Area of Need Applications

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Area of Need Applications

Area of Need (AoN) refers to a hospital position that has been classified by the government as an "Area of Need". This classification is given when a hospital has been unable to fill a vacancy through the Australian workforce. In such situation, the hospital is given permission to recruit from overseas trained doctors.

The IMG may apply directly to the College for Area of Need assessment after they have secured an employment offer and applied to the Australian Medical Council (AMC) for primary source verification.

When applications for Area of Need assessment are received, the College considers the following:

  • Whether the applicant has completed an education and training program comparable to that of a surgeon who has trained in Australia or New Zealand;
  • Whether an exit examination has been completed;
  • Whether the applicant has the depth and scope of practice since completion of training to assume the position;
  • The applicant's recency of practice; and
  • Whether the hospital position has adequate resources and support for an overseas trained surgeon and whether it is suitable for conducting clinical assessment.

An Area of Need assessment is broadly similar to the specialist assessment with the exception that it is also to determine suitability for the Area of Need position according to the requirements described in the position description.

The College aims to process the assessments within 3 months from the date of acceptance of completed application. The process involves a document based assessment and may include a face to face semi-structured panel interview. The interview is only available to IMGs for whom more information is required to complete the assessment of comparability and/or to finalise their assessment.

Application for Specialist Pathway - Area of Need assessment is available here.

The College will formally advise the IMG and the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) of the IMG's suitability for the position and requirements for Fellowship of the College. The decision to grant registration is a MBA decision.

For other regulations that relate to Specialist Pathway - Area of Need refer to the AMC and MBA websites and in particular, the Guidelines for Area of Need.