The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) does not use the terms ‘basic’ and ‘advanced’ to distinguish between levels of specialist training, but does distinguish between the Integrated Training Program (Years 1–4) and Elective training (Years 5–6).
Integrated Training Program
The first 4 years of general obstetric and gynaecological training is known as the Integrated Training Program (ITP) 4.
Elective Training 5 may involve further general obstetrics and gynaecology, and further research or subspecialty training – only one year of which may be officially credited toward further training in a subspecialty program.
The studies and training, including workshops, undertaken during the ITP and the Elective Training program, are set out in the RANZCOG curriculum, available on the college’s website.
The training program provides for part-time and interrupted training. Part-time training is on the basis of a minimum 50% of the full-time commitment. The first year of the ITP must be undertaken full-time. Interrupted training of up to two years is allowed without loss of credit of training already undertaken in the program. Training must be completed within 11 years.
Trainees entering the training program at Year One should:
- hold an approved Australian or New Zealand primary medical degree, or successfully complete the requirements necessary to obtain the Australian Medical Council (AMC) certificate;
- possess unconditional general medical registration in a state or territory in Australia, and possess or be eligible for unconditional general medical registration in the state/states or territory/territories for which they are applying;
- have sufficient academic achievement to meet the requirements of the training program;
- have clinical experience that demonstrates the ability to exercise sound clinical ability and judgment;
- demonstrate interpersonal, communication, problem-solving and organisational skills; and
- be familiar with the Australian health system.
The selection process is both paper-based and interview-based. An initial application is followed by a state-based selection interview process.
There is no formal selection process for Elective trainees. Trainees progress from ITP training to the Elective years.
The assessments undertaken may be summarised as follows:
- three-monthly formative and six-monthly summative in-training assessments;
- In-Hospital Clinical Assessments – one in ultrasound, the other in colposcopy;
- assessment of surgical competency at both ‘basic’ and ‘advanced’ levels – trainees are required to be observed undertaking specified obstetric and gynaecological surgical procedures and certified as being competent to perform these independently;
- research project – to be completed by the end of Year Five;
- Membership Written Examination – multiple choice and short answer papers; and
- Membership Oral Examination – Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) format.
Overseas Trained Specialists
The initial assessment of an overseas trained applicant’s primary medical qualifications, and their eligibility to practise in Australia, is undertaken by the AMC. The AMC then delegates to the college the responsibility of determining whether that applicant’s qualifications and professional experience are comparable to those of an Australian-trained specialist in obstetrics and gynaecology. An assessment of the applicant’s specialist training and experience, including three detailed referee reports, is undertaken to determine whether they may be considered comparable to an Australian—trained specialist in obstetrics and gynaecology, and thus proceed to an interview assessment conducted by a College panel, which includes a community representative.
Interviews are held approximately every eight weeks at College House in Melbourne. There are three possible outcomes from the interview:
- An applicant may be deemed to be substantially comparable to an Australian-trained specialist and invited to apply for fellowship of the college following satisfactory completion of a period of up to 12 months supervised specialist work and participation in CPD activities.
- An applicant may be deemed to be partially comparable to an Australian-trained specialist.
- An applicant may be deemed to be neither partially nor substantially comparable to an Australian-trained specialist, in which case they will need to obtain the AMC Certificate and then apply to enter the college’s specialist training program in order to proceed to fellowship of the College.
If deemed ‘partially comparable’ an applicant is required to complete a minimum of 12 months and a maximum of 24 months of prospectively approved supervised training before being eligible to apply for fellowship. During this time, they must satisfactorily complete the College Membership Written and Oral Examinations, two in-hospital clinical assessments and the college’s Communication Skills Workshop. They must work closely with an approved training supervisor, submit three-monthly and six-monthly assessment reports and, finally, be certified as having satisfied demonstrated a list of competencies that are drawn from the RANZCOG Curriculum. Applicants assessed as ‘partially comparable’ have a maximum of four years from the date of their assessment to complete their requirements.
All ITP level training hospitals are accredited by the college. These sites are currently undergoing reaccreditation by the RANZCOG to ensure that the core requirements for clinical and educational experience, as defined in the RANZCOG curriculum are being met for all trainees in participating hospitals.
Training sites for Elective training are not currently formally accredited or reaccredited by the college. However, Elective trainees, like all RANZCOG trainees, must still submit applications for prospective approval of training.