New Applicants (Specialist Pathway)

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 will be available to download from the RANZCP website in due course.

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

Specialist Pathway Eligibility

The Specialist Pathway is a pathway to College Fellowship only suitable for Specialist International Medical Graduates (SIMGs) who qualify as Specialist Psychiatrists by obtaining the highest Specialist Psychiatrist qualification in the country 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.

The MRCPsych qualification alone (without a CCT/CCST/CESR) from the United Kingdom is not a recognised Specialist Psychiatrist qualification. Applicants holding a MRCPsych only are required to apply via the Training Pathway. Please contact the training department via training@ranzcp.org

 - Flowchart of Pathways to Fellowship

*NEW* Communiqué for applicants applying for the Specialist Pathway/Area of Need - Specialist Psychiatrist qualification and registration requirement

Australian Medical Council (AMC)

All new applications for the Specialist Pathway also require an application to the Australian Medical Council. Please contact the AMC directly or go to their website under www.amc.org.au/ for more information. The only exception are applicants from New Zealand who do not intend to practice in Australia and applicants who hold unconditional Medical Registration in Australia.  If you are applying from New Zealand and are not intending to practice in Australia please click here for more information about New Zealand registration.  

- Flowchart of Specialist Pathway and Area of Need application process 

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.


New Applicant Handbook

Please familiarise yourself with the New Applicant Handbook before contacting the College regarding the application process. The handbook will also assist you in completing the Specialist Pathway Application Form (Form A).   


Assessment Dates

This document lists all closing dates and interview dates for each State Assessment Panel. Your place of employment 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 State 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.

- 2014 State Assessment Panel Assessment Dates

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 Forms and Documents page. This includes Application Forms, CV template, Equivalence Guidelines and assessment dates.   


Substantial Comparability Pathway

For information on the Substantial Comparability Pathway to RANZCP Fellowship, please go to the Substantial Comparability website.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

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


Changes & News

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


Complaints Resolution 

For information about the College’s complaints resolution process please click here.   


Appeals Process

For information about the College’s appeals process please click here.


Support Programs

For information about the support programs available please click here.