International Surgical Training Programme (ISTP)


Find a surgeon

The Find a Surgeon directory is a listing of active Fellows of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons who meet the requirements of the College's Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Program and have opted to be on the list. This list excludes retired or inactive Fellows.


RACS is a partner institution for the International Surgical Training Programme (ISTP) administered by the Royal College of Surgeons - England.

The ISTP comes under the generic Medical Training Initiative (MTI) scheme run by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and provides a route to obtain sponsorship for General Medical Council (GMC) registration and the Tier 5 visa so that specialist trainees and recent specialist graduates can undertake training and development in UK hospitals for a maximum of 24 months.

The aim of the scheme is to:

  • Contribute to improving the quality of healthcare internationally.
  • Provide overseas surgical trainees with a period of training and development in the UK before returning to their home countries where their patients and colleagues can benefit from the skills and experience they have obtained in the UK.
  • Foster relationships between UK hospitals and international institutions.
  • Support the UK's international development objectives.

Recent Fellows and Trainees who meet the criteria below and are interested in any of the advertised positions are invited to apply to the Dean of Education for a letter of support.

Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for a letter of support from the Dean of Education a trainee must:

  • Be in final 6 months of training
  • Not be on probation

Royal College of Surgeons England Eligibility Criteria

RACS Trainees and Fellows eligible to register for an ISTP post must:

  • Be working within an ISTP overseas Partner Institution
  • Must have no rights of residence in the UK/EU/EEA/Switzerland at the time of application.
  • Hold a primary medical qualification recognised by the GMC.
  • Have completed an acceptable internship (or equivalent) of not less than twelve months following undergraduate training.
  • Have completed at least 3 years of full-time clinical practice/training (equivalent to ST3 or above in the UK) since obtaining their primary medical qualification, including the most recent 12 months. Clinical attachments/observerships do not count.
  • Have passed the MRCS (UK) or hold an acceptable alternative qualification.
  • You must not have previously attempted the General Medical Council (GMC) Professional and Linguistics Assessment Board (PLAB) test.


1. Members interested in joining this progam should register their interest with the RACSTA Executive Officer . Those on the register will be contacted first when a vacancy becomes available.

2. Positions available will be advertised through Fax Mentis after those on the register have been contacted.

3. Contact the RCS MTI Officer for an ISTP Application Pack. The RACSTA Executive Officer can assist with this if necessary. To be eligible, you will need to provide the following in addition to the application form: 

a. Primary Qualification
b. Postgraduate qualification
c. Letter of completion of Internship
d. Letter of good standing from AHPRA/MCNZ
e. Letter from medical school with dates of enrolment/completion
f. RACS Dean of Education letter of support
g. Equality and Diversity form
h. Declaration of Health
i. Registration Fee

4. Applicants are shortlisted and interviewed via Skype.

5. RCS forwards CVs' of applicants to recruiting trusts, at this stage a further interview by the hospital may be needed.

6. An offer of employment gets made. At this stage RACS is informed and the RCS facilitates the GMC registration and sponsorship for the Tier 5 visa.

7. You travel to the UK and will be invited to attend a joint RCS/GMC induction day at the College.

8. Throughout your placement, you will be supported by RCS, who facilitates all paperwork for visa extensions and trust rotations

9. Once your placement is complete, RCS will award you with a certificate of completion.

Contact details

RACS Trainees' Association Executive Officer (RACSTA EO): Karen Gordon-Clark, +61 3 9249 1212  or

RCS ISTP Officer: Erinn Middleton, +44 20 7869 6634 or