Cosmetic Surgery


Cosmetic Surgery Programs of Study Accreditation Project

The AMC, as the accreditation authority for the medical profession under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (the National Law), is responsible for the development of accreditation standards and the accreditation of programs of study leading to registration in the medical profession. The AMC’s assessments of programs and accreditation decisions assure the Medical Board of Australia (the Medical Board) that the accredited programs are producing graduates who have the knowledge, skills, and professional qualities necessary to practise medicine in Australia.

In September 2022, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra) and the Medical Board released the report from the independent review of the regulation of medical practitioners who perform cosmetic surgery. The report found that one of the most consistent themes to arise during the review was the issue of the education, training and qualifications of practitioners undertaking cosmetic surgery, or more specifically, the absence of any minimum standards about these matters. It recommended that cosmetic surgery be endorsed as an area of practice. An endorsement recognises that a person has an extended scope of practice in a particular area because they have obtained a specific qualification in that area that has been approved by the Medical Board. This recommendation will allow the Medical Board to approve specific qualifications in cosmetic surgery, publish the approved qualifications, and grant endorsement of registration for cosmetic surgery to practitioners who have the approved qualifications. Medical practitioners whose registration is endorsed for cosmetic surgery will have the endorsement published on the public Register of practitioners.

Implementing this recommendation means developing accreditation standards for programs of study and their providers in the area of practice, cosmetic surgery, and implementing processes for assessment and accreditation of the programs of study.

The report indicates that one benefit of endorsement is that it would set a clear minimum standard of training for practitioners providing cosmetic surgery. ‘An accreditation standard for the program of study could be set at a sufficiently high level to ensure a program enables medical practitioners to have the necessary knowledge and skills to practise competently and safely. Only those training programs that are assessed as meeting the accreditation standards would be approved for the purposes of endorsement.’

Development of accreditation standards

The accreditation standards the AMC is developing will include two elements:

  • The standards: An accreditation standard, means a standard used to assess whether a program of study, and the education provider that provides the program of study, provide persons who complete the program with the knowledge, skills and professional attributes necessary to practise the profession in Australia.
  • The AMC has developed accreditation standard for education programs in all phases of the medical education and training continuum. The AMC has a common structure for the accreditation standards across the phases of medical education, but writes a separate set of national standards for each phase of education and training. There will be a separate set of national standards for cosmetic surgery programs. Examples of accreditation standards are available on the AMC webpage: here

  • Graduate outcome or capability statements. AMC graduate outcome/capability statements, which are part of the standards, define the knowledge, skills and professional behaviours and attributes expected of graduates of an accredited program. An example of a set of graduate outcome/capability statements is provided in a separate document. This document shows the outcome statements for the prevocational phase of medical education. Outcome statements for cosmetic surgery programs will be specific for the knowledge, skills and professional behaviours expected for safe practice by cosmetic surgeons.
  • Review Governance

    The AMC develops accreditation standards for medical programs and their education providers on behalf of the Medical Board of Australia. The Board approves the accreditation standards for the medical profession.

    The AMC then applies the approved standards when it assesses programs of study and their providers for accreditation. It also uses the standards for monitoring the accredited programs and providers.

    The AMC has established a Project Advisory Group to support the development of these standards. The Project Advisory Group reports to the AMC’s governing body, the AMC Directors.

    The AMC has also established a Technical Advisory Group to support the development of the graduate outcome/capability statements for cosmetic surgery programs. The Technical Advisory Group reports to the Project Advisory Group.

    Stages for development of accreditation standards

    The AMC’s work links to and complements the work of the Medical Board of Australia to develop and consult on.

  • Draft Registration standard: Endorsement of registration for cosmetic surgery for registered medical practitioners
  • Draft revised Guidelines for medical practitioners who perform cosmetic medical and surgical procedures
  • Draft Guidelines for medical practitioners who advertise cosmetic surgery
  • The stages for the AMC work are:

    Stage 1 – 2022 Stage 2 – 2022-2023 Stage 3 – 2023
    October – November December – January February
    Establishment of project governance.

    First draft accreditation standards for programs of study for endorsement for cosmetic surgery.

    First draft graduate outcome/capability statements.

    Consultation period

    Formal consultation on the proposed accreditation standards and graduate outcomes/capability standards.

    Finalisation and approval of accreditation standards and graduate outcome/capability statements through AMC and MBA Governance.

    AMC development of procedures and application templates.

    Communiques

    The AMC will publish communiques that provide updates on the work on this webpage.

    Enquiries

    For enquiries regarding accreditation standards and processes for cosmetic surgery programs, please email: cosmeticsurgery@amc.org.au.

    For further information about the Medical Board of Australia’s consultation on the registration standard and guidelines, please view the website: https://www.medicalboard.gov.au/News/Current-Consultations.aspx.