Radiation oncology

Radiation oncology is the medical care and management of patients with cancer and other medical conditions through the conduct and supervision of radiation treatment, advice and provision of palliative and other supportive care, and advice and provision of other non-surgical cancer; advice and provision of other non-surgical cancer treatment including cytotoxic, hormonal and other drug therapies; participation in clinical trials and research related to cancer management.

Vocational training in New Zealand

Vocational training in radiation oncology is undertaken through the Faculty of Radiation Oncology of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR). Once RANZCR training is completed, the doctor is awarded the Fellowship of the RANZCR (FRANZCR) in radiation oncology.

Am I able to apply to work as a recognised specialist in New Zealand?

To apply for vocational registration in radiation oncology, you need either:

  • the FRANZCR qualification in radiation oncology; or
  • an international postgraduate medical qualification in radiation oncology, where your combination of qualifications, training and experience will be assessed against the standard of the FRANZCR.

What standard will my training, qualifications and experience be compared against?

Recognised specialists in New Zealand must complete 7 years of training and meet the requirements below:

  • 2 years of general medical experience
  • 5 years of advanced training, during which they will experience:
    • epidemiology, etiology, pathology and the natural history of human neoplasms
    • diagnosis and staging of neoplasia
    • use of radiation treatment for neoplasia and other conditions
    • supportive care of patients with neoplasia, including pain management, social and psychological support
    • use of other cancer therapies such as hormonal agents and cytotoxic chemotherapy
    • knowledge of the role of surgery in the management of neoplasi
    • 4½ years in radiation oncology and 6 months in medical oncology, haematology or palliative care
  • pass the Phase I written examination in radiation oncology (covering radiation oncology physics, radiation and cancer biology, anatomy and pathology) by the second year of their training
  • pass the Phase II written and clinical examination in radiation oncology (covering radiation therapy, clinical oncology and pathology) by the fifth year of their training
  • participate in the RANZCR continuing professional development programme.

Once a trainee has successfully completed the examination and training requirements they will be awarded the FRANZCR in radiation oncology.

Oncology departments providing training are accredited by the RANZCR in order to ensure adequate training standards and facilities. Accreditation requires the following standards:

  • trainees must be adequately supervised by a specialist radiation oncologist
  • there must be access to a full range of modern radiation oncology equipment including linear accelerators, treatment simulators, planning computers and brachytherapy facilities
  • trainees must have involvement with multidisciplinary cancer clinics
  • there must be access to full diagnostic facilities including scintigraphy, CT scanning and MRI scanning
  • trainees must have access to a library with up to date oncology text books and subscriptions to major oncology journals
  • the department’s case mix gives trainees exposure to the full range of cancers treated with radiotherapy.

I want to make a vocational registration application

To make a vocational registration application, please refer to the Vocational Registration Homepage and select the option appropriate for you.

Am I able to apply for other types of registration?

You may be able to apply for more than one type of registration. To find out which is the best fit for you, please use our self assessment tool.