National Internship Framework
The National Intern Training Accreditation Framework from 2014
The Medical Board of Australia and the Australian Medical Council have finalised a national framework for medical internship, being implemented in 2014. The new framework marks a major step towards national consistency in intern training and was made possible by the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme.
From 1 July 2010, a National Registration and Accreditation Scheme replaced the previous State and Territory based registration and regulation systems. Following the introduction of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, the Medical Board of Australia registers medical practitioners and medical students, decides on registration requirements, and develops codes and guidelines for the medical profession.
From 2014, the Medical Board will implement the new registration standard on granting general registration to Australian and New Zealand medical graduates on completion of internship (www.medicalboard.gov.au/Registration-Standards.aspx).
Through AMC working parties and reference groups, stakeholders have contributed to the development of national standards and guidelines to support the implementation of the registration standard and to provide a national framework for intern training accreditation.
On 4 March 2014, the Medical Board and the AMC released a joint media statement about the national framework for medical internship and its implementation status.
Download the full media release (PDF 210KB)
For more information about the national internship framework, processes to be implemented in 2014, intern assessment and review of intern training accreditation authorities (postgraduate medical councils) please see below.
National Internship Framework Updates
Consultation on the national standards for intern programs and domains for assessing intern accreditation authorities – May 2016
The Australian Medical Council is currently conducting a minor review of the national standards for intern programs and domains for assessing intern accreditation authorities, and is seeking stakeholder feedback on the proposed revisions.
Please refer to the following documents:
Consultation paper: Outlining the changes proposed to the standards and domains, the review purpose and process, questions for feedback and next steps.
Attachment 1: Summary of the proposed revisions to the documents
Attachment 2: Draft revised Intern training – Domains for assessing accreditation authorities
Attachment 3: Draft revised Intern training – National standards for programs
Attachment 4: Draft revised Guide to intern training in Australia
The AMC asks for feedback on the revised intern framework documents by email to firstname.lastname@example.org by 27 May 2016. Please provide any feedback in an accessible PDF or Word format.
Minor changes to the national standards and domains for assessing accreditation authorities
In 2015 the Australian Medical Council and the Medical Board of Australia have approved minor changes to two of the national internship framework documents, specifically, to the notes of the Intern training – national standards for programs and Intern training – domains for assessing accreditation authorities.
The changes are intended to clarify the requirements of the current standards and domains. The revised documents are available below under National Internship Framework documents.
Further information is provided in the communiqué below.
Download the full communique.
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, guidelines and forms on intern training.
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:
- Outcome statements for internship - Intern training – Intern outcome statements;
- Assessment guidelines - Intern training – Assessing and certifying completion; and
- A nationally available assessment form - Intern training - Term assessment form.
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 AMC has recently completed this evaluation process.
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 below. Further information on the outcomes of the evaluation process and revised documents are provided in the communique below.
National Internship Framework newsletters
In 2013 the AMC and the Medical Board of Australia released newsletters about the development and implementation of national process, standards and guidelines:
National Internship Framework documents
Following stakeholder consultation, the 21 November 2013 meeting of AMC Directors approved the following intern training documents. The framework documents were approved by the Medical Board of Australia at its 18 December 2013 meeting.
The Intern training – Intern outcome statements, Intern training – Assessing and certifying completion and Intern training – Term assessment form were evaluated in 2014. The final revised versions, available below, were approved by the AMC Directors on 16 September and the Medical Board of Australia on 24 September 2014.
In 2015 the AMC and the Medical Board of Australia approved minor changes to the notes of the Intern training – national standards for programs and Intern training – domains for assessing accreditation authorities. The final revised versions are available below and further information is provided in the communique here.
- Intern training – Intern outcome statements
- Intern training – National standards for programs
- Intern training – Guidelines for terms
- Intern training – Domains for assessing accreditation authorities
- Intern training – AMC guide on how to prepare an accreditation review submission
- Intern training – Assessing and certifying completion
- Intern training – Term assessment form
- Guide to intern training in Australia
National assessment process – requirements and areas for transition
The national intern assessment process has two components.
The first is a national process for health services to certify interns' completion of the requirements of the internship. This process is mandatory from 2014.
