PGY1/PGY2 & NZREX training requirements

All graduates of New Zealand and Australian accredited medical schools undertake prevocational medical training, also known as the intern training programme.

It is also undertaken by doctors who have obtained registration based on a pass in the New Zealand Registration Examination (NZREX Clinical).

Training for interns spans two years across postgraduate year 1 and postgraduate year 2.

The intern training programme

The intern training programme ensures interns enhance and refine the clinical and professional skills they have gained at medical school. The Council accredits District Health Boards as training providers for interns. Accredited DHBs will assign to each intern a Prevocational Educational Supervisor, a vocationally-registered doctor appointed by the Council, who will oversee their overall educational experience. Through supervision and assessment, graduates need to demonstrate that they have achieved the learning outcomes in the ‘New Zealand Curriculum Framework for Prevocational Medical Training’ (NZCF).

A key role is played by the Council-approved DHB advisory panel, which consider the intern’s overall performance and progress for PGY1, assessing whether the intern has met the requirements for registration in General scope of practice.

Across postgraduate year 1 (PGY1) and postgraduate year 2 (PGY2), the main elements of the training programme include:

  • clinical attachments
  • guidance from Clinical Supervisors
  • a Professional Development Plan (PDP)
  • demonstrating NZCF learning outcomes
  • Intern Requirements for Prevocational Medical Training

    This statement outlines the requirements of prevocational medical training for graduates of New Zealand and Australian accredited medical schools and doctors who have sat and passed the New Zealand Registration Examination
    (NZREX Clinical).

  • Guide for Clinical Supervisors

    The guide for clinical supervisors of prevocational medical training outlines the role of the clinical supervisor and provides and overview of the assessment process for PGY1 and PGY2

  • This guide outlines the role of the advisory panel as well as providing information on ePort use for advisory panel members.

Clinical attachments for interns

During PGY1 and PGY2, interns undertake a series of clinical attachments, which provide a range of clinical experience. To ensure every attachment provides a quality educational experience, they must meet the Council’s standards for accreditation of a clinical attachments. Up to four Clinical Supervisors oversee each attachment.

  • Accreditation standards for clinical attachments

    This document outlines the standards clinical attachments that are completed by PGY1 and PGY2 must meet. These standards should be considered in conjunction with the accreditation standards for training providers.

Role of Clinical Supervisors

Clinical Supervisors carefully monitor each clinical attachment They are named as part of the accreditation of that particular clinical attachment. Clinical Supervisors must be senior medical officers in the vocational scope of the clinical attachment, and be in good standing with the Council.


Clinical Supervisors meet with the intern at the beginning, middle and end of the attachment, providing formal feedback on progress and performance, as well as completing the ‘End of Clinical Attachment Assessment’. They also review the intern’s Personal Development Plan.

  • Guide for Clinical Supervisors

    The guide for clinical supervisors of prevocational medical training outlines the role of the clinical supervisor and provides and overview of the assessment process for PGY1 and PGY2

Professional Development Plan (PDP)

A PDP is a short planning document compiled by the intern, with input from their Prevocational Educational Supervisor and Clinical Supervisors on each attachment. The plan is regularly reviewed and updated, helping the intern reflect on achievements and identify what is required to attain New Zealand Curriculum Framework (NZCF) learning outcomes. The PDP can also help the intern focus on their vocational aspirations.

Towards the end of PGY1, the intern meets with their Prevocational Educational Supervisor to develop their PDP for PGY2. The DHB advisory panel then decide whether to endorse the PDP for PGY2.

New Zealand Curriculum Framework

The New Zealand Curriculum Framework for prevocational medical training (NZCF) outlines the learning outcomes that interns need to achieve in PGY1 and by the end of PGY2. These outcomes are attained through clinical attachments, educational programmes and individual learning - and are underpinned by two central concepts:

  1. Patient safety
    Patient safety must be at the centre of healthcare. It depends on individual practice as well as effective multidisciplinary teamwork.
  2. Personal development
    Throughout their careers, doctors must strive to improve their performance. This will ensure they progress from being competent to proficient to expert. The aspiration is always to provide the highest possible quality of healthcare.