APPLICATION PROCEDURES AND REQUIREMENTS FOR SPECIALIST ASSESSMENT

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1 APPLICATION PROCEDURES AND REQUIREMENTS FOR SPECIALIST ASSESSMENT Australian Medical Council The purpose of the Australian Medical Council is to ensure that standards of education, training and assessment of the medical profession promote and protect the health of the Australian Community.

2 The purpose of the Australian Medical Council is to ensure that standards of education, training and assessment of the medical profession promote and protect the health of the Australian community by the Australian Medical Council Limited. First edition June Copyright for this publication rests with the Australian Medical Council Limited. Published and distributed by: Australian Medical Council Limited PO Box 4810 KINGSTON ACT Phone: Fax: Website: ABN: ISBN: All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted,in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, except as permitted by the Copyright Act 1968, without the prior permission of the copyright owner.

3 APPLICATION PROCEDURES AND REQUIREMENTS FOR SPECIALIST ASSESSMENT

4 TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION...2 SPECIALIST BOOKLET...3 STATEMENT ON PRIVACY...5 STANDARDS OF SPECIALIST PRACTICE IN AUSTRALIA...6 THE 11 STEP SPECIALIST ASSESSMENT PROCESS...7 AMC COMMUNICATION PROCESS WITH THE APPLICANT...8 Incomplete application communication process...8 Complete application applicant contact points...8 STEP 1 RECEIPT OF FORMS SUBMITTED BY APPLICANT...10 STEP 2 PRIMARY SOURCE VERIFICATION...11 EICS verification under the Specialist Pathway...11 Successful or incomplete applications...12 STEP 3 REFERRAL TO SPECIALIST COLLEGE...13 STEP 4 APPLICANT TO SEND FORM SC AND ASSESSMENT FEE TO COLLEGE...14 College fees...14 Fees to be paid in Australian currency...14 Illness and/or deferring scheduled interview...14 STEP 5 COLLEGE ASSESSMENT OF APPLICATION...15 College assessment processes...15 College interview processes...15 Interview purpose...16 College comparability standard...16 College rejection of application...18 College to schedule interviews...18 General college training and examination requirements...18 STEP 6 AMC TO RECEIVE COPY OF REPORT 1 AND FORWARD TO APPLICANT...19 College notification of assessment outcome Report 1/Combined report...19 Application progress by college outcome...20

5 STEP 7 PARTIALLY COMPARABLE DECISION REQUIREMENTS FOR FURTHER TRAINING AND/OR EXAMINATION...21 STEP 8 AMC TO ADVISE COLLEGE OF APPLICANT S INTENTION TO COMPLY...23 STEP 9 COLLEGE ADVISES AMC OF FINAL ASSESSMENT DECISION...24 STEP 10 AMC RECEIVES REPORT 2 FROM COLLEGE...26 Application progress by college outcome...26 STEP 11 AMC ADVISES The Medical Board of Australia (MBA) & Western Australian Medical Board OF APPLICANT S ELIGIBILITY TO PRESENT FOR REGISTRATION...28 STATEMENT ON COLLEGE FELLOWSHIP...29 SEEKING REGISTRATION...30 APPENDIX A STATUTORY DECLARATIONS...31 Statutory declarations witnessed in Australia...31 Statutory declarations/affidavit witnessed overseas...31 APPENDIX B ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY...33 Appendix C Common errors that delay APPLICATIONS...34

6 1 Information Booklet for applicants

7 2 INTRODUCTION An applicant is eligible to apply to the Australian Medical Council (AMC) as an overseas trained specialist under the specialist assessment pathway if they can meet the eligibility criteria set out in the Applying to the Australian Medical Council Booklet. At the conclusion of the specialist assessment process, successful applicants will be eligible to present to the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) & Western Australian Medical Board for registration to practice as a specialist in the assessed speciality only. An applicant under the specialist assessment pathway will be expected to have satisfied all the training and examination requirements to practice in their field of specialty in their country of training. An applicant who cannot meet this criterion will be required to apply under the AMC non-specialist pathway to be deemed eligible to present to the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) & Western Australian Medical Board seeking general (non-specialist) registration. The purpose of the specialist assessment procedure is to determine the level of comparability of overseas trained specialists training and qualifications with the level of Australian trained specialists currently entering the Australian workforce. The role of the AMC is to verify the information contained within the application provided by the applicant to determine if an applicant is eligible to have their specialist skills assessed by a specialist medical college. After the specialist medical college assessment, it is the role of the AMC to advise the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) & Western Australian Medical Board of the outcome of the assessment made by the specialist medical college. The AMC administers the procedure, but the appropriate specialist medical college assesses the applicant s training and experience. The role of the specialist medical college is to assess the training and experience of the applicant as compared to the training and examination program of the college for Australian trained specialists, and the skills standard required practicing in that specialty in Australia. For a list of fields of specialist practice and assessing colleges in Australia and Summary of college training/examinations please refer to The role of the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) & Western Australian Medical Board is to administer the registration laws in Australia and to make the final decision to register a medical practitioner within a State or Territory.

