News Announcements and media releases

Second consultation on the standards for specialist medical education programs and professional development programs – July 2015

The Australian Medical Council is conducting a review of the Standards for Assessment and Accreditation of Specialist Medical Education Programs and Professional Development Programs. The AMC undertakes a full review of the approved accreditation standards every five years. It completes these reviews through a consultative process.

The AMC consulted on the first draft of the revised standards from March to May 2015. It is now seeking feedback on the second draft of the revised standards. The consultation document outlines changes proposed to the standards as a result of the initial consultation process in March 2015. It also provides background information on the accreditation standards, the role of the AMC and the reason for the review of the standards, for reference.

The AMC is aiming to have the standards finalised by September 2015, with implementation of the revised standards from 2016.

The AMC is now seeking feedback on the second draft of the Standards for Assessment and Accreditation of Specialist Medical Education Programs and Professional Development Programs by the Australian Medical Council.

Please refer to the following documents:

Consultation paper: Outlining the changes proposed to the standards as a result of the initial consultation, the review purpose and process, questions for feedback and next steps.

Attachment 1: Summary of the revisions to the standards including a comparison of the draft revised and current standards.

Attachment 2: Draft revised Standards for Assessment and Accreditation of Specialist Medical Education Programs and Professional Development Programs by the Australian Medical Council – July 2015.

The AMC asks for feedback on the standards by email to standardsreview@amc.org.au by 24 August 2015. Please provide any feedback in an accessible PDF or Word format.

Revised fees and charges for 2016

While endeavouring to keep AMC candidate fees to a minimum, the AMC Directors recently approved a slight fee increase to address increased costs associated with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and, where applicable, the weakening Australian Dollar.

To provide candidates with adequate notice, the changes will not take effect until 1 January 2016. Fees were last reviewed in 2014.

How will the changes affect candidates?

AMC candidates who have already paid and scheduled for examinations to be conducted after 1 January 2016 will not be affected by the revised fees.

The following information is provided as a guideline for AMC candidates:

  • MCQ candidates who pay for a 12-month authorisation before 1 January 2016 will not pay the revised fee, even if their exam is scheduled after 1 January 2016.
  • Clinical candidates who apply before 1 January 2016 will not pay the revised fee, even if their exam is scheduled for after 1 January 2016.
  • All candidates’ payments, including application and credential verification payments, which occur on or after 1 January 2016 will be charged at the revised fees.

Click here to view the new fees

Verification of Medical Credentials in relation to applicants and institutions from Cuba

The AMC’s source verification provider of credentials, the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG), will resume the processing of requests for verification of medical credentials issued by educational, health care, and medical registration/licensing institutions in Cuba.

As previously announced, ECFMG was not processing such requests pending clarification of restrictions by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

On July 16 2015, the ECFMG was advised by OFAC officials that it is permitted to engage in verification activities for medical credentials issued in Cuba. Further information can be found at the ECFMG website.

With the recent announcement by ECFMG, the AMC is now able to process any effected applications as quickly as possible. If AMC candidates require any further information, please contact the AMC directly on +61 (0) 2 6270-7878 between 10am and 4pm AEST.

Verification of Medical Credentials in Relation to Applicants and Institutions from Crimea, Cuba, and Sudan

As our source verification provider, ECFMG verifies the authenticity of credentials related to physicians’ medical education, training, and registration/licensure directly with the institutions that issued the credentials. The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury currently restricts interactions between U.S. organizations and entities in certain countries/regions, including Crimea, Cuba, and Sudan. ECFMG has applied to OFAC for licenses for Crimea, Cuba, and Sudan that, if approved, would permit ECFMG’s activities related to verification of medical credentials. Pending approval of these licenses, ECFMG cannot process certain requests related to applicants and institutions from Crimea, Cuba, and Sudan.

The services that may be affected include:

  • Sending requests for verification of medical credentials issued by institutions in Crimea, Cuba, and Sudan
  • Acceptance of such verifications by ECFMG
  • Credential verification activities on behalf of individuals residing in Crimea, Cuba, and Sudan and on behalf of certain Cuban nationals

Thank you for your patience and cooperation. For updates, please monitor this website and the ECFMG website at www.ecfmg.org/news.

ECFMG’s Electronic Portfolio of International Credentials (EPIC) to Replace EICS for Primary-Source Verification of IMG Credentials

The Australian Medical Council (AMC) is collaborating with the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) to enhance the process through which AMC obtains primary source verification of the medical credentials of international medical graduates (IMGs) applying for registration to practice medicine in Australia.

