Competent Authority Pathway

Changes to the competent authority pathway for International Medical Graduates

(Effective from 1 July 2014)

The Medical Board of Australia (the Board) is making changes to the competent authority pathway for international medical graduates (IMGs). The changes are aimed at streamlining the assessment process for IMGs.

Under the changes, instead of submitting an application form to the Australian Medical Council (AMC) for an Advanced Standing Certificate, the IMG will apply directly to the Board for provisional registration. An application for an Advanced Standing Certificate will no longer be necessary.

The AMC will continue to undertake primary source verification of an IMG’s qualifications through the ECFMG International Credentials Services (EICS). Applicants applying via the competent authority pathway will be required to lodge an application for primary source verification with the AMC, prior to submitting their application for provisional registration with the Board.

The changes commence on 1 July 2014.

IMGs who currently hold limited registration via the competent authority pathway will not be affected by the changes.

Any new applications for an Advanced Standing Certificate sent to the AMC after 1 July 2014 will be returned to the applicant to re-submit directly to the Board using the Board’s application form.

Further information will be available on this website in the coming months.

International Medical Graduates (IMGs) on the Competent Authority Pathway (CAP) applying for supervised hospital based or general practice positions who have completed training or assessment through the Australian Medical Council (AMC) designated and approved Competent Authorities are eligible to apply to the AMC for ‘advanced standing’ toward the AMC certificate.

If the AMC grants advanced standing status to the individual IMG, the IMG is not required to sit the AMC Multiple Choice Questionnaire or the AMC Clinical examinations, but is required to undertake a period of workplace based performance assessment with an AMC accredited provider while working under supervision.

Eligibility

Practitioners who meet the conditions in one of the categories A, B, C, D, E, or F in Table 1 may be eligible for the Competent Authority Pathway.

Table 1

Category Requirements for eligibility for the CAP
Category A UNITED KINGDOM General Medical Council (GMC)

Successful completion of the Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) test since 1975, AND THEN:

Successful completion of the Foundation Year 1 or 12 months supervised training (Internship equivalent) approved by the General Medical Council in the United Kingdom or another AMC designated Competent Authority country.

Category B UNITED KINGDOM General Medical Council (GMC)
Graduate of a medical course conducted by a medical school in the United Kingdom accredited by the General Medical Council, AND HAVE THEN:

Successfully completed the Foundation Year 1 or 12 months supervised training (Internship equivalent) approved by the GMC in the United Kingdom or another AMC designated Competent Authority country.

Category C CANADA Medical Council of Canada
Successful completion of the licentiate examinations of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC) since 1992
Category D UNITED STATES Education Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates
Successful completion of the United States Medical Licensing Examination Step 1, Step 2 and Step 3 since 1992

AND

Successful completion of a minimum of two years of graduate medical education within a residency program accredited by the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education.

Category E NEW ZEALAND Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ)
Successful completion of the New Zealand Registration Examination

AND

Successful completion of the required rotating internship (four runs accredited by the MCNZ).

Category F IRELAND Medical Council of Ireland

 

 

Graduate of a Medical School in Ireland accredited by the Medical Council of Ireland

AND

Successful completion of an internship in Ireland (certificate of experience) or in another Competent Authority country approved by the Medical Council of Ireland

More information about Competent Authority pathway eligibility can be found on the AMC’s website at www.amc.org.au .

Assessment requirement for entitlement to apply for limited registration

Applicants who are eligible for this pathway must provide the Board with a Certificate of Advanced Standing issued by the Australian Medical Council (AMC), together with their application.

More information about how to apply for an Advanced Standing Certificate can be found on the AMC’s website.

Typical registration types

Most medical practitioners in the competent authority pathway apply for:

  1. Limited registration postgraduate training or supervised practice or
  2. Limited registration for area of need.

Applicants for limited registration are required to comply with the Board’s registration standards.

Typically, IMGs in the Competent Authority pathway hold either supervised hospital based positions or supervised positions in general practice. Eligibility for general registration through the Competent Authority pathway IMGs who have an Advanced Standing Certificate may be eligible to progress to general registration after they have completed 12 months of satisfactory supervised practice in a hospital-based or general practice position. IMGs are required to provide evidence of satisfactory completion of a workplace-based performance assessment issued by an accredited AMC provider. See table 2 or 3 below. Authorities accredited by the AMC to sign off workplace-based performance assessments of IMGs Hospital based positions The following authorities are accredited by the AMC to sign-off the workplace-based performance assessment of IMGs undertaking the CAP for hospital based positions. 

Table 2

State or territory Accredited Authority
Australian Capital Territory AHPRA Australian Capital Territory Office
New South Wales NSW Health / AHPRA New South Wales Office
Northern Territory AHPRA Northern Territory Office
Queensland AHPRA Queensland Office
South Australia AHPRA South Australian Office
Tasmania AHPRA Tasmanian Office
Victoria Postgraduate Medical Council of Victoria / AHPRA Victorian Office
Western Australia WA Health / AHPRA Western Australian Office

General practice positions The following authorities are accredited by the AMC to sign-off the workplace-based performance assessment of IMGs undertaking the CAP for general practice based positions.  

