Medical Training Initiative - FAQs

Frequently asked questions about the Medical Training Initiative (MTI). 

If the answer to your question is not listed below, please email mtip@rcpch.ac.uk

  1. What is Medical Training Initiative?
  2.   Is there an MTI qualification?
  3. Who can apply for the Medical Training Initiative?
  4. I have completed a Diploma in Child Health (DCH). Can I apply to the MTI scheme?
  5. Can I complete one year in a MTI placement, return home for a year (or more), then come back to the UK to complete another year? What happens if it is the same placement with the same trust / employer rather than a new placement?
  6. Can I apply if I don’t have IELTS or have a different language test certificate?
  7. Is the UKVI Academic IELTS a requirement?
  8. I am an International Medical Graduate (IMG) coming to the UK as part of the MTI scheme. Do I require General Medical Council (GMC) registration?
  9. What is the certificate of sponsorship required by the GMC?
  10. What is Certificate of Good Standing?
  11. Can I bring family to the UK while on an MTI placement?
  12. Can I use my personal funds to support my MTI placement?
  13. Can a UK passport holder apply for a MTI placement?
  14. How long can I stay in the UK?
  15. What is my UK tax liability if I am fully funded by my home country?
  16. Does the MTI scheme provide accommodation?
  17. Do I need to Register with police?

What is the Medical Training Initiative (MTI)?

MTI is a programme that allows international trainee doctors from lower and lower-middle income countries outside the European Economic Area to benefit from training and development within the UK’s National Health Service. Trainees spend up to two years in posts with a strong training component (both core and specialty), with full access to an educational supervisor and the electronic portfolio used by UK trainees. It is the hope that MTI trainees will then return home equipped with not only clinical experience, but also a wider awareness of the regulatory and ethical frameworks that healthcare in the UK is conducted under.

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health’s MTI scheme – MTI(p) – facilitates this by reviewing applications from overseas doctors and establishing the quality of training posts submitted to the scheme by participating NHS employers. The MTI team guides eligible doctors who have been matched to posts through the process of securing Royal College sponsorship for both General Medical Council registration and a Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange Visa, both of which allow the doctor to live and engage in clinical work for the two year period.

Is there an MTI qualification?

MTI(p) trainees will be automatically enrolled for the Diploma in UK Medical Practice (Dip. UKMP) offered by the Royal College of Paediatrics & Child Health and the Royal College of Physicians of London in partnership with the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.

The Dip UKMP is an accredited qualification that has been developed in response to demand from MTI trainees who wanted a substantive, accredited qualification to return to their home countries with following their two years of training. Doctors who engage fully with their electronic training portfolio and write a reflective piece on their time spent in UK clinical practice will receive the Diploma. Full details can be found on the LSTM Dip UK MP website.

All MTI(p) trainees who complete their two years training will also receive a training certificate from the College; however, this is not a qualification.

General information about MTI, including testimonials

Who can apply for the Medical Training Initiative scheme?

Please see eligibility criteria.

I have completed a Diploma in Child Health (DCH). Can I apply to the MTI scheme?

No. The DCH qualification is not considered an appropriate postgraduate qualification needed to apply to the MTI route for the GMC registration.

DCH is not recognised by the GMC as a 3 year postgraduate degree, and so does not meet the criteria to be deemed equivalent in standard to the MRCPCH.

Can I complete one year in a MTI placement, return home for a year (or more), then come back to the UK to complete another year? What happens if it is the same placement with the same trust / employer rather than a whole new placement?

The 24-month maximum length of a Tier 5 visa cannot be split into different ‘placements’ with gaps in-between (whether with same or different Host Trust).

Whilst technically there is no UKBA rule against the number of Tier 5 visas applied for and the period between them, it is a Department of Health rule with regard to the MTI scheme that participants cannot reapply within 5 years.

Can I apply if I don’t have IELTS or have a different language test certificate?

No. You must complete the Academic IELTS in order to proceed with an MTI application.

All applicants must have demonstrable skills in written and spoken English that are adequate to enable effective communication about medical topics with patients and colleagues. This must be demonstrated in the following way:

Achievement of the Academic international English Language Testing System (IELTS)

  • Overall 7.5
  • Speaking 7
  • Listening 7
  • Reading 7
  • Writing 7

The test is valid for 2 years only from the date it was taken. No other English language examination will be accepted nor will exceptions be granted.

Candidates must hold a valid IELTS certificate at the point of application and any subsequent registration with the GMC.

