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Overseas trained doctors

We have set requirements you need to meet before you can be registered to work in New Zealand within a vocational scope of practice.

This policy must be read with reference to the Medical Council of New Zealand (Council) Policy on Registration in New Zealand and the current Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant vocational branch advisory body (VEAB).

It applies to international medical graduates (IMGs) who do not hold the approved Fellowship, Diploma or Certificate qualification, and have applied for vocational registration because they hold an overseas postgraduate medical qualification.

Read below the policy on registration within a vocational scope of practice for specialists with qualifications that are not listed in the approved New Zealand/Australasian postgraduate qualifications.

Registration requirements

Download the full policy (PDF, 589 KB)

To qualify for vocational registration under this policy the doctor must:

  • hold the prescribed qualification (ie a combination of qualifications, training and experience) that is assessed as being equivalent to or as satisfactory as the relevant approved qualification
  • be fit for registration (Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act (HPCAA), section 16)
  • be competent to practise medicine within the vocational scope applied for
  • meet Council’s policy on English language requirements
  • complete a period of practice in a provisional vocational scope of practice (if applicable)
  • complete any assessment requirements within a provisional vocational period
  • be competent to practise independently and unsupervised.

World Directory of Medical Schools

Download English language policy

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Who can apply

You must hold an overseas postgraduate medical qualification to make an application.

The overseas postgraduate medical qualification must be awarded at the end of a period of specialist training and be in a recognised vocational scope.

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General information

You are required to work in a provisional vocational scope of practice before vocational registration can be granted. Council determines the requirements to complete to obtain vocational registration, which includes supervised practice (with reporting) and / or types of assessments.

Provisional vocational scope registration is granted to allow the doctor to complete set supervision and / or assessment requirements within 18 months of being registered in a provisional vocational scope.

The minimum period required on a provisional vocational scope is 12 months of satisfactory supervised practice. This allows the doctor's competence to be confirmed, and for the IMG to be inducted to their new place of employment, and orientated to the New Zealand health system.

An exception to the 12 month supervised practice period is for a doctor who:

  • completes the full United Kingdom (UK) training programme
  • holds a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) or the Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training (CCST)
  • has VEAB advice indicating that his or her qualifications, training and experience is “equivalent to” the NZ or Australasian prescribed qualification

If an exception to the 12 month supervision is granted the doctor will usually be required to complete 6 months of satisfactory supervised practice. Council will take particular note of any recommendation (with specific reasons) from a VEAB that a doctor should instead complete 12 months under supervision.

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For further details

Download the full policy to read more (4/16/2013, PDF, 1 KB)



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