A letter from RANZCP members: AMC review of RANZCP accreditation

Submitted by:

Prof Philip Morris AM
Dr Vivienne Elton
Dr Melinda Hill

Our Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists recently faced a comprehensive review conducted by the Australian Medical Council (AMC). In their accreditation report, released in March 2023, the AMC identified significant issues with RANZCP's training programs and provided recommendations for improvement.

The AMC recommended enhancing transparency within the College by removing the confidentiality clause barriers to communication between College committees, the Board, and members.

The report also stressed the importance of managing bias in decision-making processes. The AMC recommended greater involvement of trainees in the College's governance structure including extending the term of appointment of the trainee Board member.

The AMC called for an improved curriculum that includes explicit learning and sufficient clinical experience in the psychotherapy of high prevalence disorders.

The report also urged the College to expand its educational focus to address the community's need for non-acute mental health services in various settings, including private practice and community settings.

The AMC emphasized the need for increased support for trainees facing personal and professional difficulties and recommended the establishment of confidential centralized whistle-blower pathways to address discrimination, bullying, and harassment allegations.

The review recommended measures to address conflicts that may arise when supervisors also serve as assessors, to ensure a fair and unbiased evaluation of trainees' progress.

The AMC called for improvements in examination and assessment pass rates for overseas specialist graduates.

Can the College President and Board Directors please detail how the College will address and meet these important recommendations of the AMC?

College response

The President and Board Directors thank Prof Morris AM and associates for their interest in the important work related to the AMC accreditation of the RANZCP.

A detailed progress report is being submitted to the AMC in September, outlining the College’s progress against the required conditions. Following its submission, this report will be published on the College website.

Actions to date include, but are not limited to:

Trainees are represented on key Education committees and working groups including, amongst others, the EPA review working group, the FEC review steering group and the Assessment Framework Working Group.

Advocacy regarding workforce is a key strategic priority for the College. Prebudget submission advocacy will include measures to support increased training within private settings in Australia. Relationships with Te Whatu Ora and Te Aka Whai Ora are well established, with a collaborative approach underway to address identified workforce issues in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Measures to address embedding cultural safety and the experience of people with lived experience of mental health problems into all aspects of College life are underway, and we look forward to the support of all College members in this journey.


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