When applications for Area of Need (AoN) assessment are received, RACS considers the following:
- has the applicant completed an education and training program comparable to that of a surgeon trained in Australia or New Zealand
- has an exit examination been completed
- has the applicant the depth and scope of practice since completion of training to assume the position
- what is the applicant's recency of practice and
- does the hospital position have adequate resources and support for an overseas trained surgeon and whether it is suitable for conducting clinical assessment?
As an IMG applicant will be deemed to have comparability for an AoN position if:
- there is evidence of recent surgical practice in the relevant scope of practice required for the AoN post;
- the specialist assessment recommends a pathway to fellowship by assessment or examination and
- the AoN position has adequate resources and support for the IMG deemed suitable for conducting clinical assessment.
The RACS Area of Need assessment process normally takes up to 2 months (from date of activation) to complete.
RACS will formally advise the IMG applicant and the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) of the IMG's suitability for the position and requirements for specialist recognition and Fellowship of RACS. The decision to grant specialist registration is a MBA decision.
Further information about the Specialist Pathway Area of Need is available from the Australian Medical Council and Medical Board of Australia at the links below.