Sponsorship Scheme

The Royal College of Pathologists has always had a policy of assisting International Medical Graduates (IMGs) who wish to obtain some training experience in the UK. The aim of the sponsorship scheme is to offer assistance to those wishing to pursue a career in pathology. The scheme is designed to assist qualified IMGs who require GMC registration. This is an alternative to the PLAB route of registration designed for doctors who are committed to or already advanced in a pathology speciality in their career. Applicants wishing to apply to this scheme will need to ensure they have met all the mandatory criteria.

In order to be eligible to apply for sponsorship, you must:

  • hold a primary medical qualification accepted by the GMC. As part of your application, this will need to be pre-verified by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG). 
  • demonstrate the necessary competence in the English language as evidenced by one of the following. Results for both tests are valid for two years, the minimum scores must be attained in one sitting, and they must be obtained in your most recent sitting. Pass the Academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS) examination with a minimum score of 7.0 in each category and an overall score no less than 7.5. Pass the Occupational English Test (OET) Medicine test with a minimum grade of ‘B’ in in each testing area.
  • have been in direct clinical practice for a minimum of 36 out of the last 60 months. Observerships and clinical attachments do not count towards this. Two years must be in pathology, and one of these two years in the pathology specialty in which the doctor wishes to work in the UK.
  • have been engaged in active medical practice for the most recent 12-months. Observerships and clinical attachments do not count towards this.
  • be in possession of a certificate of good standing.
  • have evidence of completion of an internship.

Your application must be supported by at least two satisfactory references which will be requested by the College.

Please note, applications submitted without all the supporting documentation detailed above will not be processed by the College.

We strongly recommend that those wishing to pursue pathology training in the United Kingdom, contact the College as soon as possible. The standard processing times are between 2-6 months. 


Below outlines how the fees for the Sponsorship scheme will need to be paid:

  • £50 administration fee payable upon submission of application (non-refundable).
  • £300 Sponsorship application fee, payment immediately prior to GMC registration.

How to apply

If you wish to apply, you need to complete the RCPath Sponsorship Scheme application form below and email the documents listed in the Sponsorship Supporting Documentation list to [email protected]. Please do not send any physical documents to the College.

Sponsorship Application Form

Sponsorship Supporting Documentation List

All evidence must be submitted to the College within one week of completing the online application form. Applications submitted without all of the above will automatically be rejected. 

Supporting Resources