About the training program

COVID-19 Update

January 2023

The RANZCP understands that trainees are concerned that their progress through training, assessments and exams, teaching and clinical experience may be adversely affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Every attempt will be made to ensure that trainees will not be disadvantaged and all personal circumstances will be considered.

Impact on Fellowship Training and Certificates of Advanced Training 

Stay in touch

  • Your Director of Training (DOT) will be absolutely essential to you during the pandemic. Liaise with them regularly to ensure the highest level of support can be provided during this time.

Flexibility with rotations

  • The Committee for Training (CFT) wishes to demonstrate flexibility for up to three months in a six month rotation if this is required due to disruption caused by the pandemic.

    Interruptions to training must be discussed with the DOT or their delegate. Any further disruption beyond three months, during the COVID pandemic, must be considered by the CFT.

Transitioning from Stage 2 to Stage 3

  • Flexibility will be exercised with the transition from Stage 2 to Stage 3. For example, if a trainee has not achieved a Stage 2 requirement during the pandemic they may be eligible to progress to Stage 3. This will be at the discretion of the DOT.

Formal education courses

  • The CFT notes that alternative arrangements may be required to be put in place for Formal Education Courses (FECs) where possible. The CFT appreciates that this may not always be viable in the current climate. Trainees are required to follow the advice of their Branch Training Committee regarding the FEC requirement. 

Psychotherapy Written Case

  • Provision of psychotherapy can be undertaken by videoconference or teleconference (however not exclusively by teleconference) and where no other option is available. 
  • Where no other option is available, clinical governance is acceptable with the support of the psychotherapy supervisor
  • Pausing the case is acceptable however, patient preference in this matter is paramount. Please involve the DOT or their delegate in any psychotherapy videoconferencing decisions.
  • Trainees considering commencing a Psychodynamic Psychotherapy case during the COVID-19 pandemic must discuss their plan with their DOT.

Fellowship trajectory

  • The CFT suspended the Fellowship trajectory and associated landmarks for 2020 (December 2019 – February 2021 for Aotearoa New Zealand trainees and February 2020 – February 2021 for Australian trainees).
  • The Fellowship trajectory will recommence on 1 February 2021.
  • Trainees are reminded that they may apply for adjustment of their personal training trajectory at any time to the CFT.


  • There must always be clear lines of responsibility to a consultant at all times with support from a RANZCP supervisor.

  • The value of supervision in these difficult times cannot be underemphasised in terms of protecting the welfare of trainees and the safety of patients.

  • Amid stretched current resources the CFT will continue to encourage all Fellows and Supervisors to support trainees. 
  • The CFT granted an additional year of accreditation to those supervisors who are required to undergo supervisor re-accreditation during 2020. Supervisors are encouraged to use the available resources on Learnit relating to the training program and supervision.
  • In the absence of usual new supervisor workshops, the CFT will require, as a minimum, the completion of the following learning modules and discussion regarding supervision requirements and responsibilities with a Branch Training Committee (BTC) member or a site coordinator of training. 


  • The CFT acknowledges that the uncertainty about exam availability has been stressful for trainees.

►See Assessments - College administered for detailed updates to RANZCP exams.

Overseas specialists

Member welfare support line

Contact the RANZCP Member Welfare Support Line 1800 941 002 (AUS) or 0800 220 728 (NZ) 8.30 am – 5 pm AEST weekdays, or email support@ranzcp.org.


Psychiatry training is a postgraduate medical course for doctors. Trainees who successfully complete the program are eligible to become Fellows of the RANZCP (FRANZCP). This qualifies them to practise independently as consultant psychiatrists in Australia or Aotearoa New Zealand.

The Fellowship Program takes a minimum of 60 months full-time equivalent (FTE) to complete. During the training period, trainees work as registrars in hospitals and clinics, where they are supervised by experienced psychiatrists.

Entry into the program

Prerequisites for applying to enter the Fellowship Program are:

  • successful completion of a medical degree
  • at least one year (FTE) of general medical training
  • current general registration as a medical practitioner in Australia or Aotearoa New Zealand.

Applicants are selected for psychiatry training based on their suitability, skills and experience.

.More about selection of trainees

Program structure

Training is undertaken in three stages:

  • Stage 1 (12 months FTE)
  • Stage 2 (24 months FTE)
  • Stage 3 (24 months FTE).

