Registration exam - NZREX Clinical
You are required to sit and pass NZREX Clinical, our registration examination, if you are not eligible for registration under any other pathway.
Please note: The NZREX handbook located at the bottom of this page has been updated as at December 2012 with changes made to the examination matrix and content provided in the Clinical examination section.
- About NZREX Clinical
- Eligibility requirements
- Structure and content of NZREX Clinical
- How to apply
- Application forms
- Location of the exam
- Examination dates
- Fees for NZREX Clinical
- Examination marking and results
- Withdrawal and transfer process
- Getting registered after sitting NZREX Clinical
- Ready for work programme
- For further information / Policies
By passing NZREX Clinical, we then know you are competent to have provisional registration in New Zealand. All doctors wanting to practise medicine in New Zealand must first gain registration from us.
A pass in NZREX Clinical is valid for 5 years from the date of the examination.
To find out if you need to sit NZREX Clinical as part of your pathway to gaining registration in New Zealand, use our handy self-assessment tool.
You are eligible to apply to sit the NZREX Clinical examination if you:
- hold a primary medical qualification listed in the AVICENNA Directory for medicine
- meet our English language requirements
- have passed within the last 5 years the:
- United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Steps 1 and 2 (Clinical Knowledge), or
- Australian Medical Council MCQ examination, or
- Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) test Part 1
- do not hold New Zealand registration within a special purpose (post-graduate training) scope of practice.
There is no limit to the number of times you can sit this examination, however, you must meet our eligibility requirements each time you apply.
While it is not a requirement, we recommend you complete a minimum of 12-months postgraduate experience as a medical practitioner in your own country before applying to sit NZREX Clinical. With this experience you will be better prepared to sit our examination.
Use the links below to learn more about our eligibility requirements.
- Avicenna Directory for medicine
- English language requirements
- USMLE Steps 1 and 2 (Clinical Knowledge)
- Australian Medical Council MCQ
- PLAB Part 1
- Special purpose scope of practice
Download NZREX Clinical handbook for candidates (May 2012, 504 KB, 15 pages)
We use the 'Objective Structured Clinical Examination' (OSCE) format. There are 16 stations to be covered during the 3 hour examination. All stations in NZREX Clinical are weighted equally.
The competencies tested include:
- history taking
- clinical examination
- clinical reasoning
Your communication skills and professionalism will also be assessed.
The NZREX Clinical handbook has more detailed information about the examination.
Download NZREX Clinical handbook for candidates (May 2012, 504 KB, 15 pages)
Refer to our sample questions and reading list to help with your examination preparation.
Download Sample questions for NZREX Clinical (86 KB, 13 pages)
Download Reading list for NZREX Clinical (86 KB, 2 pages)
You must apply in writing using the correct forms below. Full payment of the fee must be included with your application.
You must send your application to us by post or courier – we do not accept applications sent by email or fax.
Your completed application form and payment must be received at our office by the examination closing date. It is important to note we will not accept any applications received after the closing date.
Please note that examinations have a tendency to fill up well before the closing date for applications. If you have a complete application to sit NZREX Clinical it is recommended that you submit your application as soon as possible.
Once you are sure you satisfy the application criteria, please send your completed application to us at:
Professional Standards Coordinator (Examinations)
Medical Council of New Zealand
PO Box 11649
We will confirm by email the receipt of your application, within 3 working days of receiving your application.
We need up to 20 working days to process your application. If your application is incomplete we may need more time. Once we’ve processed your application we will write to you advising of the outcome of your application.
The form(s) you need to complete depend on your particular circumstances.
If you are applying to sit NZREX Clinical for the first time, please complete forms NZREX1, NZREX2 and NZREX3.
Repeat candidates need only to complete forms NZREX2 and NZREX4.
NZREX Clinical application forms:
Download NZREX1 - for new candidates (114 KB, 1 page)
Download NZREX2 - fees (90 KB, 1 page)
Download NZREX3 - checklist (80 KB, 1 page)
Download NZREX4 - for repeat candidates (107 KB, 2 pages)
Download NZREX5 - withdraw from an examination (65 KB, 1 page)
Download NZREX6 - examination date change (73 KB, 2 pages)
Download NZREX7 - review of result (63 KB, 1 page)
The NZREX Clinical examination is held 4 times a year in Auckland, New Zealand.
