Preliminary assessment

The following information relates to doctors undertaking the Specialist International Medical Graduate (SIMG) assessment process in Australia and SIMG who are undertaking the ANZCA fellowship pathway in New Zealand who were assessed after April 3, 2017. For SIMG undertaking the pathway for Vocational Registration in New Zealand, please contact the Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ) for information on your requirements. 
 
If you were assessed prior to April 3, 2017 please click here.

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Once we have received all required documents, we will carry out a preliminary assessment to determine whether you should progress to interview for further assessment. 

In general, to be considered suitable to attend an interview for assessment via the anaesthesia SIMG assessment process you must be eligible for employment as an independent specialist in the country of your specialist training, having completed:
  • A primary medical qualification of at least 48 months FTE (full-time equivalent) (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery ((MBBS) or equivalent);
  • At least 72 months (FTE) of training which must include:
    • At least 12 (FTE) months rotating internship; and
    • A specialist anaesthesia training program of at least:
      • 36 months (FTE) duration if your training was undertaken in a comparable health system; or
      • 48 months (FTE) duration if your training was undertaken in a non-comparable health system.
    • The remaining time can include:
      • Up to 12 months (FTE) further time in a rotating internship
      • Up to 12 months (FTE) of prevocational medical education and training
      • Additional time as part of the specialist training program;
      • Additional training in anaesthesia e.g. a fellowship year.  Please be aware that only training positions of at least three months (FTE) duration will be considered.
      • Employment as a specialist anaesthetist.
  • Completion of an English language proficiency assessment which complies with the MBA guidelines or MCNZ guidelines.
In general, to be considered suitable to attend an interview for assessment via the pain medicine SIMG assessment process you must be eligible for employment as an independent specialist in the country of your specialist training, having completed:
  • Hold a primary medical qualification of at least 48 months (full-time equivalent) (MBBS or equivalent);
  • Have completed at least 84 months (FTE) of training which must include:
    • At least 12 (FTE) months rotating internship; and
    • A specialist training program in:
      • medicine, surgery, psychiatry or rehabilitation medicine of at least 36 months (FTE) duration; or
      •  anaesthesia which is at least:
        • 36 months (FTE) duration if your training was undertaken in a comparable health system; or
        • 48 months (FTE) duration if your training was undertaken in a non-comparable health system.
    • A specialist training program in pain medicine of at least 12 months (full-time equivalent) duration; and
  • Consideration for the remaining time may be given to the following:
    • Up to 12 months (FTE) further time in a rotating internship
    • Up to 12 months (FTE) of prevocational medical education and training
    • Additional time as part of the specialist training program;
    • Additional training in a relevant specialty e.g. a fellowship year.  Please be aware that only training programs of at least three months (FTE) duration will be considered.
    • Employment as a specialist pain medicine physician.
  • Have undertaken at least 12 months (FTE) employment as a specialist pain medicine physician.
  • Have been employed in pain medicine for at least two months (FTE) of the year immediately preceding application.
  • Completion of an English language proficiency assessment which complies with the MBA guidelines or MCNZ guidelines.
Following the preliminary assessment we will either invite you to attend an interview for further assessment or determine you to be not comparable and ineligible to continue in the SIMG assessment process. Please be aware that an invitation to attend interview does not guarantee that you are partially or substantially comparable.

Should you be determined to be not comparable you may wish to apply to the AMC/AHPRA for assessment via the general pathway.

During the preliminary assessment we will also take the following details into consideration:

Comparable health systems
The comparability of the health system in which you undertook your training and in which you have worked since completion of your training will be taken into consideration throughout your SIMG assessment. The College relies on the Medical Council of New Zealand list of comparable health systems.
 
English language proficiency
You must supply evidence of English language proficiency unless you qualify for an exemption from this requirement. ANZCA relies on the Medical Board of Australia (for Australian applicants) and Medical Council of New Zealand (for New Zealand applicants) rules and exemption criteria for English language proficiency. You can find more information on MBA English language skills registration standards can be found here (http://www.medicalboard.gov.au/Registration-Standards.aspx) and information on the MCNZ English Language requirements can be found here. 

