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.
The revised medical school standards have been approved by the Medical Board of Australia and endorsed by the Medical Council of New Zealand. These revised standards will have effect from 1 January 2024.
The medical school standards review is now in its implementation phase.
Download the revised standards and initial implementation documents:
The AMC Standards for Assessment and Accreditation of Primary Medical Programs (medical school standards) are in place to ensure that medical schools provide their graduates with the necessary knowledge, skills and behaviours to practise as doctors in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. This means ensuring that graduates understand the barriers to care and the particular needs of communities who face inequities.
“The standards are about ensuring that the institutions involved in producing doctors for the community, produce doctors that meet the needs of everyone in the community,” said the chair of the AMC Medical School Accreditation Committee, Professor Jane Dahlstrom. “It’s important that graduates have the knowledge, skills and behaviours to be responsive to and inclusive of diverse needs and experiences.”
One of the most significant changes to the medical school standards is a strong focus on cultural safety in all aspects of medical education.
In reviewing and developing the standards, the AMC followed a shared sovereignty process. A Sub Group established by the AMC Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Māori Committee sought input from Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander and staff in medical schools through Yarning Circles and from Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander and Māori health peak bodies through targeted consultation.
The result is a set of standards in which Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander and Māori expertise is deeply embedded. The voices of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander and Māori people are reflected in the language about cultural safety and Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander and Māori health and wellbeing.
“The new standards provide further clarity and direction for medical schools on the expectations of the AMC that will enable the advancement of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander and Māori medical education, the growth of the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander and Māori medical workforce, responsive medical education institutions, and producing culturally safe and responsive medical graduates,” said Professor Suzanne Pitama, Dean and Head of Campus, University of Otago, Christchurch and inaugural chair of the AMC Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander and Māori Committee.
Throughout the review, medical students and other stakeholders were clear that graduates must be supported and equipped to manage their wellbeing and contribute to a positive culture of medicine if Australian and Aotearoa New Zealand communities are to have a strong and responsive workforce that meets their health needs. As a result, the revised standards also place a greater emphasis on student wellbeing.
“These standards promote support and flexibility for students from recruitment, through learning and assessment, to graduation,” said Alice Springs Hospital Junior Medical Officer and member of the AMC Standards Review Working Group, Dr Dayna Duncan. “The focus on wellbeing is part of the evolving culture of medicine, which will ensure a sustainable and robust workforce for years to come.”
Over the next few months, the AMC will provide guidance and templates to support medical schools to engage with the revised standards.
All medical schools will provide a self-assessment and reflection against the standards in 2024. Medical student societies will also be invited to share their views.
The Australian Medical Council (AMC) reviewed the content of the Standards for Assessment and Accreditation of Primary Medical Programs by the Australian Medical Council 2012 between 2020 and mid-2023. The Medical Board of Australia approved, and the Medical Council of New Zealand endorsed, the revised medical school standards in June 2023. The revised medical school standards come into effect from 1 January 2024. The review is now in its implementation phase through the remainder of 2023 and 2024.
The current (2012) and revised (2024) medical school standards are available on the AMC website here. The revised standards are also available, along with other documents relevant to the implementation of the standards, at the top of this page.
The accredited programs and medical schools are listed on the AMC’s website here.
The review has been informed by broad consultation with stakeholders to ensure that proposals are inclusive of a wide range of views. The stakeholders the AMC consults with on reviews such as the medical school standards review include education providers, learners, patient safety bodies, health services, the medical profession, education regulatory bodies, governments, health consumers and the community, and other health professions. Papers from the scoping and detailed development rounds of consultation can be found in the Communiques section below.
For further information or to provide comment on the review, please contact the standards review team at email@example.com.