Registration and Skills Assessment for Doctors (IMG’s)

The process for migrating to Australia as a Doctor / International Medical Graduate (IMG) can be quite confusing, In this article we look at the first part of the process which is the Skills Assessment and Registration. Note that there is no separate Skills Assessment outcome. The two processes are done together.

The Players

There are six players in the various skills assessment and registration processes:

  1. Australian Medical Board (AMB) – Registers all medical practitioners and students;
  2. Australian Medical Council (AMC) – is the Australian verifications authority for all medical qualifications and also conducts the Standard Pathway assessment examinations;
  3. Approved Competent Authorities are international authorities who are approved by the Australian Medical Board to assess, for medical registration, applied medical knowledge and basic clinical skills;
  4. Australian Specialist Medical Colleges – conduct the Specialist Pathway assessments.
  5. Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) – provide verification of medical qualifications through their Electronic Portfolio of International Credentials (EPIC) service;
  6. The Applicant – You !

 

The Pathways

There are three different pathways for skills assessments leading to registration with the AMB, these are the:

  1. Competent Authority Pathway which can be used by non-specialists or specialists (including general practitioners) who are seeking general registration (not specialist registration) with the AMB. The Competent Authority Pathway is administered by the Australian Medical Board, which essentially recognises a combination of training and supervised work experience (internship equivalent or residency program) by approved authorities in the UK, Canada, USA, New Zealand and Ireland as being valid for provisional medical registration in Australia. Additionally the AMB requires that you have an offer of employment prior to applying for provisional registration. Applicants under this pathway may be required to undertake a pre-employment structured clinical interview (PESCI) prior to having their application for provisional registration considered by the AMB. You can find out more about this pathway here: http://www.medicalboard.gov.au/Registration/International-Medical-Graduates/Competent-Authority-Pathway.aspx
  1. Standard Pathway, which is administered by the AMC and is mostly used by medical practitioners who did not qualify in New Zealand, UK, USA, Canada or Ireland. There are two streams to this pathway. The first is the AMC examinations stream. In this stream the applicant needs to:
    1. Apply to the AMC for standard pathway and primary source verification (more details on this below)
    2. Pass the AMC CAT MCQ Examination
    3. Pass the AMC Clinical Examination and receive an AMC certificate
    4. Secure an employment offer
    5. Apply to the MBA for provisional registration
    6. On approval of provisional registration, complete 12 months supervised practice.

OR

    1. Apply to the AMC for standard pathway and primary source verification (more details on this below)
    2. Pass the AMC CAT MCQ Examination
    3. Secure an employment offer
    4. Apply to the MBA for limited registration
    5. On approval of registration, complete 12 months supervised practice.
    6. While completing the 12 months of supervised practice, Pass the AMC Clinical Examination and receive an AMC certificate

The second stream is the workplace-based assessment stream, in this stream the applicant needs to:

    1. Apply to the AMC for standard pathway and primary source verification (more details on this below)
    2. Pass the AMC CAT MCQ Examination
    3. Secure an employment offer
    4. Apply to the MBA for limited registration
    5. On approval of registration, complete 12 months supervised practice.
    6. While completing the 12 months of supervised practice, complete a workplace assessment and receive an AMC certificate

There are limited numbers of assessment programs, and as a result, relatively few applicants are assessed through this Stream

Applicants under the Standard Pathway may be required to undertake a pre-employment structured clinical interview (PESCI) prior to having their application for registration considered by the AMB. You can find out more about the Standard Pathway here: http://www.medicalboard.gov.au/Registration/International-Medical-Graduates/Standard-Pathway.aspx

  1. Specialist Pathway which is for specialists who fall into one of the following categories:
    1. overseas-trained specialists applying for assessment of comparability to the standard of a specialist trained in that specialty in Australia
    2. overseas-trained specialists applying for an area of need specialist level position in Australia

The assessment process for specialists varies by specialisation and is carried out by the College relevant to that specialisation. A list of colleges can be found here: http://www.medicalboard.gov.au/News/Useful-Contacts.aspx

Specialist pathway applicants do not require a PESCI and the outcome of the assessment can lead to Limited Registration, Provisional Registration or Specialist Registration . You can find out more about the Specialist Pathway here: http://www.medicalboard.gov.au/Registration/International-Medical-Graduates/Specialist-Pathway.aspx

The PESCI

The pre-employment structured clinical interview (PESCI) is an objective assessment of your knowledge, skills, clinical experience and attributes to determine whether you are suitable to practise in a specific position. The PESCI consists of a structured clinical interview using scenarios and may be required by the Medical Board of Australia as part of the information it needs when deciding whether to grant registration. More information on the PESCI can be found here:

http://www.medicalboard.gov.au/Registration/International-Medical-Graduates/pesci.aspx

The Skills Assessment Process

Step 1. Confirm that your primary qualification is recognized by the AMC by checking here: http://www.amc.org.au/assessment/list-of-medical-schools. For standard pathway and specialist pathway applicants, your qualification must also be recognized by the World Directory of Medical Schools https://search.wdoms.org/ .

