Medical training initiative (MTI)

The RCPsych Medical Training Initiative (MTI) provides an opportunity for a small number of Psychiatrists from low- and middle-income countries to train in the UK for up to two years before returning to their home country. The RCPsych provides GMC Sponsorship and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC) acts as the UK Sponsor to enable participants to apply for a Tier 5 visa with the UK Borders Agency.

The MTI scheme provides successful International Fellows with a unique opportunity to gain experience in several sub-specialties, gain exposure to the NHS regulatory framework and work in a multidisciplinary team. 

Employing Bodies can apply to RCPsych to employ an MTI fellow if they have vacant training posts which cannot be filled by UK trainees. The posts must not disadvantage UK trainees nor adversely affect the training of existing trainees in the location. MTI fellows provide a valuable contribution to the UK workforce and can provide a unique insight into patient care.

Doctors applying to the MTI scheme must:

  • hold a primary medical qualification recognised by the UK General Medical Council from an internationally accepted medical institution. Successful applicants must have this qualification verified by the Education Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) (RCPsych will advise when to do this).
  • 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 12 months leading up to GMC registration).
  • understand that the scheme is aimed at trainees and that those in training grades will be given preference, therefore it may not be possible to interview all eligible candidates.
  • in the last 18 months have completed the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic Test and achieved a minimum overall score of 7.5 (and at least 7.0 in each category) or have achieved a grade B or over in each testing area of the medical version of the Occupational English Test (OET). The scores must be from your most recent sitting of the IELTS or OET.
  • be resident overseas at time of application and have no rights of residence in the UK.
  • have obtained, or be working towards, a postgraduate qualification in psychiatry.
  • have not previously made any unsuccessful attempts to register with the GMC (e.g. PLAB test) or exceeded the GMC’s limit on unsuccessful attempts at the PLAB test (Doctors who have failed - and not subsequently passed - either part 1 or part 2 of the PLAB test or who have previously been turned down for sponsorship by an approved sponsor are not generally considered as suitable candidates for sponsorship. If unsure, please see GMC website for clarification)
  • have not failed any examination that forms part of your psychiatric training, including between the time of application and the time of sponsorship.

Applications to start MTI placements in August 2022 are now open and will close at 23.59 GMT on Monday 17 January 2022.

To apply, you should:

  • send all documents in PDF or Word format only
  • submit each part of the application as one document (for example A1 should be submitted as one document, not several individual pages)
  • name each file with the document number and your name (for example, "A1 Dr Forename Surname")
  • submit your application in one single email
  • digital signatures will be accepted.

To apply please complete the below MTI Application forms and submit to

If you encounter any difficulties using these forms, please contact

This diagram illustrates the application process:


There are a number of costs associated with making a successful application to the RCPsych MTI scheme, some of these costs are:

RCPsych MTI induction booklet

The RCPsych MTI team have developed an MTI Induction Booklet which provides an introduction to RCPsych, your new role, the NHS and culture in the UK. We recommend reading the induction booklet before you travel to the UK as it provides lots of useful information. 

Visas: Information from UKVI

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) have published advice for UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) which we recommend you read through. As a health worker in the NHS, you will be eligible for a one-year visa extension if your visa expires between 1 April 2021 and 30 September 2021. 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and travelling to the UK

Travel guidance and restrictions are constantly changing. We recommend checking government advice on coronavirus (COVID-19) regularly to stay up to date with the latest rules.

Immigration Health Surcharge refund

Doctors on the MTI scheme, and their dependents, can now receive full reimbursements of the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS), for any period from 31 March 2020. To request a refund, complete the AoMRC IHS refund form.

About the MTI Scheme

Employing bodies can benefit from the diversity and experience that MTI Fellows bring, along with their unique insight into patient care. MTI Fellows provide a valuable contribution to the UK workforce and benefit greatly from experiencing training in the NHS. 

Employing bodies can apply to RCPsych to employ an MTI fellow if they have:

  • Vacant psychiatry training posts which cannot be filled by UK trainees
  • Converted ST posts
  • Trust posts which provide sufficient educational and training content.

MTI posts must:

  • Not disadvantage UK trainees
  • Not adversely affect the training of existing trainees in the training location,
  • Have approval from an authorised signatory in the local Deanery
  • Start at CT3 but may progress to ST level after a few months with agreement from the MTI and Employing Body.

RCPsych provides support to employing bodies throughout the entire process of employing an MTI Fellow and continue to support them throughout the MTI placement. RCPsych also provides the doctor with GMC sponsorship and coordinates the application to the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC) for a Certificate of Sponsorship, which the doctor uses for their Tier 5 visa application.

There is an employing body administrative fee of £750 for each doctor RCPsych successfully matches with a post. The fee allows the RCPsych to continue the scheme and provide a high level of support to both employing bodies and MTI Fellows from application right through to the end of placement.

Application process

MTI placements typically begin in August of each year, however the RCPsych MTI team is happy to provide a more flexible approach, based on the needs of the individual employing body.

The employing body application period will be open from January to March 2022 for doctors to start placements from August 2022. Applications can be made by completing an RCPsych MTI Employing Body Submission Form and submitting this to

Interested Employing Bodies may find the following documents useful:

The RCPsych MTI team can be contacted by email at

You can also follow the international team on Twitter for updates: @rcpsychINTL.

Get in contact to receive further information regarding a career in psychiatry