RCPath 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.

You are eligible to apply for this route if you:

  • 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). 
  • You must 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.
  • You must 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.
  • You must have been engaged in active medical practice for the most recent 12-months. Observerships and clinical attachments do not count towards this.
  • A certificate of Good Standing.
  • Evidence of completion of internship.

The doctor must have at least two satisfactory references which will be requested by the College.

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

We strongly recommend that IMGs 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. For further information and clarification, please see our guidance document.

How do I apply?

If you wish to apply, you need to complete and submit the following documents to [email protected]:

  • complete the application form 
  • all supporting documentation detailed in the checklist.
Sponsorship Application Form.docx


Sponsorship Supporting Documentation List.docx


IMGs should remain in full-time medical practice until the College has approved your application, and you have been instructed by the College to start your application for GMC registration.

Royal College of Pathologists do not hold a list of UK sponsors or acceptable training posts for the GMC Sponsorship Scheme. Most training positions are offered as direct placements. IMGs wishing to pursue employment in the UK will need to secure their own posts within the NHS.