Area of Need positions

Area of Need (AoN) positions are declared by Australian state or territory governments in locations where there is a shortage of medical specialists. 

Specialist international medical graduates (SIMGs) who wish to work in an AoN/Specialist position must identify a position for which an employer considers them suitable and gain an offer of employment for that position.


They must then:

  • undergo specialist assessment by the RANZCP, and be assessed as Substantially Comparable (candidates with a Partially Comparable or Not Comparable outcome are not eligible)
  • undergo an AoN assessment by the RANZCP, and be found to have the necessary skills to work competently and safely as a consultant psychiatrist in the designated AoN position.

Only SIMGs who meet the above criteria will be supported by the College for an AoN position.

Specialist assessment and AoN assessment can be applied for and will be assessed concurrently. More information is available on the Applying for specialist assessment page.

Applicants can refer to the Medical Board of Australia’s Area of Need page for further information on Area of Need requirements.

A SIMG who is approved for an AoN position is only permitted to work in that specific AoN position. If the position description changes, or the SIMG wishes to move to another AoN position, a new AoN application must be submitted to the College with the required supporting documents and application fee.

Area of Need Application Form [PDF; 550 KB]

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