The ISTP comes under the generic Medical Training Initiative (MTI) scheme and provides a route for high quality International Medical Graduates (IMGs) from outside the UK/EU/EEA/Switzerland to obtain registration with the General Medical Council (GMC) and undertake training and development in UK hospital posts for a maximum of two years. The scheme was developed by the Department of Health and operates under the Home Office Tier 5 Government authorised Exchange (GAE) visa category. The College is a GMC-approved sponsor of the MTI scheme.

IMGs will undertake a range of clinical work, with the possibility of completing placements in multiple hospitals and gaining sub-specialty experience.

As well as gaining clinical skills, IMGs will also be given the opportunity to develop a range of transferable skills such as leadership, management, developing guidelines, conducting audit and research and understanding clinical governance.

IMGs will be supported throughout their training by an allocated Supervising Consultant based within their employing trust, an Educational Supervisor, their other colleagues and the College MTI Officer who will periodically contact them throughout their time on the scheme.


The aim of the scheme is to:

Improve the quality of healthcare globally, by the sharing of knowledge, experience and best practice.

Provide IMGs with a period of training and development in the UK before returning to their home countrywhere their patients and colleagues can benefit from the skills and experience they have obtained.

Foster relationships between UK trusts and international institutions.

Support the UK’s international development objectives.


ISTP eligibility criteria

Applicants need to:

Be working within an RCS ISTP Partner Institution.

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

Hold a primary medical qualification recognised by the GMC.

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

Have been engaged in medical practice for three out of the past five years including the most recent 12 months.

Have passed the MRCS (UK) or hold an acceptable alternative qualification.

Have achieved a minimum score of 7.0 in all categories of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)and an overall score of at least 7.5.