On 1 October 2015, AMC will be using ECFMG’s Electronic Portfolio of International Credentials (EPIC) service for the verification of medical credentials for registration purposes with the Medical Board of Australia, or for specialist assessment by an Australian Medical College. Currently, AMC uses ECFMG’s International Credentials Services (EICS) for this purpose. EPIC will provide AMC with the same rigorous primary source verification that ECFMG provides through EICS while offering IMGs additional benefits not available through EICS.

IMGs should note that the transition from EICS to EPIC will result in changes to the AMC’s applications process, including online applications. Starting on 1 October 2015, new applicants will be required to establish an EPIC account first if they do not already have one, and upload their medical credentials to EPIC. Until that time, IMGs are required to continue to submit their applications and upload their credentials for verification through EICS using the current AMC pathway applications process. IMGs who have submitted their medical credentials for primary source verification prior to 1 October 2015 will continue through the EICS process until either their medical credentials are verified or the attempts to have their medical credentials verified have been exhausted. More details, including a flowchart, will be provided on the AMC websites as they become available.

The AMC is pleased to make this transition to using EPIC for the primary source verification of IMG medical credentials. EPIC is an innovative, on-line service that physicians can use throughout their careers. Through EPIC, physicians can build a digital career portfolio of the primary source verified credentials related to their medical education, training, and registration/licensure. They can then use EPIC to request that reports verifying the authenticity of their medical credentials be sent to any organization in the world, including medical regulatory authorities and potential employers, such as hospitals and academic institutions. For more information on EPIC, visit www.ecfmgepic.org.

Verification of Iranian Medical Credentials

The AMC’s source verification provider of credentials, the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG), will resume the processing of requests for verification of medical credentials issued by educational, health care, and medical registration/licensing institutions in Iran.

As previously announced, ECFMG was not processing such requests pending clarification of restrictions by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

On June 5 2015, the ECFMG was advised by OFAC officials that it is permitted to engage in verification activities for medical credentials issued in Iran. Further information can be found at the ECFMG website.

The AMC was previously working with the Medical Board of Australia to determine how to appropriately assist AMC candidates that the sanctions may have effected. With the recent announcement by ECFMG, the AMC is now able to process any effected applications as quickly as possible. If AMC candidates require any further information, please contact the AMC directly on +61 (0) 2 6270-7878 between 10am and 4pm AEST.

AMC consultation on the standards for specialist medical education programs and professional development programs – March 2015

The Australian Medical Council is currently conducting a review of the accreditation standards for specialist medical programs and continuing professional development programs. The AMC undertakes a full review of the approved accreditation standards every five years. It completes these reviews through a consultative process. An initial consultation on the scope of the review was conducted in August 2013. The timeline for this review has been revised and the expected completion date is mid-2015, with implementation of the revised standards from 2016.

The AMC is now seeking feedback on the draft revised Standards for Assessment Medical Education Programs and Professional Development Programs by the Australian Medical Council.

Please refer to the following documents:

Consultation paper: Outlining the review purpose and process, questions for feedback and next steps.

Attachment 1: Summary of the proposed revisions to the standards including a comparison of the draft revised and current standards.

Attachment 2: Draft revised Standards for Assessment Medical Education Programs and Professional Development Programs by the Australian Medical Council – March 2015.

The AMC welcomes feedback on the standards either by email to standardsreview@amc.org.au or by mail to AMC Accreditation Section (Standards Review) at the Australian Medical Council Ltd PO Box 4810 KINGSTON ACT 2604 by 4 May 2015.

The Directors of the Australian Medical Council confirm the accreditation of the University of Queensland, School of Medicine’s medical programs to 31 March 2017

The Australian Medical Council is the national accreditation body for the medical profession. It has recently completed an assessment of the University of Queensland, School of Medicine’s medical programs.

Download the full media release (PDF 226KB).

AMC review of the accreditation standards for specialist medical programs

The Australian Medical Council is currently conducting a review of the accreditation standards for specialist medical programs and continuing professional development programs. The AMC undertakes a full review of the approved accreditation standards every five years. It completes these reviews through a consultative process.

An initial consultation on the scope of the review was conducted in August 2013. The timeline for this review has been revised and the expected completion date is mid-2015, with implementation of the revised standards from 2016.

The AMC will provide a number of opportunities for contributions to the review, including invitations to provide written comments on its proposals, and meetings with key stakeholder groups. The AMC is intending to provide the first draft of the revised standards for consultation in January 2015.

If you have any questions about the review process, please contact the AMC at standardsreview@amc.org.au.

