Selection

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Selection

Selection to the Surgical Education and Training (SET) program occurs annually. Some of the larger surgical specialties (General Surgery; Orthopaedic Surgery; Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery; and Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery) select as a national activity, and in the other surgical specialties as a bi-national activity.

In 1998 the College endorsed the Best Practice Framework for Trainee Selection that subsequently became known as the Brennan Principles which continue to underpin the College Trainee selection processes.

  • Selection processes for surgical education and training must comply with AMC and MCNZ accreditation requirements and the Brennan Principles.
  • Selection processes must be merit based, free of bias and, to the greatest possible extent, quantifiable.
  • Selection processes must be compliant with relevant Australian and New Zealand laws and the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness.
  • Selection processes must be open to external scrutiny and conducted in an accountable manner using documented processes.
  • Selection processes must be conducted on a national or bi-national basis in Australia and New Zealand.
  • The opportunity to apply for selection must be publicised in a manner which creates awareness of opportunity for all eligible applicants.
  • Criteria in all of the tools must be related to objectives of the training program and the desired attributes of graduates.

Department of Health and Ageing, Health Workforce - Trainee Selection in Australian Medical Colleges (PDF 935 KB)

Each of the nine surgical specialties administers its own selection processes, under the auspices of the College Board of Surgical Education and Training (BSET). Specialty Boards receive approval from the Education Board for the selection tools they use and the weightings given to them. A range of selection tools is used. The weighting of selection tools must be reasonable and fair to all applicants and will be determined prior to commencement of the selection process.

Although some specialties have additional eligibility criteria, all of the specialty boards use the same generic eligibility criteria.

Each specialty decides:

  • The number of trainees to be appointed in that specialty 
    (based on the number of available accredited hospital posts)
  • The selection tools to be used and their comparative weightings
  • Any minimum acceptable score

The College collaborates with the Jurisdictions to facilitate inclusion of government appointed Jurisdictional Representatives on all College selection panels.

Eligibility criteria, fees and selection timeline