8 3 Information Booklet for applicants SPECIALIST BOOKLET This booklet outlines the requirements relating to the assessment of overseas trained specialists, as administered by the Australian Medical Council (AMC) and conducted by the constituent Specialist Medical Colleges of the Committee of Presidents of Medical Colleges (CPMC). These are current as at May The assessment procedure came into operation in January Assessment requirements and fees may change at any time without notice, therefore applicants are advised to visit the AMC s website for current fees and requirements before submitting their application. All applications received by the AMC after 1 January 2006 will be required to have Primary Source Verifications. In the case of specialists, this will include postgraduate qualifications. Applicants should: be familiar with current assessment requirements before lodging an application; note that the AMC cannot determine eligibility for assessment until it receives a formal written application, which includes the required documentation; and be aware that the AMC is unable to provide advice on matters relating to an individual s specialist qualification, training or experience without completion of a formal assessment through the agreed procedures that are outlined in this booklet. All matters concerning the AMC/Specialist Medical College assessment process including: eligibility; arrangements for assessment; steps after the application has been referred to the assessing College; and notification of the final result, will be conveyed to the applicant in writing by the AMC Secretariat or the assessing College. While the AMC Secretariat will assist applicants by answering inquires over the telephone, the Council is bound only by information and requests provided in writing.

9 4 It is the responsibility of all applicants for specialist assessment to know and comply with the procedures and instructions of the AMC and assessing College. These are set down in this booklet and in instructions and requirements in formal correspondence from the AMC Secretariat and the relevant College. In 1996, the Commonwealth Government amended legislation to impose restrictions on access to Medicare (the national universal health insurance scheme); including a ten-year delay on access to Medicare provider numbers for overseas trained doctors who apply to sit the AMC examination after 1 January Inquires about the restrictions should be addressed to the Workplace and Distribution Section of the Australian Department of Health and Ageing (telephone ).

10 5 Information Booklet for applicants STATEMENT ON PRIVACY The AMC is required to observe the provisions of the Privacy Amendment (Private Sector) Act 2000, which has effect from 21 December 2001 and sets out the requirements for the collection and use of personal information collected before and after that date. Each of the Application Forms required by the AMC includes a statement relating to the AMC s privacy procedures. Each must be signed by the applicant to give formal consent for the AMC to collect and hold personal information. If the consent is not provided, the AMC will not be able to process the application.

11 6 STANDARDS OF SPECIALIST PRACTICE IN AUSTRALIA For a list of medical specialties recognised in Australia please refer to the recognition area on the Australian Medical Council website Medical education and clinical practice vary considerably from one country to another, reflecting access to educational and clinical resources, disease patterns and local health care priorities. These variations are even more significant in the area of specialist medical practice. Experience with the assessment of overseas trained specialists in New South Wales from 1990, and nationally through the AMC from 1993, confirms that many overseas trained specialists will experience difficulties meeting the standards required for specialist practice in Australia, or will require significant periods of advanced training to meet the standards. Advanced training positions are limited in number and are subject to open competition with Australian applicants. Note: Fellows of specialist medical colleges are expected to undertake Continuing Professional Development or Maintenance of Professional Standards programs conducted by the relevant colleges for the purposes of re-certification for registration in Australia.

12 7 Information Booklet for applicants THE 11 STEP SPECIALIST ASSESSMENT PROCESS The final decision to register a medical practitioner rests solely with the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) & Western Australian Medical Board in Australia. THE 11 STEP SPECIALIST PROCESS THE APPLICANT THE AMC SPECIALIST MEDICAL COLLEGE STEP 1 AMC receives forms and documentation from applicant. STEP 2 Application assessed through AMC Primary Source Verification. An incomplete application will not proceed past Step 2 until complete documentation is provided. If the AMC determines that your application is complete the application will proceed to Step 3. STEP 3 Referral sent to specialist college, applicant advised of referral. STEP 4 Applicant completes and sends Form SC and initial assessment fee to specialist college. STEP 5 Assess application against college standards to determine compatibility to an Australian Trained Specialist. STEP 6 AMC receives report from specialist medical college advising of applicant s level of comparability. Report forwarded to applicant. If the applicant has been determined not to be comparable the application for specialist assessment is discontinued in accordance with the process outlined in Step 6. If the applicant has received advice that they are required to undergo additional components of the assessment procedure then the application will proceed to step 7. If the applicant has been recognised as being substantially comparable the application will now proceed directly to Step 9. STEP 7 Applicant advises AMC in writing of their intention to comply with the requirements set out in Report 1. STEP 8 AMC advises college of the applicant s intention to comply with Report 1 requirements. STEP 9 After applicant s completion of Report 1 requirements advise the AMC of final assessment decision via Report 2. STEP 10 Receive report 2 from college and forward copy to appplicant. If the college s final decision in that the applicant is not comparable the application for specialist assessment is discontinued in accordance with step 10. If the applicant has been determined to be substantinally comparable, the application proceeds to step 11. STEP 11 Advise the relevant Medical Board of the applicant s eligibility to present for registration as a specialist.

