Primary source verification
ECFMG and EPIC
The primary source verification of medical qualifications is mandated under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act 2009 (National Law) for all IMGs seeking registration in any category in Australia.
The International Credentials Services of 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 medical graduates who completed their medical education outside their jurisdictions.
The AMC uses ECFMG’s Electronic Portfolio of International Credentials (EPIC) service for the verification of medical credentials. EPIC provides the AMC with the same rigorous primary source verification that ECFMG provided through EICS while offering IMGs additional benefits not available through EICS. The EPIC verification outcomes will be uploaded to the AMC’s qualifications portal. This portal is used by the Medical Board of Australia for registration purposes, and by Australian specialist medical colleges for assessment purposes (if applicable and college is nominated by the candidate).
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 organisation in the world, including medical regulatory authorities and potential employers, such as hospitals and academic institutions.
For more information about the EPIC application process, refer to the ECFMG website.
Also refer to ECFMGs Special Instructions for Physicians Applying to Practice in Australia for important notes on credentials verified through EPIC
EPIC verification and the AMC
Please refer to the EPIC verification process outline in the flowchart available here
The Medical Board of Australia (the Board) and the AMC are 2 different organisations with different responsibilities regarding international medical graduates (IMGs). For IMGs assessment process, the AMC is the verifications authority of Australia, responsible for maintaining the AMC’s qualifications portal with information and updates on verifications processed by ECFMG. This portal is used by the Board for registration purposes and by the Australian specialist medical colleges for specialist assessment purposes.
The AMC can only accept the 3 credential categories from EPIC regarding verification for a primary qualification:
- Final Medical Diploma
- Final Medical Transcript
- Alternate Graduation Document
You will need to discuss with EPIC regarding what format is acceptable for either category, as the AMC cannot advise on formats/document requirements of credentials.
If a verification in any of the 3 categories above is received, the AMC can upload the EPIC status to the AMC account and then the candidate can proceed with the examinations process if applicable.
IMPORTANT: If either a final medical school transcript or alternate graduation document / medical school letter for verification, Ahpra might require the final medical diploma for verification when applying for registration as well. This will incur additional costs by both the AMC and ECFMG.
Regardless of which pathway an IMG is applying for, IMGs are required to verify the required qualification/s through EPIC and establish the AMC portfolio.
Once the suitable pathway has been determined, please note the following:
- If applying for the Standard Pathway (AMC examinations) or Competent Authority Pathway for registration the credential to submit for verification is:
- Final medical diploma (primary qualification, medical degree e.g. MBBS, etc.)
- If applying for Specialist Pathway (includes specialist recognition, specialist area of need and short-term specialist training) for registration, the credentials to submit for verification are:
- Final medical diploma (or primary qualification, e.g. MBBS, medical degree etc.) and
- Postgraduate and Specialist qualification(s). Please enquire with the respective Australian specialist medical college to find out which qualification(s) require verification before adding to the AMC account and submitting to ECFMG for verification.
The following types are NOT eligible/acceptable to be added to an AMC account:
Medical registrations/license to practice, PhDs, research, internship/housemanship/foundation documents, partially completed training/qualifications, scientific (for e.g. Bachelor of Science), short courses or Australian/Australasian qualifications.
If any of the above are added to an AMC portfolio, they will NOT appear on the AMC account.
How to apply
Refer to Establish an AMC portfolio.
To become eligible IMGs are required to submit their medical degree (final medical diploma/primary qualification) in medicine (clinical medicine) and surgery for verification. It is important to determine that your medical school as well as your degree title and graduation year is eligible. This means you have to had finished all of the examination and training requirements and be awarded the qualification.
IMGs with a New Zealand qualification obtained from an eligible medical school as listed on the AMC website, can choose to obtain EPIC verification of their primary qualification via ECFMG, but is not mandated to do so for registration purposes. It is optional for IMGs with a New Zealand qualification obtained from an eligible medical school, to obtain EPIC verification of their primary qualification via ECFMG for registration purposes. It is therefore an applicant’s decision to submit an AMC portfolio application, and the AMC encourages all IMG’s to seek advice from the Board to determine the medical registration requirements.
Frequently asked questions
All qualifications previously submitted to the AMC for EICS verification and confirmed as verified, are still valid. An EICS certificate was issued to confirm the verification of the qualification. IMGs can apply for a copy of the EICS certificate by completing and submitting a Request for reprint of EICS Certificate form.
EPIC is a service of ECFMG, which is located in the United States. The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury may restrict interactions between U.S. organisations and individuals/ entities in certain countries/ regions. The ECFMG will update the AMC with information on countries affected by these sanctions.
ECFMG will be unable to process requests for verification of medical credentials issued by institutions in the embargoed country. IMGs affected by the sanctions have to apply directly to the AMC and will be required to upload the qualification documentation with the identification documentation as well. The AMC is working with the Medical Board of Australia to determine how to appropriately assist AMC candidates affected by these sanctions.
Updated information on countries affected by the US Embargo will be provided on the AMC website when required. Also, please monitor the ECFMG website for updates. We will provide additional information as it becomes available.