Everything you need to know about the Diploma of Perioperative Medicine, including the reasons for its development; the course structure, duration, and eligibility requirements.

About the ANZCA Diploma of Perioperative Medicine

What type of educational program is offered?

The diploma program offers flexibility and can be completed in 12 months (full-time) or up to 3 years (part-time) and is a competency-based course comprising of six units of study. The program is a hybrid model of online learning modules, a workshop and clinical immersion experiences.

Please note the diploma offered by ANZCA is a vocational program for graduate medical practitioners and is not a higher education award in accordance with the Australian Qualifications Framework.

Why has the diploma been developed?

We acknowledge the need to improve co-ordination of the surgical patient’s journey through the perioperative period. We believe that holders of the DipPOM will assist in: 

  • Improve patient outcomes.
  • Minimising avoidable adverse patient outcomes.
  • Delivering coordinated, proactive care to vulnerable and high-risk surgical patients.
  • Providing consensus on what constitutes “best perioperative medicine practice” for the wide variety of craft groups currently contributing to the care of patients going through surgery.
  • The implement of a standardised framework to allow mapping of existing services (for example, orthogeriatrics) into comprehensive perioperative care that recognises established expertise and avoids “reinventing the wheel”. 
  • Enable appropriate shared decision making for complex patients to avoid unnecessary, inappropriate or unwanted surgery. 

What makes this diploma different from other qualifications currently available?

The DipPOM is currently the only post-graduate program offering a combination of practical clinical learning with a theoretical online learning package. In addition, collaborative engagement opportunities are provided through face-to-face workshops.  

The diploma structure is unique in Australia and New Zealand and is based on education market research completed by external consultants.

Why is another perioperative qualification necessary?

A formal diploma which builds from a care framework of perioperative principles will develop leaders who can demonstrate a deep understanding of the perioperative landscape, and develop advanced leadership, teamwork and advocacy skills to co-ordinate patient care.  

Perioperative practitioners holding this formal qualification will better underpin the broader establishment of perioperative medicine as an essential aspect of health care.  

The qualification will consolidate much of the good practice that is already occurring in hospitals, while also allow those with an interest in improving their skills, to gain knowledge that may not be a focus of their primary speciality. Examples of this include anaesthetists gaining a deeper appreciation of delirium and frailty assessment, or geriatricians acquiring further knowledge of acute pain and resuscitation. 

The qualification establishes a recognised standard of comprehensive practice in perioperative medicine.

What is the duration of the diploma?

The qualification will be a 12-month program, which can also be completed on an individualised unit of study program basis, over a maximum period of 36 months.

How is the diploma structured?

There are six units of study:

  1. Pre-operative assessment
  2. Pre-operative planning
  3. Optimisation.
  4. Intraoperative impacts on patient outcomes.
  5. Postoperative assessment and management
  6. Discharge planning and rehabilitation.

Each unit of study includes an online learning package, clinical immersion experience, and a workshop.  

How are participants be assessed?

The assessment strategy combines online knowledge checks, simulated case-based activities, reflection activities and observation of clinical practice. View the DipPOM Handbook for more detail on assessment structure and activities.

How do I apply?

Enrolments open in November 2023 for a commencement in February 2024. Please contact us for further details.

What is the cost of the diploma?

The cost of the diploma is $2185 AUD/$2360 NZD (excluding GST) per units of study. Participants are also responsible for paying additional fees such as registration fee and diploma completion fee. You can find complete information about the fees here.

Is recognition of prior learning and experience available?

Recognition of prior learning and experience (RPLE) is a process to acknowledge previously completed education or training that is comparable and relevant to that assessed in the DipPOM and the required competencies. 

The DipPOM does not permit RPLE to be applied towards completion of the DipPOM units of study, with the exception of some credit for recent clinical training time.

Participants undertaking the DipPOM who are working in a POM related training role may have time credited towards clinical immersion time under the following circumstances:

  • Clinical training time occurs post fellowship examination or, for physician trainees, in the last 12 months of training.
  • The clinical training time occurs in a POM role.
  • The clinical time is completed no longer than 12 months prior to the commencement of the unit of study that the clinical time is credited toward.

No more than two units of study may have their clinical immersion time credited in this way.

A record of activities required for the unit of study must be submitted at enrolment by the candidate to demonstrate achievement of clinical immersion requirements. This record must be confirmed by a supervisor or head of department.

Does the diploma attract CPD points? Is there an ongoing CPD program?

The specific CPD standards and requirements for the DipPOM are currently under consideration and further information will be available in CPD requirements for 2024. 

Recognition pathway 

Is the Recognition Pathway different to Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)?

Yes. The recognition pathway is a separate process that enables practitioners with significant experienced in perioperative medicine to be apply to be awarded the DipPOM.

Who qualifies for the recognition process?

The recognition process is available to those practitioners who have been engaged in, and completed, various educational and clinical perioperative medicine-based activities. It is an opportunity for those activities to be recognised for the award of the Diploma of Perioperative Medicine. To be eligible, practitioners must:

  1. Be registered with the relevant medical board authority. 
  2. Have sufficient experience working in the perioperative medicine field within the past eight years (as detailed in the guidance document and application form). 
  3. Be a practicing fellow from an eligible college.
  4. Be able to meet specified evidence criteria for recognition points. 

NB: Practitioners from medical colleges not listed are not currently eligible for legacy transition to the diploma via the recognition pathway.

Is overseas clinical experience applicable for the recognition pathway?

Applicants with an Australian or New Zealand fellowship/s with international clinical experience and/or currently working in Australia and New Zealand, are encouraged to apply for the diploma via the recognition pathway. Applicants not working in Australia or New Zealand are required to demonstrate international leadership in Perioperative Medicine and provide evidence of clinical experience equivalent to the Australian standard. 

