Gaining medical registration in Australia

International medical graduates (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 able to be registered with the Medical Board of Australia.

There are 4 pathways to medical registration for IMGs in Australia:

  • Competent Authority pathway
  • Specialist pathway
  • Standard pathway
  • Short term training in a medical speciality pathway

Doctors in theatre masks and gowns

Competent Authority Pathway

  • The Competent Authority pathway is for overseas-trained non-specialists, but is also available to specialists, including general practitioners. This pathway leads to general registration.
  • IMGs who have passed recognised examinations or have completed training through a Medical Board of Australia approved competent authority, can apply for assessment under this pathway.
  • IMGs applying for the Competent Authority pathway should apply directly to the Medical Board of Australia for provisional registration.

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 Medical Board of Australia provides further information about the Competent Authority Pathway (external site) and application process.

Specialist Pathway

The Specialist pathway is for the following IMGs: 

  • overseas-trained specialists applying for assessment of comparability to the standard of a specialist trained in that specialty in Australia (specialist recognition), and
  • overseas-trained specialists applying for an area of need specialist level position in Australia (area of need).

IMGs apply directly to the specialist medical college for the Specialist pathway.

The Medical Board of Australia provides further information on the Specialist Pathway (external site).  

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. 

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.

Find out more about AMC examinations (external site).

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 available at seven locations in Australia. 

Find out more about workplace-based assessment.

Short-term training in a medical specialty pathway

The short term training in a medical specialty pathway is for IMGs who are overseas-trained specialists or specialists-in-training wishing to undertake a short period (usually up to 24 months) of specialist or advanced training in Australia.

This pathway does not lead to registration as a specialist in Australia. IMGs seeking to qualify for specialist registration apply for registration via the specialist pathway - specialist recognition.

The Medical Board of Australia provides further information on Short term training in a medical specialty pathway (external site).

Produced by

Medical Workforce