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Registration requirements for students nearing completion of their medical studies

Ahpra is responsible for registration requirements for a number of medical fields. 

Unfortunately COVID19 has placed a number of practical restrictions on registration especially for those who are about to graduate.

Ahpra cannot finalise the application until the receive the graduate results from the education provider.

Generally, fully documented applications are finalised within two weeks of receiving graduate results.

Below are some important key points for those who are close to graduating or has graduated recently:

The Medical Board of Australia (the Board) will waive the usual rotation requirements for interns in 2020.

The Board will accept the following supervised clinical experience for general registration:

  • at least 40 weeks full-time equivalent service (a reduction of seven weeks to allow for isolation/sick leave etc.)
  • the clinical experience can take place in accredited and non-accredited positions
  • the requirement for the usual rotations of medicine, surgery and emergency medical care are waived. The Board will accept clinical experience in any supervised rotations.

Health services that employ interns must continue to supervise them and provide them, as much as possible, with meaningful educational clinical experiences and teaching, as well as support during what will be a challenging and difficult time.

The Board recognises that much education is likely to be ‘on the job’ and that this pandemic will expose interns to unique clinical experiences.

For the purpose of granting general registration at the end of the intern year, the Board will accept a report from the Director of Medical Services, Director of Training or another person authorised to sign off intern reports which confirms that each intern has performed satisfactorily during the intern year.

However, if the time or experience missed is more substantial, and would not provide the relevant breadth of experience or enable learning outcomes to be met, then there may be a need for the intern to complete more clinical experience once the COVID-19 pandemic is less acute.

The Board reduced the minimum supervised clinical experience required of interns in 2020 to at least 40 weeks, from the standard 47 weeks, to allow for sick leave and isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic. It has not reduced the length of the internship.

When the period of supervised practice has been less than 47 weeks, but at least 40, the intern will need to explain the reasons for the shortfall. Having to take sick leave or to isolate as a result of COVID-19 are acceptable reasons for reducing the period of supervised practice.

The Board will not approve applications for general registration earlier than the usual intern completion date. The Board expects interns who started at the beginning of 2020 to continue their internship until the start of 2021, when they can apply for general registration. Interns who started their internship in late 2019 are required to continue their internship until late 2020.

The Board will continue to review the requirements for interns, as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic becomes clearer. There will be a flexible if there are ongoing impacts on health services that affect internships, including for the small group of interns who may start their internship mid-year.

For further information, visit:  https://www.ahpra.gov.au/

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