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Registration in New Zealand policy

This policy gives an overview of registration in New Zealand

Application requirements

We will register you within a scope of practice, to practise medicine in New Zealand, when we receive from you:

  • a completed registration application form. Note: incomplete applications will not be considered
  • correct documentation
  • payment of the registration fee.

You need to:

  • meet our fitness for registration requirements as set out in section 16 of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 (HPCAA)
  • hold one or more prescribed qualifications as set out by us under section 12 of the HPCAA
  • satisfy our competence requirements to practise within the specified scope of practice.

To make sure you are competent to practise in New Zealand, we will initially grant you registration within a provisional scope of practice, with conditions on your practising certificate – as allowed in section 22 of the HPCAA.

If you have graduated from a New Zealand or Australian medical school and completed your internship in New Zealand or Australia, we will grant you registration within a general scope of practice – and a vocational scope, if appropriate.

Before registration is granted, you will need to show us you intend to practise medicine in New Zealand.

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Fitness for registration

We are unable to register you if any of the following apply:

  • you do not satisfy us that you communicate effectively within the scope of practice you are applying to be registered in
  • you do not satisfy us that your ability to communicate in and understand English is sufficient to protect the health and safety of the public
  • you have been convicted by any court in New Zealand (or elsewhere) of any offence punishable by imprisonment for a term of 3 months or longer, and you do not satisfy us the offence does not reflect adversely on your fitness to practise
  • you are unable to practise medicine in the scope you have applied for because of a mental or physical condition you may have
  • you are under investigation for any matter that may be the subject of professional disciplinary proceedings in New Zealand (or elsewhere) and we believe those proceedings will reflect adversely on your fitness to practise medicine
  • you are subject to an order of a professional disciplinary tribunal in New Zealand (or elsewhere), or an order of an educational institution accredited under section 12(2)(a) of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003, or an order of an authority or a similar body in another country – and you do not satisfy us that the order does not reflect adversely on your fitness to practise medicine
  • we believe, for any reason, you may endanger the health or safety of members of the public.

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Registration in a provisional scope of practice to confirm competence

We may require you to pass an examination or assessment before we grant you registration in a provisional scope, or before authorising a change to your existing scope of practice.

To start with, we will grant you registration within a provisional general or provisional vocational scope of practice for up to 2 years. Your registration may be subject to conditions as set out in section 22(3) of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003.

These conditions may include that you:

  • practise under supervision
  • practise under oversight
  • do not perform certain tasks, or that those tasks are only performed under certain circumstances
  • practise only in a stated capacity, for example as an employee or a nominated person or a person of a stated class
  • practise only for a specified period
  • get one or more stated qualifications or further experience of a stated kind
  • comply with any condition we believe to be necessary to protect the safety of the public.

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Intention to practise medicine in New Zealand

Registration to work within a provisional general or provisional vocational scope of practice will only be granted if you intend to practise medicine in New Zealand.

You must attend a registration interview with a Council agent and show us evidence of a confirmed job offer. The only exception to this is for New Zealand graduates who have registered immediately after completing their medical degree.

You must not start work until we have issued you a practising certificate.

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