Medical Training Review Panel: Seventeenth Report

Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists

Page last updated: 09 April 2014

Training Program

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) vocational training program for admission is five years, comprising three years of basic training and two years of advanced training.

Basic Training

Basic training requires a minimum of 36 months FTE. The training is based around rotations in adult general psychiatry, child/adolescent psychiatry, and consultation liaison, together with training experiences in rural psychiatry and indigenous mental health, psychiatry of old age, addiction, electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) and psychotherapy. This curriculum is intended to promote a consumer-focused approach in which the consumer is able to work towards management of their condition in active partnership with their psychiatrist and other mental health professionals.

Advanced Training

Advanced training requires a minimum of 24 months FTE and involves continued rotations in accredited advanced training posts. In generalist training, rotations can be in general psychiatry or any subspecialty and a maximum of 12 months of the two years can be spent doing clinical research. All advanced trainees, whether in the generalist fellowship program or whether undertaking one of the seven certificate streams, must complete leadership and management experience, accrue continuing medical education hours across the two years, continue to do regular psychotherapy and receive supervision for this, continue developing their consultative skills and must also complete several learning projects in the fields of biological, social and cultural management as well as the annual Ethical Practice Activities.

Trainee Selection

Basic Training

To be eligible to apply, prospective trainees must have satisfactorily completed at least one FTE year of general medical training, hold current general medical registration in Australia or New Zealand and be in good standing with the relevant medical registration board or equivalent approved body. Applicants apply direct to the local training committee responsible for basic trainee selection.

Advanced Training

To be eligible to commence advanced training for generalist fellowship, trainees must have satisfactorily completed all basic training and assessment requirements.

To be eligible to commence an advanced training subspecialty program, trainees must have satisfactorily completed all basic training and assessment requirements, including the clinical examinations. Applicants apply direct to the state or territory director of advanced training.

Trainee Assessment

Basic Training

During the first three years of training, trainees must demonstrate satisfactory progress in a recognised formal education course. In-training assessment consists of both formative three-monthly and summative six-monthly feedback. In addition, trainees are required to complete two case histories and written and clinical examinations.

Advanced Training

In-training assessment consists of both formative three-monthly and summative six-monthly feedback.

Overseas Trained Specialists

Applications for the assessment of international specialist psychiatry qualifications to determine equivalence for fellowship are submitted via the Australasian Medical Council (AMC) or direct to the RANZCP. The applicant, or the employer, employment agency or medical board on behalf of the applicant, provides standard documentation and payment of a standard assessment fee, as part of the AMC approved process. Local panels of trained, College approved, assessors review the documentation provided and the applicant attends a clarification interview.

The Committee for Specialist International Medical Graduate Education considered the recommendations of the local assessment panels and bases all determinations on standard categories within the RANZCP Equivalence Guidelines. Applicants may be required to undertake further clinical training in psychiatry and/or complete all or part of the college examinations.


The local training committees assess and accredit training posts. A heath service submits a training proposal to a local training committee. The proposal is assessed and a site visit conducted according to standard operating procedures to determine if the post meets the RANZCP standards for accreditation.

The Accreditation Sub-Committee of the Committee for Training is responsible for conducting regular accreditation visits to all training programs in Australia and New Zealand on a three-year cycle. The accreditation visitors ascertain whether the program meets the standards of accreditation which include:

  • the degree to which the apprenticeship model of training is applied;
  • the adequacy of lines of clinical responsibility;
  • whether the provision of supervision meets college requirements;
  • that the range of individual posts throughout the training program provides satisfactory training and gives a sufficiently broad clinical experience;
  • the working conditions, workload of trainees and the facilities provided;
  • the overall organisational aspects of the program; and
  • the atmosphere and morale within the program.

2012 Fellowship Program

In January 2013 after 5 years of development the RANZCP implemented the competency base Fellowship Program, termed the 2012 Fellowship Program. The revised program includes a modified training structure with 3 levels, Stage 1, Stage 2 and Stage 3 completed over 60 months. The revised program includes a modified assessment structure with Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) and Workplace Based Assessments (WBAs) being included. A scholarly project has also been included. For more information see 2012 Fellowship Program (

Further Information

Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists