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FAQs for UK hospitals

Answers to frequently asked questions for UK hospitals providing a placement for a MTI doctor

We have created a flow chart to help hospitals (PDF 214kb) to understand the process of enabling an MTI doctor to come to the UK. The RCOG sends clear instructions at every stage of the process which will ensure the doctor arrives on time to start work. If forms are not processed on time, this will result in a delay to the doctor starting work which could have severe implications for the hospital as well as the doctor and their family. We urge that hospitals process the required forms for the doctors as quickly as possible when requested by the RCOG MTI Office to ensure a smooth process.

Deans must be enabled to make a decision on each potential MTI placement right at the outset of the process. The Deanery is responsible for signing off the educational and training content of the MTI post as well as ensuring the MTI post will not disadvantage UK trainees.  

As such we recommend to contact your Head of School in the early planning stages before you submit an RCOG MTI placement post request, to check the MTI post will be approved and also the proposed start date for the MTI post.

Once you are ready to apply to the RCOG to host an MTI Trainee you must obtain formal Dean approval for the MTI post by completing and submitting the Academy’s Deanery approval form online. Deanery approval is valid for 6 months. You should receive a decision from the Deanery within 2 weeks of submitting the online form and supporting evidence.

Please also make sure that you have obtained approval from your Trust finance department for the full funding of a 2-year MTI training post with minimum ST3 starting salary before applying to the RCOG MTI Scheme

The RCOG will work with the individual Trust and MTI Doctor to facilitate the start date for the MTI training post. Trusts should factor in at least 3-4 months for their matched MTI applicant doctor to obtain their GMC registration, tier 5 visa, and travel to the UK.

RCOG MTI Scheme trainees will start at ST2 for a short period whilst they acclimatise to working in the NHS, typically this is 3-6 months. Once they are competent and able to perform independently they will then step up to registrar level and spend the rest of their time in training at ST3-5. Please note that we cannot provide trainees for special interest training under the RCOG MTI Scheme.

No, it is the responsibility of the hospital to ask the doctor for any background checks that they require as their future employer.

Shortlisted MTI candidates are required to undertake a panel interview following a similar format to ST3 national recruitment interviews. This is led by the Chair of the RCOG International Representative Committee in that country (or MTI Office for those Countries without an IRC Chair) and panel members include UK O&G Consultant clinicians, RCOG MTI Regional Champions and RCOG Liaison Group Chairs.

Once hospitals have been matched with a candidate and have reviewed prospective applications, the RCOG requires that they interview candidates remotely before making a post offer. We introduced this process in 2014 and the aim of interviews is that the employing body is satisfied that the doctor has the required communication skills to be able to cope with the demands of the available post and is the right fit for the Trust.

The College's expectation is that all doctors that have been shortlisted and matched by the RCOG will be appointed following interview. If your hospital does not feel the candidate is suitable for appointment following interview you should contact and complete the A2 feedback form providing detailed feedback.

Please note it is for hospitals to organise interviews with matched doctors at their earliest convenience and the MTI office is unable to assist with scheduling interviews.

Realistically, the process of assessing and then enabling an MTI doctor to come to the UK and start work takes at least 3 months.

The RCOG will be conducting a formal assessment of applications for 2024 between January and March and the 2024 round wait list will be finalised in mid-April.

We will begin accepting placement post applications from Trusts from Tuesday 2nd April 2024. Once a post has been approved by the RCOG MTI Officer and / or RCOG MTI Regional Champion it will be matched with whichever wait listed MTI candidate is at the top of the wait list at the time of approval.

From this point, the earliest we can expect a doctor to be able to arrive in the UK is July/August. 

Please note that your hospital must pay the MTI fee (£2,500 plus VAT per MTI placement offered) prior to being allocated a doctor.

We will not be able to send you the application pack of a doctor until we receive the payment. 

All MTI applicants go through a robust and rigorous selections process as part of the quality assurance of MTI and to ensure trainees are at equivalent to UK ST2 and capable of stepping up to ST3 in 3-6 month in line with the training objectives of the scheme.

This involves two stages; firstly, an assessment panel review by UK O&G Consultant and medical educators of the application and secondly a panel interview following the ST3 national recruitment format.

Applicants are then ranked by order of score, with those scoring highest ranked top of the wait list. Wait listed candidates are matched in order of ranking as posts are received through so those scoring highest are matched first.

In order to ensure fairness and transparency in the MTI process we do not take requests from Trusts to be matched with a particular named doctor or doctors of particular nationalities. Your placement post will be matched with whichever MTI applicant is at the top of the wait list at the time the MTI post is approved.

The RCOG welcomes applications from all Trusts across the UK with spare training capacity to accommodate an MTI doctor for a 2-year training post. If your Trust is new to MTI then we would recommend you contact your RCOG MTI Regional Champion or the MTI Office for an informal discussion before you apply. This will help with managing expectations, ensuring your Trust is adequately prepared and with the quality assurance of MTI training.

Clinical training and non-clinical skills opportunities vary between different countries and even between different regions and hospitals in the same country. As such it is important to ensure that the Trust recognises each MTI trainee will come with their own individual experience and skills set. The MTI trainees assigned Educational Supervisor should meet with the trainee at the earliest possible opportunity after their start in the MTI training post to discuss the MTI doctors training requirements for progression to ST3.

MTI doctors are expected to work at the standard of a UK Year 3 Specialist Trainee (ST3). However, some doctors require supervised training at SHO level for a short period of acclimatisation until they have a better grasp of the UK NHS system, to allow them to improve their communications skills and some specific clinical skills they may need to develop (the most common example is FBS in labour or use of forceps/ventouse/instrumental delivery skills).
The majority of MTI doctors will reach this level within 3 to 6 months if given an educational plan which includes appropriate training opportunities and adequate supervision.

We encourage all hospitals and MTI doctors to communicate any issues to the RCOG MTI Office/RCOG MTI Regional Champion for your Deanery as early as possible and the RCOG will endeavour to support the hospital and doctor. However, if the hospital feels the need to terminate an MTI doctor’s contract on the grounds of patient safety then the hospital, as the doctor’s employer, is able to do this. We recommend hospitals to allow at least three months for the doctor to demonstrate improvements following the implementation of a SMART action plan to address the issues raised before making the decision about termination of the contract.

Requests for transfer of placements for non-educational reasons (preference for particular geographic location/ family relocation) will not be supported. As trainees are aware that they are placed for 24 months in a particular trust at the time of accepting the MTI placement, it would not be acceptable to facilitate transfers for non-educational reasons. The RCOG will therefore not support transfer of CoS in these cases.

In the rare cases where a transfer on educational grounds is made, the process to manage transfer requests (PDF 443kb) will apply.

No, the RCOG does not sponsor doctors who do not apply for and are not shortlisted through the RCOG MTI Scheme.

RCOG MTI Doctors must complete the full 24 months of MTI training with the placement hospital to be eligible for their MTI certificate.

The host Trust must not employ the MTI Doctor in a Trust grade/service/research or training post, or switch them across to a tier 2 visa, until after they have completed the full 24 months of MTI Training on a tier 5 visa.

The AoMRC and NHS Employers have produced a joint statement around the issue of Trusts switching MTI trainees across from the tier 5 to tier 2 visas whilst in the UK