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Application and Selection 

 

Selection Regulations for the 2024 Intake, conducted during 2023

Selection into the Surgical Education and Training (SET) Program in Neurosurgery is a competitive process which occurs annually.

The Selection Regulations establish the principles, terms and conditions of the selection process.  The Selection Regulations available below are applicable for the 2024 intake conducted during 2023 only.  These Selection Regulations may be changed from year to year and cannot be relied on for the intakes conducted in future years for the SET Program.  Any regulations for the SET Program from any previous years are not applicable and cannot be relied on for meeting the SET Program requirements for the 2024 intake unless specifically stated in the Selection Regulations.     

In the event of any inconsistency in the information on this webpage or from another source with the Selection Regulations, the Selection Regulations will prevail. 

Full details can be found in the Selection Regulations available here

Questions 

The Selection Regulations are designed to assist applicants with their application and most questions can be answered with reference to the Selection Regulations. Our team cannot provide career guidance on what applicants should or should not do in preparation for their application beyond the guidance provided in the Selection Regulations.  Our team cannot score components of an application in advance of the selection process, however the Selection Regulations provide detailed guidance to enable applicants to make their own assessments prior to applying. 

If an applicant has a question which is not addressed in the Selection Regulations, it must be submitted in writing to [email protected].  No advice will be given over the phone. 

Step 1 – Registration for Selection

Opens Tuesday 10 January 2023 (12.00 noon AEDT)
Closes Tuesday 31 January 2023 (12.00 noon AEDT)

Anyone intending to apply for selection must register their intention to apply by the closing date above. At the time of registration, applicants must be able to meet all generic eligibility requirements available on the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) website. A registration fee is payable to the RACS by any applicant who is not a current SET Trainee or RACS Fellow. All registrations are conducted online through the RACS website. The Neurosurgical Society of Australasia (NSA) is not involved in the registration process and any questions should be directed to the RACS. 

Step 2 - Apply for Selection

Opens Wednesday 1 March 2023 (12.00 noon AEDT)
Closes Wednesday 22 March 2023 (12.00 noon AEDT)

Applications can only be submitted by registered applicants (see Step 1) using the neurosurgery online application form.  Applications must be submitted prior to the advertised Closing Date for applications.  No other form of application will be accepted. Once an application is submitted, it cannot be changed. Applicants are responsible for ensuring their application is complete and correct at the time of submission. Applicants must pay a selection application fee of $AUD985 prior to the advertised closing date for applications to be considered for selection. This fee is non-refundable and is inclusive of the examination fee. Failure to pay the selection application fee by the communicated due will result in the application being withdrawn.

Step 3 – Selection Process

Full details can be found in the Selection Regulations available here

Selection Tools

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

  • Structured Curriculum Vitae 10%
  • Neurosurgery Anatomy Examination 30%
  • Reference Report 30%
  • Neurosurgery Semi-Structured Interview 30%

Structured Curriculum Vitae

The Structured Curriculum Vitae (the application submitted) will be scored in accordance with Section 8 of the Selection Regulations.  Applicants must score the Minimum Standard of 50.00% (5.5 out of 11 points) for the Structured Curriculum Vitae to proceed further in the selection process. 

Please take some time to review the full details in the Selection Regulations as changes have been made. The following is a summary of some of the changes made, or questions received, and is not exhaustive.  

  • Neurosurgical and ICU Experience: The requirements for scoring of experience have now changed. Please review this section of the Selection Regulations carefully as how your rotations are treated for scoring purposes may have changed from previous years.  
  • Journal articles and case reports must be in a journal with a SCImago Journal Rank (https://www.scimagojr.com/journalrank.php) in quartiles 1 to 3 in the subject area of Medicine or Neuroscience. The quartile ranking is at the time of publication or the time of application. This replaces the previous requirement that they be in a journal indexed for MEDLINE or Scopus which is no longer applicable. 
  • Publication evidence: You must provide a pdf copy of the published journal article, book chapter or case report showing full bibliographic details in your application. For those which are accepted for publication, but not yet published, you must provide a pdf containing the publisher’s proof of acceptance and the publisher’s pdf proof of the article.  Where the requested evidence is not provided when you apply, points will not be awarded. You will not have the opportunity to provide this at a later stage. 
  • Qualifications must now satisfy the levels and criteria equivalent to the Australian Qualifications Framework (https://www.aqf.edu.au) or the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (https://www.nzqa.govt.nz/). If you are unsure about your qualification, please refer to the respective websites for details on equivalence. The Board will not be making assessments of equivalence prior to the scoring during selection so if you are unsure, please include your qualification in your application.  
  • Qualifications must now be in a “medically related discipline” as determined by the SET Board Chair.  A medically related discipline is one related to the science or practice of medicine and some examples are given in the Selection Regulations. This replaces the previous requirement that they be on a “relevant” or “related health discipline” which is no longer applicable.  
  • Qualification evidence: You must provide pdf evidence in your application from the awarding institution of completion and eligibility for conferral. Where the requested evidence is not provided when you apply, points will not be awarded. You will not have the opportunity to provide this at a later stage.
  • Presentation evidence: You must provide pdf evidence in your application from the meeting organiser. The evidence must include the title of the accepted abstract, the mode of presentation, the name of the meeting and the date of the meeting. Where the requested evidence is not provided when you apply, points will not be awarded. You will not have the opportunity to provide this at a later stage.
  • Presentations: The interpretation of “applicant’s original work” is that the content of the presentation must be based on work undertaken by the applicant. It cannot be someone else’s work that the applicant is presenting on their behalf. 

