Answers to frequently asked questions for UK hospitals providing a placement for a MTI doctor
How does the MTI process work?
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. It can appear complicated at first, but the RCOG sends clear instructions which will ensure the doctor arrives on time to start work. If paperwork is 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 paperwork for the doctors as quickly as possible to ensure a smooth process.
Is there a blanket ban on MTI currently?
No, there is no blanket ban on the approval of MTI placement posts. In cases where there is not a shortage of posts for UK trainees who are unable to progress their training, the MTI scheme will continue as normal.
How will decisions be made?
MTI placements will be evaluated individually on a case-by case basis allowing some flexibility of approach. If a placement is not approved, the Postgraduate Dean should make clear reasons why and what conditions need to be met to allow the application to proceed and when that is likely to be.
Our Trust is considering requesting a placement post, what steps should we take?
Deans must be enabled to make a decision on each potential MTI placement right at the outset of the process.
It is important to ensure MTI posts do not disadvantage UK trainees. As such we recommend to contact your Head of School and Deanery in the early planning stages before you submit an RCOG MTI placement post request and begin interviews/recruitment process, to check the MTI post will be approved and also the start date for the MTI post.
When are MTI trainees likely to commence in post under the current scheme?
The RCOG will work with the individual Trust and MTI Doctor to facilitate a start date taking into account the current circumstances around the COVID-19 pandemic and individual countries travel restrictions. 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.
Does the RCOG MTI Scheme provide trainees at advanced level training?
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 at advanced level under the RCOG MTI Scheme.
Does the RCOG undertake background checks, police record checks, etc?
No, it is the responsibility of the hospital to ask the doctor for any background checks that they require as their future employer. This is specified in detailed information sent to the doctor and the hospital by the RCOG at the beginning of the process.
Does the RCOG interview the doctor?
Shortlisted MTI candidates are interviewed in their home country by the Chair of our International Representative Committee in that country. In the unlikely event that there is no IRC in their country, we accept an interview from a senior RCOG Fellow instead or interview will be conducted by RCOG MTI Officer.
Once hospitals have reviewed prospective applications, we encourage them to interview candidates remotely. This is a process that we introduced in 2014 and it has been very successful and popular among hospitals as a way to evaluate communication skills. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
We need a doctor to start with us as soon as possible – is this feasible?
Realistically, the process of assessing and then enabling an MTI doctor to come to the UK and start work takes around 3 months. The RCOG will be conducting a formal assessment of applications for 2021 between January and March. After this, we will send applications to the hospitals that have already expressed an interest in offering a doctor a post. From this point, the earliest we can expect a doctor to be able to arrive in the UK is June/July. Please note that your hospital must pay the MTI fee (£2500 plus VAT per 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.
We have identified a doctor who we would like to join our hospital on the scheme – is this allowed?
Yes, we are happy to allow doctors that already have a connection with a certain hospital in the UK to join the scheme. However, this doctor will need to go through exactly the same rigorous assessment as all other MTI trainees for fairness and transparency. We will give the hospital our assessment of the candidate and it will be the hospital’s final decision as to whether they would like to proceed with providing the doctor a post. This form of allocation of placements can happen at the time of the MTI application opening, before the deadline set for hospitals. We will not be able to allow hospitals to select candidates once this deadline has passed.
We don’t have any experience of MTI – are we obligated to provide a position for the full two years if there are significant problems?
We encourage all hospitals and MTI doctors to communicate any issues to us as early as possible and the RCOG will endeavour to support the hospital and doctor to overcome any problems. However, if the difficulties cannot be overcome and the hospital feels the need to terminate an MTI doctor’s contract, 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 the improvements before making the decision about termination of the contract.
How to manage requests for transfer of MTI placement?
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.