Assessing equivalency of international medical graduates against the RACMA Fellowship (New Zealand)
Approval Date: June 2014
Review Date: June 2017
Review By: Education and Training Committee
This policy sets out the process for assessing competency of international medical graduates in medical administration in New Zealand.
2. Guiding Principles
The policy is contingent upon the premise that, other than the course offered by the Hong Kong College of Community Medicine, there is no international equivalent to the Fellowship Training Program offered by the Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators and therefore no international medical graduate can be assessed as being of similar competence in medical administration to a RACMA fellow based on their qualifications or experience alone.
All applicants will be assessed on an individual basis against the competencies required of a Fellow of RACMA.
The Medical Council of New Zealand assumes responsibility for verifying the applicant’s medical qualifications, clinical experience in a comparable health system and medical administration experience.
The Medical Council of New Zealand will seek advice from the Vocational Education and Advisory Body (VEAB) ie RACMA on the applicant’s competencies in medical administration. Based on this advice the applicant may be granted vocational registration in medical administration.
Where the Medical Council grants an applicant vocational registration in medical administration, RACMA will consider whether the person qualifies for Fellowship with the College, or if additional experience, study or examination would be required before Fellowship is granted.
Where an applicant is granted provisional registration as a specialist in medical administration, the College will work with the Medical Council to determine an appropriate period of supervision and any academic work or examination that may be required to meet the competencies of a Fellow. They may be eligible for the accelerated pathway or Advanced Standing.
Where the applicant is granted general registration, but has completed or is progressing towards completion of relevant academic qualifications and/or has prior management experience they may apply for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).
The decision to grant Advanced Standing rests with the RACMA Board on recommendation of the Education and Training Committee.
This policy applies to:
international medical specialists with management qualifications and experience seeking vocational registration in medical administration and/or RACMA Fellowship;
international medical non-specialists with management qualifications and experience seeking vocational registration in medical administration and/or RACMA Fellowship;
This policy is consistent with the:
New Zealand Medical Council (MCNZ) Policy on Registration within a Vocational Scope of Practice for Overseas Trained Doctors approved by the MCNZ 2010;
RACMA Fellowship Training Program Admission Requirements;
RACMA Guidelines for Processing Applications for Candidacy;
RACMA Policy on Advanced Standing
RACMA Regulations for Recognition of Advanced Standing
The New Zealand Medical Council has two pathways to assess the eligibility of IMGs who have the appropriate qualifications, training and experience for registration within a vocational scope of practice:
the provisional vocational scope supervision pathway; or
the provisional vocational scope assessment pathway.
To qualify for registration the doctor must:
5. The assessment process
have passed, or been exempted from passing, the IELTS English test;
be fit for registration under section 16 of the Health Practitioner Competence Assurance Act (HPCAA 2003); and
be able to assure Council that he or she has qualifications, training; and experience equivalent to, or as satisfactory as, that of a New Zealand trained doctor registered within the same vocational scope1 (HPCAA, s 15(2)); and
be capable of independent, unsupervised practice; and
be competent to practise medicine within the vocational scope for which he or she has applied;
and be intending to practise in New Zealand.
Applications must be made in a vocational scope recognized by the MCNZ using the correct forms (refer to Appendix 1), providing the required supporting documentation and by paying the relevant application fees. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
Upon reviewing the application form, MCNZ will seek advice from the New Zealand branch of RACMA as the appropriate Vocational Education and Advisory body (VEAB) responsible for advising the MCNZ about matters relevant to a particular vocational scope, ie medical management
The RACMA Chair of the Education and Training Committee will request the NZ Jurisdictional Coordinator of Training to carry out an initial paper-based assessment, which may be done while the applicant is overseas. This generally involves:
an assessment of the applicant’s postgraduate management qualifications
an assessment of prior work experience compared to that of a New Zealand trained medical administrator with a view to determine:
comparability with a New Zealand Fellow of RACMA
substantial comparability – granting up to two years exemption from the requisite three years supervised training period
Not comparable with a New Zealand Fellow of RACMA – granting up to 12 months exemption from the requisite 36 month supervised training period; and
satisfactory completion of referee checks.
Following this assessment the College is required to complete and submit a report to the MCNZ advising of its assessment.
