Taking a career break and returning to anaesthesia practice

There are all sorts of reasons for taking a career break - parental leave; because of illness or family commitments; to practice in another area of medicine; retirement; suspension. Or simply a long holiday.

Whatever the reason, we strongly advise you to submit a return to practice (RTP) plan before returning to anaesthesia practice.

Who is this information for?

The information on this page only applies to ANZCA fellows returning to anaesthesia practice. 

  • Specialist international medical graduates (SIMGs) should refer to the SIMG return to practice page.
  • Anaesthesia trainees should refer to the guidelines and assessment needs template.

Nominate an RTP supervisor

You'll need to nominate a colleague who is willing to act as your supervisor. They must be engaged in this process, and oversee your plan at your workplace. Once you've completed your RTP period, your supervisor will need to submit a report to the director of professional affairs (DPA), who will determine whether or not you've successfully met the RTP requirements.

How do I know if I need to submit a plan?

Regulations for fellows, trainees and SIMGs vary as do regulations between Australia and New Zealand. Please refer to the chart below to determine if you need to submit a plan, however it is always highly recommended.

How to complete your RTP plan

We're all different, and we take absences for all kinds of reasons. So your return to practice plan should be tailored to your individual needs.

The regulatory requirements for approval may differ depending on where you are; the duration of absence; and any special circumstances. For example, a return to practice plan may apply to absences of less than 12 months in special circumstances, such as following a head injury or upon recommendation by regulators. Please ensure you check this with your national regulator prior to returning to work.

Australian fellows     New Zealand fellows

Please contact us for an RTP plan template. A director of professional affairs (DPA) must approve your plan before you recommence work.

Further information

For further information on this process, please refer to PS50 Guidelines on Return to Anaesthesia Practice for Anaesthetists. If you can't find what you're looking for, or you'd like to discuss your return to practice plan, our Membership team is happy to help.

Contact us

Upcoming events and courses

Our events and courses are a great way of meeting your CPD requirements.
30 April 2024 - 2 May 2024 | Cedar Creek Lodges

The 2024 ELC will be held on 30 April-2 May at Cedar Creek Lodges, Mt Tamborine.

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4 March 2024 | SA ANZCA Regional Office

Join us for an update on SA pain units.

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16 April 2024 | Melbourne

This is a free event for Victorian FPM fellows and trainees, and allied health professionals.

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Last updated 15:54 28.10.2022