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Extensions, breaks and reviews of comparability status

This page contains information for existing SIMG candidates who wish to apply for an extension or a break of comparability status, or a review of their comparability assessment from Partial to Substantial.

SIMG candidates are also advised to read the Maintenance of comparability status policy which is found on the Forms and Documents College web page.

Extension of comparability status

The comparability status (previously known as exemptions status) of a SIMG candidate refers to the amount of time that a candidate has on the specialist pathway to complete the requirements stated in their specialist assessment outcome letter.

All candidates must maintain current comparability status at all times in order to continue their progression towards Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) Fellowship. If a candidate’s comparability status is due to expire before they achieve RANZCP Fellowship then they may apply for a comparability status extension. The CSIMGE will consider extensions on a case-by-case basis for yearly extensions, with a maximum of two (2) extensions given, making the total comparability status time available to be four (4) years.

A longer placement time, and therefore an extension of comparability status, will be required under the following circumstances:

  • If a candidate cannot satisfactorily complete the requirements and assessments in the placement time
  • If a candidate is delayed in starting their job beyond the expected12 month time frame.
  • If a candidate is required to do a remediation period which will extend the total time of their placement
  • If a Partial Comparability Placement candidate is reassessed and moves to the Substantial Comparability Placement,
  • If a candidate is approved to do the placement part-time.

All applications for extensions of comparability status should be submitted directly to the RANZCP by mail. They will be considered by the Committee for Specialist International Medical Graduate Education (CSIMGE), who meet monthly. 

Area of Need (AoN) extensions

SIMG candidates working in Area of Need (AoN) positions must maintain their AoN approval throughout their placement. 

SIMG candidates who require an extension to their AoN support must apply directly to the RANZCP for approval.

All applications for extensions of Area of Need positions should be submitted directly to the RANZCP by mail. They will be considered by the CSIMGE, who meet monthly.  

Review of comparability assessment (Partial to Substantial)

Existing SIMG candidates can apply for a review of comparability status, and therefore their pathway requirements from partial to substantial comparability (as stated in their comparability outcome letter), if they can supply additional information that they believe may improve their overall comparability score.

Candidates who wish to apply for a review must complete the Specialist assessment application form [MS word; 1.2 MB] in full and should also refer to the Specialist pathway handbook [PDF; 206 KB] for guidance.

Candidates cannot apply for a review of their comparability status within one year of having received their specialist assessment outcome or of their last review. Candidates who are not deemed substantially comparable after a review of their comparability status will continue with the Partial Comparability Placement requirements.

All applications for review of comparability status should be submitted directly to the RANZCP by mail. They will be considered by the Committee for Specialist International Medical Graduate Education, who meet monthly.

Break in comparability status

Under exceptional circumstances, SIMG candidates may apply for a 12-month (maximum) break in their comparability status. This condition is covered under the Maintenance of comparability status [PDF; 142 KB] policy and is for SIMG candidates who have encountered exceptional circumstances, such as personal or family illnesses, which affect their ability to progress towards RANZCP Fellowship.

It is important to apply for a break at the earliest time when the circumstance becomes evident in order for the CSIMGE to fairly consider the situation, rather than to submit retrospectively.