News & Views

Important Changes to the Medical Training Initiative Prioritisation Process

The Department of Health, Health Education England and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges have agreed changes to the arrangements for processing applications for MTI Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) from applicants from countries other than those identified as DfID priority countries or World Bank Low Income and Lower Middle Income Countries (LI&LMI).

It has been reaffirmed by the Department of Health, Health Education England and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges that the priority focus of the MTI is to provide training opportunities for doctors from DfID priority or LI&LMI countries and have therefore now stated that applicants from countries not considered DfID priority or LI&LMI countries can have no guarantee or expectation of receiving an MTI CoS.

The current prioritising system has been working effectively but has had unintended consequences for applicants not from DfID priority and LI&LMI countries. These applications were considered at the end of each month and CoS’s allocated if there was available capacity from the monthly quota once the allocations to DfID priority and LI&LMI countries had been made. However, the overall volume of applications received, has resulted in a growing proportion of these applications being rolled over for consideration at the end of the following month.

The consequence was that these applicants could find themselves waiting up to several months to confirm an MTI placement. This delay and uncertainty understandably caused real problems for individual applicants, employers, Colleges and Deaneries. The Department of Health, Health Education England and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges all believe that position was unsustainable and unfair to applicants. For the sake of transparency it was felt better to explicitly state that these applicants can have no guarantee or expectation of receiving a CoS, although they will not be barred from making applications.

The revised process is as follows:

  • Applicants from countries not considered DfID priority or LI&LMI countries may apply at their own risk. If there is any remaining capacity at the end of each month having processed all applications from DfID priority and LI&LMI countries, other applicants will be awarded a CoS taken in order of the receipt of their applications. Successful applicants will be contacted to confirm whether they still wish to pursue their application. Those not successful will be informed that on this occasion their application has been unsuccessful due to lack of capacity and asked whether they wish to remain on the list for consideration again the following month. Applicants from these countries and employers will need to recognise that the waiting list may become quite long and reduce only slowly. This means that these applicants may be better off finding alternative routes for employment and immigration through Tier 2 entry.
  • This process will commence from 1 April 2017. However, it has been agreed to process all those applications from other countries on the current waiting list as soon as possible.
  •  New applications from countries not considered DfID priority or LI&LMI countries received after 1 April 2017 will be placed on a revised waiting list and will be processed if and when there is capacity. This will not begin until the monthly quota rebalances to take account of those we process now from the current list. This is unlikely to be before June 2017
  • The Department of Health, Health Education England and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges believe these arrangements:
    • Better reflect the intention and purpose of the MTI
    • Are fairer overall than the current system of uncertainty and delay that candidates from other countries are experiencing

A detailed statement from the Department of Health, Health Education England and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges will be going out shortly to all employers, Deans, Colleges and for potential applicants making clear:

  • The intention and purpose of the MTI and its focus on DfID priority or LI &LMI doctors
  • That MTI placements are intended for training purposes using local spare capacity. They are not intended as method for employers to cover staff shortages and rota gaps
  • That applicants from other countries, whilst not barred from seeking to use the scheme, would be better advised to use alternative methods to find medical employment or training in the UK
  • Guidance to applicants and employers on alternative routes for employment of overseas doctors using Tier 2 visa arrangements.

A list of the countries which comprise the DfID priorities and the World Bank Low Income and Lower Middle Income countries is set out below. Applicants from any country not in this list will be covered by the new arrangements and can have no guarantee or expectation of receiving a COS.
Afghanistan
Armenia
Bangladesh
Benin
Bhutan
Bolivia
Burkina Faso
Burma
Burundi
Cambodia
Cameroon
Cape Verde
Central African Republic
Chad
Comoros
Cote d’Ivoire
Democratic Republic of Congo
Djibouti
Egypt, Arab Rep.
El Salvador
Eritrea
Ethiopia
Gambia, The
Ghana
Guatemala
Guinea
Guinea-Bissau
Haiti
Honduras
India
Indonesia
Iraq
Jordan
Kenya
Kiribati
Korea, Dem. People’s Rep.
Kosovo
Kyrgyzstan
Lao PDR
Lebanon
Lesotho
Liberia
Madagascar
Malawi
Mali
Mauritania
Micronesia, Fed. Sts.
Moldova
Mongolia
Morocco
Mozambique
Myanmar
Nepal
Nicaragua
Niger
Nigeria
Occupied Palestinian Territories
Pakistan
Papua New Guinea
Philippines
Rwanda
Samoa
Sao Tome and Principe
Senegal
Sierra Leone
Solomon Islands
Somalia
South Africa
South Sudan
Sri Lanka
Sudan
Swaziland
Syria
Tajikistan
Tanzania
Timor-Leste
Togo
Tonga
Tunisia
Uganda
Ukraine
Uzbekistan
Vanuatu
Vietnam
West Bank and Gaza
Yemen
Zambia
Zimbabwe