Competent Authority Pathway

General Practice Australia | Competent Authoity Pathway | People Medical

The Competent Authority pathway is for IMGs who have undertaken medical exams with one of the following boards:

  • General Medical Council (United Kingdom – for the PLAB examination or for graduates of GMC-accredited medical courses in the United Kingdom) 
  • Medical Council of Canada (LMCC) 
  • Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates of the United States (USMLE) 
  • Medical Council of New Zealand (NZREX) 
  • Medical Council of Ireland (graduates of medical courses in Ireland accredited by the Medical Council of Ireland).
  • National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners (COMLEX-USA)


Your first step on this pathway is to have a primary qualification in medicine and surgery awarded by a training institution in one of the above countries. You will also need to have been registered and have worked for a minimum of one year (or 2 years for the US). 

You will also need to have sat for and passed an approved English Language Test or be eligible for an English language exemption. For more information on the English Language Tests check out our other blogs here: 


As an IMG on the Competent Authority Pathway you will be eligible for Provisional Registration. 


Before you can gain registration as a Medical Practitioner in Australia you will need to find a job in either General Practice or in the Hospital System. 


If you do not have any general practice experience, we suggest you start in the Hospital system. You will need to work for a period of 12 months including the following rotations: Medicine (8 weeks), Surgery (8 weeks), and Emergency Medicine (10 weeks). Once you have worked for a year in the Hospital system you may be eligible for General Registration and will be able to work as a General Practitioner. 

General Practice

The first thing to do before looking for any General Practice positions is to check your restrictions. There are 4 for international medical graduates- 19AA, 19AB, Health Workforce Certificate and supervision.

19AA requires Permanent Resident or Australian Citizen General Practitioners who are not yet Fellows to join a 3GA program in order to prepare for the fellowship exams. Generally, these programs require you to work in a MMM 2 – 7 area. 

19AB requires IMGs to work in a Distribution Priority Area for a moratorium of 10 years. You can check what areas are DPA here: 

If you require your visa to be sponsored, your clinic will need to be eligible to hold a Health Workforce Certificate. In our experience, these are not being approved in non DPA locations, or in MMM 1 locations (although we’re always happy to hear about exceptions to this rule!). 

As a doctor on Provisional Registration you will need to be supervised until you hold General or Specialist Registration. You require at a minimum 2 Vocationally Registered Supervisors with at least 3 years of experience as a Specialist who are not supervising another IMG on Level 1 supervision, so make sure your clinic is able to provide this! 

You can find General Practice positions on private or job boards, or contact us for help finding a job!


Once you have a general practice job offer, you will be required to sit a PESCI for that location. A PESCI is an interview format exam that assesses your ability to practice safely in that location. You can sit a PESCI with either RACGP or ACRRM. Find more information about PESCIs here: 


Once you have passed your PESCI you can apply for Registration with AHPRA. If you require any help with this paperwork, get in touch with us!


As a doctor on Provisional Registration, you will be required to undertake 47 weeks of supervised practice. Once you have completed this, you will be able to apply for ‘General AHPRA Registration’. 


Once you hold General Registration you may work without supervision. 


In order to become a Fellowed General Practitioner you will need to sit for either the ACRRM or RACGP Fellowship Exams. You may also be required to join a Fellowship Training Program in order to prepare for these Exams. Read our blog for more information: 

Once you have passed, you will be a Vocationally Registered General Practitioner in Australia. 

*Please keep in mind that you will continue to be restricted by 19AB until the end of your moratorium. 


Our team offer General Practitioners assistance with finding jobs and a career pathway, and Medical Facilities to find a new Medical Practitioner. We also help with the full application process with AHPRA, RACGP, ACRRM, Department of Health, Medicare including 19AA & 19AB. If we can help, please contact us at

People Medical Consulting are a team of professionals with a passion for guiding those specialising in the Medical industry to find their career pathway and settle into Australia. Working with both Australian trained and Overseas trained professionals, we have extensive experience in Recruitment of General Practitioners and Document Assistance for those requiring support with RACGP, AHPRA, 19AA and 19AB Medicare Exemptions.

Related Articles

PEP Specialist Stream

IMPORTANT UPDATE: From 22 November 2023 an exemption will apply to the following Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements for Comparability Assessments: *This will apply to all pending and…

Standard Pathway

The standard pathway is one of 3 ways an international medical graduate can become a General Practitioner in Australia.  If you are not eligible for…