13 8 AMC COMMUNICATION PROCESS WITH THE APPLICANT After the lodgment of the required application forms and documentation with the AMC, the application for specialist assessment will proceed along the 11-Step Specialist Assessment Process identified at page 6 of this booklet. During various steps of the assessment process, the applicant will be contacted by the AMC to be advised of the current stage of the application and where relevant, the actions required by the applicant to further progress the application. The AMC will advise the applicant of the outcome of the Primary Source Verification process as the first point of contact in processing all applications as identified within the Assessment Process Diagram. Note: Because of the high number of applications received by the AMC, and in order to be able to process all applications equally and fairly, applicants should not contact the AMC to request whether their application has been received. Incomplete application communication process If an application does not comply with the AMC s requirements set out in the Applying to the Australian Medical Council Booklet it will be deemed to be incomplete and the first contact point with the applicant will be at Step 2 of the specialist assessment process. The applicant will be notified that the application will not proceed past Step 2 until the required documentation and forms have been provided to the AMC. Note: Applications that are incomplete will incur an administration fee of $ before they can be processed by the Australian Medical Council. Complete application applicant contact points If an application is determined to be complete after the Primary Source Verification process in accordance with Step 2, the applicant will be notified at all following steps of the application process: Applicant contact point one STEP 3: The AMC advises the applicant that the application has been referred to the specialist medical college. Applicant contact point two STEP 5: The specialist medical college will directly contact the applicant to schedule the time and place for an interview to take place between the applicant and the specialist medical college, if an interview is required by the relevant college.

14 9 Information Booklet for applicants Applicant contact point three STEP 6: After the interview, the AMC formally advises the applicant of the specialist medical college decision by forwarding to the applicant a copy of the Report 1 or Combined Report provided by the college to either: 1. Recognise the applicants training and experience as substantially comparable OR reject the applicant from further assessment by determining that the applicants training and experience are not equivalent to the level of an Australian trained specialist. or the college will 2. Require the applicant to undergo additional components of the assessment procedure to make a final assessment of the applicants training and experience comparability to the level of an Australian trained specialist. Applicant contact point four STEP 10: On completion by the applicant of the required additional training or exam components determined by the specialist medical college, the AMC will provide the applicant with a copy of the Report 2 which is the college s final determination of comparability to either recognise the applicant as substantially comparable to the level of an Australian trained specialist or to determine the applicant not to be comparable on the basis of the assessment undertaken by the specialist medical college. Applicant contact point five STEP 11: If the Report 2 deems the applicants training and experience to be substantially comparable, the AMC will provide the Applicant with a copy of correspondence to the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) & Western Australian Medical Board advising of the applicant s eligibility to present for registration to practice in the field of specialty which they have been assessed in under the specialist pathway.

15 10 STEP 1 RECEIPT OF FORMS SUBMITTED BY APPLICANT At this stage of your application you have already forwarded the required specialist assessment application forms to the Australian Medical Council (AMC). It is important that these forms have been completed in accordance with the requirements set out within the AMC s Applying to the Australian Medical Council Booklet. Application forms and documents which have not been correctly witnessed are not legally recognised in Australia and will not be accepted. When the required application forms and documents have been received by the AMC, your application will take up to two weeks to be assessed by the Primary Source Verification section. In the interests of processing all applications efficiently and fairly, you should not contact the AMC to check the status of your application if it has not been at least two weeks since your documents were sent to the AMC.

16 11 Information Booklet for applicants STEP 2 PRIMARY SOURCE VERIFICATION Primary Source Verification is the process used by the AMC to verify the documentation and information provided by each applicant according to the AMC s requirements set out in the Applying to the Australian Medical Council Booklet and to the documentation requirements of the individual specialist medical college. It is the role of each specialist medical college to conduct an assessment of an applicants training and experience under the specialist pathway; however the AMC must ensure that the documentation provided by the applicant satisfies the initial requirements to be forwarded on to the assessing college. Note: The AMC processes all applications for specialist assessment strictly in the order they are received. Whilst every effort is made by the AMC to reduce the processing time for applications, many applications submitted to the AMC are incomplete or do not comply with the prescribed requirements, adding to the processing times and causing unnecessary delays for other applicants. Applications that are incomplete will incur an administration fee of $ before they can be processed by the Australian Medical Council. The Primary Source Verification section will check your application against the criteria set out within the Applying to the Australian Medical Council Booklet to determine the application to be either complete or incomplete. A complete application will have satisfied all the requirements set out in the Applying to the Australian Medical Council Booklet. An incomplete application will require the applicant to provide further documentation or information to satisfy all of the requirements set out in the Applying to the Australian Medical Council Booklet. In this event, the applicant will be notified by the AMC that the application will not be able to proceed until the applicant provides or resubmits the required documentation. EICS verification under the Specialist Pathway All applications received by the AMC for assessment after 1 January 2006 are required to be verified by the International Credentials Service (EICS) of the United States Education Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG). The applicant s primary and highest specialist degree/diploma will be electronically sent to the ECFMG for verification at this stage of the Primary Source Verification process. The AMC must then wait to receive the results of the verification process by the ECFMG. At this stage of the process the applicant will receive an EICS number.

17 12 Once this process is completed, a covering letter and an AMC Certificate of Verification of Medical Qualifications will be issued with the applicant s verification number. The AMC will notify the relevant Medical Board and Specialist College of the results of this process. Applicants should be aware that the process of EICS verification can take a significant amount of time. Often, the notification from the ECFMG back to the AMC of the verification results can take up to three months to be received. In some cases, the process can take longer. Because of this, the AMC will continue to progress your application after the initial request for EICS verification has been made. This means that a complete application is eligible to be referred to the specialist medical college for assessment of training and experience whilst the AMC waits to receive the results of the EICS verification process. When the ECFMG provides final confirmation that the EICS verification process has been successfully completed, the AMC will notify the applicant and the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) & Western Australian Medical Board in writing of the result of the EICS verification process. Successful or incomplete applications Successful application If the AMC determines that the applicant is eligible to present for assessment for recognition as a specialist, and that all documentation requested by the assessing specialist medical college is complete, the AMC will refer the application to the college in accordance with Step 3 below. Incomplete applications Notification of incomplete or inadequate documentation will be sent by or letter to the applicant. The assessment of the application will be suspended at this stage and the applicant will not be able to proceed to Step 3 until the required documentation is provided to the AMC. The applicant should comply with the request to forward complete documentation to the AMC as soon as possible to avoid further delays at this stage of the process. If an applicant is required to provide information by completing a statutory declaration, please refer to Appendix A for further information on how to complete this stage of the process.

18 13 Information Booklet for applicants STEP 3 REFERRAL TO SPECIALIST COLLEGE When the AMC has determined that an application is complete, the application will be forwarded to the specialist medical college for assessment of the applicants training and experience against college standards. The AMC will advise the applicant of referral of their application to the college by and enclose a Form SC Application for Assessment by Specialist Medical College within this letter. It is the applicant s responsibility to complete and forward the Form SC and initial assessment and interview fee to the relevant college to progress the application at this stage. For further information on how to complete the Form SC, please refer to the Applying to the Australian Medical Council Booklet. A schedule of College s fees for specialist assessment is provided on the AMC s Website at

19 14 STEP 4 APPLICANT TO SEND FORM SC AND ASSESSMENT FEE TO COLLEGE The specialist medical college is not obliged to initiate its assessment process until it has received the completed Form SC, required fee (which must be made payable in Australian dollars by bank draft to the assessing College) and any other relevant college application forms from the applicant. College fees College fees are subject to variation from time to time and colleges may charge additional fees following the initial specialist assessment. Further information should be sought directly from the relevant college. Information regarding withdrawal fees and refunds that may be payable in certain circumstances by a college, is available directly from the relevant college. Fees to be paid in Australian currency Fees must be paid in Australian currency. Payments from outside Australia must be made by credit card, bank cheque, or bank draft, payable by an Australian bank. Note: Under Australian law it is illegal to send cash through the mail. Illness and/or deferring scheduled interview Applicants withdrawing from a scheduled specialist medical college interview must advise the assessing college immediately and provide documented proof of severe illness or pressing domestic circumstances to enable the College to decide whether a refund is payable. Assessing colleges may not be able to provide a facility for deferring fees for the interview, nor assist applicants in obtaining financial assistance to present for assessment. The AMC and specialist medical colleges reserve the right to introduce, alter, amend or make other changes to fees at any time without notice. Applicants wishing to defer an interview or application process are required to notify the AMC in writing of such requests.

