Frequently Asked Questions

1. What assessments are included in the Portfolio Review?

For details, please visit Portfolio Reviews

2. What does an ‘unable to comment’ rating on my end-of-rotation ITA mean?

An ‘unable to comment’ assessment on a domain will not automatically result in an unsuccessful Portfolio Review. However, a number of ‘unable to comment’ assessments may not provide sufficient information to determine if competency has been met. A Case-based Discussion would be required if competency cannot be demonstrated via the Portfolio Review.

3. Can changes be made to the end-of-rotation ITA retrospectively?

The assessment panels will review the end-of-rotation ITA as originally submitted. Retrospective changes to the marking of the Fellowship competency domains on the end-of-rotation ITA will not be taken into consideration.

4. Can Directors of Training (DoTs) be included in the Portfolio Review Panel?

The College has established several review panels for the Portfolio Review assessment. Membership includes Fellows and New Zealand Affiliates with experience in supervision and training. DoTs may be included in these panels, and all Portfolios presented to the panels will be de-identified.

5. When will the Portfolio Reviews commence?

Portfolio Reviews will commence approximately within 2-3 weeks of the CCA applications closing dates.

The Portfolio Review process will be divided into two or more rounds depending on the number of applicants. Candidates will be randomly assigned to the two PR rounds.

It is essential that candidates get their most recent ITAs completed as soon as possible and ensure that their training record is up to date to avoid any delays.

6. When will I receive the outcome of my Portfolio Review?

The Portfolio Review process takes approximately 6 weeks from applications closing. 

7. What if I am not successful in the Portfolio Review?

Candidates who are not successful in the Portfolio Review will be required to complete a Case-based Discussion (CbD), a workplace-based summative assessment. 

8. Does everyone need to do a CbD?

No. Candidates who have a successful Portfolio Review outcome are not required to complete a CbD assessment.

9. What is a Case-based Discussion?

The RANZCP Fellowship program assesses throughout training the full range of CanMEDS Fellowship Competencies. The aim of the CbD is to assess a range of these competencies as they relate to the case presented.

The candidate will select any two cases for discussion where they have been involved in the care of the patient and submit case summaries related to the two cases. The assessor will select one case for discussion. The candidate will briefly present the selected case and answer follow-up questions. The candidate will be assessed on the selected case, against pre-determined criteria. The duration of the CbD is 45 minutes.

10. How much notice will be given before CbD?

If a candidate is not able to demonstrate the required standard in their Portfolio Review, they will be asked to prepare and upload their case summaries and other required documentation for their CbD assessment.

Candidates are strongly encouraged to start considering the two cases they might want to use in the event of having to undertake the CbD assessment. Due to tight timelines, candidates will only get 2-3 weeks’ notice between the PR results and their scheduled CbD.

Case-based Discussion (CbD) assessments will only be conducted in two allocated weeks,

Candidates will be informed of the date and time of their scheduled CbD by the assessments team.

11. How do I choose the cases for my CbD assessment?

Candidates may choose any two cases in which they have been involved in the care of the patient, and the patient has given consent for their information to be used for the examination purpose. This may include cases where candidates completed a single assessment of a patient.

Case summaries must be distinct from each other to enable assessors to make a reasonable choice. Candidates are encouraged to study for these and prepare two differently appropriate case summaries.

Candidates are encouraged to strive to develop refined case summaries articulating patient information and management plan and to reflect a sound grasp of knowledge and the case.

It is expected that the candidate will submit cases that are recent (reference CbD Overview and Performance Guide). Recent refers to a patient seen in the past 12 months, but some flexibility will be allowed in view of the disruptions caused by the COVID pandemic: e.g., a patient seen in the last 18 months is within scope, a patient seen 4 years ago is not.

12. Can I choose a case that involves a young child, adolescent, or geriatric patient?

The cases selected can be from any age range, however, all cases will be assessed at the standard of a generalist psychiatrist.

Candidates should be mindful that to allow for a fair and valid assessment, cases presented for the CbD should be of ‘general psychiatry’ and not be of a very sub-specialised nature.

13. Do I need to de-identify the patient’s details in my Case Summaries?

Candidates must de-identify the patient’s name and any other identifiable features such as names of the health services in their case summaries. It is also recommended that candidates use the generic term ‘patient’ when discussing the case.

14. Can I use abbreviations and acronyms in my Case Summaries?

The use of abbreviations and acronyms may cause issues for assessors who are from NZ such as NDIS or SSDTU which mean nothing to anyone other than a Victorian. Please be mindful when presenting or writing your cases regarding the variance of the Mental Health Acts across Australia, particularly in the use of forms and acronyms as these may vary between health services, and using very specialised abbreviations should be avoided and spelled out when writing the case summaries.

15. How long will I have to complete the CbD?

The CbD will be a maximum of 45 minutes in duration.

