Specialty training in surgery overseas does not always correspond to the Australian and New Zealand context. Even where specialties are broadly aligned to those of RACS, such as the United Kingdom, there is a wider, or narrower, scope of practice, different procedural and core competencies and different methods of assessment. Therefore every IMG applying for specialist assessment requires an individualized assessment of comparability to the Australian and New Zealand trained specialist in each discipline.
The following information enables IMGs to self-assess the likelihood of their application achieving substantially or partially comparable status prior to making an application. The information below is only provided as a Guide.
Five year analysis of the outcomes of IMG assessments
The RACS has reviewed the results of applications for specialist assessment over the years 2011-2016.
Of the 486 applications received, 99 applicants were applicants were found to be not comparable on paper based assessment. Interviews were offered to 387 applicants, and proceeded for 384.
At interview a further 67 were found to be not comparable, 213 were found to be partially comparable, and 101 were found to be substantially comparable.
The table below shows the rate of applicants judged to be at least partially comparable, by region of the world of surgical qualification. It is important to note that there is no region of the world where all applicants have been judged comparable. Also there is no region of the world where no applicants have been judged substantially comparable. The percentages can only be used as a guide. Each application is assessed on its individual merits.
Before submitting an application for a Specialist and/or Area of Need assessment, it is recommended that applicants do the following:
- Read the Guidelines for Applicants (PDF 354.17KB)
- Read the Specialist Assessment of IMGs in Australia policy (PDF 122.01KB)
- Read the Checklist for Specialist and/or Area of Need Assessment (PDF 115.89KB)
- Apply directly to the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduate's (ECFMG) Electronic Portfolio of International Credentials (EPIC) for verification of both primary and specialist qualification(s)
- Complete an Australian Medical Council (AMC) online application to establish an AMC portfolio.
- Apply to RACS for a Specialist and/or AoN assessment.
The online IMG application form for Specialist and/or Area of Need assessment can be used on both PC and Apple tablets and computers. It is best used with the following browsers:
Internet Explorer 9 & 10
Firefox 28.0 +
Chrome 33.0 +
Safari 5.1.7 +
There are known issues with IE 11 and it is not supported in the current release.
If you are having trouble logging on to the application form, please contact the help desk on +61 3 9276 7417 or email email@example.com.
For further information regarding the online application forms, call +61 3 9249 1112 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Access the online application form.
In New Zealand
In New Zealand, International Medical Graduates (IMGs) must submit applications to practice medicine to the Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ). Application forms are available on the MCNZ website.