International Medical Graduate Sponsorship Scheme (IMGSS) United Kingdom- Workplace Doctors

The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh International Medical Graduate Sponsorship Scheme (IMGSS) is open to suitably qualified international medical graduates to come to the UK for a limited period of training in a surgical specialty.

The scheme offers sponsorship to doctors for the purposes of registration with the General Medical Council (GMC) without taking the PLAB test and for sponsorship under the Department of Health’s Medical Training Initiative Scheme (MTI).

IMGSS – Getting Started

How to get started

The process begins with a UK consultant contacting the College to request sponsorship for an International Medical Graduate to take up the post. Note that it is not possible for the College to progress a request for sponsorship from the trainee without first having received contact from the UK consultant.  Trainees can make contact with the College beforehand but the process cannot officially begin until the UK consultant has made the College aware of his/her offer of the training post.

How long does the process take?

It can take up to three months for the sponsorship process to be completed.  There are many stakeholders in the process and we are dependent upon receipt of information from them in order to progress a trainee’s application.  The College processes a high volume of enquiries and applications for sponsorship which can impact on the duration of the sponsorship process.

The process of sponsorship is as follows:
  1. UK consultant contacts the College to formally request sponsorship for the candidate.  An application form is sent for completion and return along with a full job description and a letter of support from the local Postgraduate Dean.
  2. The candidate’s CV is assessed by the Clinical Lead for IMGSS
  3. Candidates approved for sponsorship will be sent an application form.  This should be returned along with certified copies of supporting copy documents and payment.  Candidate advised to begin registration process with the GMC
  4. On return of candidate’s application form, two structured references taken up.  If satisfactory, a Certificate of Sponsorship issued by the College and sent to the GMC.
  5. For MTI Tier 5 visa candidates, the College’s letter of support for their application is sent to the Trust/AoMRC to accompany the application.

IMGSS – Eligibilty

The details of the scheme are laid out in our Regulations which you can download in full at the end of this page.

Change to English Language Requirement from Summer 2014:

Please take the time to read about the changes to the English language requirements for non-UK doctors on the GMC website.

In addition, you should carefully note the following regarding the GMC’s Recency of Practise Rule:

All trainees must comply with the GMC’s Recency of Practise rule which states that a sponsored trainee must have been in clinical medical practice for at least 3 out of the last 5 years, including the most recent 12 months immediately prior to registration.

We therefore insist that any trainee wishing to pursue sponsorship must maintain their overseas training post until he/she has been issued with a Certificate of Sponsorship by the College and has applied for registration with the GMC.

Failure to adhere to this may result in the GMC withholding registration through this sponsorship route.  Please note that the GMC does not consider clinical attachments and observer posts to be clinical medical practice.

IMGSS – Fees

College Application Fee

The sponsorship scheme has an application fee of £650, payable to the College by the overseas trainee.

GMC Registration Fees and Identity Check

When a trainee is successful in obtaining sponsorship from the College the next step is to apply for GMC registration through the GMC website. The current fee for GMC registration can also be found on their website along with guidance on finalising the registration process by attending the GMC offices in the UK for an identity check.

GMC Website Links:

IMGSS – Work Permits & Visas

It is the responsibility of the overseas trainee and the relevant employing body to ensure that the appropriate work permit and/or visa is obtained. Under the Medical Training Initiative (MTI) Scheme, applications for a work permit must be sought in liaison with the employing authority and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC).

The AoMRC acts as the national sponsor of the MTI Scheme for the requirements of the UK Border Agency (UKBA).


With effect from May 2017, the College can no longer accept new applications for sponsorship under Tier 5 MTI, from doctors who reside in non-priority countries as defined by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC). The list of priority countries can be viewed on the AoMRC website.

This rule applies only to doctors coming to the UK under MTI Tier 5. This rule does not apply to doctors intending to work in the UK under an alternative visa route.

For comprehensive information on visa requirements for trainees under MTI visit the following websites:


UKBA Tier 5 Visa (Government Authorised Exchange)

IMGSS – Responsibilities

Educational Agreement

During the sponsorship application process, the UK consultant and the overseas trainee are required to tentatively agree upon the goals of the appointment. Soon after the trainee takes up the post he/she is required to meet with the UK consultant so that both may sign up to an educational agreement. The agreement must be signed and sent to the College. You can download an example of the educational agreement below.

Interim Reports

Upon request from the College, the UK consultant will be required to provide evidence of competencies and outcomes of educational appraisals, workplace based assessments and consolidated and validated trainee log book. You can view templates of educational appraisal, workplace based assessment (example procedure based assessment) and interim report templates below.

Final Report and Completion Certificate

Upon completion of the appointment the UK consultant and the trainee will be required to report on the trainee’s achievements during the post and the progress made in relation to the educational agreement. Where appointments have been completed to the mutual satisfaction of all parties the doctor will be issued with a Completion Certification confirming successful completion of a College sponsored appointment. You can view the final report template by downloading below.

Educational Agreement Template – Click Here

Appraisal Form Template – Click Here

PBA Template – Click Here

Interim Report Template – Click Here

Final Report Template – Click Here

Source: Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh

For further ‘Guidance about working as a doctor in the UK – Click here

IMGSS Regulation July 2016 – Click here


The Occupational English Test (OET) is an international English language test that assesses the language and communication skills of healthcare professionals who seek to register and practise in an English-speaking environment.

It provides a valid and reliable assessment of all four language skills – listening, reading, writing and speaking – with an emphasis on communication in medical and health professional settings.

OET tests international health practitioners in the following 12 professions:

  • Dentistry
  • Dietetics
  • Medicine
  • Nursing
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Optometry
  • Pharmacy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Podiatry
  • Radiography
  • Speech Pathology
  • Veterinary Science

OET is recognised and trusted by more than 40 regulatory healthcare bodies and councils in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Dubai, Namibia, UK (NMC) and Ireland (NMC). Many organisations, including hospitals, universities and colleges, are using OET as proof of a candidate’s ability to communicate effectively in a demanding healthcare environment. In addition, OET is recognised by the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection for a number of visa categories, including work and student visas.

Discreet & Confidential

We understand that the medical sector is very intimate and complicated. Here at Workplace Doctors we appreciate this, so when we speak with our candidates- they can feel safe and rest assured in the knowledge that every conversation remains confidential. We do not call through to your workplace, submit CVs, or request references without your explicit consent. This is made easier by the fact that you will only ever have one point of contact for your requirements.

Personal and prompt responses

At Workplace Doctors every one of our candidates is unique; from the onset you will be appointed your own dedicated recruitment consultant who will work with you to understand your requirements and preferred location of work.

Our many years of experience mean that we are highly confident that we’ll find you the role that meets your needs. Our team will guide you through the registration process and will be on hand to help with any queries you might have.

Applying for jobs

Feel free to visit our jobs section to find the latest vacancies as per your grade & specialism. We are here to help you progress your careers.

If you require any further guidance,
get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.
Contact us on +(44) 1234 889213