Agents/Health Services

This page contains important information for recruitment agents/health services who are recruiting Specialist International Medical Graduates (SIMGs). The Specialist Pathway/Specialist Pathway and Area of Need is a pathway to RANZCP Fellowship and only suitable for SIMGs with the highest Specialist Psychiatry qualification in the country of qualification at the time of qualification and have attained registration to work as a Specialist Psychiatrist in that country and who wish to remain and work in Australia permanently.

Changes to the Specialist Pathway

Effective from 1 July 2014 

The Medical Board of Australia is making changes to the Specialist Pathway for International Medical Graduates recognised as specialists in their country of origin (SIMGs). The changes are aimed at streamlining the assessment process for SIMGs.

From 1 July 2014, SIMGs who wish to practice Psychiatry in Australia must apply directly to The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) for an assessment of their comparability to an Australian trained specialist in Psychiatry, rather than applying first through the Australian Medical Council (AMC).

The RANZCP’s SIMG assessment process evaluates the training, qualifications and experience of the SIMG for comparability with an Australian trained Psychiatrist.

There are two components associated with the Specialist Pathway for Psychiatrists:

  • Assessment for specialist recognition to enable individuals to be registered and practise as specialists;  and for some
  • For an Area of Need position to assess the suitability of a SIMG for a specific position, and which does not of itself, lead to recognition as a specialist in Australia.

Before a SIMG can apply for assessment by the RANZCP, an application must be submitted to the AMC for Primary Source Verification of their primary and specialist medical qualifications. The AMC verifies a SIMG’s medical qualifications through the ECFMG International Credentials Services (EICS).

You should refer to the AMC website for information on how to apply for Primary Source Verification.

Under the short-term Specialist Specified Training (SST), an internationally qualified specialist or international specialist in training can undertake short-term training in Australia without being required to complete the AMC examinations process or to have a full comparability assessment by the relevant specialist medical college. Please note that with short-term Specialist Specified Training status, a SIMG is not permitted to sit for RANZCP examinations and assessments or otherwise progress to RANZCP Fellowship.

An updated RANZCP Application Form for the Specialist Pathway will be available to download from the RANZCP website (https://www.ranzcp.org/Pre-Fellowship/Overseas-specialists/Forms-Documents-page.aspx) from late-April.

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

Specialist Pathway assessment/Specialist Pathway and Area of Need assessment

Currently, all new applications for this pathway also require an application to the Australian Medical Council (AMC). Please contact the AMC directly or go to their website under www.amc.org.au for more information.

Exceptions are applicants from New Zealand who do not intend to practice in Australia and applicants who hold unconditional medical registration in Australia. For more information regarding New Zealand applicants please click here.

RANZCP Assessment

The College assessment process takes between 10 - 11 weeks from the application closing date to the release of the final outcome letter. Each state has monthly closing dates as per the "State Assessment Panel Asssessment Dates" on the Forms & Documents page. Carefully read the New Applicant Handbook on the New Applicants page as it contains important information regarding the application process.

A flowchart of the assessment process can be found on the New Applicants page.


Applicants will be notified of their exact interview date and time within the allocated interview week (see the "State Assessment Panel Assessment Dates" document) in their preliminary outcome letter.

Please note that closing dates and interview dates cannot be changed and no special consideration will be given to individuals. Interview dates and times are allocated as per the assessor's availability and cannot be changed due to time difference etc. if the applicant is overseas at the time of interview.

Video-conference interviews are available in selected states for overseas applicants only. A video-conference interview can only be considered if found appropriate by the relevant State Assessment Panel. All costs on both sides will have to be covered by the applicant. The applicant is responsible for organising their own video-conference facilities and to contact the RANZCP well in advance regarding dial-in information. The RANZCP will organise test calls for applicants having video-conference interviews.

New Area of Need (AON) applications/Extensions for current Exemptions Candidates

Please refer to the Existing Exemption Candidates page for information regarding applications and extensions for AON. Flowcharts of the different application processes are available from the same page.

For application closing dates for new AON applications please refer to the "State Assessment Panel Asssessment Dates" on the Forms & Documents page.

For application closing dates for AON Extensions please refer to the Committee Assessment Dates on the Forms & Documents page.

Forms and Documents

Relevant forms and documents can be accessed and downloaded via the Forms and Documents page. This includes Application Forms, CV template, Equivalence Guidelines and State Assessment Panel assessment dates.  

Substantial Comparability Pathway

Phase I of the Substantial Comparability Pathway is now closed and no applications for this pathway are currently accepted. For the latest information please click here.   

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) 

The FAQ page contains the most common questions asked by new applicants. Please click here to browse through our FAQs.  

Changes and News

On our Changes & News page you can find the latest updates for Exemptions Candidates as well as our monthly Newsletter with important information and changes concerning Exemptions Candidates.