International Medical Graduate Induction Launches

Members of our Ethnicity and Health Unit have been working with partners to launch a new standardised induction for International Medical Graduates (IMG) to ensure medics that have qualified outside the UK are welcomed, included and valued in the profession from day one.


The new comprehensive induction programme has been in development since 2019 and is now ready to be implemented across NHS Trusts. The induction and related guidance was launched at an online webinar that attracted over 1500 live attendees and has now reached over 2,200 people.


In 2021 the total number of licensed IMGs in the medical workforce was over 77 000, with IMGs making up 34% of GP trainees. Currently 41.9 percent of the NHS medical workforce are from ethnic minority backgrounds. The aim of the induction is to provide NHS Trusts guidance on induction for newly recruited IMGs.


The objectives of the IMG Induction Programme are:


An ‘important step’

Professor Mala Rao, Director of our Ethnicity and Health Unit, Lead, IMG Induction Programme Development and former Medical Adviser, Workforce Race Equality Strategy NHSE, chaired the induction launch and said:


“It is quite astonishing that, despite the lack of a comprehensive induction programme for newly recruited international medical graduates being highlighted in a number of reports published during the past decade, as a likely explanatory factor for the disadvantages they face throughout their career in the NHS, no action had been taken until now.


“The preparation of the IMG Induction programme and its launch in June was therefore a significant milestone in the NHS England workforce recruitment and development strategy. As the list of contributors highlights, the guidance was prepared with the enthusiastic support of many colleagues, from among the IMGs and UK medical graduates working in the NHS. However, I had not anticipated the level of interest which the launch revealed. The speakers were drawn from all the organisations with a responsibility for one or other aspect of IMGs' careers, ranging from NHS England and HEE, to the GMC and BMA and the webinar was attended by approximately 1500 people. It was an enormous success and a fitting platform on which to begin the process of implementing the induction across all the Trusts in NHS England.


“This is the most important step taken so far, in ensuring better integration, performance and retention of IMGs recruited to the NHS, and if embedded into NHS employment strategies, is likely to contribute to improving patient safety and quality of healthcare.”


Commitment, collaboration, and cooperation


The induction programme is testimony to the commitment, collaboration, and cooperation of all the appropriate NHS organisations, including NHSEI, HEE, BMA, GMC, and MPS. The launch was an opportunity to celebrate the collaboration and reflect on the need for the continuing partnership to support IMGs throughout their careers.


Watch the launch webinar:

 Webinar schedule:


Welcome and introductions: Professor Mala Rao (Medical Adviser, Workforce Race Equality Strategy NHSE & Lead, IMG Induction Programme Development) Working together to achieve a common purpose


1. Setting the scene: The IMG experience


2. Piloting the induction programme, experience from the frontline:

3. Perspectives from key contributors to the development of the induction programme guidance



4. Findings from the evaluation #IMGInduction


5. What does the IMG Induction programme guidance include 


6. How this fits with the NHSE Workforce Race Equality Strategy

Why the induction is everyone's responsibility


7. How Trusts will be encouraged and supported to develop their roadmaps


8. How we can all support the implementation of this guidance


9. Next steps - views from among the partnership's leaders

10. Questions from the audience