Is the UKVI Academic IELTS a requirement?

No. For the GMC registration the Academic IELTS is sufficient.

I am an International Medical Graduate (IMG) coming to the UK as part of the MTI scheme. Do I require General Medical Council (GMC) registration?

Yes. Usually this is done via professional sponsorship for GMC registration from an approved GMC sponsor (normally a relevant medical Royal College for the specialty area). Individual medical Royal Colleges will have different criteria they require candidates to meet in order for them to provide professional sponsorship for GMC registration – and these can be different to the criteria required for IMGs making a direct application for GMC registration. Details can be obtained directly from the relevant medical Royal College.

All Doctors applying for GMC registration need to have been in active medical practice for the past 12 months and clinical attachments do not count as active medical practice.

What is the certificate of sponsorship required by the GMC?

There are two types of ‘Certificate of Sponsorship’ relevant to the MTI scheme:

  • A professional certificate of sponsorship shows the GMC that the individual has support from the relevant professional body for registration on the medical register. The GMC accepts sponsorship only from approved Sponsors, such as the RCPCH. During the registration process, the GMC will ask you to provide this document and the RCPCH will send it on your behalf directly to the GMC.
     
  • A visa certificate of sponsorship is provided by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and shows the UKBA that the individual has support from an approved body for the relevant visa. We will only be able to apply for this Certificate once the GMC confirms its approval for your registration.

What is the Certificate of Good Standing (CoGS)?

The CoGS required is issued by a licensing authority in your country, eg a medical council. Please find more information http://www.gmc-uk.org/doctors/information_for_doctors/28500.asp ">here.

The CoGS must confirm that

  • You are entitled to practice medicine in the appropriate country AND
  • you were not disqualified, suspended or prohibited from practicing medicine AND
  • the regulatory authority is not aware of any matters that call into question your good standing

You can find out who the medical regulatory authority is for each country, and their contact details, in GMC certificate of good standing contact database .

Please ensure that you have obtained a CoGS from all medical regulators that you have worked under or been registered or licensed with since you were granted provisional registration.

In the UK, CoGS is only valid for three months from the date that they are issued and must be valid on the date your GMC application is approved.

Can I bring family to the UK while on an MTI placement?

Yes. If you are applying for Tier 5 visa under the MTI scheme you can concurrently apply for dependent visas for your immediate family members.

Please note that the Academy can only certify maintenance for the doctor taking up the MTI placement – it cannot certify maintenance for dependents and you will have to meet the UKBA requirements for evidence of sufficient funding for your family.

Can I use my personal funds to support my MTI placement?

No. The MTI placement funding can come from any source except the applicant’s personal funds - for example, the employing UK trust, a foreign employer or UK/foreign government grants and scholarships.

Can a UK passport holder apply for a MTI placement?

No. The MTI scheme is a Tier 5 visa immigration route for overseas Doctors seeking a period of UK based training. A UK passport already gives the right to live and work in the UK so holders would not be eligible for an MTI placement.

How long can I stay in the UK?

The Academy-issued Tier 5 Certificate of Sponsorship states your start and end work dates. When a visa is granted, 14 days should automatically be added on after the end date specified on the Certificate of Sponsorship. If you apply from overseas you should also have 14 days added on before the start date as well.

These 14 day periods are fixed in the Immigration Rules and shouldn’t vary. The 14 day periods form part of the overall period of leave granted, as stated on the visa itself. Where a 24 month work period is stated on the CoS, the 14 days cannot be added at the start or end – 24 months is the absolute maximum for a Tier 5 visa.

From 1 October 2012, anyone who overstays by more than 28 days after the expiry date of their visa is liable to have any further application refused.

What is my UK tax liability if I am fully funded by my home country?

The answer to this will depend on the home country in question and what arrangements they have with the UK. The HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) website should provide information on agreements between countries – if not you can contact the HMRC to ask.

Does the MTI scheme provide accommodation?

Ready-made accommodation near to the primary place of work is not provided as a standard part of a MTI placement.

It may be that the Trust providing the MTI placement can assist with finding accommodation - either via hospital owned accommodation (which may or may not be close to the place of work) or via contacts to help you find local accommodation. You would generally be expected to pay for accommodation costs.

Do I need to register with police?

If you are from one of the countries listed here, you must register with the police within 7 days of arrival in the UK. 

Those applying for leave to remain and who are already in the UK will be personally notified if they are required to register with the police by way of the Home Office letter confirming that their application for leave has been successful. They must show this letter when registering.