If the IMG is considered to be comparable or substantially comparable to a New Zealand Fellow of RACMA, he or she will be recommended for an interview with the College.
The College interview will follow a similar format to the process for panel Interview for accelerated pathway to fellowship with the College.
Following the interview, RACMA will advise the Medical Council of New Zealand as to whether they consider the IMG’s training, qualifications and experience are, comparable, partially comparable
or not comparable
to that of a New Zealand trained doctor registered within the same vocational scope.
6. Possible Outcomes
As there is no international equivalent to the RACMA training program, other than that delivered by the Hong Kong College of Community Medicine, no international medical graduate can be assessed from their qualifications or experience alone as being ”equivalent to”
to that of a New Zealand trained doctor registered within the same vocational scope as defined in the MCNZ Guidelines.
The competence of International medical graduates in Medical Administration can only be assessed through an interview and formal assessment of experience, training and competencies.
7. Registration via the provisional vocational scope supervision pathway
Table 1: Summary of possible outcomes following College assessment.
Recommendation that the Medical Council consider vocational registration in medical administration.
Invitation for the applicant to advance to Fellowship through the accelerated pathway
Recommendation that the medical council consider provisional registration in medical administration with 12 – 18 months supervised experience.
Invitation to apply for Candidacy with Advanced Standing.
Recommendation to the medical council that the applicant be granted general registration (if they posses appropriate medical qualifications)
Invitation to apply to the College for Candidacy.
To be eligible for registration via the provisional vocational scope supervision pathway RACMA must be convinced that the applicant has training, qualifications and experience equivalent to
that of a New Zealand trained doctor registered within the same vocational scope and is capable of practising at the required standard. However they lack suitable administrative experience in a comparable health service.
In order to qualify for registration within a vocational scope of practice the applicant being assessed via the provisional vocational scope (supervision) pathway is required to satisfactorily complete a minimum of 12 months of supervised practice.
8. Registration via the provisional vocational scope assessment pathway
If Council considers that the applicant’s training, qualifications and experience are as satisfactory as
a New Zealand trained doctor registered within the same vocational scope, then Council will approve the applicant eligible to apply for registration within a provisional vocational scope of practice (assessment).
The IMGs registered within a provisional vocational scope (assessment) pathway will need to work under supervised assessment for 12 to 18 months.
Such IMGs will be granted Advanced Standing with RACMA. They will have a training plan and be assigned a preceptor who will provide comprehensive supervision reports to RACMA and the Medical Council at three monthly intervals.
The applicant will be required to satisfactorily complete their training plan and pass the Fellowship examination within the 12 to 18 months of registration within a provisional vocational scope of practice to confirm his or her eligibility for registration within a vocational scope of practice.
If the IMG does not successfully pass the Fellowship examination, then the case will be reconsidered by the Medical Council.
9. International medical graduates without postgraduate management qualifications, training and experience.
If an IMG meets general registration requirements but does not have appropriate postgraduate management qualifications, training and experience, they can apply to be a Candidate with RACMA without Advanced Standing.
10. Commencing the Fellowship Training Program
Once applicants have met the requirements for registration and training in medical administration, to participate in the Fellowship Training Program they must:
11. Attaining Fellowship
secure either a substantive position of employment in health service management or
a government funded training program recognized by the College
The College will consider applications for advancement to Fellowship, based on the VEAB assessment and interview and the outcome of the decision by the Medical Council.
12. The appeals process
Applicants wishing to appeal a decision of the College Board or its committees should refer to the College Policy: Review of Decisions of Council and its Committees
which can be found on the website.
The costs of assessment by the Medical Council and the VEAB are met through fees raised by the Medical Council.
RACMA may also raise fees for:
14. Other references
Comparability/Advance Standing assessment fee
Candidacy application fee
College training fees
Fellowship application fee
Policy: Processing Applications for Candidacy
Policy: Advanced Standing in the Fellowship Training Program
Regulation: Accelerated Pathway to Fellowship
Regulation: Recognition of Advanced Standing
Form: Application for Candidacy
Form: Application for Advanced Standing
Form: Application for Accelerated Pathway to Fellowship
RACMA Competencies Matrix