Application and Selection 

Eligibility to Apply ​

Generic Requirements

Any person wishing to applying for the Surgical Education and Training Program in Neurosurgery as part of the 2018 intake, conducted during 2017, must satisfy the generic eligibility criteria determined by the RACS which includes:

  • residency or citizenship of Australia or New Zealand at the time of registration;
  • general (unconditional) medical registration in Australia or general scope or restricted general scope registration in the relevant specialty in New Zealand;
  • successful completion of the RACS Hand Hygiene Learning Module from which is available on the Hand Hygiene Australia (applicable to Australian and New Zealand Applicants) noting no other module will be accepted;
  • successful completion of the RACS Let's Operate with Respect eModule

All generic eligibility requirements must be satisfied at the time of registration. At the time of registration applicants must consent to a full criminal history check including submission of relevant documentation on request to enable this to be undertaken. Please refer to the RACS website at www.surgeons.org for more detailed information regarding the generic eligibility requirements.

Neurosurgery Specific Requirements

Any person wishing to applying for the Surgical Education and Training Program in Neurosurgery must, in addition to the generic eligibility criteria determined by the RACS, satisfy the neurosurgery specific eligibility requirements which are outlined in the Regulations available for downloading below. They are summarised as:

  • Applicants must have completed a minimum 24 weeks’ full time equivalent dedicated neurosurgical experience in the three years immediately prior to application. For this purpose, only neurosurgical experience obtained while employed in a hospital with a neurosurgical department where the role involves pre and post-operative patient management and participation in morbidity and mortality meetings will be considered. Private assisting experience will not be considered.
  • Applicants must have satisfactorily completed the RACS Generic Surgical Sciences Examination at the time of application.

Download the Selection Regulations here

Application Process

Registration

Applicants intending to apply for selection to the Surgical Education and Training Program in Neurosurgery must register in accordance with the RACS Registration for Selection into Surgical Education and Training Policy available at www.surgeons.org. Applicants not registered cannot lodge an application for the Surgical Education and Training Program in Neurosurgery. The opening and closing dates for registration for the 2018 intake, conducted during 2017, are as follows:

  • Opens Thursday, 5 January 2017 at 12:00 noon AEDT
  • Closes Friday, 3 February 2017 at 5:00pm AEDT

Registration is through the RACS website at www.surgeons.org.  The RACS charges a fee for registration as identified on their website.

Application

The application process for those registered opens in approximately March each year. During this time registered applicants who are eligible will have access to the online application form. Late applications are not considered.

After the closing date for application the selection process for the Surgical Education and Training Program in Neurosurgery takes approximately three to four months. Following the closing date for applications the Board conducts an eligibility check against the neurosurgical eligibility criteria to ensure you meet the minimum requirements. A fee will be charged for application to the Surgical Education and Training Program in Neurosurgery. For the 2018 intake the fee will be $AUD950.

For the 2018 intake, with the selection process conducted during 2017, the dates are as follows:

  • Opens Wednesday, 1 March 2017 at 12:00 noon AEDT
  • Closes Friday, 31 March 2017 at 12:00 noon AEDT

Those registered will be automatically sent a link to make their application on the day applications open.  The application fee must be paid at the time the application is submitted.

Fees

Applicants must pay a registration fee and an application fee as part of the selection process.  The fees for the 2018 intake, conducted during 2017, are as follows:

  • Selection Registration Fee $AU550 (incl GST)
  • Selection Application Fee $AU950 (incl GST)

The registration fee is payable to the RACS at the time of registration.  The selection application fee is payable to the NSA at the time of application for selection.  There are no refunds on these fees. Australian GST is payable only by Australian residents.

Selection Process

Overview

 The selection process uses four selection tools, each contributing the following weightings to the overall selection score out of 100:

  • Structured Curriculum Vitae  15%
  • Neurosurgery Anatomy Examination  30%
  • Reference Report  30%
  • Neurosurgery Semi-Structured Interview  25%

Download the Selection Regulations here

Structured Curriculum Vitae

Applicants must score a minimum of 50.00% (5.5 out of 11 points) for the Structured Curriculum Vitae to be deemed suitable for selection. This will be scored in accordance with Section 6 of the Regulations.  Applicants will receive notification of their performance in the Structure Curriculum Vitae on or prior to 5 May 2017.

Neurosurgery Anatomy Examination

Applicants must score a minimum of 70.00% (196 out of 280 marks) for the Neurosurgery Anatomy Examination to be deemed suitable for selection. This will be scored in accordance with Section 7 of the Regulations. Applicants will receive notification of their performance in the Neurosurgery Anatomy Examination on or prior to 5 May 2017.

