National training survey

The Medical Board of Australia has previously announced that it will run a National Training Survey in order to better understand the quality of medical education in Australia.

What is the National Training Survey about?

The National Training Survey will gather feedback from doctors in training in Australia (and in time their supervisors) to:

  • better understand the quality of medical training in Australia
  • identify how best to improve medical training in Australia, and
  • recognise and deal with potential issues in medical training that could impact on patient safety, including environment and culture, unacceptable behaviours and poor supervision.

Who will be able to do the survey?

We want all doctors in training in Australia to do the survey. This includes interns, hospital medical officers, resident medical officer, non-accredited trainees, postgraduate trainees, principal house officers, registrars and specialist trainees. It will include career medical officers who intend to undertake further postgraduate training in medicine.

When will the survey be run?

We are planning to run the survey for doctors in training in 2019 and annually thereafter. We will run a survey for supervisors in future years.

How will the Board know who to send the survey to?

The Board and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency do not have information on who is a doctor in training. We will be asking medical practitioners at renewal of general registration whether they are a doctor in training. We are asking this question in 2018 in preparation for the delivery of the first National Training Survey in 2019. This will provide the Board with information on the number of doctors in medical training in Australia.

Interns and other medical practitioners with provisional or limited registration will be automatically included.

For the first National Training Survey, medical practitioners who have stated they are a doctor in a training will be sent a survey in 2019.

Who will administer the survey?

The Board and AHPRA will be contracting the administration of the survey to an external company. The external company will analyse the information and will develop reports.

The Board and AHPRA will not receive any information that identifies individuals.

Survey questions

We will be developing these with our expert advisors and with other stakeholders. We expect to be asking for more advice on these questions later in 2018 and early in 2019.

Project governance

The Board is working with experts in the medical education and training sector in Australia on this important project. We have set up two groups to guide this work:

  • Steering Committee to manage the hands on work to develop and deliver the survey, and
  • An Advisory Group to make sure the survey is strengthened by input from doctors in training and other experts including specialist colleges, employers and jurisdictions, the Australian Medical Council and the AMA.

Guiding principles

We’ve settled on these guiding principles for the National Training Survey:

  1. Quality improvement: The NTS is a quality improvement tool, to strengthen medical training in Australia.
  2. Safe and confidential: Medical trainees and supervisors can safely and confidentially participate in the NTS. Participants’ data will be de-identified in any reporting of results, and only de-identified data will be provided to the Board and AHPRA.
  3. Focused on training: The core focus of the NTS is on post-graduate medical training.
  4. Reflection and feedback: The NTS encourages participants to reflect on their medical training and teaching and provide feedback safely to support continuous improvement. Reflective practice is a cornerstone of good medical practice and of the Professional Performance Framework.
  5. Access: The NTS will be relevant to medical training and not onerous to complete. It will be accessible online and easy to use, to encourage participation.
  6. Reporting and using results: The results of the NTS will be published in the interests of transparency. Specialty and jurisdiction specific reports from NTS data will be generated as far as possible, while assuring participant confidentiality. Stakeholders will apply survey results to improve medical training.
  7. Participation: The annual NTS will evolve, initially seeking feedback from doctors in training and in time their supervisors. It aims to reduce the need for other surveys about the same issues.

We will keep referring to these principles to keep us on track as we develop the survey.

Get involved

If you have any specific questions, feedback or are interested in being part of the development of the National Training Survey then please email us at and keep reading about what we’re doing at this link.

Or alternatively, you can get in contact with your stakeholder representative from the Advisory Group (please see membership list in the Resource section below)


Document PDF Accessible format
National Training Survey Steering Committee terms of reference  PDF 
(228 KB) 
Word version 
(76.8 KB,DOCX)
National Training Survey Advisory Group terms of reference PDF 
(244 KB)
Word version 
(76.9 KB,DOCX)
National Training Survey Advisory Group membership PDF 
(110 KB)
Word version 
(77.0 KB,DOCX)

Progress updates

Document PDF Accessible format
National Training progress update - December 2018 PDF
(84.4 KB)
Word version
(51.9 KB,DOCX)
National Training progress update - October 2018  PDF
(268 KB)
Word version
(54.6 KB,DOCX)
National Training progress update - August 2018 PDF 
(265 KB) 
Word version 
(61.9 KB,DOCX)
Page reviewed 15/03/2019