Getting involved

How your trust can submit a vacancy for the ISTP

Submitting a post

UK trusts and health boards can submit posts to the RCS using an online ISTP post submission form and uploading a job description and job plan / timetable.

Job titles for posts should be ‘International Training Fellow’.

Job descriptions can be flexible and tailored to meet each individual’s training needs and educational objectives. The posts can be used to fill vacancies on a rota or used for a doctor to learn specific surgery techniques while supporting the trust’s surgery service.

Upon appointing an ISTP trainee, job descriptions can tailored to meet training needs and educational objectives; taking into account the type of work that the appointed candidate will undertake when they return to their home country.

Post approval

All job descriptions must:

  • be at ST3+ level
  • be of 12-24 months’ duration
  • contain appropriate study leave (a minimum of 10 days per year) and strong training elements
  • be fully supervised by Clinical and Educational supervisors
  • be funded to an appropriate level (see below)

Job plans / timetables must clearly evidence training and educational commitments, with allocated time of 1PA per week and job descriptions must:

The RCS will seek approval from the local HEE office to ensure that the post does not disadvantage UK trainees nor adversely affect the training of existing trainees in the training location, and provides sufficient educational and training content. 


ISTP posts can be funded from savings on locum costs, money released by converting hospital posts to ISTP posts, undersubscribed or surplus training posts.

It is recommended that an ISTP trainees total remuneration should be no less than the minimum point of the pay scale of the grade which most closely matches the level of responsibility carried by the post to which they are appointed (including any enhancements for oncall availability, out of hours work). 

Due to the nature of the programme this may not directly reflect the ISTP trainees grade and experience at the time of appointment to the scheme, but will reflect the grade of the post filled.

Next steps

Upon approval, the RCS will send the trust CVs of suitable applicants. The ISTP team can arrange interviews between the trust and shortlisted applicants, if required. 

Once an appointment is made, the ISTP team will then coordinate all the documentation to facilitate the GMC registration and supporting Tier 5 visa.

The timeframe from submitting a post to the RCS and the trainee arriving into post can take between three to six months.

For a PDF copy of the full ISTP Handbook for UK Trusts, please email

Events, news & blog

Keep up-to-date with the latest news about our training initiatives and events. Our blog is also a resource of articles and interviews designed to answer common questions or career dilemmas in more detail.

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