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International Surgical Training Programme (ISTP)

A surgeon at work

The International Surgical Training Programme (ISTP) operates within the generic Medical Training Initiative (MTI) scheme and provides a route for high quality International Medical Graduates (IMGs) to obtain sponsorship for GMC registration and the supporting Tier 5 visa so that they can undertake training and development in UK hospitals for a maximum of 24 months.

The ISTP aims to:

  • contribute to improving the quality of healthcare internationally
  • provide overseas surgical trainees with a period of training and development in the UK before returning to their home countries where their patients and colleagues can benefit from the skills and experience they have obtained in the UK
  • foster relationships between UK hospitals and international institutions
  • support the UK’s international development objectives.

The College is committed to providing a training opportunity which benefits the overseas surgical trainee, their home country and the UK hospital/institution in which they will be working.

Please read the latest guidance on recent changes to the MTI Scheme

Call for Applications

The RCS invites applications across all surgical specialties for UK vacancies opening early 2019

The International Surgical Training Programme (ISTP) offers International Medical Graduates the opportunity to undertake clinical training and experience in the UK National Health Service (NHS) for a maximum of two years.

The RCS is able to facilitate registration with the General Medical Council and sponsorship for the supporting Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange) visa.



  • RCS will match you to a UK post appropriate to your experience and training requirements
  • Possibility of completing placements in multiple hospitals and across sub-specialties
  • Develop a wide range of transferable skills such as leadership, management, audit and research
  • Receive a UK salary at standard NHS rates

Eligibility Requirements

Details regarding the ISTP and the eligibility requirements can be found on our website.

How to apply

Email for an application pack.


 Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview. 

Interviews will take place over Skype and applicants will be assess on their clinical competencies, communication skills and knowledge of the NHS

 Deadline for applications:

Friday 19th October 2018

Get in touch

The International Office is the main point of contact for all queries from international surgeons and stakeholders who wish to find out more about opportunities and ventures overseas.

For contacts in education, exams or careers or dentistry, please see those sections of the website.

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