Assessing basic medical education
The Australian Medical Council (AMC) assesses and accredits basic medical education courses, that is courses that lead to a qualification that permits the holder to seek general registration as a medical practitioner.
In collaboration with the Medical Council of New Zealand, the AMC assesses basic medical courses offered by New Zealand medical schools. AMC accreditation of these schools allows their graduates registration in Australia. The Medical Council of New Zealand uses the accreditation reports on Australian and New Zealand medical schools in deciding on the recognition of those schools in New Zealand.
The AMC’s Medical School Accreditation Committee oversees the accreditation process.
The Committee’s roles are:
- developing guidelines, policy and procedures for the accreditation of medical schools and medical courses
- overseeing the AMC’s program of accreditation
- encouraging improvements in medical education that respond to evolving health needs and practices, and educational and scientific developments.
AMC accreditation is based on self and peer assessment. Assessments are conducted by teams which report to the Medical School Accreditation Committee. Teams include a mix of clinicians and scientists from other Australian and New Zealand medical schools, hospital and community based teachers, experienced academic managers, allied health professionals, community members and health administrators.
Scope of accreditation
The AMC accredits only complete medical courses that result in the award of an academic qualification of an educational institution located largely or entirely in Australia or New Zealand. By complete medical course, the AMC means that the institution awarding the qualification is responsible for providing the entire program to the accreditation standards described in the Standards for Assessment and Accreditation of Medical Schools by the Australian Medical Council 2010.
Accreditation is awarded to the institution for the specific medical course, identified by its degree title. In the case of a program which is offered jointly by two or more institutions and results in the award of a qualification from more than one educational institution, the AMC regards the medical course as one program, but lists as accredited all institutions which grant a degree.
The AMC does not:
- grant separate accreditation to branch campuses or clinical schools of institutions unless the programs at the campuses or schools result in distinct qualifications, and the delivery and management of the programs differs from campus to campus or school to school; or
- separately accredit distinct streams (e.g. a graduate-entry stream) within an educational program. The AMC regards the introduction of such streams as a major change to the accredited medical program, and it assesses the plans for such programs before they are implemented. The accreditation awarded following a successful assessment relates to the whole medical program, not just to the separate stream.
Purpose of AMC accreditation The purpose of AMC accreditation is the recognition of medical courses that produce graduates competent to practise safely and effectively under supervision as interns in Australia and New Zealand, and with an appropriate foundation for lifelong learning and for further training in any branch of medicine.
The AMC may grant accreditation if it is reasonably satisfied that a medical program and the medical school that provides it meet the approved accreditation standards. It may also grant accreditation if it is reasonably satisfied that the school and the medical program substantially meet the approved accreditation standards, and the imposition of conditions will ensure the program meets the standards within a reasonable time. Download the approved accreditation standards, Standards for Assessment and Accreditation of Medical Schools by the Australian Medical Council 2012 (PDF 616KB).
Accreditation standards address the requirements for delivery of high quality medical education and cover:
- The context of the medical school
- The outcomes of the medical course
- The medical curriculum
- The curriculum - teaching and learning
- The curriculum - assessment of student learning
- The curriculum - monitoring and evaluation
- Implementing the curriculum - students
- Implementing the curriculum - educational resources
Assessment processThe way in which the AMC manages the accreditation process, the procedures for assessing individual medical schools and their medical courses, and the accreditation decisions made by the AMC are explained in Procedures for Assessment and Accreditation of Medical Schools by the Australian Medical Council 2011.
The AMC completed a review of its accreditation procedures in 2011 to ensure that they comply with the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act 2009. It also streamlined and clarified some processes based on its experience. Revisions were also made to accommodate the memorandum of understanding between the AMC and the Medical Council of New Zealand.Download Procedures for Assessment and Accreditation of Medical Schools by the Australian Medical Council 2011 (PDF 505KB).
Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 January 2013 15:14