After you have confirmation of your acceptance into the examination, you are responsible for arranging your own transportation and accommodation. We recommend you do not make travel arrangements prior to receiving our confirmation letter or email.
The examination dates and associated application closing dates are as follows.
Exam date – 22 June 2013
This exam is full and no further applications are being taken
Exam date – 14 September 2013
Application closing date – 2 August 2013
Exam date – 30 November 2013
Application closing date – 8 October 2013
Exam date - 22 March 2014
Application closing date – 7 February 2014
Exam date - 31 May 2014
Application closing date – 18 April 2014
Exam date - 9 August 2014
Application closing date – 27 June 2014
Exam date - 20 September 2014
Application closing date – 8 August 2014
Whenever there are too many applications for an examination date, candidates will be informed in writing and offered the next available examination date.
In the unlikely event there are insufficient candidate numbers, we reserve the right to cancel an examination. In this situation, candidates would be informed in writing and moved to the next available examination date.
It is important to note we will not accept any applications received after the closing date.
The NZREX Clinical fees for 2012 are NZ$3,833.33. GST included.
The average pass rate over the last 5 years is 60%.
Your results will be posted to you within 5 working days after you sit NZREX Clinical. Please note we cannot give results over the telephone.
Your final mark will either be ‘competent’ or ‘not yet competent’.
If you have concerns about the examination process, your results, or you feel you have been disadvantaged due to a temporary impairment, please read our policy.
Download NZREX7 form
We do not provide results per station or feedback to those who pass. We will give limited feedback to candidates who are found to be ‘not yet competent’, in order to indicate areas where improvement may be needed.
You can withdraw from the examination in certain circumstances. A refund of your application fee is dependent on the timing of your withdrawal.
Transferring to another NZREX Clinical examination date may not be possible as examination dates fill quickly. Please select your examination date carefully.
Applications for withdrawals or transfers must be made using our application to withdraw from an examination form and our examination date change form.
Download Examination date change
An information pack on how to register as a doctor in New Zealand is sent to all candidates who receive a ‘competent’ (pass) result for NZREX Clinical.
It is important to remember you need to arrange your employment first, before you apply for registration. Please note: there is no guarantee of employment for doctors who have passed NZREX Clinical.
Those who pass NZREX Clinical are registered within a provisional general scope of practice and are known as interns. This is similar to the internship that New Zealand graduates must do after they graduate.
You must work under supervision in an approved house officer position (an intern) for at least 12 months after passing NZREX Clinical. During this time, you will become familiar working within the New Zealand health system and acquire the additional necessary skills expected by the New Zealand public. Your supervisors will report to us on your performance
Once you reach the required standard (usually after 12 months), you will be registered within a general scope of practice and no longer required to work under supervision. You will then be able to prepare for specialist training or complete the requirements for registration as a specialist – if this is what you want to do.
To learn about the registration process we recommend you read our handbook ‘Education and supervision for interns’.
Download Education and supervision for interns handbook (October 2006, 2.39 MB, 65 pages)
The ‘ready for work’ programme is a clinical induction programme for doctors who have passed NZREX Clinical but have not yet started work.
The programme introduces international medical graduates to the New Zealand healthcare system. It combines classroom teaching with ward experience and provides trainees with increasing responsibility over time.
The trainees are fully paid – working at the same rate of pay as currently employed House Officers. Trainees are entitled to the standard terms and conditions of the Multi-Employer Collective Agreement for junior doctors.
There are two intakes into the programme every year and places are limited to eight trainees. For more information please contact Pat Starkey.
Our NZREX Clinical handbook has more information about this examination. You may also wish to learn more about our policy for NZREX Clinical, scopes of practice and how to register.
Download NZREX Clinical handbook for candidates (December 2012, 504 KB, 15 pages)