Gaining medical registration in Australia

Doctors whose primary medical qualifications were obtained in a country other than Australia or New Zealand are known in Australia as international medical graduates (IMGs).

IMGs who wish to practice as a medical practitioner in Australia must have their overseas medical qualifications verified by relevant authorities before they will be permitted to practice.

IMG medical qualifications must be verified by the Australian Medical Council (AMC) prior to applying to register to practise medicine.

All doctors practising medicine within Australia must be registered with the Medical Board of Australia (MBA).

The AMC assesses the qualifications of IMGs according to 1 of 3 assessment pathways:

  • Competent Authority Pathway
  • Specialist Pathway
  • Standard Pathway.

Doctors in theatre masks and gowns

Competent Authority Pathway

The AMC has approved 5 international authorities as competent to assess, for the purposes of medical licensure or registration, applied medical knowledge and basic clinical skills to a standard consistent with AMC assessment processes.

Doctors who completed training or assessment with an AMC approved competent authority can apply to the AMC for advanced standing towards the AMC Certificate.

International authorities competent to assess

  • United Kingdom – General Medical Council (GMC) and Professional and Linguistics Assessment Board (PLAB) examination or graduates of GMC-accredited medical courses in the UK
  • Canada – Licentiate examinations of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC)
  • United States – United States Medical Licensing Examination of the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME)
  • New Zealand – Medical Council of New Zealand Registration EXamination (NZREX)
  • Ireland – medical courses accredited by the Medical Council of Ireland.

The AMC provides further information about the Competent Authority Pathway (external site) and application process.

Specialist Pathway

IMGs with specialist qualifications and training gained overseas can have their training assessed by the relevant AMC-accredited Australian medical specialist colleges. The colleges will compare the IMGs training and qualifications to those of specialists trained in Australia.

The AMC provides further information about the Specialist Pathway (external site) and application process.

Standard Pathway

The standard pathway is generally for non-specialist IMGs seeking general registration in Australia who do not qualify for the Competent Authority Pathway. The AMC provides further information about the Standard Pathway (external site) and application process.

There are 2 alternate processes leading to the AMC Certificate under this pathway.

Standard Pathway (AMC examinations)

This assessment is by examination only. It involves the AMC Computer Adaptive Test (CAT) Multiple Choice Questionnaire (MCQ) examination and the AMC clinical examination.

Most applicants are assessed through this method.

Standard Pathway (workplace-based assessment)

Workplace-based assessment is by the AMC CAT MCQ examination and workplace-based assessment of clinical skills and knowledge through an AMC accredited authority.

There are only limited places available through this pathway which has been piloted in some states, including Western Australia, and is now moving into the next phase beyond the pilot.

Find out more about workplace-based assessment.

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Medical Workforce