Step 2. Get Primary Source Verification on all your qualifications. You need to create an EPIC account and submit all your qualifications. You can do this here: http://www.ecfmgepic.org/physicians.html

Step 3. Once you have an EPIC Account, you need to nominate the AMC to receive verification status updates.

Step 4. Establish an AMC Portfolio. They will receive the verifications from EPIC which will be used for your skills assessment. You can apply for an AMC account here: https://account.amc.org.au/sign_in

Step 5. Start the skills assessment process via the relevant pathway:

  • Competent Authority Pathway: submit an application directly to the Medical Board of Australia
  • Standard Pathway: start the AMC examinations process by selecting the “AMC examinations” option on your AMC account. Once you have passed both AMC examinations, (or the AMC CAT ACQ examination and the workplace assessment) you will be issued with an AMC certificate to submit to the Medical Board of Australia for registration purposes.
  • Specialist Pathway: Submit your Specialist application directly to the appropriate specialist medical college for assessment..

Registration

Once you have completed the skills assessment process, you will require registration to work in Australia. The Medical Board of Australia is responsible for registration and all applicants must meet registration standards for:

  • Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
  • Criminal History
  • English Language Skills
  • Recency of Practice
  • Professional Indemnity Insurance

Details of these requirements can be found here: http://www.medicalboard.gov.au/Registration-Standards.aspx

There are four types of registration with the AMB relevant to skills assessment applicants:

  • Limited
  • Provisional
  • General
  • Specialist

Applicants who have successfully completed skills assessments under the:

  • Standard pathway may be eligible for limited or provisional registration.
  • Competent Authority pathway may be eligible for provisional registration.
  • Specialist pathway may be eligible for limited, provisional or specialist registration depending on the outcome of their skills assessment.

Applicants who successfully attain provisional registration may be eligible to apply for general registration with the AMB following satisfactory completion of 12 months of supervised practice (minimum of 47 weeks of full-time service).

Next Steps

Migrating successfully to Australia as a doctor requires an in-depth understanding of the medical registration and visa application process. Engaging an experienced Australian Registered Migration Agent who is able to provide professional guidance on visa pathways and medical registration requirements can be an important first step. Once your pathway is clearly mapped out, an experienced agent can skilfully navigate you through the hoops and hurdles of the application process. Get in touch today to discuss your visa options and find out how we can help you come to, or remain in Australia

 

 

 

 

9 thoughts on “Registration and Skills Assessment for Doctors (IMG’s)

  1. Dear Sir/ Madam,

    I am a radiologist by profession and I am working in Bahrain for last 5 years I wanted to ask what assessment pathway shall I choose for the purpose of skilled Immigration to Australia as a Radiologist

    • Post Author markstevens

      Hi Nadira

      If you intend to register as a specialist, then you should contact the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists: https://www.ranzcr.com as they administer the registration process.

  2. Hi ,
    I am IMG Orthopaedic surgeon came to Australia in July 2015 on 402 visa.
    I will apply for 407 visa and will be valid till December.

    I will apply for RACS for specialist assessment by October.

    After October it will take 5-6 months to get final recommendation so I can apply for a job.

    What type of visa can I apply for so as to stay after December until I get the assessment result .

    King Regards,

    • Post Author markstevens

      Hi Salah
      Your question is quite complex, so we will email you directly to discuss your situation

  3. Hi, I currently hold a limited /provisional registration for post graduate training in WA since February 2015. I am currently on a 457 Working Visa. I have sat for the AMC Clinical Part 2 and am awaiting the AMC Certificate. I have been working as a Paediatric Surgical Registrar/Fellow, if I get a general registration with conditions (Paediatric Surgery) – as my supervised practice has only been in paediatric surgery, am I still eligible to apply for skilled independant visa (point based stream)?

    Also can I submit the EOI before I get the general registration?

    Thanks

  4. Hi,

    I am MD Internal Medicine working in India. I would like to know how should I get registered in Australia and work there. Kind request to guide further.

    J.Parikh

  5. Hi! Im an IMG who currently doesnt have a visa for Australia. I have passed my MCQ and I have a job offer. My question is related to the visa I should apply to get a work permit via this pathway. Thank you!

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