International Medical Graduates - Australia

RANZCR is accredited by the Australian Medical Council to conduct assessments of International Medical Graduates (IMGs) on behalf of the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) for the specialties of clinical radiology and radiation oncology.

To register and practise as a specialist in Australia, IMGs are required to apply for the specialist recognition assessment through RANZCR.

The purpose of specialist recognition assessment is to determine the comparability of the training, qualifications and experience of IMGs to RANZCR-trained specialists. 

IMGs who completed their specialist training in another country in either clinical radiology or radiation oncology are eligible to be assessed for comparability to a RANZCR-trained specialist.

What is the role of RANZCR?

For the purpose of obtaining specialist medical registration, the Medical Board of Australia requires the College to undertake the following role:

  • assess the experience, training, knowledge and clinical skills (in the specialty) of IMGs for recognition and/or suitability
  • undertake assessments to the standard of Australian specialists passing through the College’s training program
  • make determinations of comparability and/or suitability
  • recommend any requirements to a determination.

The role of the College does not extend to:

  • granting medical registration
  • securing suitable employment for the IMGs
  • any conditions or restrictions imposed on an applicant’s medical registration
  • arranging work or work-related visas
  • work or salary arrangements
  • arrangingupskilling/ training placements.

Eligibility for Assessment

  • Have completed specialty training in either clinical radiology or radiation oncology overseas and; 
  • Be recognised as a consultant specialist in your country of training. 

How to Apply

1. Application

  • Submit primary source verification (PSV) application to the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) for primary and specialist medical qualifications and set up an Australian Medical Council (AMC) portfolio
  • Download and complete the application form to be assessed for recognition as a specialist
  • Submit the completed application form and supporting documents as detailed on the application form
  • Once a complete application is received, RANZCR will forward an invoice for payment
Relevant Documents and Information:

2. Assessment

As part of the application/assessment process you will be asked to participate in an interview. The interview will assist with determining the level of comparability with an Australian or Aotearoa New Zealandtrained clinical radiologist or radiation oncologist.

The interview is conducted by two Fellows of the College, both of whom are trained assessors. The interview is a structured and thorough process that provides an opportunity for the panel to clarify your training, qualifications and experience.

It is also an opportunity for you to:

  • fully detail and explain previous training and working experience
  • ask any questions of the panel about the assessment process.

3. Assessment Outcomes

The assessment outcome determination will be one of the following:

     a. substantially comparable 
     b. partially comparable 
     c. not comparable.

Substantially Comparable

Applicants who are determined by the College to be substantially comparable will require up to 12 months’ peer review in a RANZCR-accredited training site.

Partially Comparable

Applicants who are determined by the College to be partially comparableare required to undertake RANZCR’s Part/ Phase 2 examinations and maybe required to undergo up to 24 months upskilling prior to commencing the examinations. 

Not Comparable

Applicants who have been determined by the Collegeto be not comparable are referred to the Medical Board of Australia for other options to achieve medical registration in Australia. 

 

The aim of the Area of Need (AoN) assessment process is to determine the applicant’s suitability for a specified position in a designated Area of Need. 

AoN sites are in regional locations throughout Australia.  AoN site status is determined by States and Territories and can be any location where there is an identified shortage of specialists. 

Only applicants who have been selected by an employer are eligible for an AoN assessment.  

While the AoN assessment determines suitability for the nominated AoN position, all applicants will also be assessed for comparability, unless previously assessed for specialist recognition/ comparability. 

Eligibility

  • Have completed specialty training in either clinical radiology or radiation oncology overseas and; 
  • Be recognised as a consultant specialist in your country of training and;
  • Have secured an AoN position in Australia.

How to Apply

1. Application

  • The employer and applicant are required to complete the AoN application 
  • If the applicant has not previously been assessed for Specialist Recognition, the applicant is also required to download and submit a completed specialist recognition application (See Specialist Recognition)
  • Submit the completed form and supporting documents as detailed on the application form
  • Once a complete application is received, RANZCR will forward an invoice for payment
Relevant Documents and Information:

 2. Assessment

An interview is part of the application/assessment process, which will assist with determining the applicant’s suitability for the AoN position.  

The interview is conducted by two Fellows of the College, both of whom are trained assessors. The interview is a structured and thorough process that provides an opportunity for the panel to:

  • explain the assessment process
  • clarify the applicant’s training and experience.

Additionally, for clinical radiology the AoN assessment includes a film reading component. 

The assessment is also an opportunity for the applicant to:

  • detail and explain previous training and working experience
  • ask any questions of the panel about the assessment process.

