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New Applicants (Specialist Pathway)

Specialist Pathway Eligibility

The Specialist Pathway is a pathway to College Fellowship only suitable for Specialist International Medical Graduate (SIMG) Psychiatrists who qualify as Specialist Psychiatrists by having obtained the highest Specialist Psychiatrist qualification in the country of qualification at the time of qualification, and have attained registration as a Specialist Psychiatrist in that country, and who wish to remain and work in Australia permanently.

It is important to note that the MRCPsych qualification alone (without a CCT/CCST) from the United Kingdom is not a recognised Specialist Psychiatrist qualification. Applicants holding a MRCPsych only are required to apply for Fellowship of the RANZCP via the Training Pathway. Please contact the Training department via training@ranzcp.org.

The MRCPsych with the CESR qualification will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

From 1 September 2014 the Committee for Specialist International Medical Graduate Education (CSIMGE) requires all new applicants to the RANZCP Specialist Pathway to have a confirmed job offer in Australia or New Zealand, with proof of acceptance, upon application.

Please familiarise yourself with the Specialist Pathway Handbook [PDF; 414 KB] before contacting the RANZCP regarding the application process. The handbook will assist you with completing the Specialist Pathway Application Form (Form A). 

Flowchart of Specialist Pathway and Area of Need application process [PDF; 32 KB] 

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 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 version of the RANZCP Application Form for the Specialist Pathway is now available on the Forms and Documents web page.

Specialist Pathway Equivalence Guidelines

For general information about the different Categories of Exemption please refer to the current Equivalence Guidelines on the Forms and Documents page.

Assessment Dates

Your place of employment in Australia/New Zealand will determine which State Assessment Panel will assess your application (e.g. if you are going into a position in NSW, you will be assessed by the NSW Assessment Panel). If you do not know which state you are going to work in, please let us know your preference and we will assess availability. Please note that requests for date changes cannot be considered and no extensions for closing dates will be granted.

2015 Statement Assessment Panel assessment dates can be found on the overseas specialists Forms & documents page.

There is a maximum of three applications per state each State Assessment Panel can assess per round of assessments. If the maximum number of complete applications have already been received for a certain round then you may need to wait until the next round of assessments for your application to be assessed by the relevant State Assessment Panel.

Forms and Documents

Documents and forms can be accessed and downloaded via the overseas specialists Forms & documents page. This includes Application Forms, RANZCP CV template, current Equivalence Guidelines and State Assessment Panel/Committee assessment dates.  

Substantial Comparability Pathway

For information on the opening of the Substantial Comparability Pathway, please visit the Substantial Comparability page.