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Overview of the Medical Training Initiative

  • March 13, 2018

Overview of the Medical Training Initiative (MTI)

What is MTI?

The Medical Training Initiative was established by the UK Department of Health in 2009. The scheme provides another possible route for an IMG who wants to relocate to the UK and work for the NHS. Its purpose is to allow suitable qualified overseas Doctors to undertake a fixed period of training in the UK within the NHS, before returning to their home country. As an IMG who partakes in this scheme you will greatly benefit from increased knowledge, skills and techniques learnt within the NHS and take that experience with you to use in your home country.

The scheme has resulted in many government health institutions managing and running an array of programmes with varying responsibilities and quality assurance measures in place. This set of standards is placed by Health Education England (HEE), the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges in partnership with the Medical Royal Colleges and other organisations with the goal of standardising and providing quality assurance of all MTI training places.

In 2018 the HEE and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges launched a new set of standards for the MTI, which can be found here. The new standards are focused towards those who administer and approve MTI placements in line with the current guides and information for MTI’s already available.

Benefits of MTI

  1. As an international Doctor who is part of the training scheme, you will be provided with speciality training and supervision by a qualified NHS consultant. When you begin the scheme, you will be given an opportunity to create a training plan which will suit your educational needs and ensure that you are offered all desired experience before the scheme ends and you return home.
  2. Royal College’s typically sponsor GMC registrations and Tier 5 Visa applications – making the process that little bit easier for you.
  3. Despite being a trainee within a hospital, you will receive the same salary as a qualified UK Doctor. However, it is useful to note that if you receive funding from your home country then you will not be provided with a salary in the UK.

Disadvantages of MTI

  1. Visa issued is a Tier 5 VISA, this means that it will take 7 years to gain indefinite leave to remain in the UK as opposed to 5 years via the Tier 2 route
  2. If you already have full membership with the Royal College there is very little benefit to undertaking an MTI post as most doctors who come on this scheme are looking for UK experience prior to the final part of their Royal College Membership
  3. For senior doctors you will have to do a six-month period as an SHO in the UK, you can enter the UK system as a registrar from overseas with no UK experience if you have full Royal College Membership.
  4. MTI scheme does not make it easier to get into a training post in the UK. You have an equal chance of getting into a training post by taking a Service post in the UK for a six to twelve-month period.

Required Qualifications to apply

For each Royal College the requirements vary so we advise that you check your College website to find out what they require. However, the below requirements are typically found in each application:

  • You must reside overseas at the time of applying for the MTI scheme and have no right of residency in the UK or EEA
  • You must be practicing clinically in a GMC recognised priority country, a full list of those countries can be found here
  • An overall IELTS score of 7.5 (with a score no less than 7.0 in each section of the test) / Or an OET result at grade ‘B’ or above achieved in each section. The results must have been achieved in a single sitting of the test and you must have achieved the score within the last two years
  • You must have a primary medical qualification which is approved by the GMC, further details can be found here
  • Worked in a medical practice setting for three out of the past five years, which includes working continuously in the last twelve months
  • You must be able to demonstrate your intention to return home after finishing your two-year training scheme, with the ability to show how your training in the UK will benefit your medical practice in your home country

Application Process

If you meet the above criteria and want to apply to the MTI scheme then click here to access the application form and further guidance.

Documents you will need:

  • A copy of your full CV
  • A copy of your IELTS results
  • A cover letter which clearly specifies your nationality, preferred speciality, preferred duration and your available start date

There is not an application deadline for the Medical Training Initiative as they accept applications all year round. Typically, interviews are conducted by the recruiting consultants, held over Skype rather than overseas.

If an offer is made to you then you will need to start your GMC registration.

The process of applying for the MTI scheme can differ dependent on your personal circumstance. We therefore advise you that the entire process can take up to six months from your interview to your first day in the post. However, the process can be accelerated if all the required documents are provided in the first instance.

Will I be offered any support during my placement?

During your induction to the training you will be under close supervision with a qualified NHS Consultant until you become familiar with local practices and protocols. Once both you and your supervisor believe that you are competent you will be able to begin any on-call or night-time shifts. Further support will continue to be offered after your induction period. This support includes providing you with a mentor, an ePortfolio (which will allow you to upload evidence to demonstrate your professional achievement and learning), College membership, and access to continuous feedback.

If you are considering applying for the Medical Training Initiative or would prefer to relocate to the UK permanently then take a look at our GMC Registration article where we provide a break down of the different relocation routes.

Get in contact with us at [email protected] if you would like tailored advice and guidance on relocating to the UK and finding your perfect NHS position.


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