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General information and selection tools
Refer to the Speciality Board's selection regulations (PDF 172.54KB) for more detailed information. RACS has approved the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Selection Initative policy and the Board of Cardiothoracic Surgery implemented this initative in the 2018 selection process.
The following is a list of selection tools and their contributions to the overall score:
- Structured Online Curriculum Vitae - 20 per cent
- Structured Online Referee Reports - 30 per cent
- Semi-structured Interview - 50 per cent
Successful progression to interview
The Board has set the minimum eligibility criteria for progression to interview as follows:
- Applicants must achieve a combined adjusted score of at least 30/50 (60 per cent) on the CV and Referee Reports.
Minimum selection criteria
- The minimum standard for selection is an overall combined and adjusted score of at least 70 per cent in the three (3) selection tools.
Applicants must complete the following rotations:
|Surgical rotations||Number of terms||Minimum duration||Validity period1||Completed by|
|Surgical term2||2||10 weeks||5 years||End of 20203|
|Cardiothoracic term4||1||10 weeks||5 years||Time of application|
1. Rotations must have been completed within the specified validity period
2. A surgical term is a term of a minimum of ten (10) continuous weeks within a hospital unit specialising in one of the nine RACS Surgical Specialties.
3. Evidence is required - please list on CV and provide written evidence from the employing institution confirming completion of term.
4. A Cardiothoracic Term is a rotation of a minimum of ten (10) continuous weeks within a Cardiothoracic Unit where an approved Cardiothoracic Supervisor of Training is present. A Cardiothoracic Rotation must provide exposure to both cardiac and thoracic surgery. Rotations consisting of purely cardiac or purely thoracic rotation will not be accepted.
General Surgical Sciences Examination (GSSE)
- Applicants must have passed the GSSE when they submit their application.
Evidence of procedures
Applicants must submit written evidence, signed by a Cardiothoracic FRACS, on the Cardiothoracic Eligibility DOPS forms provided below for the following procedures with their online application. If the forms are not submitted with the application, you will be ineligible to proceed further in the selection process.
- Competently insert a Chest Drain (PDF 129.46KB)
- Competently harvest a Long Saphenous Vein (PDF 94.88KB)
- Competently harvest a Radial Artery (PDF 112.9KB)
Structured online curriculum vitae (CV)
CV will score information on, and require documented evidence for:
- Surgical and medical experience
- Other qualifications (degrees, masters, PhD, FRACS, etc.)
- Presentations (regional, national and international)
- Skills courses/medical awards
No additional CV information will be accepted or scored.
Structured online referee reports
Applicants must provide current contact details, including a valid email address for eight (8) consultants in their preferred order. The total score for the referee report will then be determined by averaging six (6) referee report scores based on the applicant's preferred order as specified in their application.
Must a referee meet certain criterion?
- at least one referee must be from the ardiothoracic rotation
- at least one referee must be from your current rotation
- no more than two research supervisors can be nominated as a referee.
Who can qualify as a referee?
- Surgical consultants
- other consultants
- Consultants holding a diploma from an Australian or New Zealand College 5
5. Consultants who have not been awarded a diploma from an Australian or New Zealand College are eligible to act as a referee only after completing two years of continuous work within the area of their diploma at a recognised Australian or New Zealand Institution. International Medical Graduates currently under assessment cannot act as a referee. Time spent working whilst under oversight/supervision due to a period of assessment does not count towards the two year minimum.
What is the time period from which a referee will be considered valid?
- Referees must be from within the last five (5) years or last three (3) years of clinical work, whichever is greater.
How many referees can be provided from a particular rotation?
- maximum of three (3) referees can be provided from any particular rotation.
How are referees selected?
- Referees are nominated by the applicant.
- Applicants are required to rank referees in the order of most preferred referee to least preferred referee. The Board will then endeavour to contact each of the referees in accordance with the applicant's preferred order.
How are the structured online referee reports collected and scored?
- The Board will send an online structured referee report to the listed referees.
- A minimum of six (6) valid referee reports must be returned in order for the applicant to progress through the selection process.
Date of interviews: Sunday 21 June 2020, Melbourne, Victoria
Date invitations to interview sent: 10 days prior to interview date
The interviews for both Australian and New Zealand applicants will be held in Melbourne, Victoria.
Applicants invited to interview will be required to provide identification.
Announcement of offers
Announcement of offers to successful applicants will be made on 27 July 2020.
Feedback to both successful and unsuccessful applicants will be in accordance with Selection to Surgical Education and Training Policy (PDF 102.76KB).
In 2010 eleven (11)* Trainees were appointed into the SET Program to commence in 2011
In 2011 five (5)* Trainees were appointed into the SET Program to commence in 2012
In 2012 twelve (12)* Trainees were appointed into the SET Program to commence in 2013
In 2013 six (6)* Trainees were appointed into the SET Program to commence in 2014
In 2014 seven (7)* Trainees were appointed into the SET Program to commence in 2015
In 2015 eight (8)* Trainees were appointed into the SET Program to commence in 2016
In 2016 five (5)* Trainees were appointed into the SET Program to commence in 2017
In 2017 eight (8)* Trainees were appointed into the SET Program to commence in 2018
In 2018 three (3)* Trainees were appointed into the SET Program to commence in 2019
In 2019 thirteen (13)* Trainees were appointed into the SET Program to commence in 2020
*Includes deferred offers