20 15 Information Booklet for applicants STEP 5 COLLEGE ASSESSMENT OF APPLICATION It is the role of the specialist medical college to assess the applicants previous training and experience to determine the applicants comparability to the standard of an Australian trained specialist currently entering the workforce and to assess the applicants competency to practice in that specialty in Australia. College assessment processes At this stage of the assessment process, the college must make an initial assessment of the applicant s specialist training and experience against college standards. The assessment procedures used by each college may include the following components: 1. Initial assessment of documentary evidence of specialist training overseas and relevant experience, including a review of log books and evidence of advanced training overseas; 2. A formal interview; 3. The Part I or Primary Examination of the relevant college (or a modified examination based on the Part I Examination); 4. Further specialist training; 5. The Part II (Membership or Fellowship) Examination (or a modified examination based on the Part II Examination). College interview processes In most cases, the specialist medical college will arrange for an interview with the applicant following a review of the applicant s documentation. This interview will involve a committee of Senior Fellows of the college.

21 16 Interview purpose The aim of the interview at this stage of the assessment process is to determine and confirm the nature and quality of the applicant s training and experience, and to ensure that the applicant understands the standards of competence and safety expected of an Australian trained specialist currently entering the workforce. The interview is used by the college to determine the training or examination components, if any, which the applicant would need to complete to meet the college standard. College comparability standard The standard applied by the college in the assessment process is the level of the applicant s specialist training and experience determined by the college as compared to the training and examination program of the college applied to Australian trained specialists, and the skills standard required to practice in that specialty in Australia. Overseas trained specialists will be considered by the college to be either substantially comparable, partially comparable, or not comparable on the basis of the initial assessment undertaken by that college, after referral of the application to the college by the AMC. Substantially comparable determination A determination to be substantially comparable means that an applicant must have satisfied the college requirements for this category in relation to previous training, assessment and recent practice.

22 17 Information Booklet for applicants Partially comparable determination A determination to be partially comparable means that an applicant must have satisfied the college requirements for this category in relation to previous training, assessment and recent practice. In order for a partially comparable applicant to be considered substantially comparable the applicant will be required to undertake a period of up to 24 months top-up training under a supervisor appointed through the college assessment unit, to ensure that the level of performance reaches that of an Australian trained specialist, and to assist with their transition to the Australian health system, provide professional support and help them to access continuing professional development. Other prescribed requirements including formal assessment may be imposed at this stage of the specialist assessment process. Applicants who are considered to be partially comparable are required to complete a period of top-up training and/or practice assessment to address identified training needs or determine competence in specified skills area. Not comparable determination A determination to be not comparable means that an applicant should not be permitted to register to practice as a specialist, but may be eligible to seek registration to enable them to complete formal college training and assessment, if they are able to gain a training post, or to seek registration to practice in another capacity.

23 18 College rejection of application In some cases however, the college may decide to reject the application without scheduling an interview with the applicant if it is clear to the Board of Censors of the college following review of the documentation that the applicant s training and examination experience bears little relationship to the standard expected of an Australian trained specialist in that field. The college would decide to reject the application on these grounds in the interests of saving the time and money of the applicant. College to schedule interviews Each college will follow its own schedule of interviews. If the college decides to proceed to interview, it will contact the applicant directly to arrange the timing and location of the interview upon receipt of the required assessment application forms, documentation and fee payment by the applicant. General college training and examination requirements Each specialist college will usually have its own general training and examination requirements applied as the college standard. Where these components are applied, they will be the same components or will be derived from the examination components that apply to local specialist trainees. An applicant will be assessed against the standard of an Australian trained specialist on this basis. To further explain the individual college training and examination requirements, a table is provided at the AMC s website at This table provides a listing of the general training and examination requirements for each college. At the conclusion of the initial assessment process, the college will be required to advise the AMC by way of a Report 1 or Combined Report whether the applicant is either substantially comparable, partially comparable or not comparable after being initially assessed against the college standard.

24 19 Information Booklet for applicants STEP 6 AMC TO RECEIVE COPY OF REPORT 1 AND FORWARD TO APPLICANT College notification of assessment outcome Report 1/ Combined report Following the applicant s interview with the specialist college, the initial assessment outcome will then be provided to the AMC by the relevant college, advising of the college decision by way of a report to either: 1. As a final decision: a. Recognise the applicants training and experience as being substantially comparable to the level of an Australian trained specialist currently entering the workforce; or b. Reject the applicant from further assessment on the basis of the applicants training and experience being deemed not comparable to the level of an Australian trained specialist. Or the college will decide to: 2. As an interim decision: Recognise the applicant s training and experience as being partially comparable and require the applicant to undergo additional components of the assessment procedure to provide the college with more information to make a decision about comparability of training and experience. These additional components may include: i. Completing the Part II Examination of another assessment at an equivalent level; or ii. Completing a period of Advanced Specialist Training and completing the Part II examination; or iii. Completing the Part I Examination, completing a period of Advanced Specialist Training and completing the Part II Examination.