Revised Pre-employment Structured Clinical Interview (PESCI) Guidelines and Criteria for AMC approval of PESCI providers – update November 2014

The Pre-employment Structured Clinical Interview (PESCI) is an objective assessment of the clinical experience, knowledge, skills and attributes of an international medical graduate to determine whether the person is suitable to practise in a specific position. The AMC developed the PESCI in 2007 as part of a 2006 Council of Australian Governments’ directive to ensure nationally consistent assessment of international medical graduates.

Since June 2013, the AMC and the Medical Board of Australia have been completing a review of the Pre-employment Structured Clinical Interview Guidelines and Criteria for AMC approval of PESCI providers. The AMC thanks stakeholders for their contribution to this review.

This review is now complete and has resulted in the following revised documents:

Pre-employment Structured Clinical Interview Guidelines and Criteria for AMC approval of PESCI providers

The document is divided into:

  • guidelines that provide information on the PESCI process. Revisions reflect the introduction of national registration standards and the Medical Board of Australia’s responsibilities
  • approval criteria for new providers to conduct PESCIs and for established providers to continue to be approved through an annual monitoring process. Changes to the approval criteria include: replacing the position risk matrix with guidance on the factors to consider in determining the degree of risk of a position; requiring a minimum of four clinical scenarios in the PESCI; emphasising that interviews should explore performance and capacity not knowledge; and linking supervision guidelines to Medical Board of Australia guidelines.

The approval criteria now also require approved PESCI providers to report annually to the AMC, and the guidelines outline requirements for reporting between the AMC and the Medical Board of Australia. In annual reports, providers are asked to provide data on the numbers of interviews conducted and their outcomes, the scenarios bank for PESCI interview and on the pool of interviewers. The provider is also asked to evaluate the quality of its PESCI process and report on any changes to its capacity to conduct PESCIs. The AMC is contacting individual PESCI providers concerning the reporting requirements.

PESCI report to the Medical Board of Australia

This is a template for the PESCI provider’s report to the Medical Board of Australia and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency on the content and outcome of the PESCI. It must be submitted within one week of the PESCI interview.

PESCI outcome report to the applicant

This is a template for the PESCI provider’s report to the applicant for the position. It must be provided within 14 days of the PESCI interview.

Implementation and further information

The new guidelines and approval criteria will apply from 1 March 2015.

For further information, please email accreditation@amc.org.au.

AMC evaluation of the national intern assessment process

In January 2014 a new national framework for medical internship took effect. This framework includes a national registration standard on granting general registration to Australian and New Zealand medical graduates on completion of internship as well as national standards, statements guidelines. The registration standard describes the national requirements for assessment of interns’ performance and the information the Medical Board of Australia needs from health services to determine if interns have met the registration standard.

The assessment resources to support the registration standard include:

In approving the framework documents the AMC agreed to evaluate the resources to support the national intern assessment requirements in 2014, recognising that this national process was a significant development for health services, supervisors and interns. The evaluation process identified immediate changes required to improve the clarity and understanding of the national intern assessment process and forms, confirmed a broad level of support and understanding for the national process and highlighting areas for future consideration. The AMC has finalised the changes to the national assessment documents resulting from the evaluation process. The changes include reducing the length and complexity of the assessment form and reiterating the Medical Board of Australia’s requirements for certification of internship.

The revised documents were approved by the AMC Directors in September and by the Medical Board of Australia at its 24 September 2014 meeting. The approved documents are available here. Further information on the outcomes of the evaluation process and revised documents are provided in the communique below.

Stakeholder consultation on the review of the Pre-employment Structured Clinical Interview (PESCI) Guidelines – update August 2014

The Australian Medical Council consulted on the review of the guidelines and approval criteria for the Pre-employment Structured Clinical Interviews (PESCI) earlier this year and is grateful for the stakeholder contribution to this review.

The AMC received comments on the revisions from 18 organisations and individuals. The feedback indicated overall support for the proposed revisions and the division of the document into Part A: PESCI Guidelines and Part B: Criteria for approval of PESCI providers with further reordering and expansion of the approval criteria.

In addition to clarifying wording where feedback suggested this was required, the AMC has made further changes as a result of the feedback including:

  • In the PESCI Guidelines:
    • Replacing the risk matrix included in the previous guidelines with notes on the factors to consider in determining the degree of risk of a position
    • Expanding section 4 of the guidelines which indicate when a PESCI is required and removing section 5 on when a PESCI is not required
    • In section 6, adding additional information on the Medical Board of Australia’s responsibilities.
  • In the Criteria for AMC approval of PESCI providers:
    • Specifying that a minimum of four clinical scenarios are included in the PESCI
    • Emphasising that the interviews should explore performance and capacity not only knowledge
    • Addressing questions about supervision guidelines by referring to Medical Board of Australia guidelines.
    • Increasing the timeframe for PESCI providers to return feedback reports to applicants from 7 to 14 days.
    • Streamlining the requirements for annual reports from approved PESCI providers to the AMC.

