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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

Medical Training Initiative


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 (AoMRC) 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 an interview via video link at a predetermined date in either February or March. Successful candidates will be offered a post in an NHS Trust that has a suitable vacancy. Applicants are sponsored by the RCPsych to register with the General Medical Council (GMC). Once registered with the GMC, applicants can apply for a Tier 5 working visa valid for up to 24 months. Applicants will take up their posts in August.


The MTI scheme is intended for doctors from low and middle income countries and priority is given to applicants accordingly. Applicants from other countries may not be granted sponsorship for a Tier 5 visa due to the AoMRC prioritising system.  

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 from an internationally accepted medical institution.

  • 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 completed the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) Academic Test within the last 18 months and achieved a minimum overall score of 7.5 (and at least 7.0 in each category) OR have achieved a grade B in each testing area of the medical version of the Occupational English Test (OET)

  • 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, or exceeded the GMC’s limit on unsuccessful attempts at the PLAB test.


Application Documents for Doctors

*Applications for doctors for the 2018 RCPsych MTI scheme are now closed. If you would like to be notified when the next application round opens then please email the MTI team*


Below is a list of all the documents required. All documents should be clearly named and saved in .doc/.docx/.pdf or standard image formats.  Documents should be saved using the document title and your name. Unfortunately we are unable to accept any documents stored in cloud storage services such as Google Drive etc.  Emails should contain the applicant’s full name in the subject field. Please do not send any additional documentation.  Forms should be completed with applicants' full names as they appear in their passport.


  • Section A1 - to be completed by hand then scanned
  • Section A2 - to be completed either digitally or by hand
  • Section B1 - to be completed by referee then submitted by applicant
  • Section B2 - to be completed by referee then submitted by applicant
  • Section B3 - to be completed by referee then submitted by applicant
  • Letter of support from Current Employer/Institution
  • Letter of support from National Psychiatric Association (or from International Division Chair, if you do not have a National Psychiatric Association) (template available)
  • Current CV
  • Copy of Passport
  • Copy of IELTS Academic Test Result Certificate or OET certificate
  • Copy of Primary Medical Qualification Certificate
  • Copy of Postgraduate Medical Qualification Certificate OR evidence of current postgraduate training



How do I apply as a Trust?

*Applications for Trusts for the 2018 RCPsych MTI scheme are now closed. If you would like to be notified when the next application round opens then please email the MTI team*

Trusts wishing to employ an RCPsych International Fellow from August 2018 should refer to the RCPsych MTI Guidance Document for Trusts and then complete the Trust Post Submission Form and email to

If you have any questions, please email

For each doctor that is successfully matched with a post, the Trust will be required to pay an administrative fee of £750 to RCPsych.


Post Specification for Trusts

Only vacant CT3 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. Please see the RCPsych MTI banding fees.


Associated Costs for Doctors


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 International Fellow.


What else do I need to know?

Useful Documents / Links


Further Information

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 or +44 (0)203 701  2576.

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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!