Two-year limit on postgraduate training

This special purpose scope is a temporary registration for a maximum of two years. If you need to continue with the research project after your contract ends, you will need to reapply for registration.

Therefore, if you are eligible for a permanent form of registration, we strongly recommend you apply for this option to avoid having to reapply.

Special purpose research scope of practice is for doctors who come to New Zealand temporarily to undertake research. This special purpose scope is available for a maximum of two years and practise is restricted to research approved by a formally-constituted ethics committee in New Zealand.


You can apply for the special purpose research scope of practice if you:

  • have a primary medical degree from a university medical school listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools
  • have an offer to participate in a research project that has been approved by a formally-constituted ethics committee in New Zealand
  • agree that any clinical practise you undertake is related to the research project.

Applying for registration

To apply, you and your employer need to work together to complete and submit the following forms:

  • CHKL12

    Research - Part A: Checklist for registration in New Zealand

  • REG1

    Application for registration in New Zealand

  • REG3

    Doctors on provisional general and special purpose scope: Employer application for approval of position and supervisor

  • RP6

    Referee report for use when applying for registration.

Primary source verification

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 about the registration interview, please see the page at the link below.

Practising in New Zealand

Once we have received all the documents from your registration interview and payment of your practising certificate fee we will register you in a special purpose scope and issue you with a practising certificate. Your practising certificate will include an endorsement recording that you are required to work under supervision in the position that was approved in your application for registration.

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.

Once you have completed your contract, or worked for the maximum 2 year period, your registration will be cancelled.