The Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (AFOEM)’s training program is focused on the ability to assess a person's fitness for work, facilitate return to work of a person after injury or illness, and identify ways in which work or environment harms health so as to negotiate effective prevention and to respond to the needs of courts and tribunals. The AFOEM training program encourages trainees to assess the effects of harmful exposures in places where they occur, to research the health effects of new and developing work activities and technologies, and to seek and seize opportunities to foster prevention.
Trainees are required to participate in training review meetings, complete six-monthly training status reports, learning plans, formative assessments and work a minimum of ten hours per week in occupational and environmental medicine.
Trainees can apply to become inactive at any time but must continue to submit 6-monthly reports and cannot take any assessment components during the time of inactivity. Interrupted training is allowed up to two years and all training must be completed within 10 years (full or part-time).
For entry into the AFOEM training program, applicants must:
- have obtained unconditional general medical registration with the Medical Board of Australia6;
- have completed at least two years of postgraduate general clinical experience;
- be enrolled in or have completed a postgraduate qualification in occupational and environmental medicine; and
- have obtained a position in occupational medicine in Australia, and be working a minimum of ten hours per week in the field. It is the trainee's responsibility to find a suitable position for occupational and environmental medicine training.
Prospective trainees must approach the Director of Training in their region about the possibility of joining the training program. Their previous qualifications are assessed and a recommendation to undertake additional study or to apply is given.
Assessment covers the following topics: clinical; workplace assessment; critical appraisal, research methods, management, communication, legislation, rehabilitation and the environment.
Assessment during training includes regular training status reports, written and practical examinations, a research project, a presentation of the abstract from the research project and a Written Communication Portfolio.
Overseas Trained Specialists
Refer to the overseas trained specialists section under RACP.
AFOEM does not offer accredited training positions, but approves each post on a case-by-case basis. Applicants must find employment in occupational medicine and apply to Director of Training for the post to be endorsed. Any post will not contain the variety of experience required to fulfil all the competencies, so trainees are encouraged to work in different positions throughout training. Each time the trainee moves to a new post, this must be approved as suitable by the Director of Training.
5) The Australasian Faculty of Occupational Medicine formally became the ‘Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine’ (AFOEM) in May 2007. Historically there has always been a strong element of ‘environmental’ medicine in the teaching and practice of Occupational Medicine, and this change was seen as more clearly defining the specialty.
6) International medical graduates must first have been assessed by the AMC as being competent to practice medicine in Australia and must provide evidence of satisfactory completion of the AMC Certificate.