Assessment pathways to registration for international medical graduates
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International medical graduates (IMGs) whose medical qualifications are from a medical institution outside of Australia or New Zealand, and who are seeking registration to practise medicine in Australia, must provide evidence of eligibility to undertake one of the following assessment pathways:
- Competent Authority Pathway
- Standard Pathway
- Specialist Pathway.
The process of assessment associated with the pathways assesses the knowledge and clinical skills of IMGs seeking to qualify for general or specialist registration in Australia.
This section provides important information for IMGs with basic medical qualifications and/or specialist qualifications who want to find out about the assessment pathways, including eligibility requirements, application processes, documentation requirements and methods of assessment.
Role of the Australian Medical Council
All IMGs must apply to the Australian Medical Council (AMC) for primary source verification of their medical qualifications, regardless of which of the three assessment pathways are being pursued. The AMC will verify their medical qualifications through the ECFMG International Credentials Services (EICS).
The AMC conducts the assessment process for IMGs in the Standard Pathway only; it does not conduct assessments in the competent authority or specialist pathways. The AMC has no role in processing applications for registration or in granting registration, which is a function of the Medical Board of Australia (the Board).
Overview of pathways
You will be charged a fee for each application, so you should read the detailed information on each pathway, including the eligibility requirements, before you apply.
The brief descriptions that follow are preliminary guides to assist you to determine which pathways you are most likely to be eligible to apply for, and how to apply. Where relevant, links to more detailed information are provided.
To help you clarify which pathway may be relevant to you, an initial self-assessment check is provided as a guide.
The Standard Pathway is for IMGs seeking general registration with the Board. You need to have a primary qualification in medicine and surgery awarded by a training institution listed in the current International Medical Education Directory (IMED) of the Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER) to be eligible to apply to the AMC for assessment under this pathway.
The AMC assesses IMGs under the Standard Pathway through one of the following:
- Standard Pathway (AMC examinations). Assessment is by examination only—the AMC CAT MCQ Examination and the AMC Clinical Examination. Most non-specialist applicants will be assessed through this method.
- Standard Pathway (workplace-based assessment). Assessment is by examination (the AMC CAT MCQ Examination) and a program of workplace-based assessment of clinical skills and knowledge by an AMC-accredited authority. Currently, assessment programs in four states have been accredited to conduct workplace-based assessment. Relatively few applicants are assessed through this pathway.
On successful completion of the assessment requirements of either of the alternatives described above, you will be issued with the AMC Certificate.
The AMC has no role in processing applications for registration or in granting registration, which is a function of the Board, the registration authority of Australia.
Learn more about the Standard Pathway.
Competent Authority Pathway
The Competent Authority Pathway is intended for overseas-trained non-specialists, but it is also available to specialists, including general practitioners. It is a pathway to general registration and does not result directly in recognition or registration as a specialist in Australia.
IMGs who have completed the requirements of a Board-designated competent authority can apply to the Board for assessment under this pathway.
If you wish to be assessed through the Competent Authority Pathway, you should apply directly to the Board.
Learn more about the Competent Authority Pathway.
The Specialist Pathway is for applicants in one of the following categories:
- overseas-trained specialists applying for assessment of comparability to the standard of a specialist trained in that specialty in Australia (specialist recognition)
- overseas-trained specialists applying for an area of need position in Australia (area of need)
- overseas-trained specialists or specialists-in-training wishing to undertake a short period of specialist or advanced training in Australia (short-term training).
IMGs who have a primary qualification in medicine and surgery from a training institution listed on IMED FAIMER, and who have satisfied all the training and examination requirements to practise in their field of specialty in their country of training can apply for assessment under this pathway (specialist recognition or area of need).Learn more about the Specialist Pathway.
Primary source verification
Primary source verification is mandated under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law as in force in each state and territory (the National Law) for all IMGs seeking registration in any category in Australia.
The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) serves international organisations and authorities involved in medical registration, licensing and assessment by obtaining primary source verification of the medical education and registration credentials of IMGs who have completed their medical education outside their jurisdictions.
Learn more about primary source verification.
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.