Application and Selection 


Selection Regulations for the 2022 Intake, conducted during 2021

The Selection Regulations for the 2022 intake, conducted during 2021 will be released on this website prior to 30 November 2020.

Eligibility to Apply for 2021 Intake

Generic Requirements

Any person wishing to applying for the Surgical Education and Training Program in Neurosurgery must satisfy the generic eligibility criteria determined by the RACS. 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. Applicants to the Australian Pathway must at the time of application:

  • have permanent residency or citizenship of Australia;
  • have general (unconditional) registration in Australia;
  • have completed a minimum 24 weeks’ full time equivalent dedicated neurosurgical experience in Australia in the three years immediately prior to application;
  • have satisfactorily completed the RACS Generic Surgical Sciences Examination at the time of application.

In addition to the generic eligibility requirements for application to selection, applicants to the New Zealand Pathway must:

  • have permanent residency or citizenship of New Zealand;
  • have general scope or restricted general scope registration in neurosurgery in New Zealand;
  • have completed a minimum 24 weeks’ full time equivalent dedicated neurosurgical experience in New Zealand in the three years immediately prior to application;
  • have satisfactorily completed the RACS Generic Surgical Sciences Examination at the time of application. 

Download the Selection Regulations here

Application Process for 2021 Intake

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. Applicants not registered cannot lodge an application for the Surgical Education and Training Program in Neurosurgery.  Registration is through the RACS website at www.surgeons.org.  The RACS charges a fee for registration as identified on their website.

Registrations for the 2021 intake, conducted during 2020, have closed. 

Application

The application process for those registered for the 2021 intake, conducted during 2020, have closed. 

Selection Process for 2021 Intake

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.

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.

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 held on Thursday, 27 August 2020. Applicants will be advised of the time and venue of their sitting at least one month prior to the scheduled date. Sittings will be held in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Hobart and New Zealand. 

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

Reference Report

Applicants who satisfy the standards for the Structured Curriculum Vitae and the Neurosurgery Anatomy Examination and the short listing in Regulation 5.7 (removal of the bottom quartile of suitable applicants) will be given a score for the Reference Report. The preparation of the Reference Report may commence prior to the short listing in Regulation 5.7 and will be discontinued if the applicant is not short listed.

Applicants must score a minimum of 50% (36 out of 72 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 people approved by the Board Chair, with at least one being a member of the Board of Neurosurgery (the Assessors).  The Assessors together (via videoconference or teleconference) 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 Australia, New Zealand or Singapore 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.

Short Listing for Interview

Applicants who satisfy the above standard for the Reference Report 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 selection points). All other applicants will be deemed unsuitable and will not proceed further in the selection process. The top 24 ranked suitable applicants 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.  

Neurosurgery Semi-Structured Interview

Interviews will be held on Friday, 23 October 2020.  Short-listed applicants will be advised in writing of their time at least two weeks prior. It is the applicant’s responsibility to make the appropriate arrangements and to meet any costs incurred in participating in the Interview.  Applicants who do not present for the Interview at the scheduled time may not be considered further in the selection process and their application may 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. 

Selection Outcome and Ranking

On completion of the Interviews applicants who satisfy the standard for the Interview 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). All other applicants will be deemed unsuitable and will not proceed further in the selection process. 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.

Determination of successful applicants will be strictly in order of the overall ranking of all suitable applicants (for both Pathways combined). An applicant may only be successful if, when they are reached in the ranking, there is a position available in their Pathway (detailed in Regulations 3.3 and 3.4) or the Board exercises its discretion to take on additional trainees to a Pathway. All other applicants who do not rank high enough to be offered a position will be deemed unsuccessful. Applicants will receive notification of their performance and this determination.

Selection Intake


The following shows data from recent selection processes.

 

Selection Outcome

 2020 Intake (during 2019)

2019 Intake (during 2018)

2018 Intake
(during 2017)

2017 Intake
(during 2016)

2016 Intake
(during 2015)

2015 Intake
(during 2014)

2014 Intake (during 2013)

2013 Intake (during 2012)

Applications

 66

55

49

55

57

60

53

48

Unsuitable/Withdrawn

 19

23

18

22

18

20

29

32

Unsuccessful

 37

25

22

22

28

30

17

8

Successful

 10

7

9

11

11

10

7

8