SIMG assessment process

Our SIMG assessment process evaluates the ability of a specialist to practise as an unsupervised specialist anaesthetist and/or pain medicine specialist at a standard comparable to that required of a fellow of ANZCA (FANZCA) or fellow of the Faculty of Pain Medicine (FFPMANZCA). 

The following information relates to doctors undertaking the anaesthesia and/or pain medicine specialist international medical graduate (SIMG) assessment process in Australia and SIMGs undertaking the ANZCA/FPM fellowship pathway in New Zealand who were assessed after 3 April 2017.

New Zealand
The first step for anyone who wants to practice medicine in New Zealand is to apply for registration with the Medical Council of New Zealand.  You should contact the MCNZ for information on your requirements to work as an anaesthetist in New Zealand. 

If the MCNZ accepts your application for vocational registration, it will seek ANZCA’s advice about the comparability of your training, qualifications and experience to those of a New Zealand-trained vocationally registered doctor holding fellowship.  ANZCA provides preliminary advice to the MCNZ following a paper assessment of your documents and final advice to MCNZ following an interview with you. The MCNZ makes the final decision about your eligibility for vocational registration.

When ANZCA interviews you to provide advice to the MCNZ, you have the option to be assessed at the same time for the ANZCA SIMG assessment process. If you decide to take this option, the SIMG process be the same as Australia from steps five to seven below. 

Important information before you get started

We strongly recommend that you contact the Australian Department of Home Affairs or Immigration New Zealand before applying. We also suggest that you investigate the size and location of the anaesthesia workforce in Australia to better understand your opportunities for employment. You may find the Department of Health's Australia's Future Health Workforce – Anaesthesia report, and the MCNZ's New Zealand medical workforce useful. We do not have a role in finding SIMGs suitable posts.

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) Report on specialist medical colleges specialist pathway data has some good information on statistics relating to the SIMG process (including the number of substantially, partially and not comparable applicants over the last 12 months).

New Standards for the Assessment of SIMGs
The Medical Board of Australia has developed new standards for the assessment of SIMGs that will come into effect on 1 January 2021. The standards can be found here.

Reconsideration and Review 
Our process for the reconsideration, review or appeal of decisions made regarding SIMG applications and individual programs can found in Regulation 30.

Step 1: Primary source verification

You must have your primary and specialist qualifications verified by the Educational Committee for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG). This can be done through the ECFMC’s Electronic Portfolio of International Credentials (EPIC). You will receive an EPIC number when you register which must be included on your SIMG application. Applications cannot be processed without this number.

Any qualification you'd like us to use as part of your assessment must be submitted for primary source verification. Please note that if you undertook your specialist training in the United Kingdom you must have both your fellowship of the Royal College of Anaesthetists (FRCA) and your Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) verified.

If you fail to submit your qualifications for primary source verification your application will be incomplete and you won't be able to progress to the assessment stage of the AON/SIMG process. 

Please refer to the Handbook for specialist international medical graduates for further information.

Step 2: Application

In Australia
To apply for the SIMG assessment process you must submit the application formCV form and all documents on the application form checklist. 

Applications should be submitted by email. However, Certificates of Registration Status must be an original or certified copy sent either by post or the issuing authority can email the SIMG team directly. 

Please refer to the Handbook for specialist international medical graduates for further information.

In New Zealand 
We will base your application on the documents submitted to the Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ). Please contact the MCNZ to determine what documents you are required to submit with your application.

If we've previously assessed you in Australia and you now wish to complete your clinical practice assessment period in New Zealand, you'll need to apply to the MCNZ for assessment for vocational registration. The requirements for fellowship as specified by ANZCA in Australia are applicable in New Zealand, however, you will need to contact the MCNZ to discuss the assessment process for vocational registration.

If you've previously been assessed for the MCNZ vocational registration pathway and now wish to apply for assessment for fellowship of ANZCA or FPM please contact us to find out if you need to submit a new application.

Please refer to the Handbook for specialis international medical graduates for further information.

Step 3: Preliminary review

The preliminary review process is an assessment of comparability and applies only to Australian applicants. The preliminary review is conducted against the critieria outlined in the Handbook for specialist international medical graduates. The review will determine if the applicant meets the criteria to progress to interview.

Step 4: Interview

Interview process

Once we've completed the preliminary review you may be invited to attend an interview for further assessment. SIMG interviews are usually undertaken in person at our offices in either Melbourne or Wellington. Video interviews may be conducted at the discretion of the SIMG Director of Professional Affairs.

Please refer to the Handbook for specialist international medical graduates for further information.

Step 5: Individual program

Following your interview, we will send you a report 1 and/or assessment outcome report which outlines the requirements you must undertake in order to successfully complete the SIMG assessment process; these requirements make up your individual program.

Please refer to the Handbook for specialist international medical graduates for further information.

Step 6: Completion of individual program

Once you have successfully completed all requirements as set out in your report 1 and/or interview outcome report, we will undertake a review of your file. Once this review confirms successful completion of all requirements, you will have completed your individual program. Should you fail to complete all requirements within the specified time frame your application will be closed.

Step 7: Specialist registration and fellowship

Once you've successfully completed all the requirements of your individual program you will be informed that you may apply for admission to fellowship of ANZCA/FPM.

Please refer to the Handbook for specialist international medical graduates for further information.

Fees and Forms

Last updated 15:45 10.08.2022