Workforce and Activities Reports

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The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons provides educational training, professional development and support activities for surgeons and surgical Trainees. The College regularly provides research documents regarding the surgical workforce and surgical training in Australia and New Zealand.

Workforce discussion papers
Workforce surveys

Activities reports (2004-2012)
Census of Fellows (2005, 2009-2011)

Workforce discussion papers

The Australian (PDF 1MB) and New Zealand (PDF 289KB) Surgical Workforce Projections to 2025 reports provide long-term national projection requirements of the surgical workforce. The reports serve as the basis of the College's ongoing efforts to ensure the adequate growth of the surgical workforce to meet future population demands. The College's work provides further evidence of the urgent need for long-term planning to ensure national self-sufficiency of the surgical workforce.

The Health Workforce Australia National Training Plan Meeting Report (PDF 75 KB) (2011) summarises the workshop discussions in which the College was invited to participate. The goal of the National Training Plan is to have self-sufficiency in the supply of medical personnel by 2025 within a global labour market.

The Outlook for Surgical Services in Australasia (PDF 307 KB) report (2003) addresses the extent and causes of current shortages and the future outlook in the light of current training levels and the prospective demand for surgical services.

Workforce surveys

From 1 July 2014 the Australian federal government plans to cap self-education expense tax deductions at $2000. To determine the effect this will have on our members an on-line survey was conducted to examine the self-education costs of Australian RACS Fellows, IMGs and SET trainees. The Self-Education Survey Findings report (PDF 60 KB) details the findings of the survey.

Activities reports

The activities report is a document provided for Government departments of health, related agencies and the wider community. These reports detail statistics on the College's activities in education, assessment and the surgical workforce. They include policies, procedures and summary statistics on the College's activities for the year ending on 31 December. Activities reports are published as both annual reports and two interim reports.


Annual activities report (PDF 1 MB) - as at 31 December 2013, published in April 2014 (January to December 2013)


Annual activities report (PDF 1 MB) - as at 31 December 2012, published in March 2013 (January to December 2012)
Interim activities report (PDF 1.3 MB) - as at June 2012 (January to April 2012)


Annual activities report (PDF 2 MB) - as at 31 December 2011, published in April 2012 (January to December 2011)
Interim activities report (PDF 1MB) - as at October 2011 (January to August 2011)
Interim activities report (PDF 1 MB) - as at June 2011 (January to April 2011)


Annual activities report (PDF 2.6 MB) - as at 31 December 2010, published in March 2011 (January to December 2010)
Interim activities report (PDF 822 KB) - as at November 2010 (January to August 2010)
Interim activities report (PDF 210 KB) - as at June 2010 (January to April 2010)


Annual activities report (PDF 1.7 MB) - as at 31 December 2009, published in March 2010 and revised in August 2010
Interim activities report (PDF 678 KB) - as at November 2009 (1 January to 31 August 2009)
Interim activities report (PDF 540 KB) - as at June 2009 (January to April 2009)


Annual activities report (PDF 1.7 MB) - as at 31 December 2008, published in April 2009
Interim activities report (PDF 337 KB) - as at November 2008 (January to August 2008)
Interim activities report (PDF 388 KB) - as at 30 April 2008 (January to April 2008), published in June 2008


Annual activities report (PDF 2.3 MB) - as at 31 December 2007, published in February 2008
Interim activities report (PDF 424 KB) - January to August 2007, published in December 2007
Appendix report (PDF 164 KB) - This report is a supplementary document updating relevant information from the 2006 annual activities report for the period 1 January to 30 April 2007. Education figures provided include details on Basic Surgical Trainees (BST), Specialist Surgical Trainees (SST) and Surgical Education and Training (SET), with associated accredited BST hospitals and SST accredited hospital post listings. New and active Fellows and International Medical Graduates (IMG) are described.


Annual activities report (PDF 294 KB) - as at 31 December 2006, published in February 2007. The Basic Surgical Trainees (BST) training program described in the report includes assessment information, completion status statistics and hospital accreditation trends. The Specialist Surgical Trainees (SST) section including information on selection, training patterns, attrition, assessment and the number of hospital posts. International Medical Graduates (IMG) and fellowship data is also contained in the report.
Interim activities report (PDF 178 KB) - as at 31 August 2006 (January to August 2006), published in October 2006
Interim activities report (PDF 111 KB) - as at 30 April 2006, published in June 2006. This report acts as an appendix to the annual activities report.


Annual activities report (PDF 402 KB) - as at 31 December 2005, published in February 2006. It includes statistics on education and the surgical workforce. Education figures provided include figures on Basic Surgical Trainees (BST); Transitional Surgical Trainees (TST); and Specialist Surgical Trainees (SST), with associated accredited BST hospitals and SST accredited hospital post listings. New and active Fellows are also described.
Interim activities report (PDF 123 KB) - as at 30 June 2005, published in October 2005. This report provides a mid-year summary of training and workforce statistics for 2005. Education figures provided for BST hospitals and Trainees, TSTs, SST posts and trainees are as at 30 June 2005, and details of the surgical workforce and Fellowship are as at 15 October 2005.


Annual activities report (PDF 1.8 MB) - as at 31 December 2004, published in June 2005. It covers the period 1 January 2004 to 31 December 2004 and details selection of Trainees, accreditation of hospitals (for Basic Surgical Training) and hospital posts (for Specialist Surgical Training); training and assessment of Trainees and overseas-trained doctors, continuing professional development activities for Fellows; bequests, gifts and sponsorship, honours and awards, and the surgical workforce.

The 2004 report is also presented in five sections:

  1. Education (PDF)
  2. Basic Surgical Training (PDF)
  3. Specialist Surgical Training (PDF 1.2 MB) - includes assessment of overseas-trained doctors)
  4. Fellowship Activities (PDF 156 KB)
  5. Surgical Workforce (PDF 170 KB)
Census of Fellows

The census is an important tool to:

  • assist the College in its workforce planning advocacy
  • provide additional information regarding a myriad of factors affecting surgeons in their day to day work
  • allow the College to build a picture of the challenges facing the surgical workforce and to advocate strongly with governments for solutions.


The 2011 Surgical Workforce Census Report. View the summarised report (PDF 573), providing a snapshot of Australia and New Zealand's surgical workforce and their services.


The 2009 Surgical Workforce Census Report - View the full 2009 report (PDF 194KB) and additional reports or extracts of the census findings for each region and specialty:

Also view the 2005 Census of Fellows report (PDF 145 KB). 


Manager, Workforce Assessment
Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
250-290 Spring Street
East Melbourne VIC 3002 Australia

Telephone: +61 3 9249 1108
Fax: +61 3 9249 1217