National Framework for Medical Internship
In 2014, the Australian Medical Council (AMC) implemented a national framework for medical internship on behalf of the Medical Board of Australia. The new framework marked a major step towards greater national consistency in intern training. This development was made possible by the introduction of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, which replaced state-based regulation of medical practitioners with national registration by the Medical Board of Australia.
The National Framework for internship is a suite of documents that link to and provide guidance related to the registration standard on granting general registration to Australian and New Zealand medical graduates on completion of internship (www.medicalboard.gov.au/Registration-Standards.aspx).
The Medical Board of Australia and AMC joint media statement about the establishment of a national framework for medical internship and its implementation is available here.
Based on its experience since 2014, the AMC has reviewed a number of the National Framework documents following stakeholder consultation. The documents in the National Internship Framework are described below.
|1. Intern training – Intern outcome statements||States the broad and significant outcomes that interns should achieve by the end of their programs. These statements link to the term assessment form. Last revised 2014|
|2. Intern training – National standards for programs||Outlines the requirements for processes, systems and resources that contribute to good quality intern training. Last reviewed December 2016. Changes made to clarify expectations about junior doctor wellbeing and processes for responding to known patient safety issues.|
|3. Intern training – National guidelines for terms||Outlines the experience that interns should obtain during terms. It builds on the Medical Board of Australia’s registration standard.|
|4. Intern training – Domains for assessing accreditation authorities 2016||Outlines the criteria the AMC uses to assess intern accreditation authorities. Last reviewed December 2016. Changes made to clarify expectations about junior doctor wellbeing and processes for responding to known patient safety issues.|
|5. Intern training – Term assessment form||A nationally available term assessment form designed to facilitate assessment against the intern outcome statements. Last revised 2014.
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 (986KB)
Improving performance action plan (IPAP) template:
Improving performance action plan template colour version (PDF 342KB)
Improving performance action plan template Microsoft Word version (83.0KB)
|6. 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. Last revised 2014.|
|7. Guide to Intern Training||Contains information about intern training, including the program structure, supervision, assessment, completion, and how junior doctors can get involved in their training. Last reviewed December 2016. Changes made to clarify expectations about junior doctor wellbeing and processes for responding to known patient safety issues.|
As well as the National Framework’s guidance on assessment and remediation of interns’ performance during the internship, there is a mandatory national process for health services to certify interns’ completion of the requirements of the internship.
The Medical Board’s registration standard outlines the experience interns must complete and the evidence of completion the Medical Board requires in order to make a decision to grant general registration. The Medical Board form for health services, Certificate of completion of an accredited internship for health services, is available on the Board’s website here.
Governance of AMC intern training accreditation role
The AMC Prevocational Standards Accreditation Committee oversee the AMC’s standards development and accreditation for intern training development and refinement of standards and the periodic review of the intern training accreditation bodies. 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. Download the Committee’s Terms of Reference and Membership Provisions.
Assessing intern training accreditation authorities
In the National Internship Framework, the AMC accredits the bodies that accredit intern training programs on behalf of the Medical Board of Australia. Currently, a separate organisation in each state/territory is responsible for accrediting intern training posts and programs.
The AMC accreditations assess the performance of each of the intern training accreditation authorities against the requirements in Intern training – Domains for assessing accreditation authorities here.
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 Procedures for assessment and accreditation of intern training accreditation authorities by the Australian Medical Council are available here.
The AMC began the accreditation of intern training accreditation authorities in 2013, and has now completed the first cycle of accreditations of the established authorities. Reports on the AMC accreditation assessments are available here.