3. Assessment Outcomes

The assessment outcome determination will be either:

  1. suitable for the position (with conditions) or,
  2. not suitable for the position.

All IMGs found suitable for an AoN position will have limitations placed on their practice. The limitations may include the required level of supervision and limitations on the scope of practice. 

Q - What is specialist recognition?

The purpose of specialist recognition is to determine the comparability of training, qualifications and experience of IMGs, with Australian-trained specialists. The applicant applies to the College who assesses the applicant's training and experience.

The process does not solely consider formal training and assessment but takes into consideration subsequent clinical experience and the nature of the IMG's current practice including participation in continuing professional development activities and contribution to the profession.

Q - How much is the assessment fee for specialist recognition?

A$6,962 (subject to change)

Q - Do I need to apply to both the AMC and the College for the application for specialist recognition pathway?

Yes. For the specialist recognition pathway, the applicant must first apply to the ECFMG for primary source verification (PSV) of their medical qualification and all specialist qualifications attained.  Additionally, the applicant is required to set up a portfolio with the AMC. 

Concurrently, the IMG will apply directly to the College for specialist recognition to determine if the applicant's training, qualifications and professional experience are comparable to an Australian-trained specialist.

Q - Do I require an interview for the specialist recognition pathway?

Yes, you will be required to have an interview, either via video conference or in person. During the interview, the assessment panel will determine if you are substantially comparable, partially comparable or not comparable to a locally trained specialist.

Q - Is the interview like an exam? What preparation is required before the interview?

The interview is not an exam; it is more like talking through your training and experience.

As the purpose of the interview is to assist the College in assessing the comparability of your qualifications, training and experience to those of an Australian-trained specialist, you may wish to familiarise yourself with the College’s clinical radiology or radiation oncology training program and the requirements for the Part 1/Phase 1 and Part 2/Phase 2 examinations. This may help you understand the scope of knowledge, skills and practice expected of general radiologists/radiation oncologists in Australia. 

Information is available on the College’s website at Join our Professions

Q - If my outcome, after the interview, is that I am partially comparable and that I require further upskilling, what must I do?

You will need to secure a suitable position. Contact departments directly to discuss obtaining a position.

The College accredits the positions but does not determine their numbers or locations. Similarly, the College does not have a role in employment matters—this is solely up to training departments.

The onus of finding the necessary training position lies solely with the applicant. Neither the College nor training sites are responsible for the placement of applicants in accredited training sites. Positions in accredited training sites are limited and the application process for obtaining such positions is competitive

A list of accredited departments for radiology and radiation oncology training can be found on the College website:

Q - How difficult is it to obtain an upskilling position?

Upskilling positions in accredited teaching sites are highly competitive. In many circumstances, you will be competing alongside Australian and Aotearoa New Zealandtrained graduates. There are many more applicants than positions available and it should be noted that it may take time to secure a position and not all applicants will be successful in securing a suitable position. 

The onus of finding upskilling positions lies solely upon the applicant. The College is not involved with or responsible for appointments to short-term or advanced training positions.

Q - If I obtain an upskilling or Fellowship position in an accredited teaching hospital, what procedure should I follow?

Once an upskilling position is secured, as part of the medical registration application to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), the employing hospital will need to obtain a letter of support from the College to approve the training position.

The role of the College is to determine whether the position is appropriate for the applicant according to the outcome from the College assessment.

The hospital must submit the following documents:

  • a position description and/or detailed training program;
  • a written statement that the appointment will not disadvantage any trainees currently registered in the College's training program;
  • the applicant’s current curriculum vitae, including evidence of post graduate training and/or work experience in radiology or radiation oncology since the College assessment;
  • the Medical Board of Australia application form will need to be completed and accompany the RANZCR application form;
  • the completed relevant RANZCR application form which is available from the website at International Medical Graduates

Q - Once I complete my training, what do I need to do before I can apply for the FRANZCR Part 2 or Phase 2 examinations?

At the end of the training period and before the applicant can apply for the Phase 2 examinations, the supervisor must provide a letter to the College stating that the applicant has completed the training according to the requirements of the assessment outcome.

Q - I have heard about the pathway called peer review pathway under specialist recognition. How do I go about to apply this pathway?

This pathway is for candidates whom the assessors have deemed to be substantially comparable to an Australian-trained specialist. Candidates found substantially comparable are required to undertake a period of peer review and workplace-based assessments in a RANZCR-accredited teaching site.

Q - What is the difference between a specialist recognition assessment and an area of need assessment?

