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Medical Training Initiative

What is the Medical Training Initiative (MTI)

The primary purpose of the MTI is to contribute to improving the quality of healthcare in developing countries.

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 MTI allows doctors from developing countries to come and work in the UK for between one and two years in recognised training posts with appropriate supervision and teaching, acquire useful and suitable skills and knowledge and then return to their countries of origin to practice in their chosen fields.

ENT UK is only able to sponsor for clinical training, and cannot sponsor doctors to undertake research-based posts or the clinical element of a postgraduate degree. These posts are training posts that have been vacated by UK trainees (ST3+).

We do not sponsor SAS Doctor, SHO level or sub-specialty fellowship posts. 

  • Placements are for between 1 – 2 years
  • The process of GMC registration and obtaining a TW Government Authorised Exchange (TW GAE) visa (formerly known as Tier 5 visa) can take up to 3 months to complete
  • ENT UK provides a Certificate of Sponsorship for GMC registration purposes
  • The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC) provides a Certificate of Sponsorship for a TW Government Authorised Exchange (TW GAE) visa (formerly known as Tier 5 visa). 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 TW GAE due to the Scheme Prioritisation and Allocation.
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Benefits of the MTI

MTI trainees can be placed in recognised training slots which are vacant for a number of reasons which includes trainees out of the programme (e.g. on research attachments). Trainee doctors receive the same quality of training as UK trainees. They will be able to increase and widen their clinical and technical skills in a structured and supervised training programme. As well as this consultants and trainees in the host department will welcome the opportunity to network with international medical graduates and learn skills and techniques from them. 

We also require applicants to become international members of ENT UK for the duration of time they are on the MTI scheme and this will allow full access to the educational resources and help in the acclimatization to the NHS.

Minimum Criteria for acceptance onto the MTI Programme

All applicants must:

  • Have a primary medical degree recognised by the General Medical Council of the UK, i.e. MB ChB or MB BS
  • Have obtained a postgraduate qualification in your chosen specialty equivalent to the level of the MRCS or MRCP (UK) e.g. MS/MD, DNB in Surgery or Diplomate of National Board of India (DNB) in Surgery or Medicine, FCPS Pakistan
  • Demonstrate that you have been engaged in clinical practice/training for at least three out of the last five years.

    Please note the ’12 month rule’.  IMGs applying for full GMC registration via the sponsorship route must remain in clinical practice for the 12 months immediately preceding the date the application for GMC registration is made. A period of absence of up to 5 weeks is allowed for annual leave. Please ensure that you do not come out of clinical practice during this 12 month period.  GMC registration will not be awarded if you do not meet these criteria.  Please note also that Clinical Observerships are not considered to be medical practice.
  • Have achieved a minimum score of 7.0 in all 4 categories of the Academic UKVI International English Language Testing System IELTS with an overall score of 7.5.     You must take this test at one of the approved SELT Consortium test centres.
  • or the Occupational English Test (OET) is also accepted.
    You must achieve a minimum score of B in all four of the categories.   
  • Have references from Supervising Consultants with UK links / Fellows of the Royal College of Surgeons
  • Live overseas at the time of application
  • Be eligible for a TW Government Authorised Exchange (TW GAE) visa (formerly known as Tier 5 visa) (maximum of 2 years) and willing to go back to home country following training in the UK.

How to apply

If you wish to apply for the ENT UK MTI, you are required to submit a completed application form together with the relevant supporting documents via email to: Ms Janet Stephen, ENT UK Education Officer,

Please note that ENT UK can only accept application forms sent by email and we will not take in account applications sent by post.

Download the MTI application form here 

Documentation required for the application process

  • Completed application form 
  • IELTS test certificate – valid for 2 years (must be achieved in a single sitting and valid at the time of employment in the UK). The candidate must have an overall score of 7.5 with no less than 7.0 in each of the categories (reading, listening, writing, and speaking) OR the Occupational English Test (OET). The GMC has stated a grade of B in all testing categories is required for international doctors to qualify for GMC registration.
  • Photocopy of passport (picture included and must be of good quality)
  • CV
  • Two written references - one from the Head of Department, and one from a senior local sponsor with links to the UK. Please state if your senior local sponsor does not have links to the UK on your application. Both references must be on the letterhead paper of the institute where your referees are currently working and must include a work email address. Guidance on what information should be included on the reference letters can be found within the application form.
  • A copy of the candidate’s log book (this must be up-to-date and guidelines are listed within the application form)

Administration Costs

What is the cost to the doctor for an offer of sponsorship under the ENT UK MTI?

ENT UK does not charge a doctor any fee for the administration of this scheme. ENT UK will bear the whole cost of administration and only require that the doctor pays for GMC registration and any visa costs.


There is an administration fee of £1,000 payable by the hospital to ENT UK when a candidate is successfully placed.

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