Competent Authority pathway

The Competent Authority pathway is for IMGs who are non-specialist or specialists (including general practitioners) and are seeking general registration with the Medical Board of Australia (the Board).

The Board has approved a number of international authorities as competent to assess, for medical registration, the applied medical knowledge and basic clinical skills of IMGs.

The approved competent authorities are:

  • General Medical Council (United Kingdom - for the PLAB examination or for graduates of GMC-accredited medical courses in the United Kingdom) 
  • Medical Council of Canada (LMCC) 
  • Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates of the United States (USMLE) 
  • Medical Council of New Zealand (NZREX) 
  • Medical Council of Ireland (graduates of medical courses in Ireland accredited by the Medical Council of Ireland).

IMGs who have a primary qualification in medicine and surgery awarded by a training institution recognised by both the Australian Medical Council and the World Directory of Medical Schools (WDOMS) and who have completed training or assessment with an approved competent authority may apply for provisional registration via the Competent Authority pathway.

Under section 53 of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as in force in each state and territory (the National Law), the Board can grant provisional or general registration on the basis of equivalency of qualifications or through the successful completion of an examination. The Board has determined that applicants who meet the requirements of the Competent Authority pathway may be eligible for provisional registration under the National Law.

Please note that IMGs who qualify for provisional/general registration via the Competent Authority pathway are NOT eligible to apply for limited registration.

Following satisfactory completion of 12 months of supervised practice (minimum of 47 weeks of full-time service), Competent Authority pathway registrants may be eligible to apply for general registration with the Board.

Eligibility

IMGs who meet the criteria in one of the competent authority categories may be eligible for provisional registration via the Competent Authority pathway.

To be eligible for one of the six categories, IMGs must have completed BOTH the prescribed assessment component (a medical course or exam) AND the experience component.
Medical courses must be accredited by the competent authority and undertaken and completed in the competent authority country or on the Board’s list of eligible offshore courses for categories B and F.

The experience component (all categories) must be approved by the competent authority and undertaken and completed in a competent authority country.

IMGs must have secured an offer of employment before applying to the Board for registration.

Notes:

  1. Eligibility for the competent authority pathway requires both a qualification (Category B and F) or assessment (Category A, C, D, E) component AND the prescribed post-examination or post-training experience. Applicants are not eligible for the competent authority pathway unless they have also completed the prescribed post-examination or post-training experience.
  2. Experience in another competent authority country can be substituted for the post-examination or post-training experience, for the purposes of meeting the criteria for eligibility for the Competent Authority pathway.
  3. The Board will accept an application based on completion of a medical program or assessment from one category and the experience component from another category. Where an applicant has completed the experience component from a different category, the experience component completed must be exactly as defined in that category1 and approved by the competent authority of the country in which it was completed.

    For example:

    • Completion of the LMCC (Category C) AND 12 months supervised training (internship equivalent) in the UK (Category A or B). In this case, the experience component is approved by the General Medical Council in the UK, not by the Medical Council of Canada.
    • Completion of the LMCC (Category C) 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.
  4. Australian clinical experience can be substituted for the post-examination or post training experience for the purposes of meeting the criteria for eligibility for the Competent Authority pathway.

This period of practice in Australia may also be accepted as meeting the requirements for the 12 month period of supervised practice which is required to gain general registration via the Competent Authority pathway.

Eligible offshore courses for Categories B and F

For the Competent Authority pathway categories B and F, the Medical Board will accept applicants who have successfully completed an accredited medical course undertaken in the competent authority country (United Kingdom or Ireland) or undertaken wholly or partially outside the competent authority country. To be eligible for the Competent Authority pathway, via a course conducted wholly or partially outside the competent authority country, the course must be on this list. This list will be reviewed regularly.

FAQ – Competent Authority pathway

There are FAQ on the Competent Authority pathway.

Additional information for applicants for Category A and B.

Primary source verification (PSV)

Before applying to the Board, applicants who are eligible to apply via the Competent Authority pathway must apply to the Australian Medical Council (AMC) for primary source verification (PSV) of their qualifications.

The AMC verify qualifications through the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) Electronic Portfolio of International Credentials (EPIC). 

Further information is available on the AMC website.

How to apply for the Competent Authority pathway

IMGs should apply directly to the Board for provisional registration, via the Competent Authority pathway. IMGs must provide evidence of meeting the criteria of one of the competent authority categories, together with their application. In addition, all IMGs are required to comply with the Board’s registration standards.

IMGs registered via the Competent Authority pathway will undertake a period of practice in either supervised hospital-based positions or supervised positions in general practice in Australia.

IMGs may be required to undertake a pre-employment structured clinical interview (PESCI), prior to having their application for provisional registration considered by the Board. Further information is available on the PESCI page.

All hospital-based and general practice positions, including supervision arrangements, must be approved by the Board, prior to the IMG starting in the proposed position. In addition, any changes during the registration period must be approved by the Board, prior to the change occurring. Further information about supervision is available on the Supervision page.

IMGs on the Competent Authority Pathway who are granted provisional registration may work in a position that has been determined as an area of need by the relevant state or territory health authority.

IMGs on the Competent Authority pathway who also have specialist qualifications may also apply to the relevant specialist medical college for specialist recognition assessment if they wish to gain specialist registration in Australia.

Competent Authority pathway

Secure an employment offer

Apply to the AMC for primary source verification

Apply to the MBA for provisional registration

Complete 12 months supervised practice

Apply to the MBA for general registration

Medical registration

IMGs on the Competent Authority pathway apply for provisional registration.

IMGs may be eligible to apply for general registration after completing 12 months (minimum of 47 weeks of full-time service) of satisfactory supervised practice in a hospital-based or general practice position in Australia.

Competent Authority pathway registrants must provide evidence of successful completion of 12 months (FTE) supervised practice in Australia. This must be in the form of specific work performance reports approved by the Medical Board of Australia, completed by your Board-approved supervisors, and a letter of recommendation for general registration from the Director of Training, Director of Medical Services or other person authorised to sign off on the satisfactory completion of supervised practice.

Transition from provisional to general registration for international medical graduates on the Competent Authority pathway

IMGs on the Competent Authority pathway who are approaching the completion of their 12 months of supervised practice (47 weeks of full-time service) can apply for general registration early.

If an IMG holds provisional registration, they can apply for general registration online. A paper form (Application for general registration for medical practitioners currently holding provisional registration - APGR-30) is available on the forms page

Further information

Further information to help applicants seeking to apply for provisional registration via the Competent Authority pathway:


1 The experience component in Category D (USA) is two years.
 
 
Page reviewed 23/12/2019