The aim of the area of need (AoN) assessment process is to determine the applicant’s suitability for the specified position, in a designated area of need. Areas of Need are determined by States and Territories and are in regional areas where there is an identified shortage of specialists.  This is different to the specialist recognition process where an IMG is assessed for comparability to the training, qualifications and experience of an Australian-trained specialist.

In addition, all AoN applicants will be assessed for comparability to the training, qualifications and experience of an Australian / Aotearoa New Zealandtrained specialist for the purposes of specialist registration. This is in addition to their suitability for the specific position which they have applied for. 

Q - Can I work in Australia while I am going through the specialist recognition pathway?

If your outcome at interview is that you are considered substantially comparable:

You are required to undertake a period of peer review and workplace-based assessments in a RANZCR-accredited teaching site. 

If your outcome at interview is that you are considered partially comparable you are required to either:

  1. Undertake a prescribed period of supervised upskilling in an accredited training site not exceeding two years and to sit and pass the College Part / Phase 2 examinations; or
  2. To sit and pass the College Part / Phase 2 examinations without additional upskilling. 

If you are found partially comparable, you will not be able to work as a specialist until you have sat and have passed all the components of the FRANZCR Part 2 or Phase 2 examinations. 

However, applicants found partially comparable are eligible to apply and be assessed for Area of Need positions.  If found suitable for the AoN position, applicants can work in the AoN while completing the specialist recognition pathway requirements, including the Part / Phase 2 examinations. 

Q - What steps are involved in appointing an area of need radiologist?
  1. The AoN site needs to be in a District of Workforce Shortage (DWS). The Federal Government determines areas as ‘District of Workforce Shortage’ (DWS) based on census and provider number data.
  2. The relevant state health department has declared the site ‘Area of Need (AoN)’. Sites apply to their relevant state health departments.
  3. An application is made to RANZCR to assess the suitability of the applicant selected by the employer for the position. The assessment interview comprises of an interview, clinical case scenarios and film reading, which are based on the position description provided by the employer.
Q - How much supervision is required for AoN specialists?

The required level of supervision and scope of practice limitations are determined during the assessment. However, most AoN doctors require a relatively high level of supervision to ensure they are performing safely as they become accustomed to the local clinical environment. 

Q - Where can an IMG specialist work?

Once specialist medical registration is achieved, IMGs are still bound by the 10-year Medicare moratorium and only eligible to receive Medicare provider numbers for Districts of Workforce Shortage for 10 years from initial medical registration in Australia. After 10 years of medical registration in Australia, IMGs are eligible to apply for Medicare provider numbers for any location.

Becoming a Fellow of the College does not reduce the 10-year Medicare moratorium.

Further information can be found here

Q - Who can work as an Area of Need radiologist?

From RANZCR’s understanding permanent residents or citizens of Australia are not eligible for limited medical registration. Therefore, they would not be eligible to receive Medicare rebates for Area of Need on a limited or provisional medical registration. For further information please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Medical Board of Australia (MBA)’s publishes an annual ‘Report of specialist medical colleges’ specialist pathway data’ report. This report details the number of applicants assessed by RANZCR each year by country and level of comparability: Specialist medical colleges' specialist pathway data

Useful Websites

The following websites provide information about registration, practising medicine, and general health issues in Australia and New Zealand:

        • Medicare Australia
          For information regarding the 10 year moratorium and criteria for exemption to Section 19AB of the Health Insurance Act 1973.

        • Doctor Connect
          Information for doctors trained outside of Australia and for Australian medical employers.

        • Department of Immigration and Border Protection
          For information regarding visa applications and living in Australia.

        • Australian Medical Council
          For information regarding the assessment pathways and primary source verification of medical and specialist qualifications.

        • Medical Board of Australia
          Information regarding registration types, registration standards, forms and fees. Links to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), who is the organisation responsible for the implementation of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme across Australia and the renewal of practitioner registration.

        • Medical Board of Australia, International Medical Graduates
          Specific information regarding the pathways to registration for IMGs.

        • Department of Health
          The Department of Health has a diverse set of responsibilities, but throughout there is a common purpose, which is reflected in their vision statement: "Better health and wellbeing for all Australians".

        • Medical Council of New Zealand
          The Medical Council registers doctors in New Zealand and carries responsibilities in the areas of standards, conduct and competence.

        • Ministry of Health, New Zealand
          The Government's principal advisor on health and disability: improving, promoting and protecting the health of all New Zealanders.

        • Immigration New Zealand
          Immigration New Zealand is responsible for bringing the best people to New Zealand to enhance New Zealand’s social and economic outcomes.