16. What is the word count for CbD written case summaries?

 A summary of up to 1500 words is to be submitted for each case outlining the case and presenting issues associated with the case. Written case summaries will be assessed as part of the Communication domain of the CbD marking guide.

17. When will the CbDs begin?

Case-based Discussion (CbD) assessments for the March 2023 CCA are expected to be conducted in two allocated weeks The tentative dates for the CbD weeks for the March 2023 CCA are from 22-26 May 2023 and 13 -16 June 2023.

18. Will I know my assessor, or will I need to find one?

Assessors will be current RANZCP-accredited supervisors and/or examiners. Candidates are not asked to nominate their assessors.

The College will assign assessors to a CbD based on their availability and ‘Can’t See’ considerations to mitigate any conflict of interest.

19. Is the CbD face-to-face or AV?

CbD Assessments will be delivered via Zoom. If Zoom cannot be accessed, approval can be sought to use Microsoft Teams.

20. Where will I complete my CbD?

Participants can complete the CbD assessments from their homes or workplace via Zoom as a preferred method. All participants are required to have the appropriate equipment to undertake CbD.

This includes:

  • a device that can access Zoom (preferred) or Microsoft Teams. Information on supported devices for Zoom can be found at Supported USB HID devices for the Zoom Desktop Client
  • a PC workstation/laptop (other devices such as mobile phones or iPads are not recommended) with appropriate audio and visual functionality
  • a wired internet connection
  • noise-cancelling headphones  
  • a webcam connected to / inbuilt in the computer. 

21. What if there is an AV or equipment issue during my CbD?

If the case has been selected and/or the CbD commenced, and the issue is ongoing (or prolonged) the assessment will be rescheduled. In this instance, the assessors must advise College staff via the dedicated Hotline who will notify the participants and reschedule the CbD assessment to a mutually convenient date as soon as possible. An online Incident Report Form is required to be completed by both candidates and assessor within five (5) working days from the examination date and forwarded to the Case-based Discussion Oversight Panel (CbDOP) for review.

Details of the support Hotline will be provided with the date and time of the CbD assessment.

22. Do I require patient consent for CbD?

Patient consent is required for this assessment in accordance with relevant privacy laws.

It is the candidate’s responsibility to contact both patients, facilitate their consent, and sign off the forms for each patient. To obtain patient consent, please follow the standard practice of your workplace in accordance with relevant privacy, capacity, and consent laws in seeking relevant patient consent.

If any candidates are experiencing difficulties in relation to obtaining patient consent, please contact the RANZCP directly for advice. Variations to the process will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

CbD Patient Information and Consent form

23. When will I receive the outcome from my CbD?

  • All results will be reviewed and finalised by the CbD Oversight Panel (CbDOP) which oversees the governance of the CbD operations and results.
  • Candidates will receive their results as soon as they are finalised.

24. What happens if I am not successful in my Case-based Discussion?

Candidates who do not successfully complete their CbD assessment will be able to apply and sit a future examination/assessment.

Candidates applying for further rounds of CCA (for example, following an unsuccessful attempt at the CCA or Alternative Assessment Pathway (AAP) require a new end-of-rotation ITA to be eligible to enrol into the new CCA cycle. This ITA would need to be a Stage 3 ITA of a minimum of six (6) months duration.

The Clinical Competency Assessment (CCA) will NOT be a ‘No-Disadvantage Exam’ - the results from this assessment will be reflected in the candidates’ training trajectory.

25. Targeted Learning and Training Review

Candidates who are unsuccessful in their CCA CbD will not be required to undertake Targeted Learning.

26. Can I resubmit my previous case summary that was not used in my last CbD assessment?

Should they choose, candidates may resubmit their unused case summary from their previous CbD assessment.

In the event of an unsuccessful CbD result at the previous AAP/CCA, candidates are advised that they can use the case they prepared and that was not selected for their initial CbD assessment and provide a new case or if they wish, provide two new cases. Two case summaries must be submitted. Candidates will not be assessed on the same case as their previous CbD.

27. Failure to present  for a CbD assessment (‘no show’)

A candidate will have five (5) working days after the date of the Case-based Discussion (CbD) assessment to lodge an Incident Report for their lack of attendance, which will be reviewed by the Case-based Discussion Oversight Panel (CbDOP), who will consider each incident on a case-by-case basis.

Should the CbDOP determine that the candidate was unable to attend the assessment due to reasons beyond the candidate’s control (e.g.: hospitalisation) their result will be recorded as a withdrawal rather than a failure of the CbD assessment. The candidate may also be provided an opportunity to reschedule their CbD depending on the circumstances of non-attendance.

Candidates wishing to withdraw from the CbD assessment must do so by emailing

It is advisable to refer to the dates in the RANZCP Clinical Competency Assessment (CCA) Cancellation and Refund Schedule when considering withdrawing from the assessment.


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