Purpose of the clinical assessment period
All International Medical Graduates (IMGs) who accept a recommended pathway to Fellowship will be required to undertake a period of up to 24 months (full-time equivalent) of clinical assessment of their surgical practice under supervision and in accordance to Medical Board of Australia (MBA) Guidelines: Supervised Practice for IMGs. This is referred to the clinical assessment period.
The purpose of the clinical assessment period is:
- to familiarise the IMG with surgical practice in Australia
- facilitate assessment of practice performance
- address any deficiencies
- to confirm that the IMG has the skills and attributes to an Australian or New Zealand trained surgeon
- to confirm the recommendations of the assessment
The duration of the clinical assessment period will be determined following the face-to-face interview with RACS.
Requirements during the clinical assessment period
IMG applicants commencing the clinical assessment period must submit a IMG Post Description Form (IPDF) (DOCX 37.26KB) for consideration. The IPDF must be submitted in the RACS format and be signed by the IMG and their nominated clinical assessors. The applicant must also submit a signed copy of the IMG Agreement policy. Please read the RACS IMG Assessment Post Accreditation policy prior to completing the IPDF.
The specialty board overseeing the assessment will undertake a review of the hospital position and confirm the suitability of the clinical assessors to undertake the clinical assessment. Once the College has approved the hospital position, the clinical assessment period will formally commence (subject to the College's standardised three monthly reporting periods) and the applicant has four years to complete the requirements for Fellowship. Please be aware that in some instances the proposed position may only be approved for part of the clinical assessment period.
For the duration of the clinical assessment the applicant will be required to meet quarterly with the clinical assessors for a performance review. The clinical assessors are there to provide meaningful feedback on the applicant's clinical performance and progress towards being ready to sit the Fellowship Examination (if applicable). Therefore, it is important that the applicant are honest in their reflections on performance and deal openly with identified issues so that they can improve their performance.
The Board of Surgical Education and Training requires that all IMGs commencing clinical assessment in 2013 use the College's Morbidity Audit and Logbook Tool (MALT) for the recording of their surgical procedures. IMGs that commenced their clinical assessment prior to 1 January 2013 are encouraged to use MALT (and the Board will accept these reports) but it is not mandatory.
The applicant needs to organise a meeting with each of the clinical assessors, separately. The applicant and the clinical assessor will review the logbook data via MALT (Morbidity Audit and Logbooks Tool) and each clinical assessor will complete the progress report. Both the applicant and the clinical assessor are required to sign the reports.
In addition to undertaking quarterly (3-monthly) performance reviews, the applicant will be required to undertake the following online assessment tools during the period of clinical assessment:
- 6 monthly Multi-Source Feedback (eMSF)
- 3 monthly Direct Observation of Procedural Skills (DOPS) and
- 3 monthly Mini Clinical Examinations (Mini-Cex) assessments.
All the relevant online links and forms pertaining to IMG clinical assessment can be found in the links below.
Throughout the clinical assessment period the applicant will be required to comply with the College's requirements as outlined in the Professional Development Opportunities for IMGs policy.
Once the applicant has completed their designated period of clinical assessment but have not yet attained fellowship, they must register for Maintenance of Professional Standards (MOPS) program in January of the year following completion of the clinical assessment. The applicant must remain in this program until Fellowship is attained or the pathway to Fellowship ceases. Further information on the MOPS program can be found in the link below.
For further information on the clinical assessment period please read the following policy and guidelines:
Assessment of Clinical Practice of IMGs in Australia policy (PDF 211.64KB)
A Guide for Partially Comparable IMG surgeons undergoing clinical assessment (PDF 321.59KB)
A Guide for Substantially Comparable IMG surgeons undergoing clinical assessment (PDF 343.99KB)