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VOC 3 Vocational (specialist) registration

You can apply if you:

• hold an overseas postgraduate medical qualification (in one of the defined vocational scopes);
• do not hold an approved New Zealand / Australasian postgraduate qualification.

Registration requirements

Under New Zealand law (HPCAA 2003); a doctor can only be registered in a vocational scope if they meet all three of the following requirements:

  • hold the “prescribed qualification;”;
  • is fit for registration;
  • is competent; to practise in the relevant vocational scope of practice.

Prescribed qualification

Council does not have a list of approved overseas postgraduate medical qualifications for vocational registration. Instead, a case by case assessment is undertaken of your qualifications, training and experience compared to those of a New Zealand trained vocationally registered doctor in the same area of medicine, holding the New Zealand or Australasian Fellowship, Diploma or Certificate. This assessment is conducted by the specialist medical college who provide advice to Council. Council makes the final decision on any applications.

Application process

The vocational registration process for overseas trained doctors is made up of 4 steps, which must be completed before Council makes a decision on whether to grant you vocational registration.

All doctors applying for vocational registration down this pathway need to work in New Zealand for a period of time in a provisional vocational scope of practice. Applicants will be required to meet certain requirements set out by Council’s supervision/assessment process.

Step 1 – Assessment of fitness, competence and qualification requirements to determine whether you are eligible for provisional vocational registration. This assessment involves an assessment with the relevant Medical College in New Zealand.

Step 2 – Decision on your eligibility for provisional vocational registration in either the:

provisional vocational (supervision pathway); or

provisional vocational (assessment pathway);.

Note: If your qualifications, training and experience are deemed not comparable to the approved standard, Council will propose to decline your application and you will be advised of other options for gaining registration in New Zealand.

Step 3 -Approval of employment, position and supervision, using the REG7 form.

Download REG7

Step 4 -Once you have completed all of the supervision/assessment requirements set out by Council, you can apply for full vocational registration using the COS5 form.

Download COS5

All doctors are advised in writing by email and/or letter at each step in the process.


It can take 4- 6 months for a final determination to be made on whether you would be able to proceed with vocational registration.

Forms to complete

All applicants: must use the following forms in their application:

Download VOC3 application form

Download VOC3b information document outlines additional documents that are required

Download RP6 form three referee reports are required; however, Council staff must verify all references.

Download RACP additional information form (int med) only if you are applying for vocational registration in internal medicine.

Download RACP additional information form (dermatology) only if you are applying for vocational registration in dermatology.

Download RACP additional information form (paediatrics) only if you are applying for vocational registration in paediatrics.

Relevant Policies

Download Policy on registration within a vocational scope of practice - Doctors who do not hold the approved New Zealand or Australasian postgraduate qualification

Download Policy on vocational practice assessments

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