Applicants will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Will completed technical courses, such as echocardioloy and non-cardiac ultrasound courses, be considered as part of my recognition application?

Specialist echocardiology ultrasound courses are considered; however, short courses and non-specialist ultrasound courses will not be considered.

What supporting documents do FCICM applicants require to supplement the detailed clinical practice activities?

Fellows of the College of Intensive Care Medicine are highly recommended to provide a copy of the individualised ANZICS Adult Patient Database report, or equivalent (from the hospital intensive care unit), to support the listed clinical practice activities in category D.

I think I am eligible for recognition, how do I apply?

Read the eligibility criteria on our DipPOM recognition pathway page then click on the ‘apply’ tab, which will take you to the application form. Follow the instructions on the form to complete the application.

When submitting your application, it is essential that all points claimed on the application form are supported with the appropriate evidence, otherwise the claimed activity or experience will not be counted.

What is the cost of applying for recognition for the DipPOM?

The cost of submitting a recognition application is $550 AUD/ $635 NZD (both inclusive of GST). The fee covers the application administrative costs and, as such, is non-refundable.

What is the timeframe for receipt of applications for the DipPOM recognition award?

We will accept applications for the DipPOM recognition pathway from 3 October 2022 until 1 December 2023.

How long will it take to process the application for recognition pathway?

The outcome of the lodged applications will be available within 12 weeks of receipt of the completed application and all the supporting evidence.

Is there a requirement to complete specific activities to apply for award of the DipPOM via the recognition pathway?

Evidence of completion of clinical activities (Category D), within the POM field in the past eight years, with a minimum of 200 points, is a compulsory requirement of the recognition pathway process.

What is the recency of completion of the POM-based education and clinical activities for the recognition pathway?

There is an eight-year recency of completion of the clinical activities and the educational programs, estimated from the date of application.

What if I am just short of the total 1000 points required to receive the diploma via recognition points?

Candidates with accrued points between 800 – 999 of the required points will have up to 12 months, from the time of the decision, to achieve the additional points. There will be no additional fee applied for the review of additional accrued evidence.

Evidence supporting the application is essential. Should points be claimed without the supporting evidence, the application will not succeed. You will receive a letter explaining the shortfall and a request to provide the supporting evidence before the application can be reviewed again.

If I apply but have less than 800 points accrued, will that exclude me from reapplying?

It is recommended that you have accrued the minimum 1000 points before applying. Should you apply with less than 800 points of evidence, it is likely your application will be rejected. This does not, however, exclude you from re-applying within the recognition pathway timeframe (3 October 2022 – 1 December 2023), once you complete the activities for the remaining points. A further non-refundable administration fee will apply for each subsequent application.

Should points be claimed without the supporting evidence, the application will not succeed. You will receive a letter explaining the shortfall and a request to provide the supporting evidence before the application can be reviewed again.

What is recognition via a leadership pathway?

It is recognised that there are medical practitioners, throughout Australia and New Zealand, who may not meet the points requirement, but who qualify for the DipPOM through evidence of significant leadership in perioperative medicine. 

Eligibility will be decided based on pre-determined criteria.

What is the benefit of being awarded the DipPOM by a recognition pathway?

The award of the DipPOM through recognition is an acknowledgement of a practitioner’s contribution to, and experience within, the field of perioperative medicine. 
The award also enables practitioners to contribute to the education of future perioperative medicine practitioners and be included in the first cohort of supervisors of DipPOM participants from September 2023.

Will it be necessary for me to be a diploma supervisor following being awarded the diploma via the recognition process?

Becoming a supervisor is not a criterion for recognition, however, it is anticipated that those awarded the DipPOM via the recognition process will be the first cohort of supervisors of clinical immersion for the initial delivery of the DipPOM in 2023 and 2024. There will also be opportunities to contribute to perioperative medicine education, policies, and guidelines development.

Is Fellowship of Faculty of Pain Medicine considered as a second fellowship for the recognition pathway application?

Yes. The fellowship of the ANZCA FPM program (FFPMANZCA) will be awarded 100 points for the recognition pathway under Category A points, as FFPMANZCA is a 2-year program, compared to the 5 years of the other listed specialist training.

Supervisors and unit of study leads

What information and support do supervisors and unit of study leads receive?

Supervisors and unit of study leads are required to attend an introductory workshop which will outline diploma requirements, provide information on how to navigate the online platform and cover the skills and knowledge required to be an effective supervisor.  

Supervisors are supported by a dedicated DipPOM unit of study lead and ANZCA support staff.

What is the time commitment for supervisors?

The time commitment required by supervisors is based on the number of participants they are supervising and the number of units of study the participant is taking concurrently. Participants are able to take one or two units of study per trimester.

Supervisors are allocated up to three DipPOM participants, depending on the supervisor’s availability and the number of units of study the participant is completing.  

As a guide, a supervisor’s commitment is up to an hour per week, per participant, per unit of study.  

In addition, supervisors will be required to assist in the facilitation of workshops, one per unit of study. It is anticipated that the requirement for supervisors to assist with workshop facilitation will be two workshops over a 2-year period.

Becoming a supervisor is not a criterion for recognition, however, it is anticipated that those awarded the DipPOM via the recognition process will be the first cohort of supervisors of clinical immersion for the initial delivery of the DipPOM in 2023 and 2024. There will also be opportunities to contribute to perioperative medicine education, policies, and guidelines development.

If you have any questions not covered above, please contact us.

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Last updated 11:57 11.09.2023