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Scotland Deanery

Home of medical and dental excellence

International Medical Graduates (IMGs)

Preparing for life in Scotland

This page contains important information for incoming IMG trainees to help them prepare for life and work as a doctor in NHS Scotland. Please also read the New to Working in Scotland? pages found on this website.

If you have any queries which are not answered on these pages, you can contact your relevant NES administrative team, or ask on the Scottish IMG Doctors Support Network.

Foundation trainees should also consult the Scottish Foundation School webpages.

Please click here for information about the GMC Welcome to UK Practice workshops. These workshops cover different content to the Scottish IMG Induction Day and so are complementary rather than a substitute for the induction.

Helpful information can also be found on the NHS Scotland International Recruitment Service website.

If you are a current or former IMG trainee and would like to suggest content which you feel would be useful on these pages, please contact sfas@nes.scot.nhs.uk.

Whether you intend to come to the UK for a short or longer period there are a number of factors you should consider. It is essential that you make plans as early as possible, as obtaining a job, securing the necessary professional registration and completing immigration procedures will take some time. You can find details on the UK Visa and Immigration requirements here.

All doctors wishing to work in the UK must be registered and licenced to practice with the GMC. The Good Medical Practice Guidance sets the professional values and behaviours expected for any doctor registered with the GMC. The GMC website also provides information and guides on how to join the register.

The employment of all Doctors in Training in NHS Scotland has moved to four lead employers. More information can be found on the Turas Hub. You will find links to the employing board policies, payroll and annual leave arrangements. On the Scotland Deanery Trainee Information pages you will also find some useful guidance and links if you are new to working in healthcare in Scotland.

You are normally covered by the NHS Hospital and Community Health Services indemnity against claims of medical negligence arising from the course of this employment. However in certain circumstances (especially in services for which you receive a separate fee) you may not be covered by the indemnity. The Health Department therefore advises that you maintain membership of a medical defence organisation. A Copy of NHS Circular 1989 (PCS) 32 on indemnity arrangements issued in December 1989 is available at http://www.sehd.scot.nhs.uk/pcs/PCS(1989)32.pdf

Trainees are covered by NHS indemnity for clinical negligence claims arising from their work however we would encourage all trainees to maintain membership of a medical defence organisation in line with the circular above.

If you have an queries, please contact your employing Board. For information about lead employer arrangements please see the Turas Hub.

In Scotland, as part of your employment of working in the health service, you will be asked to complete a Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) form. PVG is managed by NES central HR department and is delivered by Disclosure Scotland. It helps ensure that people whose behaviours make them unsuitable to work with children and/or protected adults can’t do ‘regulated work’ with these vulnerable groups. More information can be found here along with an applicant guide to checking and completing an application to join the PVG scheme.

If you have spent time working outside of the UK prior to starting this post, you must provide a copy of your criminal record check for your time spent abroad. If you have worked in multiple countries outside of the UK, you must provide a copy of your criminal record check from each country you have worked in. Details of how to obtain such a check from the relevant authorities abroad is available online at:https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/criminal-records-checks-for-overseas-applicants. If the country concerned is not listed, please contact the relevant embassy or consulate for further details. Contact details can be found online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/foreign-embassies-in-the-uk. You should submit a copy of your criminal record check or checks, if you have worked in more than one country outside of the UK, with your completed PVG application form and ID documents. 

You can only apply for a National Insurance (NI) number once you are in the UK. Details about how to apply for a NI number can be found here.

There are a number of IT systems you will be asked to use during the course of your employment, both in relation to your clinical work and as part of your postgraduate training.

This page was last updated on: 12.10.2022 at 09.22