25 20 Application progress by college outcome At this stage of the assessment process, the application will be progressed according to whether a specialist medical college has made either a final decision or an interim decision on the level of the applicants training and experience. The application will be processed according to the college assessment outcome as follows: College outcome 1 Applicant is considered to be Substantially Comparable Final Result: The Applicant will be provided with a copy of the Report 1 or Combined Report and the application will proceed to Step 11 of the Assessment process. College outcome 2 Applicant is considered to be Not Comparable Final Result: The Applicant will be provided with a copy of the Report 1 or Combined Report and the application will be discontinued. The applicant will be required to apply under the AMC s nonspecialist pathway should they wish to be eligible to present for general registration to either work in Australia as a non-specialist or to complete basic specialist or general training and attempt to apply for college training positions. College outcome 3 Applicant is considered to be Partially Comparable Interim Result: The Applicant will be provided with a copy of the Report 1 or Combined Report and the application will proceed to Step 7 of the assessment process. Note: It is up to the individual assessing specialist college to determine the criteria by which an applicants training and experience may be considered either substantially comparable or not comparable to the standard of an Australian trained specialist currently entering the workforce. A determination that a decision is not yet possible will require the applicant to undertake further training and/or examination requirements specified by the assessing college so that a final decision can be made after the applicant completes the required training and/or examination.

26 21 Information Booklet for applicants STEP 7 PARTIALLY COMPARABLE DECISION REQUIREMENTS FOR FURTHER TRAINING AND/ OR EXAMINATION A college decision that the applicant s training and experience is partially comparable will require the applicant s completion of further training and/or examination to allow the college to make a final assessment of the applicant s training and experience. Applicants who are required to undertake further training and/ or examinations should obtain comprehensive details about the relevant specialist program from the specialist medical college. The following points should be noted: a. Accredited training positions are usually advertised by the training institutions in July/August each year; b. Accredited training positions are subject to open competition with Australian trained specialists for college recognition; c. Limits may apply to the number of times an applicant may present for a college examination, in particular for the Part II Examination; d. Fees associated with the accredited training and examinations of most colleges are indicated in summaries issued by the individual colleges and available upon application to the relevant college. The payment of fees for these components of the assessment, when they have been required by a college, is for direct settlement by the applicant with the college; e. The college will remain the primary point of contact for an applicant who is completing further training and/or examination requirements.

27 22 An applicant who has received a Report 1 with the outcome Partially Comparable from the AMC will need to write to the AMC to advise of their intention to comply with the extra training and/or examination requirements set by the assessing specialist college. Please note that the AMC is not able to accept either or telephone communication as evidence of the applicant s intention to comply with the stated Report 1 requirements. This advice must be in writing and contain the applicants AMC number and signature, in addition to the written notification of intention to comply with the Report 1 requirements, if the applicant intends to do so. Note: the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) & Western Australian Medical Board have indicated that when a College assesses that an overseas trained specialist must commence with a period of basic specialist training, or is required to undertake other additional training in addition to completing Advanced Specialist Training and examinations, the applicant will be required to complete one of the AMC non-specialist pathways to be eligible to obtain general (non-specialist) registration.

28 23 Information Booklet for applicants STEP 8 AMC TO ADVISE COLLEGE OF APPLICANT S INTENTION TO COMPLY When the AMC receives formal written notification of the applicant s intention to comply with the Report 1 requirements, the AMC will formally notify the assessing specialist medical college by letter. If an applicant has advised the AMC that they do not intend to comply with the requirements set out by the college, the application will be discontinued at this point and the applicant may then be eligible to apply under an AMC non-specialist pathway to be eligible to obtain general (non-specialist) registration from the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) & Western Australian Medical Board. If the applicant has advised the AMC that they do intend to comply with the Report 1 requirements prescribed by the specialist medical college, they will need to be in direct contact with the relevant specialist medical college to organise completion of the further training and/or examination requirements. The college will remain the primary point of contact for applicants who proceed through this stage of the specialist assessment process. An applicant may be registered by the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) & Western Australian Medical Board for the purpose of undergoing further specialist training or examination by the relevant specialist medical college as part of the specialist assessment process conducted by that college. The Medical Board of Australia (MBA) & Western Australian Medical Board and Specialist Medical Colleges have confirmed that the specialist assessment pathway is not an alternative pathway to specialist training in Australia. The Medical Board of Australia (MBA) & Western Australian Medical Board will, in general, provide restricted registration for up to a maximum of two years to allow completion of specialist practice under supervision where specified by a College for recognition for specialist practice. Where longer periods or advanced training are specified by a College, the overseas trained specialist will be required to pass the AMC Examination to be eligible to apply for general (non-specialist) registration. When the applicant completes the Report 1 requirements prescribed by the specialist medical college, the application will then proceed to Step 9.

