A new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) jointly signed by medical colleges in Australia, New Zealand and Canada including the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS), Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP), Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPC), Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP), and the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) formalises a vision, mission and objectives for future engagement.

RACS President Mr John Batten said that the MoU formalises the structure of the Alliance and highlights the objective of sharing information, experience and expertise.

"Our objective supports a vision to be globally collaborative in developing high quality postgraduate medical education and lifelong learning opportunities, which is a cornerstone of the MoU.

"This vision leads us to our mission of advancing standards and programs in postgraduate medical education and in-turn, improving global health, healthcare for patients and populations."

Mr Batten said the Tri-nation Alliance enables member colleges to:

  • create an effective network for collaboration, information exchange, research and analysis in postgraduate medical education, supervisor training, continuing professional development and lifelong learning
  • provide a forum to discuss, debate, study and present information, data and positions on topics of importance to healthcare and health systems from the perspective of education and lifelong learning
  • develop, stimulate and inspire colleagues in health professions to contribute to global health and healthcare leadership, education, teaching, ethics and research
  • encourage and facilitate development, dissemination and publication of research studies, policies and position statements reflecting the consensus views and recommendations of member colleges and organisations.

The Tri-nation Alliance activity principles are to:

  • provide thought leadership including post fellowship scholarly work
  • aid research collaboration
  • deliver practical tangible outcomes on issues of mutual interest within areas identified for collaboration
  • enable political influence from international collaboration
  • share intellectual property
  • facilitate professional development
  • facilitate international collaboration.

Mr Batten said the MoU also establishes three levels of membership in the Alliance - Partners, Associates and Affiliates.

"This new membership structure will enable interested societies and associations, who are committed to the objectives of the Alliance and eligible under the membership criteria, to apply for consideration as members of the Alliance," he said.

Additional information about the Alliance

Examples of medical education topics that are the focus of Tri-nation Alliance members are:

  • medical education research
  • Indigenous health
  • artificial intelligence (medical education and patient centred care in the age of technology).

Under the new formal structure one College supports the Tri-nations Alliance for a period of three years before handing onto another Partner College. This support includes taking the role of chair of the Executive Committee, provision of the Secretariat team and provision of a Professional Conference Organising team to deliver the Annual Tri-nations March events. The RACP is taking on this support role for three years from March 2018 to March 2021.

The MoU also helps the Tri-nation Alliance create a more formal structure to its operations. An Executive Committee that consists of CEOs and Presidents of the Colleges, and a Tri-nations Management Committee which includes the College Deans or equivalents from each College are new structures within Tri-nations. These groups meet more frequently and are focused on delivering on a calendar of business projects and annual collaborative events.