FAQ: Supervision of International Medical Graduates (IMGs)

All international medical graduates (IMGs) who are granted limited registration or provisional registration must be supervised. The Board’s revised Guidelines - Supervised practice for international medical graduates come into effect on 4 January 2016. More information is available on the Supervision page.

The Guidelines apply to IMGs with limited registration or provisional registration and their supervisors.

The Board expects all IMGs and their supervisors to follow the revised Guidelines from 4 January 2016.

However, recognising that there are IMGs (who were registered before 4 January 2016) now in positions with approved supervision arrangements, the Board has approved transitional arrangements for these IMGs and their supervisors.

The Guidelines took effect on 4 January 2016. The Board expects all IMGs and their supervisors to follow the revised Guidelines from 4 January 2016.

Transitional arrangements apply for IMGs who were registered before 4 January 2016 and their supervisors.

The Guidelines have been reformatted and reworded to make them clearer.

The key changes to supervision arrangements for IMGs are:

  • changes to the requirements for supervisors, including a new online education and assessment module for supervisors 
  • changes to the number of IMGs permitted per supervisor 
  • clearer descriptions of the four levels of supervision 
  • revised supervision arrangements for IMGs working after hours, on call or providing home visits and locum services 
  • a new process for appointing temporary supervisors, and
  • a new audit provision - IMGs and their supervisors may be audited to check compliance with the Board’s supervision requirements.

Recognising that there are IMGs (who were registered before 4 January 2016) now in positions with approved supervision arrangements, the Board has approved transitional arrangements for these IMGs and their supervisors.

The transitional arrangements allow a current supervisor to continue supervising and they allow an IMG to continue in their current approved position with existing supervision arrangements for a limited period of time. When the transitional period ends or if the IMG wishes to change their position or supervision arrangements, the IMG must ensure their position, their supervisor and their supervision arrangements meet all the requirements in the revised Guidelines.

See the specific arrangements in the ‘FAQs for IMGs’.

Transitional arrangements allow a current supervisor to continue to supervise their current IMGs until each IMG applies to renew their registration or makes a new application for registration or requests a change in circumstance.

When the IMG applies to renew their registration or makes a new application for registration or requests a change in circumstance, the IMG must ensure that the supervisor meets the new requirements for supervisors.

Under the new requirements, supervisors:

  • should have specialist registration,
  • must be appropriately qualified, preferably in the same field of medicine as the position proposed for the IMG, and 
  • should have a minimum of three years full time equivalent practice with general and/or specialist registration in Australia prior to being appointed as a supervisor

If, at the time of the IMG’s renewal, the supervisor cannot meet the requirements for supervisors, they must provide a proposal to the Board as to why they are suitable to be a supervisor and how effective supervision will be provided (as permitted in the Guidelines).

A supervisor who concurrently consults with their own patients while supervising IMGs and who is currently approved to supervise more than one IMG on level one is permitted to continue to supervise all their current IMGs, but will not be approved as supervisor for any additional IMGs until the number of IMGs and their levels comply with the Guidelines (i.e. they have only one IMG on level one).

A supervisor who currently supervises more than four IMGs who is proposing to supervise additional IMGs after 4 January 2016, must provide a proposal to the Board about how they will provide supervision to each registrant (as permitted in the Guidelines).

Yes, the application forms for limited and provisional registration have been updated. They are available on the IMG supervision page and the forms page.

 

For International Medical Graduates (IMGs)

The Guidelines commenced on 4 January 2016 and apply to all IMGs with limited registration or provisional registration. The Board expects you and your supervisor to follow the revised Guidelines from 4 January 2016.

If you were registered before 4 January 2016, transitional arrangements allow you to continue in your current position with existing supervision arrangements for a limited period of time.

When the transitional period ends or if you wish to change your approved supervision arrangements, you must ensure your position, your supervision arrangements and your supervisor meets the requirements in the revised Guidelines.

See the specific arrangements in the FAQs below.

If you are submitting an application for limited or provisional registration for the first time from the 4 January 2016 you must ensure that your position, your supervision arrangements and your supervisor meet the requirements in the revised Guidelines.

If you are currently practising under Board approved supervision arrangements you are permitted to continue in your current position under your current supervision arrangements until you have exhausted your renewals of limited or provisional registration.

