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Competent Authority pathway

Competent Authority pathway

Education > IMGs > Live and practice medicine in Australia > Competent Authority Pathway
Last updated 4 August 2023

Before you start reading the information on this webpage, please be aware that this information is a guide only and is subject to change based on updated regulation and policy. Each individual’s experience may vary slightly.


The Competent Authority pathway is for IMGs whose primary medical degree was awarded by an MBA-approved competent authority. The current approved competent authorities are in the UK, Canada, the USA, New Zealand and Ireland.

Steps to Fellowship

  • Contact a medical recruitment agency or the Rural Health Workforce Agency.
  • Undertake a general practice experience assessment.
  • If you have three years of full-time equivalent experience working in general practice or primary care, you can look for a job in an Area of Need or Distribution Priority Area in the following settings:
    • general practice
    • after-hours general practice
    • medical deputising/retrieval
    • Aboriginal health services.
  • If you do not have three years of full-time equivalent experience in general practice or primary care, you have the option to apply for registration to work in a non-specialist hospital position.
  • Submit application to sit the PESCI with the RACGP or another AMC Accredited PESCI provider.
  • Prepare for the PESCI.
  • Sit the PESCI.
  • Receive your PESCI outcome report. The report will also be sent to your work sponsor or employer and to AHPRA directly.
  • Ensure you have met these registration standards that apply to all registration applicants:
    • continuing professional development (CPD)
    • criminal history
    • English language skills
    • professional indemnity insurance
    • recency of practice
  • Provide evidence of three years of full-time equivalent experience in general practice or primary care
  • Present in person at an AHPRA office for an identification check.
  • Wait for the finalisation of your AHPRA registration.
  • Check which visa options would suit your need with Department of Home Affairs Visa Finder (for example, with pathways to permanent residency for temporary residents, direct pathways to permanent residency, temporary business sponsored visas)
  • For enquiries about 3GA programs and visa status, please contact your local Rural Workforce Agency for assistance (list all agencies here with link)
  • The Temporary Skill Shortage Visa (subclass 482) medium-term stream is the most common pathway for migrating to Australia as a doctor and requires that you be sponsored by an Australian medical practice or hospital. For this visa, follow the step-by-step guide here.
  • Submit 3GA program application (19AA) if applicable.
  • Complete and sign the form HW019.
  • Your employer submits a provider number application on your behalf and areas of need materials (section 19AB of the Health Insurance Act 1973 [Cwlth]).
  • Successfully complete 12 months (minimum 47 weeks) of full-time supervised practice.
  • Ensure you meet the reporting requirements as per this guideline.
  • Check the Fellowship program options.
  • Ensure you meet the eligibility requirements.
  • Submit your application.
  • Pass the selection or entry assessment if required.
  • Sign the training agreement and make the payment if required.
  • Apply for an approved placement and Medicare provider number.
  • Key Feature Problem exam (KFP).
  • Clinical exam.
  • Candidates on the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program need to complete:
    • 12 months equivalent of full-time hospital training
    • 18 months of full-time equivalent practice placement
    • six months of full-time equivalent extended skills training
    • optional additional 12 months of full-time equivalent advanced rural skills, leading to rural generalist Fellowship (FRACGP-RG).
  • Candidates on the Remote Vocational Training Scheme (RVTS) need to complete:
    • three-year education program requirements
    • workplace-based assessment requirements.
  • Candidates on the Fellowship Support Program (FSP) need to complete:
    • 24 equivalent calendar months education program requirements
    • workplace-based assessment requirements.
  • Check Fellowship Exams Policy to see if you have satisfied the educational, training, experience and administrative requirements prior to enrolling in the Fellowship examinations, to better ensure exam readiness and success.
  • Enrol in the RACGP Fellowship exams via the RACGP website once exam eligibility requirements are met.
  • Complete and pass the:
    • Applied Knowledge Test (AKT)
    • Key Feature Problem (KFP) exam
    • Clinical Exam
  • Check and ensure you have met the Fellowship requirements.
  • Apply to the RACGP for Fellowship as soon as you’ve met the Fellowship requirements.
  • Once you have received confirmation of Fellowship, apply for specialist registration with AHPRA.

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