Individual supervision plans

Most international medical graduates (IMGs) registered within a provisional general, provisional vocational, or special purpose scope of practice will need to submit a supervision plan with their application. The Council will consider the proposed supervision plan as part of the application process.

Formal and informal supervision

Formal supervision for medical graduates is regular, protected time, specifically scheduled and kept free from interruptions, to allow in-depth reflection on clinical practice. Informal supervision is the day-to-day communication and conversation providing advice, guidance, or support as and when necessary.

Written agreement for formal supervision

For supervision to work effectively, the supervisor and IMG need to agree on the frequency, duration and content of formal supervision sessions. This should be recorded in a formal written agreement.

Supervision is flexible. It will vary, depending on the IMG's experience and any areas of practice that require specific focus. Close supervision is required in the beginning, and decreases over time once the supervisor becomes comfortable with the IMG's ability to act independently, and their ability to accept more delegated responsibility.

At a minimum, the Council requires that the supervisor meet with the doctor:

  • daily for the first week
  • weekly for the first 3 months, and
  • monthly after that.

Supervision requirements and supervision plans

1. Proposed primary supervisor
a) There should be a primary supervisor who is registered in the same vocational scope of practice and works at the same site as the international medical graduate.

b) If there is no doctor registered in the same vocational scope available to provide this supervision on site, then a primary supervisor working in the same vocational scope as the international medical graduate must provide supervision from a neighbouring site (or a site where the majority of referrals are sent).

2. Additional supervisor
a) If the primary supervisor is on site and the service or primary care practice has only one doctor registered in the same vocational scope, then the Council requires an additional supervisor from a neighbouring site (or a site where referrals are sent) . This supervisor must be registered within the same vocational scope.

b) If the primary supervisor is off site, then an additional supervisor must be proposed from the home site. They must be registered within the same or similar vocational scope of practice.

When there is no doctor registered in the same vocational scope of practice working on site, the international medical graduate must work with their supervisor for a minimum period of 2–4 weeks. The Council will determine the period of time required, taking into account the individual factors of the application. The initial time spent together can take place at either the supervisor’s workplace or the international medical graduate’s workplace.

c) If there are no other doctors on site, the Council will review applications for registration and proposed supervision plans on a case by case basis.

3. Induction and orientation
The proposed plan must include details of how induction and orientation will take place. It should also confirm how the doctor will be orientated and inducted to key aspects of health care in New Zealand, including the roles of ACC and Pharmac. The plan should include a focus on developing societal understanding and cultural competence in the New Zealand context.

The supervision plan needs to detail who the primary and if applicable the secondary supervisor is. It will need to confirm the frequency of formal meetings, and confirm that supervision reports will be completed every 3 months, or each time an international medical graduate applies to change their scope of practice.