If, at the time of your renewal, your supervisor cannot meet the requirements for supervisors (specialist registration, qualified in same field of medicine, three years experience with general and/or specialist registration), your supervisor must provide a proposal to the Board as to why they are suitable to be a supervisor and how effective supervision will be provided.

When you make a new application after you have exhausted your renewals, you must ensure that your position, your supervision arrangements and your supervisor meet the requirements in the revised Guidelines. If your supervisor cannot meet the requirements they may make a proposal to the Board as why they are suitable to be a supervisor and how effective supervision will be provided.

Exception for current IMGs who exhaust their renewals of limited or provisional registration before 4 January 2018

There is an exception if you exhaust your renewals of registration in the first two years of the revised Guidelines. In this case you may make a new application for registration to continue in your current position under your current supervision arrangements.

If, at the time of this new application, your supervisor cannot meet the requirements for supervisors, they must provide a proposal to the Board as to why they are suitable to be a supervisor and how effective supervision will be provided (as permitted in the revised Guidelines).

When you next renew registration after 4 January 2018 you must ensure that your position, your supervision arrangements and your supervisor meet the requirements in the revised Guidelines.

If your supervisor cannot meet the requirements they may make a proposal to the Board as to why they are suitable to be a supervisor and how effective supervision will be provided.

If you are currently practising under Board approved supervision arrangements and you exhaust your renewals in the first two years of the revised Guidelines you are permitted to make a new application for limited or provisional registration at any time up to 4 January 2018, to continue in your current position, under your current supervision arrangements.

If, at the time you are making the new application for registration, your supervisor cannot meet the requirements for supervisors (specialist registration, qualified in same field of medicine, three years experience with general and/or specialist registration), they must provide a proposal to the Board as to why they are suitable to be a supervisor and how effective supervision will be provided.

When you next renew registration after 4 January 2018 you must ensure that your position, your supervision arrangements and your supervisor meet the requirements in the revised Guidelines.

If your supervisor cannot meet the requirements they may make a proposal to the Board as why they are suitable to be a supervisor and how effective supervision will be provided.

If you are currently practising under Board approved supervision arrangements and you wish to change your employment or position, practise, supervisor and/or supervision arrangements at any time after 4 January 2016, you must ensure that your position, your supervision arrangements and your supervisor meet the requirements in the revised Guidelines.

For example, if you are moving to a new position in a new organisation.

Note there are restrictions on types of positions. The Board will not approve a new application for limited or provisional registration if it is for a new position that the revised Guidelines do not allow.

For example, if you require Level 2 supervision the Board will not approve your application to work in a locum position after the revised Guidelines come into effect, even if your current approved position is a locum position, as these positions are no longer permitted for IMGs on level 2.

If you are requesting a change to your supervision arrangements after 4 January 2016, you must ensure that your new supervision arrangements, your position and your supervisor meet the requirements in the revised Guidelines. Board approval is required.

If you are requesting a change to your supervision arrangements after 4 January 2016, you must ensure that your new supervision arrangements, your position and your supervisor meet the requirements in the revised Guidelines. Board approval is required.

If you are currently practising under Board approved supervision arrangements, you may make minor changes to your circumstances and continue under your current supervision arrangements. For example, removing sites of practice or making a change to your position title. A request for change in circumstances must be approved by the Board (using form ACCL-30).

If you are unsure whether your change in circumstances is minor or requires a new application, please contact your local AHPRA office on 1300 419 495 or submit an online enquiry.

You must ensure that your new proposed supervisor meets the requirements for supervisors outlined in the Guidelines. Board approval is required.

If your supervisor cannot meet the requirements they may make a proposal to the Board as to why they are suitable to be a supervisor and how effective supervision will be provided.

You must ensure that your new position, your supervision arrangements and your supervisor meet the requirements in the revised Guidelines. Board approval is required.

Yes. They can continue to be your supervisor until you next renew or make a new application for registration. If at your next renewal or new application for registration, you cannot find a supervisor that meets the requirements, your current supervisor must provide a proposal to the Board as to why they are suitable to be a supervisor and how effective supervision will be provided. The Board will consider the proposal and will determine if your supervisor can continue to supervise you.

Yes. If you are currently working in a general practice that is not accredited to the RACGP Standards for General Practices (4th edition) you can continue to work in that practice. The supervisor must ensure that the general practice becomes accredited or must provide a proposal to the Board, to satisfy the Board that they have structures in place to support safe practice, within 12 months of the guideline effective date (i.e. by 4 January 2017).