It is envisaged the Structured Curriculum Vitae results will be released in early April 2023.

Neurosurgery Anatomy Examination

 Wednesday, 29 March 2023

The Neurosurgery Anatomy Examination will be held on Wednesday, 29 March 2023. The venues and times can be viewed using the link below. 

Applicants must score the Minimum Standard of 70.00% (168 out of 240 marks) for the Neurosurgery Anatomy Examination to proceed further in the selection process. The Examination will be scored in accordance with Section 9 of the Selection Regulations.  The answer key for the Type 2 questions has been modified from that used during 2022. Type 2 questions have a statement and four possible answer stems. The answer key has five options. Applicants select a single letter from the key. The revised key is shown in the example questions available for download below.  

It is envisaged that Examination results will be released in early April 2023.

Click here to view the Examination venues and times
Click here to view information relating to the Examination including sample questions and the rules  

First Short Listing

Applicants who satisfy the Minimum Standards for the Structured Curriculum Vitae and Neurosurgery Anatomy Examination will be ranked according to their combined score for the two selection tools with the selection tool weightings applied (which equates to a score out of 40 points). All other applicants will be deemed Unsuitable, will not be ranked, and will not proceed further in the selection process.

The top 34 ranked applicants will be shortlisted for the Reference Report.  All other applicants will be deemed Unsuccessful and will not proceed further in the selection process. 

It is envisaged that short listing announcements will be released in mid-April 2023.

Reference Report

The Reference Report will be prepared and scored in accordance with the Section 10 of the Selection Regulations.  Applicants must score the Minimum Standard of 70% (49 out of 70 points) for the Reference Report to proceed further in the selection process. 

It is envisaged that results for the Reference Report scoring will be released in mid-June 2023.

Second Short Listing

Applicants who satisfy the Minimum Standard for the Reference Report will be ranked according to their combined score for the Structured Curriculum Vitae, Examination and Reference Report with the selection tool weightings applied (which equates to a score out of 70 points). All other applicants will be deemed Unsuitable, will not be ranked, and will not proceed further in the selection process.

A total of 24 applicants will be shortlisted for the Neurosurgery Semi-Structured Interview (Interview). The Interview shortlisted spots will be allocated in order of overall ranking of suitable applicants.  

It is envisaged that short listing announcements will be released in mid-June 2023 at least 14 days prior to the scheduled Interview date.

Neurosurgery Semi-Structured Interview

 Thursday, 29 June 2023 (subject to change)

Applicants shortlisted for the Interview will be advised of their Interview time at least 14 days prior to the Interview date. 

Applicants must make themselves available at the scheduled Interview time. Applicants who do not participate in 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 must score the Minimum Standard of 50% (8 out of 16 points) for the Interview to proceed further in the selection process.

The provisional date for the Interview is Thursday, 29 June 2023 as face-to-face interviews in Melbourne. This date and location is subject to change.

Step 4 – Final Ranking, Special Measures and Offers

Applicants who satisfy the Minimum Standard in the Interview will be ranked according to their combined score for the Structured Curriculum Vitae, Examination, Reference Report and Interview with the selection tool weightings applied (which equates to a score out of 100 points).  All other applicants will be deemed Unsuitable, will not be ranked and will not proceed further in the selection process.

Selection offers will be made applying the following process: 

  • the top ranked applicant from each Undersubscribed Home Region (if any) applying the Undersubscribed Home Regions special measures; and 
  • the top ranked Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander applicant (if any) applying the Aboriginal and Torres Strait special measures; and
  • the remaining in order of the overall ranking subject to the application of the Diversity and Gender Equity special measures if substantive gender equity would otherwise not be met for female applicants based on ranking alone. 

It is envisaged that offers will be made prior to 5pm AEST on 30 June 2023.

Previous Selection Intakes

The download below shows the outcome of the last six selection processes.  Selection Statistics 

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