Global Fellowship Scheme - information for Trusts

Global Fellowship Scheme - information for Trusts

Essential information for NHS Trusts interested in hosting International Medical Graduates through the GFS scheme

RCoA guidance for Trusts about appointed GFS doctors from red list travel ban countries

In light of the global pandemic, the UK government has imposed a traffic light system (red, amber and green) for arrivals in the UK. A significant number of our GFS doctors, some of them currently planning to start their GFS post in the next few weeks/months, come from countries on the red list. On arrival, doctors from those countries must quarantine for 10 days in a government managed hotel which costs £1750 per person.

We would also urge Trusts to be flexible when agreeing a start date for appointed GFS doctors. When doing this, please consider the current needs of our colleagues overseas and their respective countries. We fully support Trusts accommodating and postponing start dates according to the situation and needs of individual countries.

How do Trusts benefit from the GFS?

Increasing number of Trusts in the UK have been cultivating links between themselves and institutions overseas, as part of their commitment to Global Health. 

The overall aim of the scheme, which is a key part of our Global Partnerships Strategy, is to provide high quality sub-specialty training utlising unfilled training capacity within the NHS.  Without GMC sponsorship from the College, these individuals at present may have to sit the PLAB examination in order to gain their GMC registration, which can be prohibitive for individuals coming for a short-term placement.  By partaking in the GFS, Trusts will be able to appoint high calibre doctors who have qualified outside the UK. 

The scheme allows IMGs to undertake a placement for a maximum of twenty four months, after which they return to their home countries to put into practice the skills that they have learned. GFS alumni, it is expected, will take on leadership and teaching roles to support colleagues for the improvement of patient care in their home country.

The GFS is not a route for IMGs wishing to settle permanently in the UK. We strongly discourage Trusts from appointing IMGs who have come through the GFS scheme into permanent positions as this is at odds with the aims of the scheme.

GFS Trust Fee

Fees are charged to applicants and NHS Trusts.  This allows the College  to be able to maintain the amount of activity, support and service we provide to GFS doctors and its hosts, Trusts are required to contribute financially to the process. 

The fees allow UK hospitals to:

  • recruit GFS doctors and receive the RCoA’ s support throughout the application process and beyond;
  • access to a Hosts Day that we organise once a year at no cost.


Fee structure:

Applicant Fees

Trust Fees                                                          

Initial Fee (For all):  £100 (non-refundable)

Final Fee (for all):  £750 (non-refundable)

Placement Fee:  £1000 + VAT per doctor


When do Trusts need to make the payment?

Trusts will need to obtain GFS approval for the post in the first instance.

Once the College has approved posts for the GFS, Trusts will be able to appoint GFS doctors.

Upon selecting a candidate for an approved GFS post, they should be given confirmation of the offer of employment including the salary. We will then need Trusts to contact us and provide their contact details, CV and offer of employment letter. At that stage, we will carry out an initial check of the doctor’s eligibility for the scheme, and if deemed eligible, revert back to Trusts to request that the payment of £1,000 + VAT be made (you will need to raise a purchase order to be sent to  We will be unable to progress with the doctor’s application until confirmation of payment has been received by our Finance department. If for any reason the GFS doctor withdraws their application, we will offer a refund to the Trust, or use the payment to cover a replacement doctor, depending on preferred option.

Roles and responsibilities:

There are a number of different parties involved in the setting up, and running of the GFS scheme. Below is an overview of these, and an outline of their responsibilities.

The employing Trust:

When hosting an GFS doctor, it is expected that the employer will meet the following requirements and responsibilities:

  • providing a job description and person specification to the College for approval
  • making the payment of a placement fee, £1,000 + VAT per doctor
  • GFS doctors are to be employed following the same rigorous standards which are applied to UK recruited doctors
  • providing sponsorship for the GFS doctors visa
  • providing GFS doctors with adequate supervision and support throughout their placement to enable them to develop and meet the objectives set out in their personal development plan. At the point of applying for post approval, we would expect a named educational supervisor to be provided
  • allocating an Educational Supervisor to GFS doctors as set out in the approval process. This should have been budgeted for as part of the business plan for funding the posts.
  • supporting GFS Educational Supervisors in their role by accommodating the recommended time. The agreement the Trust has is to treat the GFS doctors as local trainees. There should be no discrimination on Educational Supervisor allocation time.
  • six monthly reviews to be undertaken by the named Educational Supervisor for each GFS doctor. These in turn should be provided to the College for Quality Assurance purposes
  • conducting appraisals (or ARCP-like assessments) annually. We recommend that GFS doctors do not have their first appraisal before 10 months of being in post.
  • at the end of the placement, employing Trusts should complete an exit interview, and the results reported to the relevant teams and organisations
  • ensuring all professional bodies, sponsors, and other associated individuals are duly informed of any capability issues
  • ensuring that GFS doctor remuneration is 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 GFS doctors have been appointed

The role of the Training Programme Director (TPD):

The TPD will work with the Postgraduate Dean and other relevant individuals to ensure that there is sufficient capacity within the learning environment to support the GFS doctor's placement.

The role of the Postgraduate Dean:

The Postgraduate Dean will liaise with relevant individuals within the learning environment to ensure that there is sufficient capacity to allow GFS doctors to attend their placement without negatively impacting on existing trainees.

The role of the College:

The College act as the 'professional sponsor' for doctors undertaking the GRS scheme. In this capacity, the College:

  • approve GFS posts
  • approve prospective GFS doctors
  • provide a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) for eligible doctors to obtain their GMC registration
  • provide Quality Assurance for the scheme 
  • provide support to GFS doctors while they are in the UK, including (but not limited to) access to the Lifelong Learning Platform and biannual New to the NHS meetings for GFS doctors
  • provide support and advice to Trusts hosting GFS doctors. This includes running our hosts days which provide guidance and opportunities to share best practice
  • maintain accurate records of GFS doctors and approved GFS posts


If you have any queries or require further information please contact us via or call us on +44 (0)207 092 1559