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International Postgraduate Medical Training Scheme

Delivered in partnership with Health Education England (HEE), University Hospitals Birmingham's (UHB) International Postgraduate Medical Training Scheme (IPGMTS) allows international medical graduates to enter the same specialty training programme undertaken by UK trainees.

Successful completion of the specialty training programme leads to the awarding of the Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training (CCT).  A consultant cannot be appointed in the UK without this certificate. Any individual who holds this certificate is eligible to be appointed as a consultant in the UK.

Programme outline

Following selection to be considered for entry into the IPGMTS, international trainees are invited to the UK to enter the Specialty Pre-Entry Foundational Module. This runs for approximately six months and is designed to prepare and support trainees for the assessment for entry to their selected training programme. Trainees will work alongside UK trainees in order to familiarise and acclimatise them to the NHS.

Entry evaluation

All applicants for a place on the UK specialty training (including those from the UK) must pass the specialty’s entry evaluation.

The exact structure of the evaluation differs for each specialty but generally consists of a combination of:

  • assessment of an application form
  • an interview
  • a written situational judgement and awareness assessment (MSRA)
  • an evaluation of the candidate’s portfolio of documentary evidence and achievements since completion of their undergraduate medical training

Certificate of Readiness to Enter Specialty Training

The Specialty Pre-Entry Foundational Module will prepare international trainees for the specialty’s entry evaluation process, including supporting them to develop a portfolio of evidence and achieve a Certificate of Readiness to Enter Specialty Training (CREST). As international trainees will not have undertaken the UK Foundation Programme they will have to demonstrate evidence of foundation competencies and provide assurance that they meet the same standards as UK trainees. This is achieved through the completion of the CREST.

Appointment process

International trainees will be appointed to specialty training using the same process used for UK trainees. However, overseas trainees will not be competing for UK-funded posts and will only be required to attain the specialty’s benchmarking score. (UK trainees are in competition with each other for their funded training places.)

Following successful evaluation, trainees will be entered onto the same training programme as their UK colleagues. This will include:

  • being given a series of clinical placements with gradually increasing responsibility across the duration of the programme
  • access to training portfolios
  • training support and supervision


Each programme has an approved curriculum laid down by the General Medical Council (GMC). The curriculum sets out the content of a training programme as well as the standards required and the assessment methods to be used. Progress in each year of training is reviewed in an Annual Review of Competency Progression (ARCP). A successful outcome at the ARCP is needed to progress to the next year of training.

Training supervision and support

UK training programmes are designed to support trainees as they acquire the knowledge, experiences, skills and competences set out in the relevant curriculum.

Educational supervisors

Every international trainee will be assigned an educational supervisor to guide them through their training.

The role of the educational supervisor is to undertake an initial induction meeting in which a training strategy for the coming year is discussed and agreed.

It is expected that trainees will meet their educational supervisor on a regular basis to monitor progress and update the training strategy. Towards the end of the training year, the educational supervisor will produce a report which summarises progress during the year. They will also make an holistic determination, based on the opinions of people the trainee has worked with, as to whether they have fulfilled the requirements for progression.

Clinical supervisors

Trainees will also have a clinical supervisor during their various placements.

Clinical supervisors will write a report on the trainee’s clinical progress for their educational supervisor. This will be used as part of the evidence in the educational supervisor’s report. For some placements the educational and clinical supervisor may be the same person.

International team

UHB’s International team is available to all trainees throughout their training.

The team's support is particularly important during the Specialty Pre-Entry Foundational Module. As trainees enter their specialty programmes, the team will remain available to all trainees and continue to offer help and support.


If you would like to know more about international education at University Hospitals Birmingham, please contact the International Office.

Last reviewed: 30 November 2021