International medical graduates (IMGs) applying for limited registration or provisional registration may be required to undergo a pre-employment structured clinical interview (PESCI). The information obtained from the PESCI is considered by the Board when it decides whether to grant registration.
A PESCI is an objective assessment of your knowledge, skills, clinical experience and attributes to determine whether you are suitable to practise in a specific position. The PESCI consists of a structured clinical interview using scenarios.
Who needs a PESCI?
The Board has decided that IMGs who are applying for limited or provisional registration to work in general practice are required to have a PESCI. IMGs in the specialist pathway do not require a PESCI as they are assessed by the relevant specialist medical college.
You may be required to have a PESCI if you are applying to work in a non-specialist hospital position that is high risk and/or not well supported. The Board will advise you if a PESCI is required.
When should you arrange a PESCI?
You should only arrange a PESCI before applying for registration, if you can meet all the requirements in the Board’s registration standards for your type of registration. There is an exception to this advice for applicants applying for limited registration for area of need to work in general practice.
Limited registration for area of need
IMGs applying for limited registration for area of need to work in general practice, must have at least three years full-time equivalent (FTE) experience working in general practice or primary care.
The Board recommends that you apply for registration before arranging a PESCI so that it can assess your experience in general practice or primary care. Other than a PESCI outcome, the remainder of your application for registration must be complete.
If you do not meet the requirement for three years (full-time equivalent) experience in general practice or primary care, you will not be eligible for registration to work in general practice and will not require a PESCI for this type of position. If you do meet this requirement you will be required to arrange for a PESCI before your application for registration can be processed.
If you have had your experience formally assessed by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) or by the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) for another reason (for example as part of an assessment for eligibility for the specialist pathway or the RACGP’s General Practice Experience (GPE) pathway), you will not require further assessment of your experience by the Board. However, you must provide with your application for registration evidence from the RACGP or ACRRM that confirms you have three years (full-time equivalent) experience working in general practice or primary care.
If you don’t have three (FTE) years experience in general practice or primary care, you have the option to apply for registration to work in a non-specialist hospital position. You may be required to have a PESCI if you are applying to work in a non-specialist hospital position that is high risk and/or not well supported. The Board will advise you if a PESCI is required.
For more information see:
The PESCI is conducted by organisations accredited by the Australian Medical Council (the AMC).
At the PESCI, a panel of interviewers assess your training, knowledge, clinical experience and attributes against the requirements of the specific position for which you are seeking registration. The PESCI will take into consideration the supports, orientation and level of supervision that can be provided.
The PESCI uses a set of structured questions and scenarios in an interview setting which are tailored to a specific position. The report of the PESCI cannot be transferred to other positions.
The interview panel consists of a minimum of three interviewers which include at least two registered medical practitioners. One member of the panel may be a lay person, other health practitioner or registered medical practitioner. The PESCI panel members will be familiar with the clinical and professional demands of the type of position for which registration is being sought.
More information on what a PESCI involves, the role and responsibilities of providers and the criteria for the approval of PESCI providers is available in the following guidelines.
Recommendations of the PESCI Panel
The PESCI provider will provide the results of the PESCI to you and to the Board. The PESCI provider will give advice to the Board about whether you are considered to be suitable for the position. If you are considered to be suitable to practise in the position, the PESCI provider will also provide advice or recommendations about the level of supervision that you should have and will define any additional education, training or upskilling that should be done.
While the Board is guided by the recommendations of a PESCI panel, the PESCI panel report is one piece of the information that the Board takes into account when deciding whether to grant you registration. Applicants for registration are required to meet a range of requirements under the National Law including meeting registration standards for recency of practice, criminal history, professional indemnity insurance and English language skills.
If you are granted registration, the Board may require you to have closer supervision than what was recommended by the PESCI panel. There is a range of reasons for this. For example, you may not have recent practice in the field of practice that you will be working in or you may not have worked in the Australian healthcare system.
PESCI providers report the results of a PESCI using uniform templates approved by the Board (effective from 1 March 2015).
Unsuccessful PESCI result
The recommendations of the PESCI panel are specific to the position. If you are deemed not suitable for one position you may be suitable for another position where the support and supervision available is more appropriate for your level of training, knowledge and experience.
Another PESCI may be required if you apply for registration to practise in another position.
AMC accredited PESCI providers
The AMC accredited PESCI providers are:
For more information contact your local AHPRA office to find out about PESCIs in your state or territory and whether you will be required to undertake a PESCI.