 

For supervisors

Transitional arrangements allow current supervisors to continue to supervise their current IMGs.

If you are currently approved as a supervisor of an IMG you can continue to supervise your IMG until your IMG applies to renew their registration or makes a new application for registration. At this time you must meet the new requirements for supervisors. Under the new requirements, supervisors:

  • should have specialist registration, 
  • must be appropriately qualified, preferably in the same field of medicine as the position proposed for the IMG, and 
  • should have a minimum of three years full time equivalent practice with general and/or specialist registration in Australia prior to being appointed as a supervisor

If, at the time of the IMG’s renewal or new application, you cannot meet the requirements for supervisors, you must provide a proposal to the Board as to why you are suitable to be a supervisor and how effective supervision will be provided (as permitted in the Guidelines).

If you concurrently consult with your own patients while supervising IMGs and you are currently approved to supervise more than one IMG on Level 1 you are permitted to continue to supervise all your current IMGs, but you will not be approved as a supervisor for any additional IMGs until the number of IMGs and their levels comply with the guidelines (i.e. you have only one IMG on Level 1).

If you currently supervise more than four IMGs and are proposing to supervise additional IMGs after 4 January 2016, you must provide a proposal to the Board about how you will provide supervision to each registrant (as permitted in the Guidelines).

All supervisors who are proposing to be a supervisor for the first time from 4 January 2016 must ensure that they meet the requirements for supervisors outlined in the revised Guidelines.

Maybe. Supervisors should have specialist registration. The Guidelines allow a proposed supervisor to provide a proposal to the Board as to why you are suitable to be a supervisor and how effective supervision will be provided. The Board will consider each proposal on a case by case basis.

Maybe. Supervisors must be appropriately qualified, preferably in the same field of medicine as the position proposed for the IMG. The Guidelines allow a proposed supervisor to provide a proposal to the Board as to why you are suitable to be a supervisor and how effective supervision will be provided. The Board will consider each proposal on a case by case basis.

Maybe. Supervisors should have a minimum of three years full time equivalent practice with general and/or specialist registration in Australia prior to being appointed as a supervisor.

The Guidelines allow a proposed supervisor to provide a proposal to the Board as to why you are suitable to be a supervisor and how effective supervision will be provided. The Board will consider each proposal on a case by case basis.

Supervisors are not normally permitted to supervise more than four IMGs:

  • A supervisor who concurrently consults with (their own) patients while supervising IMGs may supervise up to one IMG on level 1 supervision and up to three IMGs on other levels (i.e. levels 2, 3, 4 supervision), up to a maximum of four IMGs. 
  • A supervisor who does not consult with (their own) patients while supervising IMGs may supervise up to a maximum of four IMGs (including more than one IMG on level 1 supervision).

If you are proposing to supervise more than four IMGs you must provide a proposal to the Board about how you will provide supervision to each registrant. The Board will consider each proposal on a case by case basis.

Yes, you may continue to supervise all the IMGs already approved. If you are proposing to supervise additional IMGs after 4 January 2016, you must provide a proposal to the Board about how you will provide supervision to each registrant (as permitted in the Guidelines).

Yes, you may continue to supervise all your current IMGs, but you will not be approved as supervisor for any additional IMGs until the number of IMGs and their levels comply with the revised Guidelines (i.e. you have only one IMG on Level 1).

Yes, it is preferred that IMGs work in practices that are accredited to the RACGP Standards for General Practices (4th edition), however, IMGs can continue to work in a general practice that is not accredited. You have two options, you must:

  • ensure that the general practice becomes accredited by 4 January 2017, or 
  • provide a proposal to the Board, to satisfy the Board that you have structures in place to support safe practice, within 12 months of the Guideline effective date (i.e. by 4 January 2017).
 

For supervisors - supervisor's module

The purpose of the module is to ensure that supervisors understand their role and responsibilities as outlined in the revised Guidelines.

You have one month to complete the module from when you are sent the module login details.

Yes, you must still complete the module. The purpose of the module is to ensure that supervisors understand their role and responsibilities as outlined in the revised Guidelines.

You will be emailed the login details for the module. You can access the module at any time via the online link.

 
 
 
Page reviewed 19/09/2016