29 24 STEP 9 COLLEGE ADVISES AMC OF FINAL ASSESSMENT DECISION When the applicant has completed all of the prescribed Report 1 requirements, the specialist college will make a final assessment of the applicants training and experience compared against the standard of an Australian trained specialist currently entering the workforce. The final assessment will take into account all of the criteria applied during the initial assessment process undertaken during Step 5, in addition to the performance of the applicant during the required further training and/or examination requirements. The college is required to notify the AMC of the final assessment decision by way of a Report 2 which is sent directly to the AMC.

30 25 Information Booklet for applicants

31 26 STEP 10 AMC RECEIVES REPORT 2 FROM COLLEGE The specialist medical college will notify the AMC that it has reached one of two possible decisions at this stage of the assessment process by providing the AMC with the Report 2. The college will notify the AMC that the decision was made to either: 1. Recommend that the applicant be granted recognition as a specialist on the basis that the applicants training and experience is considered to be substantially comparable to that of an Australian trained specialist currently entering the workforce; OR: 2. Recommend that the applicant should not be granted recognition as a specialist on the basis that the applicants training and experience is considered not comparable to that of an Australian trained specialist currently entering the workforce. Application progress by college outcome At this stage of the assessment process, the application will be processed according to the college assessment outcome as follows: College outcome 1 Recommendation that the applicant be granted recognition as a specialist. Final Result: The Applicant will be provided with a copy of the Report 2 and the application will proceed to Step 11 of the Assessment process. College outcome 2 Recommendation that the applicant is not granted recognition as a specialist. Final Result: The Applicant will be provided with a copy of the Report 2 and the application will be discontinued. The applicant will be eligible to apply under the AMC s non-specialist pathway should they wish to obtain general registration to work in Australia as a non-specialist or to complete basic specialist or general training and attempt to apply for college training positions.

32 27 Information Booklet for applicants The outcomes described by the specialist medical college within the Report 2 require either a yes or no answer only. The college will need to ensure that they retain the necessary documentation that justifies the decisions which have formed the basis to the answers for question set out in the Report 2.

33 28 STEP 11 AMC ADVISES The Medical Board of Australia (MBA) & Western Australian Medical Board OF APPLICANT S ELIGIBILITY TO PRESENT FOR REGISTRATION At this stage of the assessment process, the AMC has received formal notification from the assessing specialist medical college that the applicants training and experience is substantially comparable to that of an Australian trained specialist currently entering the workforce. This notification would be received by the AMC in the form of either a Report 1, Report 2 or Combined Report (combined AON/Specialist Assessment Report) forwarded to the AMC by the relevant specialist medical college. This recognition of the applicants specialist training and experience will determine that an applicant is eligible to present to The Medical Board of Australia (MBA) & Western Australian Medical Board seeking registration as a specialist, subject to the condition that their registration is restricted to practice in the assessed field of specialty only, which is reported to the Medical Board by the AMC. When the AMC receives the formal notification from the specialist medical college that the applicants training and experience has been deemed to be substantially comparable, the AMC will notify the relevant Medical Board in Australia of the applicant s eligibility to present for conditional registration as a specialist. At this stage, the specialist assessment process is complete. The final decision to register a medical practitioner rests solely with the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) & Western Australian Medical Board.

34 29 Information Booklet for applicants STATEMENT ON COLLEGE FELLOWSHIP The purpose of the specialist assessment procedure is to determine comparability of training and experience of overseas trained specialists with Australian trained specialists, with a view to establishing their eligibility to apply for (conditional) registration in Australia. However, while applicants may complete a College s requirements for specialist recognition for registration to practice in Australia, the College may set further requirements such as, for example, some form of bridging training or experience, for eligibility to apply for election to Fellowship of the College. Further information should be sought from the relevant College. A medical practitioner holding the Fellowship of an Australian or Australasian Specialist Medical College who does not hold a primary medical qualification for general registration in Australia may apply direct to the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) & Western Australian Medical Board for conditional registration, to practice in the specialty in which they hold Fellowship only.

35 30 SEEKING REGISTRATION Specialist medical college confirmation of substantial comparability, including the award of College Fellowship (where applicable) will not in itself confer the right to practice. In addition, the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) & Western Australian Medical Board may impose conditions on registration, if, in their opinion, appropriate specialist positions do not exist within their State or Territory that is, the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) & Western Australian Medical Board have the right of final decision on applications for registration under any category.

