Specialist International Medical Graduates

Special Assessment Process

Under Australian government regulations, Overseas Trained Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (OTOMS) must undergo a specialist assessment process.

Prior to July 2014, this included a preliminary assessment conducted by the Australian Medical Council (AMC). The AMC undertook the initial vetting of applications on behalf of the specialist medical colleges to ensure that applicants were eligible for specialist assessment, and to verify qualifications. The application was then forwarded to the specialist medical college for further assessment.

From July 2014 applicants for Specialist Assessment will no longer apply directly to the AMC. Instead, applicants may apply directly to the relevant specialist college for assessment. The AMC continues to conduct primary source verification (PSV) of primary and specialist medical qualifications, and applicants should contact the AMC directly to request PSV. The AMC will upload the qualifications, progress and outcomes of the PSV onto the MBA/AHPRA Portal.

The RACDS’ specialist assessment focuses on education, training, quality, quantity and scope of clinical experience, level of formal assessment including specialist qualifications in surgery, recency of relevant practice (i.e. practice within the last 2 years) and relevant professional skills and attributes in order to determine comparability with that of a surgeon who has been trained by RACDS.

The RACDS’ specialist assessment process normally takes up to 3 months (from date of activation) to complete, and involves a document based assessment and may include a face-to-face semi-structured panel interview.

If the OTOMS is deemed Partially Comparable or Substantially Comparable they have up to 2 years from date of recommendation to find a suitable position for supervised clinical assessment purposes, and 4 years from commencement of clinical assessment to complete all requirements stipulated in their specialist recommendation. When the OTOMS has successfully completed all requirements of the assessment, the Board of Studies (OMS) will consider a recommendation to the College Board that the Fellowship (FRACDS(OMS)) be awarded.

The RACDS’ specialist assessment progresses in five stages


1.      Initial Assessment

A paper based assessment of the application will take place to determine eligibility.

2.      Interview

If deemed eligible to proceed during the initial assessment, applicants for specialist assessment must present for an interview.

3.      Assessment

Following the interview, the application and interview report are considered by the Overseas Trained Specialist Working Group (OTSWG). The OTSWG will determine the outcome and, if applicable, set the specialist recognition requirements.

4.      Completion of Requirements

Applicants who are deemed partially or substantially comparable to an Australian or New Zealand trained Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon will be required to complete a minimum of 12 months of supervised clinical practice.

Applicants must commence finalisation of their requirements within 2 years of receipt of their outcome. Requirements must be completed within 4 years of commencement. Should an OTOMS not complete all requirements within this timeframe, their assessment validity period will expire and their assessment will no longer be valid.

5.      Recommendation for Fellowship

Once all specialist recognition requirements have been completed within the required timeframe, the OTSWG will consider a recommendation that the applicant be granted Fellowship in the Specialty of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. This recommendation will go to the College Council for ratification.

Need more info?
For further information, please refer to the RACDS OTOMS Specialist Assessment Policy.


All applicants for Specialist Assessments must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • A Dental degree, which should be primary source verified
  • A Medical degree, which must be primary source verified
    Please contact the Australian Medical Council for further information on the process of primary source verification.
  • General registration as a dental practitioner in Australian or New Zealand
    Please contact AHPRA for further information on the process of gaining dental registration.
    Specialist qualifications in the field of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

If any of the above criteria are not met, the applicant will be deemed ineligible for Specialist Assessment and advised to seek entry to the OMS Training Program.


For further information on international medical graduates in Australia please click the following links.

Medical Board of Australia

Department of Health

Overseas Trained Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons are advised to seek advice directly from the Medical Council of New Zealand and the Dental Council of New Zealand.

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