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.

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.

Step 1: Primary source verification

If you're applying for the Area of Need (AON) and/or SIMG assessment process, you must have your primary and specialists qualifications verified by the Educational Committee for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG).

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. 

Once you've submitted your qualifications to the Australian Medical Council (AMC) for primary source verification, we'll be able to view them via the AMC/AHPRA portal. We'll use this portal throughout your SIMG assessment process to upload reports and letters which will assist you in your dealings with AHPRA.

If you've previously submitted your qualifications for primary source verification to the ECFMG you must still create an AMC profile. You should contact the AMC to discuss options for linking your previous verification with your AMC profile.

You must have had all your primary and specialist qualifications verified by the time you have completed all other requirements of the SIMG assessment process. If your qualifications aren't verified by this time you can't be recommended for specialist registration with the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) and can't progress to fellowship of the college.

For further information regarding primary source verification including how to create an AMC account please visit the AMC website.

Step 2: Application

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.

Anaesthetists     Pain specialists


If you require a new application you must follow the same steps as outlined for application in Australia (below).

In Australia

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

Applications should be submitted by email. However, Certificates of Registration Status and Certificates of Good Standing must be originals or certified copies. These can be provided in two ways:

  • You can post an original certified copy or the original document to ANZCA

OR

  • The issuing authority can email your COGS here or post it to ANZCA

Our postal address is: ANZCA SIMG Program, 630 St Kilda Road, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 3004.


It's your responsibility to submit documentation for your assessment which details the required evidence to demonstrate your comparability with the Australian and/or New Zealand requirements in respect to training, qualifications, specialist practice, continuing professional development and professional conduct. ANZCA does not assume comparability in the absence of the appropriate evidence.

If you've previously been assessed by ANZCA/FPM in New Zealand and wish to complete your clinical practice assessment period in Australia, you'll need to inform us. Please be aware that we may require additional documentation before we can issue an assessment outcome in Australia. We'll take your MCNZ assessment into account during the review your application.

Please only provide the requested documents with your application. If you're unable to provide a requested document you must submit a statutory declaration to the college outlining the reasons why.

You don't need to submit copies of your qualifications with your application as we'll access these via the AMC/AHPRA portal

Once we've received your application with all documents listed in the application checklist, we will carry out a preliminary assessment.

Step 3: Preliminary assessment

The preliminary assessment will determine whether you will 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 full-time equivalent (FTE) - 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 pre-vocational medical education and training
    • Additional time as part of the specialist training program.
    • Additional training in anaesthesia, for example, 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:

- A primary medical qualification of at least 48 months (full-time equivalent) (MBBS or equivalent)

- 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

- Comparability of the applicant’s participation in continuing professional development (CPD) consistent with the ANZCA and FPM CPD standard

- 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.


The onus is on you to provide evidence to support your application. In the absence of satisfactory evidence, assessment of comparability will not be assumed.
Following the preliminary assessment we'll 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.

Step 4: Interview

Interview process

Once we've completed the preliminary assessment you may be invited to attend an interview for further assessment. The SIMG interview is undertaken in person at our offices in either Melbourne or Wellington. In exceptional circumstances a video interview may be granted. If you wish to request a video interview, you must submit a request in writing which will be reviewed by the director of professional affairs.

If you're invited to interview you'll need to pay the interview fee before a date is set. This fee must be paid within three months of invitation to interview and you must attend the interview within six months of invitation to interview. If you are unable to comply with these timeframes you should contact us to discuss your options.

In Australia, anaesthesia interviews are held on predetermined dates approximately every four to six weeks, and interview dates for pain medicine applications are determined on a case by case basis. In New Zealand, interview dates for anaethesia and pain medicine are determined on a case by case basis.

The interview will normally be conducted by a panel of four people (three fellows of ANZCA and a community representative). For those undertaking a dual assessment in anaesthesia and pain medicine, the interview for each assessment will normally be undertaken concurrently by a panel of five (two fellows of ANZCA, two fellows of FPM and a community representative).

Interviews take 45-60 minutes and are an assessment of an SIMG in the following areas:

  • Training.
  • Qualifications.
  • Specialist practice.
  • Continuing professional development.
  • Cultural awareness.
 

The interview panel will assess your comparability against the standards expected of an Australian/New Zealand-trained specialist anaesthetist/pain medicine physician.

Outcome of interview

Australia
Once you have completed your interview, we will email you an outcome, normally within 10 business days of your interview. A copy of the assessment outcome (report 1) will also be uploaded to the AMC/AHPRA portal. 

New Zealand
The MCNZ will send you the outcome of your vocational registration pathway assessment. You should contact the MCNZ to find out when you will receive this. If you have also requested an ANZCA fellowship pathway assessment, we will email you the outcome of your assessment after you have been notified of the MCNZ assessment outcome.

The possible outcomes of an interview are:

Substantially comparable

You will be required to:

 

Partially comparable – anaesthesia

You will be required to:

  • Undertake a period of between 12 and 24 months of clinical practice in anaesthesia.
  • Successfully complete the SIMG exam.
  • Actively participate in our CPD program.
  • Attend an Effective Management of Anaesthetic Crises (EMAC) course, if you have not already done so.
  • If you have completed a comparable exam you may be eligible to undertake an SIMG workplace-based assessment in lieu of the SIMG exam.


Partially comparable – pain medicine

You will be required to:

  • Undertake a period of clinical practice, from 12-24 months in duration in pain medicine.
  • Successfully complete all summative assessments, including clinical case study, long cases and the examination
  • Actively participate in our CPD program.


Not comparable

This means that you aren't eligible to continue in the SIMG assessment process and should contact the AMC/MBA/MCNZ to discuss assessment options via the general pathway and then, if relevant, the college training pathway.

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.

Your individual program is generally made up of four components:

  1. Clinical practice assessment (CPA).
  2. Continuing professional development (CPD).
  3. Effective Management of Anaesthetic Crisis (EMAC) course.
  4. External assessment (exam/summative assessments or WBAs)
 

All SIMG assessments are valid for two years from the date of interview. If you don't start your individual program within this period, we'll close your application and you'll need to reapply if you wish to continue. Please be aware that you'll need to pay the relevant fees again if you reapply, and may require a new interview.

As per the AHPRA Good Practice Guidelines substantially comparable SIMGs need to complete all requirements within two years of starting their individual program. Partially comparable SIMGs have four years to complete their requirements. 

If you don’t complete all requirements within the specified timeframe your application will be closed and you will need to reapply if you wish to continue in the SIMG assessment process. If you are accepted for reapplication, you will only be allowed the time remaining from your original SIMG assessment.

In exceptional circumstances an extension of time may be granted. Please contact us to discuss this option.

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.

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.

If you have completed the SIMG process in Australia, we will also support your application for specialist registration with AHPRA at this time. A copy of the AHPRA report 2 (or equivalent letter) will be provided to you with a copy also submitted to AHPRA. You will need to contact AHPRA directly to arrange an application to change your registration to specialist registration.

The process of applying for fellowship will usually take approximately 10 business days once all required documentation is submitted.

Fees and Forms


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Last updated 10:24 29.09.2020