36 31 Information Booklet for applicants APPENDIX A STATUTORY DECLARATIONS In the event that you are required to complete a statutory declaration to progress your application during the specialist assessment process, the AMC will accept the following persons only as eligible witnesses: Statutory declarations witnessed in Australia Chief Magistrate Police Magistrate Resident Magistrate Special Magistrate; A Justice of the Peace; A person appointed under the Commonwealth Statutory Declarations Act 1959 as amended, or under a State Act to be a Commissioner for Declarations; A Notary Public; A person appointed as a Commissioner for Declarations under the Statutory Declarations Act 1911, or under that Act as amended, and holding office immediately before the commencement of the Statutory Declarations Act 1959; A person before whom a Statutory Declaration may be made under the law of the State in which a Declaration is made. Statutory declarations/affidavit witnessed overseas A Notary Public; Commissioner of Oaths (South Africa and Canada only); A person appointed to hold, or act in the office in a country or place outside Australia in an Australian Embassy, High Commission, Legation or other post as Australian Consul- General, Consul or Vice-Consul; Australian Trade Commissioner or Consular Agent; Australian Ambassador or High Commissioner; Note: A Justice of the Peace registered outside Australia is NOT accepted by the AMC for witnessing documentations Australian Minister, Head of Mission, Commissioner, Charge d affaires or Counselor; Australian Secretary or Attaché; or A person authorized to perform notarial duties.

37 32 Penalties for making false declarations A person who willfully makes a false statement in a Statutory Declaration/Affidavit under the Statutory Declaration Act 1959, as amended, is guilty of an offence against that Act, the punishment of which is imprisonment not exceeding four years, if the offence is prosecuted upon indictment. An applicant for specialist assessment who willfully makes a false statement or provides false information in his/her application forms, or in the documents attached may forfeit his/her eligibility to present for assessment or be accorded recognition by an Australian or Australasian specialist medical college, or be subject to de-registration (if registration has already been obtained) and/or other penalties as prescribed in the relevant State or Territory medical registration laws.

38 33 Information Booklet for applicants APPENDIX B ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY In Australia, evidence of English language proficiency is currently a medical board requirement for registration for international medical graduates. From 1 January 2009, English language proficiency will be an AMC requirement for eligibility to progress to step three of the specialist assessment process. From January 2009, medical practitioners seeking registration through the specialist pathway must have demonstrated their English language proficiency before assessment by specialist colleges. The standard required is set by the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) & Western Australian Medical Board and is nationally consistent. From January 2009, the AMC will require proof (English Language Testing System (IELTS) or Occupational English Test (OET) at the agreed national standard) in accordance with the national policy on English language proficiency before assessment by colleges under the specialist assessment pathway. Introducing an up-front English language test in the specialist registration pathway aims to ensure that college assessment resources are focused on candidates who meet existing national language proficiency requirements. It will also ensure the same standards are expected by the specialist colleges and medical registration boards for English language requirements for the specialist registration pathway. Please note that a two-year time limit is applicable to results from both the OET and the IELTS. All documents submitted to the AMC and the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) & Western Australian Medical Board must be within the valid time period. Applicants should view the National Policy on English Language Proficiency requirements for International Medical Graduates, along with the English Language Proficiency flowchart at for further information. This policy is available on the AMC website at and the websites of the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) & Western Australian Medical Board.

39 34 Appendix C Common errors that delay APPLICATIONS The most likely cause of delay in the processing of applications is incorrectly completed Application Forms and incorrectly certified documents. It is in the applicant s interest to ensure that all Application Forms and copies of documents are completed correctly as incomplete or incorrect applications will not be sent to specialist colleges for assessment. The most common problems with applications include: Using multiple witnesses to certify documents/photographs. The AMC requires that all documents be certified by the individual that witnesses the applicant s signature on the application form. Where additional witnesses must be used, a statutory declaration must be provided to explain why. Not providing certified copies of the primary medical degree and specialist qualification. Where the degree is issued in a language other than English, a certified or original, word-forword translation by a professional translator must be provided (an extract translation will not be accepted). Not providing sufficient information to allow the college to make an assessment of the applicant s specialist skills. As part of the College assessment, many colleges conduct an initial assessment of documentary evidence of training and relevant experience to determine eligibility to present for an interview. Curriculum Vitae s that are missing information, not up to date, or do not provide an in-depth expanded explanation of the applicant s skills and experience will be deemed incomplete and are a frequent cause of delay in the specialist assessment process. Not providing certificates of good standing from all registration authorities during the last two years of employment.

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