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Comparable health system

This pathway to registration in a general scope of practice applies if you have recent clinical experience from a comparable health system.

Eligibility for registration within a provisional general scope

To apply for registration within a provisional general scope of practice you must:

  • hold a primary medical degree from a university medical school listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools; and
  • have worked in a comparable health system for a minimum of 30 hours per week for at least 33 out of the last 48 months (for at least 30 hours per week) before you applied; and
  • hold full or general registration in at least one of the comparable health systems contributing to our active clinical practice requirement (refer to the previous bullet point) at the time of registration. OR be satisfactorily participating in a training programme recognised by the American specialty boards or Canadian colleges, or be registered by the Irish Medical Council as a specialist trainee at the time of application; and
  • have proposed employment in New Zealand in the same or a similar area of medicine and at a similar level of responsibility to the work you have been doing in a comparable health system for the last 33 out of 48 months; and
  • satisfy our English language policy requirements; and
  • satisfy section 16 of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act.

Your registration will be extended for up to 2 years if you receive any poor supervision reports during your first year of registration. You need to receive three consecutive satisfactory reports before you are eligible to apply for registration within a general scope of practice.

World Directory Search

American specialty boards

Canadian Medical Colleges

English language policy

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Eligibility for registration within a general scope

To apply for registration within a general scope of practice you must complete the following requirements while working within a provisional general scope:

  • work in a New Zealand hospital or general practice, educational institution or other organisation approved by us
  • work for at least 12 months full time (or equivalent) under the supervision of a registered doctor approved by us
  • work in a position for which you have the appropriate experience
  • receive satisfactory supervision reports for the 9 months of medical practice completed immediately before applying for registration within a general scope
  • be recommended for registration within a general scope by your supervisor.

If you fail to satisfy the conditions on your practice as required by us to ensure you are competent to practice within a general scope of practice within 2 years, our Registrar will refer your application for a practising certificate to us under section 27(1)(b) of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act.

We may:

  • decide to extend your registration within a provisional general scope for a further period
  • propose to either place restrictions on, or decline to issue you a practising certificate under section 28 of the Act. Note: we will give you an opportunity to make written submissions and be heard by us before we make a decision whether to issue you a practising certificate.

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Conditions limiting your practice

Conditions may be imposed on your registration within a general scope of practice if you do not complete a minimum of 6 months of medicine and 6 months of surgery during your provisional scope period.

Where you have worked in any area of medicine in a hospital environment for at least 6 of your 12 months, you will be limited to hospital-based practice.

You will be limited to one area of medicine if you have not worked in general practice for a minimum of 6 months. For example, if you have worked only in accident and medical practice you will be limited to accident and medical practice.

To avoid having any conditions placed on your general scope of practice you can:

  • work in an area of medicine for which you do not have recent experience in a comparable health system. Note: you must first receive two positive supervision reports and have a job offer for us to approved this
  • be a house officer or senior house officer (ie PGY1 or PGY2 level)
  • work in a hospital which we have accredited to provide intern training. This ensures you will receive adequate support, training and educational opportunities. Note: you will not need to work in accredited clinical attachments.
  • get sign off from the Chief Medical Advisor at the hospital where you work, confirming your role has adequate supervision and assessment

For more information on conditions limiting your practice, read our policy on changing scope without limitations.

Download Policy on changing the scope of practice for doctors registered within a provisional general without limitations (Thursday, 19 Oct 2011, PDF, 255 KB)

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Recertification requirements

Once you are registered to practise within a general scope of practice you are no longer required to work under supervision.

For a practising certificate to be issued you must establish a collegial relationship with another doctor and meet our requirements for continuing professional development and recertification.

Recertification and professional development

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About comparable health systems

We assess comparable health systems by comparing our systems with those of other medical registration authorities. All criteria must be satisfied for us to recognise another medical registration authority as a comparable health system.

We recognise more than 20 countries as having comparable health systems to New Zealand.

Comparable health system criteria and countries.

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