Flow-chart showing structure of psychiatry training program

.RANZCP training pathway [PDF; 144 KB]


Stage 1

  • 12 months FTE in an approved adult psychiatry rotation, including a minimum of 6 months in an acute setting.

.More about Stage 1

Stage 2

  • 24 months FTE in an approved training program, including:
    • 6 months in a consultation–liaison psychiatry rotation
    • 6 months in a child and adolescent psychiatry rotation
    • two 6-month rotations in any of the following areas of practice: addiction psychiatry, adult psychiatry, forensic psychiatry, Indigenous psychiatry or psychiatry of old age.

.More about Stage 2

Stage 3

  • 24 months FTE in an approved training program (four 6-month rotations), in one or more approved areas of practice.
  • RANZCP-approved areas of practice are: addiction psychiatry, adult psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, consultation–liaison psychiatry, forensic psychiatry, Indigenous psychiatry, psychiatry of old age, research/academic psychiatry and psychotherapies.

.More about Stage 3

Certificates of Advanced Training

In Stage 3, trainees can choose to complete a Certificate of Advanced Training by developing advanced competencies in a particular area of practice.

.More about Certificates of Advanced Training

Dual Fellowship Training Program – Paediatrics and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) have together developed the Dual Fellowship Training Program (DFTP). Trainees who successfully complete the DFTP gain Fellowship of both Colleges (FRACP and FRANZCP).

.More about Dual Fellowship Training Program (DFTP)


Workplace assessments

Assessment Timing Type Description
Workplace-based Assessments
Throughout training.  Formative assessment. 

Trainees receive structured feedback on their performance in authentic workplace settings (e.g. discussing cases with their supervisors, or being observed during initial patient assessments, during clinical encounters and giving presentations to an audience).

 A minimum of 3 WBAs are used to inform the assessment of each EPA.

Entrustable Professional Activities
Throughout training. Summative assessment. 

Used to measure competence in the activities of psychiatric practice. Each EPA corresponds to a particular activity.

2 EPAs must be attained for each 6-month FTE rotation. Additionally each Stage has particular EPA requirements.

In-Training Assessments
Throughout training.

The mid-rotation ITA is a formative assessment.

The end-of-rotation ITA is a summative assessment.

Assesses the trainee's performance against each learning outcome for that stage and tracks EPA attainment.

Centrally administered assessments

Assessment Timing Type Description
MCQ Exam Should be passed by 36 months FTE. Recommended for Stage 2. Summative assessment A multiple-choice computer-based exam. Standard expected at the end of Stage 3.
Critical Essay Question Exam Should be passed by 60 months FTE. Recommended for Stage 3. Summative assessment

Written exam. Standard expected at the end of Stage 3.

Modified Essay Question Exam Should be passed by 60 months FTE. Recommended for Stage 3. Summative assessment Written exam. Standard expected at the end of Stage 3.
Clinical Competency Assessment

Should be passed by 60 months FTE.

Summative assessment Portfolio review, and if required a Case-based discussion held via Zoom.


Psychotherapy Written Case Should be passed by 60 months FTE. Summative assessment One long psychotherapy intervention (approximately 1 year or 40 sessions) with a written assessment of 8000–10,000 words. Standard expected at the end of Stage 3.
Scholarly Project Plan the project early in training. Should be passed by 60 months FTE. Summative assessment Original research in an area related to psychiatry as selected by the trainee. Standard expected at the end of Stage 3.

.Trainee Progress Trajectory [PDF; 77 KB] 

In addition to the above, all trainees must be enrolled in a College-approved formal education course.

A Training Program Basics webinar is available on Learnit [member sign-in required] to provide an overview of the training basics and is useful for trainees to navigate and get started. Some of the areas to be covered are:

  • Introduction to training program
  • Setting-up
  • Where to get information
  • What is supervision? 
  • What College committees / bodies are important 
  • Which documents need to be read? 
  • Real world experience by trainees

Fellowship Competencies

By the end of the training program, trainees will have gained competence in the following major roles expected of a psychiatrist:

  • medical expert
  • communicator
  • collaborator
  • manager
  • health advocate
  • scholar
  • professional.

These are based on the CanMEDS roles.

.More about Fellowship Competencies

.Admission to Fellowship


The Fellowship Program is overseen by the College's Education Committee and operates in accordance with regulations, policies and procedures approved by the Board, as appropriate.

.Program regulations, policies and procedures

.Program administration

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