Return to anaesthesia practice (fellows)

Have you been out of anaesthesia practice for more than 12 months? The college strongly advises fellows planning to return to clinical practice after: maternity leave; prolonged recreational leave; family commitments; illness; practice in another area of medicine; retirement; or suspension to submit a “return to practice plan” before doing so.

The information on this page only applies to fellows returning to anaesthesia practice. If you are a specialist international medical graduate (SIMG) please refer to the Return to practice (SIMGs) page. If you are an anaesthesia trainee please refer to training handbook section 12.7 and complete the re-entry to practice in conjunction with the clinical placement plan in TPS.

Completing your plan

We recognise that everyone is different, and absences are taken for all kinds of reasons. Therefore, your return to practice plan should be tailored to your individual needs.
Your plan must be submitted to – and approved by – the Director of Professional Affairs (DPA) before you recommence work. The requirement for approval by the regulator (AHPRA in Australia and MCNZ in New Zealand) will depend on the country you are in; the duration of absence; and any special circumstances. For example, a return to practice plan may apply to absences of less than 12 months in special circumstances, such as following a head injury or upon recommendation by regulators. Please ensure you check this prior to returning to work.
  • Please use this template if you are: 
    • a fellow practicing in Australia
    • a fellow in New Zealand who has not practiced for under 36 months
  • New Zealand fellows who have not practiced for more than 36 months will need to complete the APC2 form and submit it to the MCNZ.
You will also need to nominate a colleague who is willing to act as your supervisor. They must be engaged in this process, and oversee your plan at your workplace. Once you have completed your return to practice period, your supervisor will need to submit a report to the DPA, who will determine whether or not you have successfully completed your required return to practice.

CRASH course

Returning to work can be a big challenge, with the period of leave often resulting in reduced confidence levels and feelings of inadequacy in performing tasks that were previously straightforward. CRASH course (Critical care, Resuscitation and Airway Skills in High Fidelity Simulation) aims to not only help participants relearn practical skills and experience simulated anaesthetic critical events, but provide them with the confidence to return to work with individualised practical advice on the day of the course. 

For further information on this process, please refer to professional document PS50 Guidelines on Return to Anaesthesia Practice for Anaesthetists.

If you would like to discuss your return to practice plan, or have any queries regarding this process, please contact the membership services team.
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