Table 3

State or territory Accredited Authority
National Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM)
Under development – pilots approved Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP)

Steps for the Competent Authority Pathway – supervised hospital based positions

Steps for the Competent Authority Pathway in hospital-based practice
Step Who Task
1 Candidate Candidate to check eligibility criteria – See Table 1
2 Candidate Candidate to apply to the Australian Medical Council (online or on the application form specified) for an Advanced Standing Certificate
3 AMC AMC determines if the candidate meets the eligibility criteria and if eligible issues the Advanced Standing Certificate for the candidate
4 Candidate Following receipt of the Advanced Standing Certificate from the AMC the candidate applies for limited registration with the relevant state/territory office of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) to work in a hospital-based position.

The candidate is required to meet the registration requirements associated with their limited registration.  Depending on the type of position, the candidate may apply for limited registration for postgraduate training or supervised practice or limited registration for area of need. Requirements of registration are defined in the relevant registration standard (www.medicalboard.gov.au) and will include supervision and work reports to the Medical Board of Australia

5 Candidate If the candidate is granted limited registration by a state/territory office of the AHPRA  and has the AMC Advanced Standing Certificate the candidate can apply to undertake work-based assessment under the Competent Authority Pathway with an accredited provider – See Table 2.

 

6 Candidate If the candidate is successful in their application to undertake the Competent Authority Pathway in a hospital-based position with an accredited provider then they must successfully complete the relevant 12-month workplace-based performance assessment
7 Candidate to approach Accredited authority If the candidate successfully completes the 12-month workplace based performance assessment required by the Competent Authority Pathway accredited provider, the accredited authority will forward the AMC a letter of recommendation for the AMC Certificate.

  

If the accredited authority is not an AHPRA office, it should send a copy of the letter of recommendation to the relevant state/territory office of the AHPRA for its records.

8 Candidate to approach AMC If all primary source verification is complete, including EICS Verification, the AMC issues the AMC Certificate and forwards the candidate a letter of advice with notice for collection of certificate and advises the relevant state/territory office of the AHPRA.

Fees for the assessment process are outlined on the AMC website at: http://www.amc.org.au/index.php/img/fees

9 Candidate The candidate can then apply to the Medical Board of Australia (through the relevant state/territory AHPRA) for general registration.

Steps for the Competent Authority Pathway – supervised general practice positions

Steps for the Competent Authority Pathway in General Practice
Step Who Task
1 Candidate Candidate to check eligibility criteria – See Table 1
2 Candidate Candidate to apply to the Australian Medical Council (online or on the application form specified) for an Advanced Standing Certificate
3 AMC AMC determines if the candidate meets the eligibility criteria and if eligible issues the Advanced Standing Certificate for the candidate
4 Candidate Following receipt of the Advanced Standing Certificate from the AMC the candidate applies for limited registration with the relevant state/territory office of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).  It would be usual for the candidate to apply for limited registration for area of need.

The candidate is required to meet the registration requirements associated with their limited registration, as defined in the relevant registration standard.  Requirements may include successful completion of a Pre-employment Structured Clinical interview, supervision and work reports to the Medical Board of Australia

5 Candidate If the candidate is granted limited registration by a state/territory office of the AHPRA and has the AMC Advanced Standing Certificate the candidate can apply to undertake work-based assessment under the Competent Authority Pathway with an accredited provider – See Table 3

 

6 Candidate If the candidate is successful in their application to undertake the Competent Authority Pathway in General Practice with an accredited provider then they must successfully complete the relevant 12-month workplace-based performance assessment
7 Candidate to approach Accredited authority If the candidate successfully completes the 12-month workplace-based performance assessment required by the Competent Authority Pathway accredited provider, the accredited authority will forward the AMC a letter of recommendation for the AMC Certificate.

 

If the accredited authority is not an AHPRA office , it should send a copy of the letter of recommendation to the relevant state/territory office of the AHPRA for its records.

8 Candidate to approach AMC If all primary source verification is complete, including EICS Verification, the AMC issues the AMC Certificate and forwards the candidate a letter of advice with notice for collection of certificate and advises the relevant state/territory office of the AHPRA.

Fees for the assessment process are outlined on the AMC website at: http://www.amc.org.au/index.php/img/fees

9 Candidate The candidate can then apply to the Medical Board of Australia (through the relevant state/territory AHPRA) for general registration.

Supervision and reporting requirements for IMGs in the Competent Authority pathway

Supervision and reporting requirements will be defined by the Board when granting registration to individual practitioners. These requirements will be tailored to the skills and experience of individual practitioners and designed to ensure all registrants are able to provide safe care to the Australian community. The Guidelines – Supervised practice for limited registration can be found here.