What is the MTI?

The MTI allows overseas doctors to undertake up to two years of training and experience in the UK.

Under the supervision of a fully qualified NHS consultant doctor, trainee doctors on the MTI receive core and/or specialty medical training to the same standards of UK national trainees. However, in most instances the training program is tailored to suit the MTI doctor’s educational objectives and will take into account the type of work done by the doctor upon returning home.

In addition to receiving up to 24 months of specialised medical training, doctors on the MTI have also had the opportunity to attend a variety of workshops and seminars, gain fellowship to their relevant medical college and in some instances, sit their Medical Royal College Part 2 examination.

Minimum criteria for MTI

Minimum Criteria for acceptance onto the MTI Scheme

  • Appropriate postgraduate qualification
  • Part 1 College Exam or equivalent (to UK version, check with your relevant Royal College)
  • Three years minimum postgraduate experience (Four for Royal College Obstetrics and Gynaecology)
  • Including 1 year internship, 1+ in specialty
  • International English Language Test System (IELTS) or Occupational English Test (OET)
  • A score of  at least 7.0  in each of the testing areas of the academic test (speaking, listening, reading and writing)  as well as  a  score of  no less than 7.5 overall in IELTS or a grade of B or above in each testing area in OET.
  • Have references from Supervising Consultants/Fellows of Royal College
  • Live overseas at time of application
  • Willing to go back to home country following training in the UK.

Scheme Prioritisation and Allocation

The primary purpose of the MTI is to contribute to improving the quality of healthcare in developing countries. Whilst doctors from developed countries can apply, the main intention of the scheme is to provide doctors from developing countries with a period of training and development in the NHS before returning to their home countries where their patients and colleagues can benefit from the skills and experience they have obtained in the UK.

The mechanism demonstrates support for the Department for Health’s main focus, which is for doctors from the DFiD priority countries and L&LMI countries to benefit from the scheme and, therefore priority should be given to developing healthcare systems.

The new criteria reflects the principles and intent of the scheme and it has been agreed that the following priority list be used:

  1.  DfID priority countries
  2.  L&LMI Countries who do not come under the DfID priority countries
    Low Income Countries
    Lower Middle Income Countries
  3. All other applications


Within each category, applications will be processed by the Academy in order of receipt. This proposal has been agreed and it was introduced on the 2 January 2017. For more information on the revised process see the MTI Application Prioritisation and Allocation Mechanism.

Once we have received all the required information, we will endeavour to process applications for new Certificates of Sponsorship according to the guidelines set out below, all subject to availability of allocation slots from the yearly allowance provided to the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges.

DFID Countries:
Applications from DFID Countries will be processed within five business days of acknowledgement of receipt, subject to availability of allocated Certificates of Support to the Academy.

L&LMI Countries:
We will endeavour to process applications from L&LMI Countries Applications within two weeks of acknowledgement of receipt, subject to availability of allocated Certificates of Support to the Academy.

Other Countries:
We will endeavour to process applications from Other Countries not included in DFID and L&LMI Countries within a period of three weeks, subject to availability of allocated Certificates of Support to the Academy.

What Organisations Should I Know About?

Medical Royal Colleges

Each UK Medical Royal College  is responsible for a different speciality within the medical field. Their work includes:

  • Improving standards in clinical practice
  • Supporting consultant and trainee doctors through education and training
  • Supporting international development in the medical field.

Every doctor who applies to the MTI Scheme must gain written sponsorship on the relevant Medical Royal College International Scheme prior to their Tier 5 certificate of sponsorship application.

For more information see the relevant Medical Royal College website.

General Medical Council

The General Medical Council (GMC) registers doctors to practise medicine in the UK. Their purpose is to protect, promote and maintain the health and safety of the public by ensuring proper standards in the practice of medicine.

Every doctor who applies to the MTI scheme must first register with the GMC. This is done through the relevant Royal College in conjunction with applying to their international sponsorship scheme.

Medical Deaneries

The deaneries are responsible for the management and delivery of postgraduate medical education and for the continuing professional development of all doctors and dentists.

This includes ensuring that all training posts provide the necessary opportunities for doctors and dentists in training to realise their full potential and provide high quality patient care.

The deaneries are also responsible for trainers, educational supervisors and educational leaders, their training needs and educational development.

Commonwealth Scholarships Commission (CSC)

The CSC awards funding to around 7 trainee doctors a year for specialty training on the MTI Scheme.

Awards are funded by the Department for International Development (for developing Commonwealth countries),  the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Scottish Government (for developed Commonwealth countries) in conjunction with UK universities.

The National Advice Centre for Postgraduate Dental Education

For dentists applying for the scheme it is worth noting that there are major differences regarding registration, sponsorship and availability of posts.  Potential candidates should contact the National Advice Centre for Postgraduate Dental Education for further information.