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Specialist training in Australia

Specialist medical training in Australia is quite complex and involves many organisations with different responsibilities. The following is a simple summary of the organisations involved:


  • The Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (the National Law) is in force in each state and territory of Australia.
  • This National Law establishes a National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (the National Scheme) for the registration of health practitioners across 15 professions.
  • Each health profession that is part of the National Scheme is represented by a National Board that is responsible for regulating that profession in accordance with the National Scheme.
  • The National Boards set the standards that practitioners must meet and maintain in order to be registered.
  • The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra) supports the National Boards to implement the National Scheme across Australia.
  • Australian medical students and doctors seeking to practise medicine in Australia must be registered with the Medical Board of Australia.

Specialist Registration

  • There is a range of registration categories under which a doctor can practise medicine in Australia.
  • The category of Specialist Registration is available only to medical practitioners who have been assessed by a specialist medical college as being eligible for fellowship of that college.
  • Specialist medical colleges are responsible for the education and training of doctors in specialist medical practice.
  • The specialist medical colleges and their programs of study must be accredited by the Australian Medical Council (AMC).
  • The AMC is an independent national standards body for medical education and training.

Quick Reference


Australian Medical Council

The Australian Medical Council (AMC) is responsible for developing accreditation standards for medical education and training in Australia and assessing whether training programs and training providers meet these standards.

The AMC is also responsible for the assessment and recognition of overseas qualifications of medical practitioners to determine whether they meet the standards required for medical registration in Australia.
Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra) works with the 15 National Boards to help protect the public by regulating Australia's registered health practitioners. It’s primary role is to protect the public and set standards and policies that all registered health practitioners must meet.

Medical Board of Australia

The Medical Board of Australia is responsible for regulating medical practitioners practising in Australia.

All Australian medical students and doctors seeking to practise medicine in Australia must be registered with the Medical Board.
Postgraduate Medical Council of Tasmania (PMCT)PMCT is responsible for prevocational medical education in Tasmania. Prevocational doctors are those who have not yet commenced vocational training with a college (usually doctors in their first two to three years after graduation).
Specialist Medical Colleges

Specialist medical colleges are member-based organisations with two main responsibilities:

  • postgraduate medical education in their designated specialty area
  • continuing professional development of their members (called Fellows).

Most (but not all) of the specialty medical colleges in Australia are also the same college for New Zealand.  Fellows of these colleges are recognized and can work in either jurisdiction.

Australasian College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA)

Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM)

Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO)

Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP)

Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP)

Royal Australasian College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists (RANZCOG)

Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators (RACMA)

Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP)

Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS)

Royal Australasian College of Radiologists (RANZCR)

Royal College of Pathologists of Australia (RCPA)