Strengthening recertification for vocationally-registered doctors in New Zealand


As part of its responsibility, Council sets recertification programme requirements for doctors. These programmes establish regular and ongoing processes by which doctors in New Zealand demonstrate that they are competent and up to date. Recertification programmes support doctors to maintain their competence, take responsibility for their performance and to stay current in their practice.

Consultation on discussion document

In September 2018, Council conducted a consultation on the discussion document “Towards strengthening recertification requirements for vocationally-registered doctors in New Zealand”. The document provided context of the work to date, evidence and proposals for a strengthened approach to recertification aligned to the vision and principles published in 2016.

  • Strengthening recertification - discussion document for feedback

    As the regulator of the medical profession, the Medical Council of New Zealand (the Council) plays a key role to ensure public safety and to assure and maintain public trust and confidence in the profession; including that doctors continue to maintain high standards of competence.

Consultation feedback

Thank you to all who provided a submission. We appreciate the time and effort you made in contributing your expertise to this process. There was a high level of interest from across the health sector, with Council receiving 262 submissions from medical colleges, associations, healthcare organisations, primary and tertiary group representatives and a substantial amount of feedback from individual doctors representing a wide range of vocational scopes.

A copy of all written submissions can be found here, these have been published according to submitter preference for anonymity.

  • Strengthening Recertification Consultation Responses

    This document is a copy of all written submissions we received when we consulted on our discussion document around strengthening recertification for vocationally-registered doctors. Feedback is published according to submitters preference for anonymity.

Strengthened approach

Overall, the feedback showed there was general support for the proposed direction and the transition to a more flexible, profession-led approach that recognises the differences in workplace settings and an individual’s practice. A number of submitters also provided suggestions to assist with transition and implementation.

The Recertification Working Group and Council have analysed the feedback received and developed a strengthened recertification approach and model. They have recommended a three year transition period to implement this strengthened approach.

If you are a doctor and have any questions about your own recertification requirements, please contact your recertification programme provider in the first instance.

Next Steps

A copy of the model can be viewed below. Please note that this model has not yet come into effect and therefore doctors should continue to meet their current requirements.

Over the coming months Council will be meeting with recertification programme providers and employers to discuss the model and any support that may assist organisations with implementation.

Work will also begin shortly on revising the current Standards for Assessment and Accreditation of Vocational Medical Training and Recertification, in line with the strengthened recertification requirements. These revised standards will be released for consultation later this year.