Changes to prevocational training: registration and e-portfolio 

In 2015 the Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ) implemented the first round of its long awaited changes to the prevocational training years (defined as the first two years following graduation). The changes include the introduction of a new e-portfolio and the requirement that interns spend 24 months working in accredited attachments (previously 12 months). 

In your first year, you will work on the basis of having ‘Provisional registration’. Provided you satisfy certain requirements in your e-portfolio you will gain ‘General registration with endorsement’ for your second year. From year three onwards you will have ‘General registration’. The endorsement added in second year stipulates that you must be working in Council-accredited attachments and you must be working towards your professional development plan as outlined in your e-portfolio. Almost all hospital-based attachments in NZ are Council-accredited. The exceptions are some rural hospital runs and after-hours GP accident and medical centres. 

If you have any questions or want to query your plans for PGY1/2 and how this will affect your registration, we urge you to get in touch with MCNZ in order to prevent any issues with attaining General Registration at the start of PGY3. 

The e-portfolio is essentially an online professional development logbook, where you:

  • create your medical learning goals
  • record professional development activities
  • work through a pre-defined list of skills
  • document meetings with your supervisors.

For each attachment you are required to meet your supervisor at the beginning, middle and end of the attachment. Your supervisor for each attachment will be one of your consultants for that particular run, who will monitor your progress, provide feedback for improvement, and document this in your portfolio for your information.

You will also be allocated an intern supervisor who will provide overall support for your training year and can assist you if necessary if any issues arise. At the end of your first year, your portfolio will be reviewed to see if you have met a minimum requirement to progress to the next level of registration. 

One new change is the introduction of community-based attachments. In 2016 the Medical Council expects that at least 10% of interns will spend one three-month attachment in the community. The final make up of this is not yet clear but examples generally involve GP practices, some rural hospitals, urgent care, hospice, and community psychiatry. By 2020 MCNZ aims to have every intern complete 12.5% of their 24 months of prevocational training in a community-based attachment. 

The transition from Trainee Intern to first-year House Officer is a busy time and there is a lot to take note of. This is just a brief introduction into one of your new professional responsibilities. Before starting work, you will receive further communication from MCNZ about your e-portfolio. 


[This information originally appeared in Issue 13 of Anatomy, our annual newsletter for Trainee Interns. You can read it here.]