Becoming a primary examiner

Being an ANZCA primary examiner is an extremely rewarding way for you to make a substantial contribution to your profession; your college; and to maintaining the high standards that make anaesthesia so safe in Australia and New Zealand.

Is this role for me?

We're looking for fellows with a minimum of three years post award of FANZCA, who are passionate about the applied sciences which underpin the art of anaesthesia. Ideally, you'll have been involved with helping prepare registrars for the primary exam, through delivering tutorials; teaching on exam prep courses; or giving practise vivas. You don't need to be an expert on the whole syllabus – but familiarity with the major areas, by way of regular teaching, is a good starting point. Your application should demonstrate how you meet the following selection criteria:

  • A passion for the sciences which underpin the art of anaesthesia.
  • Demonstrated involvement in teaching and assessing basic sciences material for the primary exam such as regular tutorials and trial vivas.
  • Demonstrated ability to work well in a small team environment.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • The ability to recognise and manage conflicts of interest, and maintain exam integrity.
  • A minimum of three years post award of FANZCA.
  • Willingness to undertake the time commitment required.

Time commitment

Successful applicants will need to be available to attend:

  • A two-day weekend new-examiner workshop (prior to initial appointment).
  • Thereafter, one day of exam development workshop every two years.
  • At least one viva exam per year (a period of four days).

And allocate the time to:

  • Mark one short answer question (SAQ) per year. 
  • Contribute to writing and reviewing new exam questions.

How to apply

If you think you have the experience and enthusiasm for this role, please contact us for an application pack. Please note that your application will need to include:

  • A CV which addresses the key selection criteria above.
  • The names and contact details of three referees (who ANZCA will contact for a written reference).
    • One must be from your Head of Department (or a senior colleague if you are only in private practice).
    • One should be from a primary or final examiner (if you don’t know an examiner, you can discuss an alternative with the primary exam team).  
    • The third referee should be a suitable senior colleague.

What happens next?

If your application is suitable, you are invited to attend as an observer at one day of a viva exam, where you can see the exam in progress, and meet the chair to discuss your application (attendance is at your own expense). The Primary Exam Sub-committee (PESC) will then review your application at the next committee meeting (held twice a year), where they will make a decision about your appointment.

After initial appointment

Successful applicants then need to attend a two-day (weekend) workshop, before being mentored as a probationary examiner at a viva exam. During this period you are allocated one or more mentors who will assist you and evaluate your performance, and provide a recommendation to PESC about your ongoing appointment. Travel and accommodation expenses for the new-examiner workshop and viva exams are covered by ANZCA.

Further information

Following the probationary period, examiners are appointed for periods of three years. Re-appointment is subject to the recommendation of examiner assessors (who conduct performance appraisals of examiners during the viva exams). All examiners are required to have regular assessments of their performance by examiner assessors.

Normally, examiners would be appointed for a maximum of 12 years (re-appointed every three years), with an extension of two years if needed. In making decisions about appointments, PESC may seek advice from the Education and Examination Committees, Council, and the Regional Committees, if required. In making appointments, PESC will take into account the need for examiners with particular expertise, or the need for a geographical spread of examiners.

PESC reserves the right to make the appointment of suitable persons by invitation.

Last updated 10:31 29.08.2023