It is with the deepest regret we announce that the College will not be going ahead with an applications intake from prospective candidates for the RCOG MTI Scheme in 2022.
Hundreds of hours of voluntary clinician time, in the UK and globally, goes into the MTI applications and shortlisting process. Each applications round there are over 200 candidate applications to be assessed, plus 90 interviews led by IRC Chairs of the top ranking applicants.
Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on UK training and education, MTI scheme placement post numbers have fallen significantly. Posts have declined by 70% compared to the 2020 round, and 80% compared to the 2019 round. At present there are 71 wait listed doctors in the MTI 2021 round on the wait list hoping for a placement post match in the coming months.
By pausing the applications intake the RCOG MTI Office will be able to focus its efforts on prioritising the 2021 MTI intake. The College will also use this opportunity to review and update the RCOG MTI Scheme as part of the quality assurance process; to ensure its benefits and offerings meet the needs of future applicants, trusts and our global workforce, as well as streamlining the applications process as part of the Colleges digital recovery programme.
We appreciate this decision will be extremely disappointing to all those working towards applying for the 2022 MTI round. The RCOG has taken this decision after careful consideration of all competing factors, as we feel this is the most responsible action given these exceptional circumstances. We thank you for your understanding in this matter.
We plan to open up to applications from prospective candidates for the 2023 round in the Autumn of 2022, subject to the impact of the pandemic on UK training over next 12-18 months.
Mrs Ranee Thakar, Vice President for Global Health
Mrs Sue Ward, Vice President for Education
Mr Sanjay Rao, MTI Officer
Mr Hiran Samarage, MTI Committee Chair
Why has demand for MTI placement posts dropped to significantly in 2021 compared to previous years?
Demand for MTI placement posts has fallen significantly in 2021; there are several influencing factors attributable directly to the COVID pandemic, which include:
- Numbers of UK trainees getting COVID outcomes at ARCP and possibly requiring training extensions mean Trusts and Deaneries are being cautious with allocation of spare training capacity
- Fewer UK trainees are going out of programme due to restrictions on international travel e.g. for International Fellowships, which means there are less gaps in the rota for MTI to fill
- A reduction in elective services , particularly gynaecological surgical services, means reduction in staff demand; this is disproportionately so at basic/intermediate training level (ST1-5)
- MTI trainees receiving 12 month visa extensions from UKVI due to disproportionate impact of COVID on their 24 month fixed training periods means these roles not being replaced until the existing trainees in post complete their MTI training in Summer/Autumn of 2022
- Uncertainty around international travel to the UK and delayed arrivals, including potential costs of mandatory hotel quarantine and testing for arrivals from red list countries, means some Trusts are choosing not to proceed with MTI at this time
The recently appointed RCOG MTI Regional Champions are currently collating data and feedback on the barriers to MTI within their regions. This intelligence will be shared with the RCOG MTI Committee and data will be used to assist with future planning of MTI.
What is the College doing to increase MTI placement post numbers?
The College has worked hard to promote the MTI scheme to hospitals this year; the Vice President for Education has personally contacted the College Tutor within each Trust to encourage use of the scheme and plans are underway for a meeting in September led by the RCOG MTI Committee Chair to promote the MTI scheme and it’s benefits to hospital trusts.
In addition, the RCOG MTI Office has brought in many new initiatives over the last 12 months as part of its quality assurance of MTI to improve overall attractiveness of scheme. This includes an updated MTI Training Matrix of competencies and MTI Annual Review of Competencies process led by appointed RCOG MTI Regional Champions, as well as building on relationships with key stakeholders supporting MTI trainees and the scheme.
Can our Trust still apply for an MTI placement post in 2022?
Yes. Applicants from the 2021 round are still on the wait list awaiting a potential placement post match.
Applications for MTI placement posts from Trusts have now extended to September 2022 for MTI training posts to start on or before 31 December 2022.
Details for how to apply can be found under MTI information for UK hospitals.
Will the RCOG MTI scheme open for candidate applications in 2023?
The College plan to open up to applications from prospective candidates for the RCOG MTI 2023 round in the Autumn of 2022, subject to the impact of the ongoing COVID pandemic on UK training and education over next 12-18 months. Please check these web pages over the coming months for updates or contact the MTI Office for an update at MTI@rcog.org.uk
What if I was planning to apply in 2022 round but will not be eligible to apply for MTI in 2023?
Applicants for the MTI scheme must meet all the eligibility criteria for MTI. No exceptions can be made to meeting all of the eligibility criteria in the interest of fairness to all applicants and to ensure the College adhere to GMC and Academy requirements for the scheme.
For the small number of applicants who planned to apply in 2022 but will no longer be eligible to apply in 2023 we express our sincere apologies.
The College cannot make any exceptions based on individual circumstances relating to eligibility and will not be accepting any new applications from prospective candidates in 2022.
What if I have sat OET/IELTS for 2022 MTI application but it expires before 2023 round?
A valid OET/IELTS Academic certificate that meets the minimum scoring thresholds is a GMC requirement for GMC sponsorship under the MTI scheme. Certificates are valid for 2 years from date of issue. If your certificate will expire before December 2022 and you plan to apply for MTI 2023 round then you will need to resit this before applications for the 2023 round close and must obtain the minimum scores in a single sitting.
What can I do in the interim to increase my chances of being selected for MTI in the future?
The MTI Office recommend using this additional year to increase your clinical skills and experience particularly in the areas of CTG fetal interpretation, instrumental deliveries and resuscitation. In addition, you can get involved with quality improvement, audit, research and educational activity to ensure you have a well rounded portfolio. All MTI should be aiming to come to UK with the skills and experience needed to work at ST2 level and step up to ST3 after around 6 months in post, as shown in the RCOG training matrix for MTI trainees (PDF 365kb). Please contact your IRC committee in your country of origin or the RCOG MTI Office for further advice and support.
If I find my own training post can the RCOG sponsor me?
The College’s focus is on prioritising the MTI 2021 round wait listed applicants. Any posts outside of the MTI Scheme will compete with and detract from the RCOG MTI Scheme. As such we regret the RCOG are not able to sponsor any International Medical Graduates for posts in the UK which are outside of the official RCOG MTI Scheme.