Medical Training Review Panel: fourteenth report

Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists

Page last updated: 11 March 2011

Training Program

The Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) approved training sequence encompasses an initial two-year prevocational medical education and training period and the five-year period of ANZCA approved training, which consists of two years basic training and three years advanced training. In the course of ANZCA approved training, trainees are required to successfully complete:

  • five years of supervised clinical training at approved training sites;
  • both the primary and final examinations;
  • a program of 12 modules; and
  • an Effective Management of Anaesthetic Crises (EMAC) or Early Management of Severe Trauma (EMST) course or equivalent.

The training program provides for part-time training. The minimum trainee commitment must be 50% of that of a full-time trainee. There is provision for interrupted training. Some overseas training may be recognised during both basic and advanced training, subject to prior approval by the college assessor.

Trainee Selection

ANZCA's Guidelines for the Selection of Trainees outlines the principles that should be used in selecting trainees for appointment to hospitals approved for training for the diploma of fellowship of ANZCA.

Trainees are trained and educated in approved hospital departments, which must be part of an approved rotation, according to the ANZCA guidelines and policies, and under the supervision of the ANZCA. It should be noted that the hospital is the employing authority, not the ANZCA, and the hospital makes the appointments using a process as outlined by these guidelines. However, the selection committee should include at least one ANZCA representative approved by the relevant regional/national committee. Trainees are not re-selected into advanced training by the ANZCA.

Trainee Assessment

In-Training Assessment (ITA) is carried out at least every 6 months, and requires the trainee and the supervisor of training to carry out a regular process of evaluation, recording goals set and areas identified for improvement. Each trainee must maintain a learning portfolio, which should include formal documents relating to training, including the ITA forms, the trainee’s self evaluation of performance forms, as well as voluntary documentation, such as a logbook.

The primary examination covers physiology, including clinical measurement, and pharmacology, including statistics. Trainees may sit one or both subjects at any sitting. There is no limit on the number of attempts but progress beyond the second year of training requires a pass in both subjects. Trainees progress to the oral section when they have attained a satisfactory score in the written section. The final examination consists of written and oral sections, and may be taken after three years of approved training.

Admission to fellowship is available to trainees who have successfully completed five years of training, passed both examinations, and completed all other training requirements.

International Medical Graduate Specialists

The international medical graduate specialist (IMGS) assessment process is conducted by ANZCA to assess and make a determination regarding the comparability of the IMGS to a fellow of ANZCA.

The ANZCA IMGS assessment process commences with application via the Australian Medical Council (AMC) and proceeds to a paper-based assessment to establish qualifications, training, clinical experience, recency of practice, health systems worked in, and participation in continuing professional development (CPD). Area of Need applicants are also assessed for comparability, as required.

If eligible to proceed, the assessment then includes:

  • a face-to-face assessment interview;
  • a clinical practice assessment period; and
  • either a workplace-based assessment, or the choice of the IMGS performance assessment or the final examination.

Additionally, some applicants are required to undertake the IMGS performance assessment or final examination.

With specialist anaesthesia training, with regard to duration, structure, content, curriculum, sub-specialty experience, supervision and assessment, the onus will be on the applicant to provide evidence of this training. The assessment will take into account the college’s training requirements at the time the applicant attained his/her initial post-graduate specialist qualification in anaesthesia.

In relation to the specialist qualification, consideration will be given to the curriculum vitae, references, and details of practice as a specialist anaesthetist. Experience and qualifications must be substantiated by statements and original or certified copies of diplomas from relevant bodies.

Assessment of the specialist’s experience takes into account case mix, use of equipment and drugs and compliance with standards of anaesthesia practice as promoted in the college professional documents. Evidence of participation in CPD is sought, comparable to the college’s continuing CPD program. Continuous involvement in recent years is particularly important.


Accredited hospitals are reviewed according to a seven-year cycle. Where possible, an entire rotation or training scheme is reviewed at the same time. Sometimes it is necessary to visit individual hospitals in between the seven-year rotational reviews. This is usually a result of major staffing or structural changes within the hospital, or a particular concern raised by the hospital, the trainees, the regional/national committee or other parties.

The College approves departments as a whole as being suitable for training; it does not approve a particular number of posts. The number of trainees is decided by the hospital.

Hospitals are normally approved for both basic and advanced training. That is, they may take trainees in any of the 5 years of training. Under very rare circumstances, a hospital may be approved for advanced training only.

Hospitals may also be approved for the potential to offer a provisional fellowship program. This is normally in addition to approval for basic and advanced training, but some hospitals may be deemed suitable for provisional fellowship training only. Trainees wishing to be appointed as provisional fellows must seek prospective approval from the college assessor.

Further Information