • The RCP will not sponsor applicants who are self-funded.

Applications should be made directly to eligible positions on NHS Jobs ( or the Royal College (

What are the entry requirements?

All candidates need to meet the following criteria:

  • Hold a primary medical qualification - recognised by the GMC and verified by Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG)
  • Have a postgraduate medical qualification
  • Have 3 years post-qualification experience, including 1 year's internship and at least 1 year in the specialty in which you intend to train while in the UK
  • Engaged in medical practice for 3 out of the last 5 years including the 12 months prior to GMC registration being granted. There should be no gaps in employment during the 12 months. You must remain in medical practice throughout the application process. Please note that the GMC does not consider clinical observerships as clinical practice.
  • Skills and competencies - you must possess the skills, competencies and understanding of medicine at least equivalent to a UK graduate at the end of their CMT.
  • Passed International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with overall score of 7.5 and 7.0 in all categories OR Occupational English Test (OET) with minimum grade B in all categories. The tests are valid for two years and your scores must have been obtained in the same sitting.

A further section of the RCP site, references eligibility for direct applications to interviews that they host and includes:


  • You must not have failed PLAB
  • Have a postgraduate medical qualification (e.g. MRCP part 1, MD, DNB)
  • Be a national of and practise in the country where the interviews are being held.

What visa will I get?

The MTI scheme falls under the Government Authorised Exchange Visa (previously Tier 5), which is specifically designed for doctors coming to the UK to train for a maximum of 24 months. Time spent in the UK on a Government Authorised Exchange Visa does not count towards the 5 years required for indefinite leave to remain.

Do I have to return to my home country after the MTI Scheme has finished?

The intention of the MTI scheme is that you should return back to your home country at the end of the two year period. The purpose is to ‘learn and return’ so you should take the skills that you learn in your time with the NHS back to your home country.


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