Medical Training Review Panel: Seventeenth Report

Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists

Page last updated: 09 April 2014

Training Program

The 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 half a year of introductory training, a year and a half of basic training, two years advanced training and one year of provisional fellowship training. In the course of ANZCA approved training, trainees are required to:

  • Maintain their training portfolio system records, ensuring they are accurate and up-to-date.
  • Set learning goals for each clinical placement.
  • Actively seek clinical experience to meet volume of practice requirements.
  • Ensure adequate preparation for the primary and final examinations.
  • Actively participate in self-assessment.
  • Participate in feedback sessions and reviews, reflect on feedback received and strive to improve their performance in line with training requirements.

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 Training and Accreditation Handbook outlines the principles that should be used in selecting trainees for appointment to hospitals approved for training for 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 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 ANZCA.

Trainee Assessment

In-Training Assessment (ITA) is carried out at least every 6 months, and is comprised of clinical placement reviews, core unit reviews and a provisional fellowship review. The trainee and the supervisor of training 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 an online logbook maintained using the training portfolio system. Workplace based assessments are an essential requirement of the revised curriculum.

The primary examination was changed in 2013 to a single examination encompassing physiology, including clinical measurement, pharmacology, and statistics. 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 assessment process is conducted by ANZCA to assess and make a determination regarding the comparability of the international medical graduate specialist to a fellow of ANZCA.

The ANZCA international medical graduate specialist 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 international medical graduate specialist performance assessment or the final examination.

International medical graduate specialist applicants need to provide evidence of their specialist anaesthesia training in relation to duration, structure, content, curriculum, sub-specialty experience, supervision and assessment. The ANZCA international medical graduate specialist assessment process 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.

Further Information

Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists