Changes to the SIMG process

Changes to the Specialist International Medical Graduate process coming soon

Over the past 12 months ANZCA has made changes to the Specialist International Medical Graduate (SIMG) process, including improvements to regulation 23. These changes will take effect from 1 December, 2018.


The following changes affect all SIMGs required to sit the examination, including those who were assessed prior to April 2017:


Examination standardisation

All SIMGs required to sit the examination, no matter when they were assessed, will no longer need to sit the written component of the examination; they will only need to sit the medical clinical and anaesthesia viva sections. We will contact all affected SIMGs in December 2018.

Examination criteria

To present for any examination applicants must have a satisfactory CPA report covering at least three months. The most recent CPA report must be satisfactory and within 12 months of the date of sitting the examination.

The following changes will apply to applications from 1 December, 2018:

Incomplete applications

If you submit an incomplete application, you will have one month to submit the remaining documents. If you do not submit all documents within this time, the college will close your application and you will need to submit a new application with accompanying fee. 

Eligibility for SIMG interview: change to internship

To be eligible to be invited to interview in Australia, applicants must have evidence of successful completion of a period of internship or comparable, consistent with guidelines issued by the Medical Board of Australia.


Satisfactory evidence of specialist training

The onus will be on the applicant to provide evidence to support their application. In the absence of satisfactory evidence, assessment of comparability will not be assumed.

Comparability of evidence of continuing professional development (CPD)

CPD evidence is required for all three categories – knowledge and skills, practice evaluation, and emergency responses.

Additional qualifications

Qualifications obtained more than three years after completion of specialist training will be considered within the applicant’s CPD.

Retrospective CPA

SIMGs assessed as Substantially Comparable (SC) or Partially Comparable (PC) at the time of interview, and who are working in a position suitable for the CPA period, may be eligible for up to six months retrospective CPA. Such retrospective experience can be considered, provided a suitable CPA Supervisor is nominated who is willing to act retrospectively in this capacity and can provide a CPA report for that period.

Eligibility of an SIMG supervisor

In order to be eligible to be an SIMG supervisor the FANZCA must comply in Australia with the MBA guidelines and in New Zealand with the MCNZ guidelines.

CPA report timeframe

CPA reports must be submitted within three calendar months of the end date of the report. Failure to do so may result in that period of CPA not being credited towards the required CPA period.

Examination attempts 

An anaesthesia SIMG who has had five unsuccessful attempts at the examination will not be permitted to re-sit the examination or to remain in the SIMG assessment process. 

Area of need (AoN)

An onsite assessment is triggered when concerns about standards of care are raised. ANZCA or FPM will withdraw support should such concerns be confirmed. 

Pro rata refunds

SIMGs who are undertaking their CPA period on a part-time or interrupted basis, or who gain fellowship part way through a year, are entitled to a pro rata annual fee refund. The refund will be calculated by the SIMG administrative team.  

Conditions, limitations and restrictions on medical registration

SIMGs must inform ANZCA of any changes to their registration including the imposition of conditions (voluntary or imposed), limitations, or restrictions. SIMGs must maintain medical registration, without any conditions (voluntary or imposed), limitations, or restrictions unless those conditions are approved by ANZCA or FPM. 


For more information please contact us by email or call +61 3 9510 6299.

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