The second component relates to the assessment of interns' performance during the internship and to remediation processes. Recognising that it takes time to change assessment processes, and the national standards introduce some new requirements, 2014 will be a year of transition to these requirements.
1. Certificate of completion of an accredited internship
The Medical Board's registration standard outlines the experience interns must complete and the evidence of completion the Board will require in order to make a decision to grant general registration.
The Medical Board has developed a form for health services, Certificate of completion of an accredited internship for health services, which is available on the Board’s website: http://www.medicalboard.gov.au/Registration/Interns/Guidelines-resources-tools.aspx
2. Assessment of interns' performance and a nationally available assessment form
Among other things, Intern training – national standards for programs (section 5) requires that assessment be based on interns achieving the outcomes in Intern training – Intern outcome statements.
The revised intern assessment documents, approved on 24 September 2014, are provided below.
- Intern training – Assessing and certifying completion contains the national standards relating to assessment, good assessment practice principles, and outlines remediation processes that would satisfy the national requirements.
- The Intern training - Term assessment form is designed to facilitate assessment against these outcome statements.
Versions of the revised Intern training – term assessment form
Intern training - assessment form colour version (PDF 365KB)
Intern training - assessment form black and white version (PDF 350KB)
Intern training - assessment form Microsoft Word version (Microsoft Word 986KB)
Improving performance action plan (IPAP) template
Improving performance action plan template colour version (PDF)
Improving performance action plan template Microsoft Word version (Microsoft Word )
2014 will be a transition year, with the expectation that by the end of the year all health services will meet the national standards. For term assessments, from the beginning of 2014, health services may:
- Use the new term assessment form, OR
- Use a local form that meets the national standards for programs. Health services are asked to contact the AMC, through their local postgraduate medical council, if they have any questions about the national standards for programs, OR
- Work towards using the new term assessment form or a form that meets the national standards for programs for 2015.
Governance of AMC intern training accreditation role
The AMC Prevocational Standards Accreditation Committee will oversee the development and refinement of standards and periodic review of the intern training accreditation bodies from 2014. The membership of the committee draws on existing expertise in the AMC in setting standards for work-based assessment for International Medical Graduates and in accreditation of medical programs. The AMC Working Party on Internship and the Implementation Reference Group have been disbanded.
Download the committee's terms of reference and membership provisions (PDF 150KB).
Assessing intern training accreditation authorities
In the new framework, the AMC reviews the bodies that accredit intern training programs on behalf of the Medical Board of Australia. These reviews will focus on their intern training accreditation role. They will assess the performance of intern training accreditation authorities against the requirements in Intern training – Domains for assessing accreditation authorities.
With the support of the Medical Board of Australia, the AMC conducted a pilot program to test its proposed process for review of intern training accreditation authorities. More information on the pilots is available in Newsletter 4.
The AMC intends to conduct two accreditation assessments per year until all eight intern training accreditation authorities have been accredited.
The AMC has standard policies on the conduct of its accreditation processes. These describe how the AMC manages confidentiality, conflicts of interest, complaints and appeals, and the key steps in any accreditation process, such as appointment of a team to complete the assessment, the activities by the team, and the interactions between the team and the organisation being reviewed. The AMC applied these policies in the pilot reviews. Taking account of the experience of the pilot, the AMC is finalising a set of procedures that draw together these policies, customised as necessary for AMC assessments of intern training accreditation authorities.
The Procedures for assessment and accreditation of intern training accreditation authorities by the Australian Medical Council were approved by the AMC Directors at their 16 December 2013 meeting.
Download the procedures for assessment and accreditation of intern training accreditation authorities. (PDF 337KB)
Communication and resources to support the framework
The AMC has developed specific advice for interns on the changes occurring in 2014. With the assistance of junior doctors, it has developed a guide for interns, Guide to intern training in Australia, which explains the national process and the framework documents from an intern’s perspective.
Download the guide to intern training in Australia. (PDF 253KB)
The AMC recognises that term supervisors will also need advice on the new requirements. The AMC invited the Confederation of Postgraduate Medical Education Councils (CPMEC) to work jointly to develop specific material for term supervisors, recognising that CPMEC's members have a better understanding of the supervisors' information needs. CPMEC has published resources for supervisors and interns on its website.