The Australian Medical Council is an organisation whose work impacts across the lands of Australia and New Zealand.

The Australian Medical Council acknowledges the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Peoples as the original Australians and the Māori People as the tangata whenua (Indigenous) Peoples of Aotearoa (New Zealand). We recognise them as the traditional custodians of knowledge for these lands.

We pay our respects to them and to their Elders, both past, present and emerging, and we recognise their enduring connection to the lands we live and work on, and honour their ongoing connection to those lands, its waters and sky.

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Assessment and accreditation of medical programs

Accreditation overview 

The Australian Medical Council (AMC) assesses and accredits medical education providers and their primary medical programs; that is, programs that lead to a qualification that permits the holder to seek general registration as a medical practitioner.  

Purpose of AMC accreditation 

The purpose of AMC accreditation is the recognition of medical programs that produce graduates competent to practise safely and effectively under supervision as interns in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand, and with an appropriate foundation for lifelong learning and for further training in any branch of medicine. 

Accreditation standards 

Accreditation standards address the requirements for delivery of high-quality medical education and cover: 

  • The purpose, context and accountability of the medical program.
  • The medical curriculum.
  • Assessment.
  • Medical students.
  • The learning environment.

Scope of accreditation 

The AMC assesses all primary medical programs against one set of accreditation standards. The AMC is concerned with ensuring beginning medical practitioners meet professional requirements. The education provider and the program of study must provide graduates with these professional requirements, which are made up of the knowledge, skills and professional attributes necessary to practise medicine in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. While there may be a difference in the academic requirements for a bachelor degree and a master degree, programs at both qualification levels may satisfy the AMC accreditation requirements. 

The AMC accredits only complete primary medical programs that result in the award of an academic qualification of a medical education provider located predominantly in Australia or Aotearoa New Zealand. 

Accreditation is awarded to the provider for the specific medical program, identified by its degree title. By ‘complete medical program’, the AMC means that the education provider awarding the qualification is responsible for providing the entire program to the accreditation standards, described in the Standards for Assessment and Accreditation of Primary Medical Programs. 

The AMC assesses programs offered jointly by two or more providers, which result in the award of a qualification by more than one provider, as one program, but it accredits all the providers which award a qualification for the program. 

The AMC does not: 

  • grant separate accreditation to branch campuses or clinical schools 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 material 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. 

The Accreditation process 

The AMC’s Medical School Accreditation Committee oversees the process for assessment and accreditation of primary medical education programs and their providers. 

Reporting to the AMC Directors, the Committee’s roles are: 

  • Advising the AMC on guidelines, policy and procedures relating to the assessment and accreditation of primary medical programs and their education providers. 
  • Overseeing the AMC’s accreditation activities for primary medical education programs. 
  • Encouraging improvements in medical education in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand 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 may include a mix of assessors from different regions and providers, the medical science and the clinical disciplines, hospital and community-based teachers, experienced academic managers, health service managers, medical students, and community members. 

The AMC may grant accreditation if it is reasonably satisfied that a medical education provider and its medical program/s meet the approved accreditation standards. It may also grant accreditation if it is reasonably satisfied that the education provider and its medical program/s substantially meet the approved accreditation standards, and the imposition of conditions will ensure the program meets the standards within a reasonable time. 

Accreditation of Aotearoa New Zealand Programs 

The AMC and the Medical Council of New Zealand work collaboratively to assess Aotearoa New Zealand primary medical education providers and their programs. AMC accreditation of these providers allows their graduates registration in Australia. The Medical Council of New Zealand uses the accreditation reports on Australian and Aotearoa New Zealand medical education providers in deciding on the recognition of those medical education providers and their programs in Aotearoa New Zealand. 

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