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Post-graduate training requirements

The purpose of this scope of practice is to provide you with a 2-year opportunity to train in New Zealand and gain knowledge and skills to take back to your own country, or the country providing sponsorship.

During this postgraduate training programme you can develop your clinical and research skills, gain first-hand experience in your field, get exposure to the various components of your scope of practice and work with mentors.

Registration requirements

The following requirements are in addition to those provided under our Policy on registration within a special purpose scope. Please also refer to that policy.

Policy on registration within a special purpose scope

To gain registration you must:

  • Hold a primary medical degree listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools
  • be registered in your own country (or the country providing sponsorship), to which you will return on completion of the training; and
  • have held registration and been practising in your home/sponsor country for a minimum of one year immediately prior to application (excluding Pacific Island graduates, if you had been training in a different Pacific Island health system at the time of your application because recognised medical training programmes are not available in your home/sponsor country); and
  • have been accepted into a formal, recognised scholarship or fellowship programme in New Zealand; and
  • satisfy Council's English language requirements.

You must also:

  • be sponsored by or on behalf of a country or organisation to which you will return after the proposed period of training; or
  • have a post-graduate qualification, approved by us, which shows you are competent in the branch of medicine in which your practise will be limited to while you are in New Zealand; or
  • be enrolled in a formal vocational training programme in your own country; or
  • have worked for at least 12 months in an institution with which a New Zealand hospital or medical school has an exchange programme.

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Other requirements

Evidence of ongoing employment in a home/sponsor country:

  • The trainee must have evidence of guaranteed continuing employment in his or her home/sponsor country at the completion of the period of training in New Zealand.

Employer approval:

  • within a District Health Board (DHB), your post-graduate training application must be approved by the Chief Medical Adviser or Chief Medical Officer of the DHB (or their delegate). They need to confirm the position is part of that DHB’s training programme and the role’s main purpose is for you to gain postgraduate experience
  • within an organisation other than a DHB, high level sign-off is required from an appropriate person or organisation at the discretion of our Registration Manager.

Induction and supervision:

  • the proposed supervisor must provide an induction and supervision plan that includes details of your orientation to the New Zealand health system. For more information see below – Guidelines for a postgraduate training plan
  • the proposed supervisor must also provide details of the level of responsibility to be delegated to you.


  • we need confirmation from your employer that your training will not be funded by the Investment Relationship and Purchasing arm of Health Workforce New Zealand.

Night cover:

More about night cover requirements

Relief clinical attachments:

  • you are only permitted to work in a relief clinical attachment during your registration if your training is in a cardiothoracic surgical training unit.

Limit on trainee numbers:

  • there are limits on the number of post-graduate trainees who can be placed at any one centre. For more information please contact us.

Contact us


  • the requirements of the special purpose postgraduate training pathway exclude you from being able to enter into an official vocational training programme offered by a New Zealand or Australasian College/Branch Advisory Body 
  • you must provide evidence you are entering into a training position offered by a hospital or institution in New Zealand that has a structured supervision plan. This plan must include explicit and agreed training objectives. We need details on the training objectives and delivery, how the training will be monitored and how outcomes will be measured. For more information see below – Guidelines for a postgraduate training plan
  • for each 3-month period you will need to report to us using our approved reporting form
  • your reports need to include your progress against learning objectives (both the delivery and outcome) and give details of your supervised practice
  • your employer must confirm you will have at least 2 hours each week for teaching and that you will be required to attend any relevant tutorials and grant rounds. Your reports need to confirm this is occurring.

Forms, checklists and fees

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How to apply

To apply for registration you must submit:

All additional forms requested in the checklist can be found here.

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Limitations on your registration to do post-graduate training

We will not consider any applications to extend your post-graduate training registration beyond two years.

Registration within this special purpose scope of practice is not a pathway to permanent registration. If you want to continue practising in New Zealand, you may wish to consider applying for admission to NZREX Clinical – our registration examination. Note: an application to sit NZREX Clinical will not be granted if you are still registered within the Special purpose (postgraduate training) scope of practice.

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Guidelines for a postgraduate training plan

You will be given a personalised training plan with suggested reading. Your plan must include some or all of the following.

1. A programme of education and training that may include:

  • clinical observership
  • clinical responsibilities including patient care lectures
  • conferences/courses
  • journal club
  • case presentations
  • research.

2. A training schedule that will outline your:

  • orientation
  • learning objectives
  • clinical competencies, communication skills and their assessment
  • operative programme (if applicable)
  • reflective learning of clinical experience
  • critical appraisal of scientific evidence
  • formal teaching.

3. Your expectations.

4. A log to record the medical education and training you have undertaken including:

  • surgical procedures (if applicable)
  • major non-surgical procedures (if applicable)
  • presentations made
  • audit of medical practice
  • continuing medical education – for example, journal club, seminars, tutorials, conferences
  • reflective learning observations
  • critical incidents (if appropriate).

5. Learning outcomes – you will need to agree to provide quarterly reports evaluating your training and progress made towards meeting your training objectives.

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