COVID-19 – potential impacts to anaesthesia training

The decisions below are based on a series of overarching educational principles that we have developed in relation to education and training during the COVID-19 pandemic. The position below is the college’s response should individual’s training be disrupted by the pandemic.

We recognise that there will most likely be changes to trainee rotations and diversion of clinicians from allocated rotations to undertake activities essential to maintaining care of patients over the coming months. There will likely be an impact on trainees in regard to meeting their volume of practice/clinical experience requirement​

To see what is not changing in ANZCA training, please see guidance on completing ANZCA requirements.

We understand that there will be individual circumstances that arise which will be outside these listed impacts.

Requests will be considered on an individual basis via the regular processes. If there are a significant number of similar requests the college will publish its position on the ANZCA webpage by adding to this table





Trainee wellbeing

Impacts of COVID-19

We provide resources and advice about trainee health and wellbeing. Trainees are also encouraged to direct suggestions to their trainee representatives.

Recording training time

Trainees redeployed to other clinical areas

Trainees should record  all clinical time undertaken during this period, as follows:

  • Record training completed at a College of Intensive Care Medicine (CICM) accredited site for general or limited general training as other clinical time (OCT) – intensive care medicine time.
  • Record training completed at a CICM accredited site for foundation training as OCT – other approved training.
  • For training completed at a site not accredited by CICM requires submission to director of professional affairs (DPA) assessors for approval.

For trainees completing advanced training (AT) in the 2020 hospital employment year (HEY) who have not met the minimum clinical anaesthesia time (CAT) requirement may complete this in their provisional fellowship training (PFT). 
Trainees must meet minimum CAT requirements for admission to fellowship.

Trainees redeployed to other duties due to heatlh risks, (eg pregnancy, immunosuppression etc), should submit an application to the DPA assessors and these will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Exceeded training time at a particular site

Extended employment in the same hospital without rotation to other training site

ANZCA will permit trainees to undertake training at the same site within their training network for a longer duration than planned. For further information, please see here.

Trainees who are approaching the training time duration should submit an application to the DPA assessors.
ANZCA will allow provisional fellows admitted to fellowship in the 2020 HEY to spend all of their training time in one training site. 

22 weeks continuous CAT in introductory training (IT)

Redeployed to high-dependency unit (HDU)/intensive-care unit (ICU)

Trainees completing IT in the 2020 HEY will still need to complete a minimum 22 weeks CAT but do not need to do this time continuously.
Time spent at a site accredited for the intensive care medicine (ICM) specialised study unit in the 2020 HEY can count towards the mandatory 11 weeks requirement, provided the time is continuous (interrupted by up to two weeks of non-ICM time).


Unable to do clinical work

Any time spent not spent in training, including self-isolation, quarantine or carer’s leave, should be recorded as leave. 

Trainees off work for 13 weeks or more may apply for interrupted training and may be eligible for a pro-rata refund on the annual training fee.

Volume of practice

Reduced elective surgery
consultant-led intubations and other procedures

Increased flexibility to defer requirements from one core unit to the next. Applications can occur within 13 weeks of the anticipated completion date of the core unit.  

Workplace-based assessments (WBA)

Contingent on VOP
Reduced elective surgery

Consultant-led intubation and other procedures

A WBA run rate is not required at this time. See COVID-related WBA guidelines
The college will allow greater flexibility to defer requirements to the next core unit, for those completing a core unit in 2020. Applications can occur within 13 weeks of the anticipated completion date of the core unit.  

Scholar role activies (SRA)

Completing SRAs during the 2020 HEY

Please refer to COVID-19 - ​guidance on completing ANZCA requirements.

Advanced Life Support (ALS) course each core unit (IT, BT and AT)

Advanced Life Support (ALS) courses cancelled

ANZCA will allow for flexibility to defer requirements to next core unit.

An ALS course completed within 78 calendar weeks of the completion date of the IT core unit review can count as the IT requirement. 

Please inform the college to allow appropriate training portfolio system (TPS) adjustments.

Core unit reviews

Supervisor of training (SOT) illness

Use of TPS with widespread deferral or requirements to next core unit

ANZCA suggests training sites consider recruiting additional SOTs to assist trainees. Former SOTs are a good resource.

Please email nominations to the college.

Provisional fellowship training requirements

Guidance on impacts to provisional fellowship training, please see COVID-19 - guidance on completing ANZCA requirements.

Interrupted training

Lengthening of existing interrupted training/new requests for interrupted training

There will be flexibility regarding interrupted training approvals, including allowing retrospective applications.

Trainees should note that return to work plans may be required.

Part-time training

Increased applications for part time training and need to train at less than 0.5 full-time equivalent (FTE)

There is flexibility regarding part-time training approvals, including allowing retrospective applications.

Special consideration may be given for less than 0.5 FTE approval in certain COVID-related circumstances (caring roles/bereavement/ongoing illness). This will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Rostering and return to work

Trainees off work for prolonged and unanticipated period 

Supervised return to work plans must occur as per ANZCA Training Handbook. This includes time spent out of clinical anaesthesia. 

Where feasible from health and wellbeing perspectives, trainees are encouraged to return to part time training rather than remaining in interrupted training,

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Last updated 17:43 20.08.2020