Policy for NZREX clinical
The following policies relate to the NZREX clinical examination:
- English Language requirements
- Validity time for the USMLE Step 1 and 2(CK), AMC MCQ, MCCQE Part I, and PLAB Part 1
- Examination rules
- Clinical observers
- Recount and appeals of NZREX Clinical
- Refunds for candidates withdrawing from NZREX Clinical
- Critical incidents
- Examiners raising serious concerns about candidate performance
- Pass and fail criteria
- Passport photos for candidates
- Taiwanese medical schools
The English Language requirements for the NZREX clinical examination are the same as for all doctors applying for registration. Please refer to the section on English language requirements.
Council requires that at the time of sitting NZREX Clinical, the prerequisite examination pass must have been acquired within the previous 5 years. Council deems this the maximum length of time for skills to stay current with the candidate.
Download Policy on validity time for the USMLE Step 1 and Step 2, AMC MCQ, and PLAB Part 1 (May 2018, 264 KB)
Council requires that all candidates agree to the examination rules. If the examination rules are breached, it will result in the candidate failing the examination and may impact on future registration should the candidate subsequently re-sit and pass the examination.
Download Examination rules (May 2017, PDF, 399 KB)
The Medical Council of New Zealand (Council) recognises that unregistered doctors are given opportunities to familiarise themselves with the New Zealand health system through clinical observerships. The Council is not able to direct District Health Boards (DHBs) on the provision of observerships however, these guidelines are issued in response to DHBs’ requests for guidance.
Download Guideline on appointment of Clinical observers (April 2012, PDF, 200 KB)
Candidates should be able to check that their NZREX Clinical result has been accurately recorded, and in certain circumstances may have a legitimate reason to make an appeal on the basis of impairment or on the basis of an incident during the examination process.
A candidate may consider that his or her examination result does not accurately reflect his or her performance in the examination and may request that his or her result be recounted.
Appeal of Impairment
A candidate may have been disadvantaged during the examination due to a temporary impairment, which occurred close to, or during the examination and which affected his or her performance. This may include situations such as illness or pressing domestic circumstances.
Appeal of examination process
A candidate may consider that an incident, which occurred during the process of the examination, impacted on his or her performance in the examination.
Download Policy on recount and appeals of NZREX (March 2015, PDF, 37 KB)
The Medical Council of New Zealand’s (Council’s) refund policy for examination fees is structured so that candidates giving sufficient notice of withdrawal are not disadvantaged and other candidates may utilise available opportunities to take the examination.
Download Policy on refunds for candidates withdrawing from NZREX Clinical (August 2018, PDF, 199 KB)
NZREX Clinical candidates whose behaviour has met the definition of a critical incident (as set out in the Good medical practice publication) may pose a risk of harm to the public. Steps must be taken to ensure these doctors are fit for registration, consistent with requirements under Section 16 of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003.
Download Policy on critical incidents
Examiners may form the view that a candidate’s performance at a particular station is significantly below minimal expected levels of clinical or professional behaviour during the examination and may wish to alert the Examinations Director or Assistant Examinations Director to the serious concern, by way of a caution. A serious concern of this nature would not meet the threshold of a critical incident (a significant breach of acceptable professional standards or ethical boundaries).
The purpose of the NZREX Clinical is to ensure candidates are competent to enter a period of registration within the provisional general scope of practice in New Zealand, during which time candidates will be further assessed, and that the process used to assess them is valid, fair, reliable and consistent. NZREX Clinical is a test of overall clinical competence. It does not consist of “stand alone” examinations in each of the five disciplines. There are no partial passes.
The Council will routinely provide feedback to candidates who are found not yet competent at NZREX Clinical to enable candidates to know where improvements need to be made before further attempts.
The Council will not release the marking sheets, which are used by the examiners to record grades or the raw information that the Examinations Director relies on to produce the feedback to assist candidates to remedy deficiencies.
The NZREX Clinical is a summative examination and as such is not designed as a formative educational assessment. Therefore, the feedback to candidates is of a general nature based only on the performance of the candidate in each station in comparison with other candidates together with the domain and competence that the station tested.
Download Policy on the New Zealand Registration Examination (NZREX Clinical) feedback (April 2012, PDF, 200 KB)
Candidates must submit four identical passport size photos (no older than 4 months) of which, one photo must be endorsed on the reverse as a true likeness of the candidate with his or her application for NZREX Clinical.
Staff at the examination venue must be able to accurately identify candidates sitting NZREX Clinical to ensure that the correct candidate attempts the examination.
Download Policy on passport photos for candidates of the New Zealand Registration Examination (NZREX Clinical) (April 2012, PDF, 200 KB)
The Medical Council of New Zealand (Council) approves Taiwanese medical schools, for the purpose of granting Taiwanese medical graduates the opportunity to become eligible to apply for NZREX Clinical. Council must ensure that only fully qualified medical practitioners are admitted to NZREX Clinical.
Although Taiwan is not included in the World Directory of Medical Schools published by the World Health Organisation (WHO), this exclusion is indicative of international political relations, rather than the standard of the Taiwanese medical schools. The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates Office has approved the admittance of Taiwanese medical graduates to the United States Medical Licensing Examinations Steps 1 and 2.
Download Policy on approval of Taiwanese medical schools (April 2012, PDF, 200 KB)