King’s International Observership Programme

King’s International Observership is a type of training, where healthcare professionals can observe our experts at work in an NHS setting in the UK, ask relevant questions, improve their existing skills and learn new techniques.

We offer clinical observerships across most clinical specialties including nursing, midwifery, medicine, pharmacy and management. The minimum recommended duration of the King’s International Observership is two weeks and the maximum duration is six months.

This activity does not involve any direct patient contact, observers do not need to hold any specific license registration (for example, General Medical Council or Nursing and Midwifery Council).


  • Enter face-to-face learning environments at acute and medical wards across all King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust sites
  • Observe clinical practice first-hand, ask relevant questions, upskill and learn new techniques
  • Directly observe surgery
  • Gain an overview of medical processes and systems in the UK, specifically in the NHS
  • The opportunity to develop a range of transferable skills including leadership, management, developing guidelines, conducting audit, undertaking research activities and understanding clinical governance
  • The opportunity to form a lifetime network with healthcare professionals and other observers

King’s International Observership specialties


  • Neurosciences
  • Haematology
  • Cardiac
  • Fetal medicine
  • Critical care
  • General paediatrics
  • Obstetrics
  • Metabolic and bariatric surgery
  • Colorectal surgery
  • Major trauma and acute care surgery – King’s Major Trauma Centre
  • Vascular surgery
  • Respiratory
  • Orthopaedics
  • Pharmacy


  • Orthopaedics, foot and ankle
  • Orthopaedics, upper limb
  • Orthopaedics, hip and knee
  • Exposure to general orthopaedics

If your desired specialty is not listed above, please ask a member of our team and we will check with the relevant department regarding King’s International Observership availability.

Admission criteria

  • Admission to the King’s International Observership Programme requires the support of an applicant’s overseas employer, their government or other recognised sponsoring body
  • Although there is not a requirement to hold an English test certificate, it is expected that all applicants can speak and understand English, with an equivalent in either the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 6.0 or Occupational English Test (OET) score of B or alternatively a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a score between 90 and 100

The application process

  • A full and detailed CV, including qualifications, employment history to demonstrate the level of experience
  • Informal interview with King’s Commercial Services
  • All applicants are subject to a selection process, satisfactory references, background checks and Occupational Health clearance
  • Secure an Observership contract with King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Secure a valid visa to enter the UK
  • Placement and administration fees apply

Certificate of Completion

Each successful observer will receive a Certificate of Completion of Clinical Observership from King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and King’s Commercial Services.

Why King’s Commercial Services and what can we offer you?

Guided by the Education and Training Services Team, a dedicated observership lead will assist and give guidance and recommendations at every step of the pre-arrival process, ensuring a smooth transition into the new role. This includes providing support for interview, a learning objectives discussion, and advice on accommodation.

If you are interested in the King’s International Observership Programme please contact us at

My observership through King’s Commercial Services at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust was truly transformative, akin to embarking on a profound journey.

Throughout this experience, Helen from King’s Commercial Services guided me every step of the way during my four-week observership in the pharmacy department. Spending four weeks in the pharmacy department was invaluable, offering me profound insights into the path aspiring pharmacists must tread within our hospital. It ignited within me a newfound motivation to excel as a pharmacist on the global stage.

Every member of the pharmacy department extended a warm welcome, generously sharing their expertise and fostering an environment of learning. Their dedication to their craft was palpable, instilling in me a deep respect for the role of hospital pharmacists. I extend my deepest gratitude to all the members of the pharmacy department whose guidance and hospitality made my experience truly exceptional.

Sanguen, Observer

I had the incredible opportunity to undergo a six month observership, where I gained invaluable experience in both the cardiology department and the respiratory department. I not only expanded my medical knowledge, but also honed my practical skills in diagnosing and treating a variety of cardiac and respiratory conditions.

Additionally, being part of the research team on long COVID allowed me to contribute to cutting-edge advancements in the field. The exposure to diverse medical scenarios and collaborative research has equipped me with a comprehensive understanding of healthcare practices. I am eager to apply the insights and skills acquired during this enriching experience to enhance medical practices in Kazakhstan. My sincere gratitude goes to King’s Commercial Services for their exceptional service, and to the entire team at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust for fostering a nurturing learning environment.

Galiya, Observer