Practising under supervision
Supervision is a registration requirement for all doctors registered in a provisional general, provisional vocational or special purpose scope of practice.
Supervision supports a doctor’s practice and enables their performance to be assessed while they become familiar with the New Zealand health system and the expected standard of medical practice.
Types of supervision
There are two broad categories of doctors who must be supervised:
- interns (PGY1 doctors) who are in Council’s prevocational training programme
- doctors (typically international medical graduates) practising in the provisional general, provisional vocational or special purpose scopes of practice.
Supervision of interns
Interns (PGY1 doctors who have graduated from a New Zealand or Australian accredited medical school, or who have passed NZREX) must practise under supervision, as part of the prevocational medical training programme. They are supervised by Council-appointed prevocational educational supervisors.
Graduates of New Zealand and Australian accredited medical schools and doctors who have sat and passed the New Zealand Registration Examination (NZREX Clinical) complete prevocational medical training.
The prevocational medical training programme ensures that postgraduate year 1 (PGY1) and postgraduate year 2 (PGY2) doctors (collectively known as interns) continue to build on their undergraduate education
For NZREX doctors it assures the Medical Council of New Zealand (Council) that the doctor has the broad-based core competencies and experience needed for medical practice in New Zealand.
Supervision of international medical graduates
International medical graduates (IMGs) are doctors who come to New Zealand with either a primary medical qualification or a postgraduate medical qualification awarded in another country. IMGs will typically initially be registered in one of the following scopes and must practise under supervision.
- Provisional general (competent authority, comparable health system or Australian general registrant pathways)
- Provisional vocational
- Special purpose (locum tenens, teleradiology, postgraduate training, research, visiting expert).
Some international medical graduates are not required to practise under supervision. These are:
- Australian medical graduates who have completed their internship in Australia and who are granted registration in the General scope of practice
- Doctors with an approved Australasian postgraduate medical qualification who are granted registration in the relevant vocational scope of practice.
Such doctors should undergo an orientation to medical practice in New Zealand, typically with their employer.
All international medical graduates (IMGs) registered in a provisional general, provisional vocational and special purpose scope of practice must be supervised. This is to support their practice while they become familiar with the New Zealand health system and the expected standard of medical practice.
The Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 requires us to define the areas of medicine and specialties (known as ‘scopes of practice’) that make up the practice of medicine in Aotearoa New Zealand. You'll find these scopes of practice listed here. For a more detailed explanation of each, please select the scope of practice that interests you.