Promoting Excellence in Sexual and Reproductive Health

Specialist International Medical Graduates Policy

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Specialist International Medical Graduates (SIMG) who are holding a relevant postgraduate qualification obtained outside New Zealand and who wish to practise as a specialist in New Zealand.


To define the process for reviewing and assessing international specialist training in sexual and reproductive health for vocational registration within the family planning and reproductive health scope of practice with the Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ).

Assessment Process

The New Zealand College of Sexual and Reproductive Health (NZCSRH) administered by the New Zealand Sexual and Reproductive Health Educational Charitable Trust (NZSRHECT) is the Vocational Educational Advisory Body (VEAB) which provides advice to the MCNZ for those SIMGs wanting to become vocationally registered in the scope of family planning and reproductive health.

SIMGs submit a VOC3 form (Application for registration within a provisional vocational scope of practice) to MCNZ.

For applicants who are based overseas, MCNZ forwards the application to the Chair of the NZCSRH Educational Advisory Committee (EAC) for preliminary advice on the suitability of the applicant. This paper based assessment of the applicant’s qualifications, training and experience is about the comparability of the applicant to a medical practitioner vocationally registered in the scope of family planning and reproductive health in New Zealand.

The EAC undertakes an assessment of the applicant’s qualifications, training (including the training programme’s curriculum), in-training assessments, examinations, experience, recent practice and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) after completion of training. The EAC determines whether all of these components together would enable the SIMG to practice at a level comparable to the standard expected of a New Zealand trained specialist practicing in the same vocational scope. The curriculum of the SRH Advanced Training Program is used as the standard for the assessment.

The EAC returns their preliminary advice to MCNZ. If it indicates that the SIMG is not suitable for provisional vocational registration the applicant is offered to either attend an interview with the VEAB for final advice or withdraw the application.

For applicants who are based in New Zealand, MCNZ requests final advice from NZCSRH in the form of an interview with the VEAB. Interviews will be held via video conference. The interview panel will have a minimum of 3 members and a maximum of 5 members. The panel will consist of EAC Member(s), Fellow(s) of NZCSRH and a Consumer Representative from the NZSRHECT Board (where practical). Interviews will be a maximum of 60 minutes in duration. The SIMG will be provided with information on the scope of the interview and the panel members beforehand.

In their final advice the EAC reports back to MCNZ on whether the qualifications, training and experience of the SIMG are “equivalent to” or “as satisfactory as” a New Zealand trained practitioner. If necessary, the EAC will provide recommendations on what is required to bring the SIMG up to that standard. It is anticipated that the majority of SIMGs would need some training around the New Zealand legislation relating to sexual and reproductive health, and cultural safety training.

If the preliminary or final advice is “neither equivalent to, nor as satisfactory as” (where the applicant’s specialist training, qualifications and experience are not comparable to that of a medical practitioner vocationally registered in the scope of family planning and reproductive health in New Zealand), specific details of the differences are documented and forwarded to MCNZ for consideration in their final decision.

If the preliminary or final advice is “unable to make a recommendation”, further information or clarification is required. The EAC will provide specific details to MCNZ about the issues that need to be clarified, or the additional information that is required.

Currently, only Membership or Fellowship of the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (MFSRH or FFSRH) of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in the United Kingdom can be considered comparable clinically.


Any dispute in this regard will be referred to the NZSRHECT Board according to the Complaints Policy.

Policy Owner: Educational Advisory Committee | Date: May 2022 | Review Date: May 2025




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