As this review has been the joint work of the AMC and the Medical Board of Australia, the AMC has submitted a revised version of the Pre-employment Structured Clinical Interview Guidelines and Criteria for AMC approval of PESCI providers to the Medical Board of Australia for its approval. The revised guidelines and procedures together with the PESCI report to the Medical Board of Australia and the PESCI Outcome report to the interviewee will be placed on the AMC website when these processes are complete. The new guidelines and approval criteria will apply from 1 January 2015.

The AMC is developing a schedule for progress reporting for providers which will provide information on the date for the first annual progress report and the annual reporting requirements. The matters to be addressed in the report are outlined in the Approval Criteria (Part B of the document).

Once the Pre-employment Structured Clinical Interview Guidelines and Criteria for AMC approval of PESCI providers and templates are finalised they will be circulated to stakeholders and placed on this website. The AMC will correspond separately with providers to set progress reporting schedules and to provide a template for progress reporting.

AMC launches website for delivering workplace-based assessment resources

In Australia and internationally there is a growing interest in the use of workplace-based assessment to assess clinical skills and competence. With the support of the Australian Government Department of Health, the AMC has developed a website to deliver WBA resources for a variety of users: assessors, candidates, WBA program providers, health education institutions and training and development teams. The WBAonline website will help AMC-accredited providers of WBA programs to improve and standardise their programs and give AMC candidates a very clear picture of what to expect when undertaking those programs.

See the website at wbaonline.amc.org.au

Download the full media release (PDF 299KB)

AMC seeking feedback on national intern assessment processes

In January 2014, a new national framework for medical internship took effect. This framework includes a national registration standard on granting general registration to Australian and New Zealand medical graduates on completion of internship (http://www.medicalboard.gov.au/Registration-Standards.aspx) as well as national standards, guidelines and forms on intern training.

A new national assessment process for interns is part of this framework. The process includes national guidelines, Intern training – Assessing and certifying completion and a nationally available term assessment form Intern training – Term assessment form.

These documents have been available to use in intern assessment and remediation processes since the beginning of 2014. The AMC is evaluating the national assessment process to help improve the guidelines and term assessment form for 2015. The evaluation process will include an online survey which will be distributed to health services in June 2014.

The AMC particularly encourages early adopters of the new term assessment form to participate in this evaluation. More information is provided here.

Stakeholder consultation on the review of the Pre-employment Structured Clinical Interview (PESCI) Guidelines

The Australian Medical Council (AMC) stakeholder consultation on the review of the guidelines for pre-employment structured clinical interview (PESCI) is now closed. Thank you to stakeholders who have provided comments.

The AMC is reviewing the feedback received, and will be making some additional changes to the revised guidelines as a result. The AMC expects to communicate further with stakeholders as it reviews the feedback, and now anticipates that the revised guidelines will be in place from January 2015. We expect the revised guidelines to be considered by the Prevocational Standards Accreditation Committee at its August 2014 meeting.

Review of the Pre-employment Structured Clinical Interview (PESCI) Guidelines

Stakeholder consultation

The Australian Medical Council is reviewing the guidelines for Pre-employment Structured Clinical Interviews (PESCI) and is seeking stakeholder feedback on the proposed revisions.

The PESCI Guidelines were last revised in 2008. In 2014, the AMC is proposing minor changes to the Guidelines regarding wording and to enhance the requirements for annual reporting.

Information for stakeholders on the consultation is here (PDF, 554kb).

The draft revised Pre-employment Structured Clinical Interview Guidelines and Criteria for approval of PESCI providers are here (Microsoft Word, 130kb).

If required for reference, the current AMC PESCI Guidelines (2008) are available here (PDF, 45kb). This version is marked-up to reflect the changes proposed with the 2014 review.

Feedback is also requested on two draft PESCI reporting templates. Information on these templates is available here (PDF 474kb). The templates are PESCI report to the Medical Board of Australia (PDF 301kb) and Outcome report to the interviewee (PDF 251kb).

This consultation will run until 28 April 2014.

Please provide your comments on the PESCI Guidelines either by email to accreditation@amc.org.au or by mail to:

AMC Accreditation Section (PESCI Guidelines)
PO Box 4810
Kingston ACT 2604