International Medical Graduates

The Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine welcomes International Medical Graduates (IMGs) from around the world who are interested to work or train in Intensive Care Medicine in the UK.

IMGs should have a clear understanding of the opportunities available and good knowledge of the immigration processes and requirements of working in the UK. A clear understanding of the ICM training programme in the UK and the ICM curriculum will help the IMGs compare their qualifications, experience, skills and competencies with the UK training scheme.


ICM Posts for IMGs

IMGs can be appointed to ICM posts that are not part of formal UK training leading to the award of a certificate of completion of training (CCT).

All ICM posts require General Medical Council (GMC) registration and a current licence to practise. These posts will provide opportunity for professional development, completion of fellowship exams and to further develop clinical, management and leadership skills. There are also some opportunities to get into a formal UK training programme or apply for Equivalence/Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration (CESR) to work as a consultant in ICM.

Sponsorship Schemes

Several organisations, Royal Colleges and universities in the UK have developed sponsorship programmes for IMG doctors. These posts are for a fixed duration, which the GMC have pre-approved. The sponsor will then issue the IMG with a Certificate of Sponsorship that they will need for their GMC application. Please see below for links and more information on these programmes.

1) Medical Training Initiative (MTI) Scheme

MTI is one of the sponsorship schemes where the Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA) acts as the ‘professional sponsor’ through the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC) that provides the overarching visa sponsorship.

MTI is a national scheme designed to allow a limited number of doctors to enter the UK from overseas to benefit from opportunities to work within the NHS, before returning to their home countries. It applies only to doctors who have qualified outside the UK or European Union, who want to come to the UK for a limited period of specialised training in Intensive Care Medicine.

The RCoA manages the MTI scheme for Anaesthetics, Intensive Care Medicine and Pain Medicine through their Global Partnerships Office. More information and eligibility criteria can be found here.

MTI posts are ideal for IMGs looking for a 2-year ICM experience in the UK, to complete ICM fellowship exams, enhance clinical skills and also develop leadership & management skills that can be used to improve patient care and further develop the specialty in their home country.

IMGs appointed on MTI and sponsorships schemes will be treated similar to UK graduates with respect to training opportunities and development of non-clinical skills. They are also eligible for RCoA/FICM membership and access to the ICM e-portfolio/lifelong learning platform.

2) Specialty Doctors/Clinical Fellow Posts

IMGs with a career interest in Intensive Care Medicine along with previous ICM experience and a background in Acute Medicine, Anaesthesia or Emergency Medicine are suitable for these posts after possessing full GMC registration by:

Some postgraduate qualifications from outside the UK are accepted by the GMC as evidence that the IMGs have the necessary knowledge, skills and experience to apply for full registration with a licence to practise. The accepted approved postgraduate qualification list can be found here.

Once IMGs have assessed their eligibility and identified the best route for getting GMC registration, they need to look for jobs matching their individual requirements on job advert sites:

IMGs looking for MTI posts can contact the RCoA’s MTI global partnership team at to confirm their eligibility for these posts and submit CVs that could be passed to hospitals looking for MTI candidates. Individual hospitals will then interview the suitable candidates.

The RCoA and FICM do not get involved in any part of the recruitment process.

Also see our Recruitment pages for information regarding ICM ST3 Recruitment


Guidance for IMGs' Initial ICM Placements 

ICM recognises the challenges faced by International Medical Graduates (IMGs) in embedding into UK practice. This information has been produced to support them within the ICU environment. It aims to supplement the knowledge gained from the GMC's ‘Welcome to UK Practice’ online workshops and e-Learning for Health's ‘NHS induction for International Medical Graduates.

We are committed to supporting a positive experience for our International Medical Graduates. We hope this will provide useful information to help you:  

  • Feel valued as an International Medical Graduate
  • Become familiar with UK Intensive Care Medicine practice
  • Guide your self-directed learning and portfolio progression
  • Support supervisors to ensure adequate preparation is in place for placements.

To this end we have looked to produce some general guidance to support not only the doctors, but the supervisors and hospitals that are facilitate these placements. This is not an exhaustive list but looks to provide examples that can be adapted to suit local requirements. It aims to guide the knowledge, skills and experience required for successful integration into the NHS workforce.

For ease of use we have provided information and guidance for:

  1. IMG doctors for their initial placements in ICM - This guidance is intended for use by International Medical Graduates who are new to, or are in their first 12 months, of working in the NHS.
  2. Supervisors and employing hospitals
  3. We have also produced an IMG Induction Pack (will be uploaded shortly). This should be adapted for local use, and targeted to the individual doctors' requirements based on their prior experience


Further Guidance

The NHS employers have developed a web-based guidance, 'NHS Employers (2021), Working and training in the NHS: a guide for for international medical graduates' which is free to download and is aimed primarily at overseas-qualified medical and dental practitioners.

Similarly, the British Medical Association has published guidance for IMGs.

A brief introduction to the ICM training programme and curriculum can be found in the links below:

Are you an IMG coming to work in ICM in the UK?