Comparable health system

You can apply for registration through this pathway if you have recent experience in a comparable health system.

Not all health systems are comparable to New Zealand. Please check the list to make sure your experience qualifies you for registration.


You can apply for registration through this pathway if you:

  • have a primary medical degree from a university medical school listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools,
  • have worked in a comparable health system(s) for a minimum of 30 hours per week for at least 33 of the last 48 months,
  • have proposed employment in New Zealand in the same or similar area of medicine, at a similar level of responsibility to the work you have done in the last 48 months, and
  • you meet one of the following criteria:
    • you hold a full or general registration in at least one comparable health system which contributes to this time in clinical practice, or
    • you are satisfactorily participating in a training programme recognised by the American specialty boards or Canadian colleges, or
    • you are registered by the Irish Medical Council as a specialist trainee.

You must also provide evidence of a job offer that includes supervision. We cannot consider your application if you do not have supervised employment.


Applying for registration

To apply for provisional general registration, you and your employer need to work together to complete your application using the REG1 application form and Checklist 4.

You also need to submit a practice profile for places you have worked. This helps us to assess whether your proposed position is similar in nature to your comparable health system experience.


  • REG1

    Application for registration in New Zealand

  • CHKL4

    Checklist 4: Comparable health system - checklist for registration in New Zealand.

  • CHKL5

    Checklist 5: Practice profile form for use by doctors applying down the comparable health system and NZREX clinical pathways.

Primary source verification of documents

Please don't send us your application documents until you have sent the required documents for primary source verification through the EPIC system. The verification process can take time and we cannot process your application until we have received the verification at source.

The registration interview

We will consider your application once it is complete and we have received primary source verification of your documents. We will then let you know the outcome of your application.

If your application is successful, we will send you an 'eligibility for registration' letter. This confirms for other agencies like Immigration New Zealand that you are able to be registered and will give you the details for your registration interview. For more information on the registration interview, please see the link below.

Working under supervision and variations

Once we have received all the documents from your registration interview and payment of your practising certificate fee we will register you in a provisional general scope and issue you with a practising certificate. Your practising certificate will include an endorsement requiring you to work under supervision in the position you have been approved for. 

You will need to apply for a variation to your scope of practice if any of the details listed on your practising certificate need to change as a result of a change to your employment, position, or supervision.

Progression to general scope

Progression to registration within the General scope of practice is not automatic. You are able to apply after you have:

  • completed 12 months working within your provisional general scope in New Zealand under the supervision of an approved supervisor. This needs to be at a hospital, general practice, educational institution or other organisation approved by us,
  • received satisfactory supervision reports for the nine months worked immediately before your application for registration within the General scope, and
  • been recommended for registration within the General scope by your Council-approved supervisor.

If you complete these requirements, you can apply for registration within the General scope of practice. If you do not achieve these requirements within a 12 month period, you need to continue to work under supervision until you have.

  • COS4

    Application for general scope of practice for doctors on a provisional general scope of practice (excluding Interns).

Conditions on general scope

We may impose conditions on your registration within the General scope if you have not completed a minimum of 6 months of medicine and 6 months of surgery during your Provisional General period.

In any area where you worked in a hospital environment for at least 6 of the 12 months, you will be limited to hospital-based practice.

If you have not worked in general practice for a minimum of 6 months, you will be limited to one area of medicine. For example, if you only worked in urgent care, you will be limited to practising in urgent care.

You can avoid having any conditions placed on your General scope of practice by:

  • working in an area of medicine where you do not have recent experience in a comparable health system. Please note, you must receive two positive supervision reports and have a job offer for us to approve this.
  • working as a house officer or senior house officer, which are PGY1 and PGY2 levels.
  • working in an Council-accredited hospital which provides prevocational training. This will ensure you receive adequate support, training and opportunities. Please note, you will not need to work in accredited clinical attachments.
  • getting sign off from the Chief Medical Officer at the hospital where you work, confirming your role has adequate supervision and assessment.

Alternatively, you can choose to work under supervision for a further period after being granted a limited General scope of practice.

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

Recertification requirements

You don't need to work under supervision once you're registered in a general scope. However, you must continue to meet the Council’s recertification requirements. The Council requires this to maintain the high standards of competence and fitness to practise of doctors in New Zealand.

You can enrol in either:

  • Inpractice, the Council-approved recertification programme run by bpacnz, or
  • an accredited vocational training programme.