While ANZCA bases its exemption criteria on that of the MBA/MCNZ, please be aware that an ANZCA-granted exemption will only apply to ANZCA processes and is not indicative of MBA or MCNZ requirements. If you believe you may be eligible for this exemption please complete the exemption section on your application requesting an exemption from this requirement.

Until you achieve the required English language test scores you will be unable to continue with the preliminary assessment stage of the SIMG assessment process.
 
Certificate of registration status and certificates of good standing
 
Certificate of registration status (CORS)
You are required to submit an original or original certified certificate of registration status from the country in which you gained your specialist anaesthesia/pain medicine qualification. This certificate must show that you are registered (or eligible to be registered) as a specialist in that country.

The body that registers medical practitioners in the country of your specialist training should be able to supply you with a CORS. If you are unable to obtain this document please contact us to discuss your options.

Any notes, conditions or warnings on a CORS will be taken into account during your assessment. If there are notes, conditions or warnings on your CORS, you may be asked to provide additional information on the note, condition or warning.
 
Certificate of good standing (COGS)
You are required to submit an original or original certified COGS for the 10 years preceding your application. If you have worked in more than one country during this period you must obtain COGS from each country in which you have worked. If you have been working for less than 10 years you should provide COGS for the entire period you have been registered to practice medicine.

The COGS must be valid at the time of application (expired certificates will not be accepted). 
Any notes, conditions or warnings on a COGS will be taken into account during your assessment. If there are notes, conditions or warnings on your COGS, you may be asked to provide additional information on the note, condition or warning.

The body that registers medical practitioners within your country of practice should be able to supply you with a COGS. If you are unable to obtain these documents please contact us to discuss your options.
 
Recency of practice
 
Pain Medicine
If you haven’t practiced in pain medicine for at least two months in the 12 months preceding your application will be determined to be not comparable and you will not be able to continue in the SIMG assessment process.
 
Anaesthesia
If you haven’t practiced anaesthesia in the 12 months immediately prior to your application you may be required to complete a return to practice (RTP) period before you will be able to attend an interview at the College. We will determine this during the preliminary review of your application and will contact you if necessary. You must commence the RTP period within 12 months of the date of that advice.

The overall aim of RTP is to ensure that an anaesthetist who has been absent from clinical practice for a period of time provides safe and up-to-date care. It is your responsibility to ensure that this is the case.

The RTP period must comply with the MBA return to practice standard and ANZCA professional document 50: “Recommendations on Practice Re-Entry for a Specialist Anaesthetist”. Further information on the MBA registration standard can be found on the MBA website.

It is the responsibility of you and your supervisor to write the RTP program together. You should obtain a copy of the program template from the College and refer to ANZCA Professional Document PS50 for guidance on writing the program. Your return to practice plan must be approved by ANZCA’s director of professional affairs before commencement.
 
Frequently Asked Questions
 
How long does a preliminary assessment take?
Once we have received all required documents, a preliminary assessment will take approximately 10 business days to complete.
 
What if I am not comparable at paper assessment?
You should contact the Australian Medical Council and Medical Board of Australia to investigate the General Pathway. 
You can also apply for a reconsideration as per ANZCA regulation 30.
 
Can RTP be part of CPA?
In some instances the return to practice period can be counted towards the clinical practice assessment requirement. Once you have completed the return to practice program the ANZCA Director of Professional Affairs, SIMG will determine whether that time can be counted towards your clinical practice assessment period.
 
Who can supervise me during RTP?
You are required to have a supervisor who is a specialist anaesthetist, ideally a Fellow of ANZCA, who is in good standing.

What are the criteria for assessment?  Can I be an SIMG?
You can find the criteria for assessment via the SIMG assessment process in regulation 23. You may also like to use our online self-assessment tool to determine if you meet the minimum criteria to apply for assessment via the SIMG assessment process.
 
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