The Examination will be a single paper with 70 multiple choice neurosurgery anatomy questions and scored out of a total of 280 marks. The Examination will run for 100 minutes.  The recommended reading is Last's Anatomy, Regional and Applied, 9th Edition, 1998 (reprinted 2003) – McMinn R.M.H., Churchill Livingstone.  The Examination will be conducted in Sydney, Australia on Wednesday, 19 April 2017 at 12.00pm. The time shown is the local time for the venue. Applicants must arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the start time. There will be no separate fee charged for the Examination. This is included in the selection application fee.

The venue is:

Leighton Hall
John Niland Scientia Building (G19)
Library Walk
Gate 11, Botany Street
Kensington, NSW 2052

It is the applicant’s responsibility to make the appropriate travel arrangements and to meet any costs incurred in attending the Examination.   Applicants must make themselves available at the scheduled Examination time and venue.  Applicants who do not present for the Examination at the scheduled time and venue will not be considered further in the selection process and their application will be withdrawn. 

Download information on the examination venue and example questions
Download the examination rules here

Reference Report

Applicants who satisfy the above standards (detailed in Regulation 5.3 and 5.4) for the Structured Curriculum Vitae and the Neurosurgery Anatomy Examination will proceed to the preparation of a Reference Report. All other applicants will be deemed unsuitable and will not proceed further in the selection process. Applicants must score a minimum of 50% (50 out of 100 points) for the Reference Report to be deemed suitable for selection. This will be scored in accordance with Section 8 of the Regulations.

The preparation of the Reference Report for each applicant will be the responsibility of two neurosurgeons, with at least one being a member of the Board of Neurosurgery (the Assessors).  The Assessors together (via teleconference or in person) will personally speak with three neurosurgical consultants with whom the applicant has worked to assist them in preparing a Reference Report.  At the time of application, all applicants will be required to list all neurosurgical consultants they have worked with. Applicants do not nominate who will be contacted for the purpose of preparing the Reference Report. The Assessors may contact any neurosurgical consultant the applicant has worked with in the three years prior to application, except current Board of Neurosurgery members and those neurosurgical consultants involved as Assessors in the preparation of Reference Reports.  Applicants will receive notification of their performance in the Reference Report on or prior to 30 June 2017.

Short Listing for Interview

Applicants who satisfy the above standard for the Reference Report (detailed in Regulation 5.7) will be ranked according to their combined score for the Structured Curriculum Vitae, Neurosurgery Anatomy Examination and Reference Report (which equates to a score out of 75 points). All other applicants will be deemed unsuitable and will not proceed further in the selection process. The top 24 ranked suitable applicants (applying Regulation 5.8) will proceed to the Neurosurgery Semi-Structured Interview (short listed applicants). In the event two or more applicants are ranked equally, the number of short listed applicants interviewed will be increased to accommodate those equally ranked for the 24th position.  All other applicants will be deemed unsuccessful and will not proceed further in the selection process. Applicants will receive notification of their performance in the Reference Report and short listing for the Interview on or prior to 30 June 2017.

Neurosurgery Semi-Structured Interview

For those invited to Interview, the Interview will be scored in accordance with Section 9 of the Regulations. All Interviews will be held in Melbourne, Australia on Friday, 14 July 2017. It is the applicant’s responsibility to make the appropriate travel arrangements and to meet any costs incurred in attending the Interview.  Applicants must make themselves available at the scheduled Interview time. Applicants who do not present for the Interview at the scheduled time will not be considered further in the selection process and their application will be withdrawn.  

Each Interview will be approximately one hour in duration and consist of four scenario and experience based sections, each with multiple questions designed to assess the suitability of the applicant.  Applicants will rotate through four Interview panels. Each panel will ask the same designated section of the Interview.  Each panel must arrive at a consensus score for their section of the Interview using the scoring guidelines and scale shown in the Interview score sheet.

There is no minimum standard of performance applied to the Interview.

Selection Outcome and Ranking

On completion of the Interviews applicants will be ranked according to their combined score for the Structured Curriculum Vitae, Neurosurgery Anatomy Examination, Reference Report and Interview (which equates to a score out of 100 selection points).  In the event two or more applicants are ranked equally, the Reference Report score will be the differentiating factor. In the event the applicants still remain equal, the Interview will be the differentiating factor. In the event the applicants still remain equal, the Neurosurgery Anatomy Examination will be the differentiating factor. In the event the applicants still remain equal, the Board of Neurosurgery will have discretion to make the final decision regarding the ranking on review of the selection documentation, applicant experience and performance.

Applicants who rank high enough in comparison to the intake will be deemed successful and will be allocated to a training post. All other applicants who do not rank high enough to be offered a post will be deemed unsuccessful.  It is estimated the intake will be 8 trainees.  Applicants will receive notification of their performance and this determination on 24 July 2017.

Download the Selection Regulations here