Accessibility Page Navigation
Style sheets must be enabled to view this page as it was intended.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

Medical Training Initiative


PLEASE NOTE: The 2017 MTI Scheme is no longer accepting applications from doctors.

We are still accepting applications from Trusts wishing to fill vacant posts, until midnight of 31st March. Please submit a Trust Post Submission Form to in order to submit a vacancy for consideration.

The 2018 round will likely open to those doctors wishing to submit applications around October 2017.

For further information, and to be included on the mailing list for updates on next year's scheme, please email


What is the MTI Scheme?

The Medical Training Initiative (MTI) is designed to enable a small number of International Medical and Dental Graduates to enter the UK to experience training in the NHS for up to two years before returning to their home country. Under the scheme, training capacity not required for planned UK/EEA training numbers is made available for overseas doctors and dentists who meet the required eligibility criteria. The paid posts are approved by Deaneries/LETB and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges acts as the UK Sponsor to enable participants to apply for a Tier 5 visa with the UK Borders Agency.


How does it work?

On receipt of a complete application from a doctor, the RCPsych will send an acknowledgement. The application will then be processed and all those candidates that meet the requirements will be invited to a video interview at a predetermined date in either February or March. Successful candidates will be granted the opportunity of sponsorship by the RCPsych to register with the GMC and to apply for a Tier 5 working visa valid for up to 24 months, dependent on agreement of a core training post with a Trust. Please note that this does not automatically mean that a post in the UK will be available; posts on the MTI programme can only be filled if they are not needed to meet planned UK/EEA training numbers.

The RCPsych will try to "match" successful applicants with available core trainee posts in the UK. Once a match has been confirmed, the employing Trust and associated Deanery will both sign an agreement to take on the doctor as a core trainee and submit this to RCPsych by 30th April. The applicant will then need to apply to the GMC to join the Medical Register. Once the GMC has approved an application to join the Medical Register, they will send an invitation for the doctor to come for an identity check, RCPsych will then send an application to the AoMRC who will issue a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) that the individual can use to obtain the Tier 5 Visa allowing them to work in the UK. The doctor then arrives in the UK, joining the trust to begin work at the beginning of August.

The flowchart below outlines the various steps involved in this process:



How do I apply as a Doctor?

Entry Criteria for Doctors

  • Must hold a primary medical qualification recognised by the UK General Medical Council (GMC)*.

  • Have completed an acceptable internship (or equivalent) of not less than 12 months following undergraduate training**.

  • Have at least three years’ experience working in Psychiatry in the last five years, including the last 12 months.

  • Have achieved a minimum overall score of 7.5 in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic Test within the last 18 months, and at least 7.0 in each category.***

  • Have been engaged in at least 2 years of full-time clinical practice, including the last 12 months.

  • Be resident overseas at time of application and have no rights of residence in the UK/EU/EEA/Switzerland.

  • Obtained, or are working towards, a postgraduate qualification in psychiatry.

  • Have not previously made any unsuccessful attempts to register with the GMC (e.g. PLAB test) within the previous 12 months up to the point of the application deadline. Have also not exceeded the GMC’s limit on unsuccessful attempts at the PLAB test (If unsure, please see GMC website).

* For GMC list of recognised qualifications, please see here

For internationally accepted Medical Institutions, please see here


** For GMC requirements regarding acceptable internships, please see here


*** For the GMC’s English language requirements, please see here

     For details of your local IELTS exam centre please see here


How do I apply as a Trust?

If you are working within the medical staffing department of your trust and wish to fill empty core trainee posts with MTI International Fellows, you can submit an application on behalf of the trust for posts commencing in August to be considered as part of the 2017 scheme. For each doctor that is successfully matched with a post, the trust would be required to pay an administrative fee of £750 to RCPsych. In order to apply, please simply complete the Trust Post Submission Form once for each post you have available and return them to by Midnight of 31st March 2017.



Post Specification for Trusts

Only vacant Core Training posts in your Trust can be filled by an MTI Doctor. Vacant posts must be authorised for use by MTI International Fellows by the appropriate Deanery/LETB.

The RCPsych recruits MTI candidates and ensures that they have met the standards set out above. Trusts are not required to sponsor any visa applications as this is taken care of by the national scheme sponsor - the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC). The Medical Training Initiative is a government authorised exchange operated under Tier 5 of the Points Based System.

The MTI application process involves the applicant, the RCPsych, the GMC, the Trust and the Deanery as well as the AoMRC and UK Visa & Immigration - it can take several months to secure a position, and approximately 3 months for a Doctor to complete the necessary registrations from the point at which Trusts submit their signed agreements to RCPsych.

MTI International Fellows should be offered an NHS induction, a Trust induction and a departmental induction. They should also have access to the same training opportunities as other trainees in the department. As the Medical Training Initiative is a training scheme International Fellows on the MTI Programme cannot fill service posts.

MTI International Fellows should engage in the revalidation process, even if their date for revalidation never comes up whilst they are working in the UK. Therefore they need to link to a Responsible Officer, engage in an annual appraisal process and collect supporting information exactly as any other doctor should. The designated body should be their Trust.


How much does it cost?

MTI Fee for Doctors

MTI International Fellows are required to pay RCPsych an administrative fee to RCPsych.


Associated Costs for Doctors

  • GMC Registration Fees (see here)
  • UKVI Tier 5 Visa Fees (see here)
  • IELTS Test Fees


MTI Fee for Trusts

Trusts are required to pay RCPsych an administrative fee of £750 for each post that is matched successfully with an MTI doctor.


What else do I need to know?

Useful Documents


Further Information

The 2017 Scheme is no longer accepting applications. The 2018 scheme will likely begin accepting applications around October/November 2017.

Further details about the MTI scheme, including advice for Trusts and for individuals, can be found on the Academy of Medical Royal College’s Website:

If any further information is required please contact Prof. Mohammed Al-Uzri, Specialist Advisor for MTI and/or Elen Cook International Liaison Manager at  / +44 (0)203 701 2584


(back to top)



Login - Members Area

If you don't have an account please Click here to Register

Make a Donation

MTI Specialist Advisor 2014

Prof. Mohammed Al-Uzri, Specialist Advisor for MTI


Dr Chaya Kapugama

Our congratulations to Dr Chaya Kapugama who was the first RCPsych MTI  International Fellow to pass all elements of the MRCpsych. 

Well done Chaya!