Review of Accreditation Standards for Primary Medical Programs (Medical Schools)


Where is the review now?

The AMC is coming to the end of the consultation activities on the scope of the review, and is beginning with detailed work on changes to standards. Consultation on proposals for detailed changes will be undertaken in 2022.

The review is currently in its second phase.


April 2021 – Formal consultation on the scope of the review

About the Review

The Australian Medical Council (AMC) is reviewing the approved accreditation standards for primary medical programs. The current accreditation standards are available on the AMC’s website here. The accredited programs and medical schools are listed on the AMC’s website here.

The review is being undertaken in the context of AMC work across related areas, in particular:

  • The AMC Strategic Plan, including for example, work on improving the health of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Māori people through culturally safe practice.
  • The AMC’s review of the National Framework for Medical Internship, on behalf of the Medical Board of Australia, which includes potential extension of the framework to the second year post graduation (PGY2). The latest news on the framework review can be found on the AMC’s website here.
  • A joint project with the Australian Digital Health Agency about developing a digital capabilities framework for medical practitioners. Further information about this project can be found on the AMC’s website here.

The AMC recognises that responding to the impact of COVID-19 has presented both challenges and opportunities for education providers and for some, prompted changes in relationships with local health services. It is an opportune time to reflect on the standards and consider what changes might be needed to ensure that they remain fit for the future.

The AMC undertakes broad consultations so that proposals are informed by a wide range of views from all stakeholders in the medical education process including education providers, learners, health services, the medical profession, jurisdictions, health consumers and the community, and other health professions. The consultation approach is iterative and responsive to the feedback received.

In the scoping consultation, which was undertaken in mid-2021, the AMC sought feedback on how the standards should evolve to ensure that medical graduates continue to have the knowledge, skills and professional attributes to practice safely and competently.

Combined process for review of Indigenous health content in medical school standards and Prevocational Framework documents

The AMC is committed to improving health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Māori people through medical education and training standards. As a key part of this commitment, AMC includes First Nations Peoples perspectives and is led by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Māori people when developing policy which may impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Māori Peoples.

The AMC Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Māori Standing Committee has established a combined process for review of Indigenous health content in medical school standards and Prevocational Framework documents. A Sub Group of the Standing Committee has been established to lead development of Indigenous health content across these reviews. This process involves an open invitation to yarning circles for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Māori staff in medical schools to inform the development of proposals and consultation sessions with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Māori peak body organisations to discuss emerging proposals before publishing proposals for formal consultation in 2022.

Review Governance

The AMC is the accreditation authority for the medical profession under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law as in force in each state and territory.

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.

These standards are then applied by the AMC to the assessment of medical programs for accreditation and monitoring of the accredited programs and providers.

The Medical Council New Zealand also approves the standards for the medical profession in New Zealand and the AMC accreditation processes for primary medical qualifications apply across Australian and New Zealand medical schools.

The AMC has established a working group to undertake the review. It includes members from Australia and New Zealand drawn from: medical education providers, peak professional bodies, medical students, prevocational training, health services, health consumers as well as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander and Māori people.The working group reports to both the Medical School Accreditation Committee and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Māori Committee.

Membership of the Standards Review Working Group is available here.

For further information please contact the standards review team at standardsreview@amc.org.au.