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Special Instructions and FAQs for Applicants to the Medical Council of New Zealand

Special Instructions

ECFMG partners with the Medical Council of New Zealand (Council) to primary-source verify documents for international medical graduates who are applying for registration to practise medicine in New Zealand.

Applicants will be required to have documents primary-source verified through EPIC if they are:

  • Relying on international medical qualifications in their registration application. This includes doctors with primary medical degrees from Australian medical schools and with postgraduate qualifications from Australia-only vocational training providers
  • A first-time applicant for registration and do not already, or have not in the past, held any other form of registration
  • Currently registered with Council but are applying for a new scope of practice that relies on a qualification that has not previously been assessed by Council and is relied on to support that new registration application

EPIC verification is required for applications made via the following pathways:

  • Provisional General—Competent Authority (UK/Irish medical graduates), Comparable Health System, Australian graduates (internship not yet completed), Australian general registrants, Examinations
  • General—Australian graduates (internship completed)
  • Provisional Vocational (VOC3)
  • Vocational (VOC2)
  • Special Purpose—Locum Tenens, Teleradiology, Visiting Expert, Postgraduate Training, Research

Important Note: You must submit the required documents to EPIC for primary-source verification before you submit your application for registration to Council. Any application submitted to Council before the required documents have been submitted to EPIC will be considered incomplete and will not be accepted.

By the time you attend your registration meeting (one to two weeks before you start work in New Zealand) primary-source verification of the required documents must be complete. Therefore, it is important that you begin the EPIC process as early as possible, and a minimum of three months before your intended start date in New Zealand.

To have your documents verified through EPIC, complete the following steps:

  • Step 1 - Confirm that your primary medical qualification is acceptable.

    To be eligible for registration with Council, you must have an acceptable primary medical qualification.

    An acceptable primary medical qualification is one obtained from a medical school listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools. If the medical school is located outside of Canada or the United States of America, the qualification must have been awarded during the graduation years for which the medical school meets the eligibility requirements for ECFMG Certification, as indicated by way of the ECFMG Sponsor Note.
  • Step 2 - Confirm which documents you need to have verified through EPIC.

    Use Council's Registration self-assessment tool to determine which pathway to registration may be suitable for you. Confirm your eligibility by reviewing the full requirements on Council's website. Refer to the section Documents Required by Council below, to find out which documents you will need to have verified through EPIC in support of your application.
  • Step 3 - Establish an EPIC Account.

    See Getting Started for complete instructions. Once ECFMG has processed your request and established your EPIC Account, ECFMG will e-mail you login information so you can access your EPIC Account.
  • Step 4 - Confirm your identity with EPIC.

    See Confirming Your Identity with EPIC for detailed information. Confirming your identity with EPIC requires you to submit an EPIC Identification Form (EIF). Once this form has been accepted by ECFMG, you will be able to upload documents required by Council to EPIC for primary-source verification.
  • Step 5 - Upload all documents required for your pathway(s). As you upload each document, select the Medical Council of New Zealand to receive an EPIC Report.

    Log in to your EPIC Account and upload the documents. See Documents Required by Council below to determine what you need to upload. As you upload each document, be sure to select the Medical Council of New Zealand to receive an EPIC Report once the document is verified. Council will receive a notification when each document is sent for verification. This will include a copy of the document.

    Please note: It is very important that you select the Medical Council of New Zealand to receive an EPIC Report for each document, as you upload it. If you don't do this at the time you upload each document, you will need to send an EPIC Report to Council via your EPIC Portfolio once your document is verified. This is likely to delay the processing of your application.

    If your documents have already been primary-source verified by ECFMG for ECFMG Certification or through ECFMG's International Credentials Services (EICS), you do not need to upload the documents that were previously verified by ECFMG. The documents can be added to your EPIC Portfolio at no cost. Simply provide your ECFMG/USMLE ID and/or EICS ID when you establish your EPIC Account. ECFMG will review your file typically within 10 business days; if your file is acceptable, ECFMG will add your previously verified documents to your EPIC Portfolio.
  • Step 6 - Submit your application to Council and provide your EPIC ID.

    After you submit your documents to EPIC for verification, you may submit your registration application to Council. All required documents must be sent for verification before Council can confirm your eligibility for registration. However, you do not need to wait for your documents to be verified to submit your application.

    When you submit your application, you must provide your EPIC ID to Council for reference.

    For more information on applying for registration to practise medicine in New Zealand, please visit the Getting registered section of Council's website.
  • Step 7 - Once your eligibility for registration has been confirmed, ensure reports on all required documents have been sent to Council.

    If you selected the Medical Council of New Zealand to receive an EPIC Report when you uploaded the document, that report will be sent to Council automatically when the document is verified.

    If you did not select Council to receive an EPIC Report at the time you uploaded the document, you must go to the “My Reports” tab in your EPIC Account and request an EPIC Report for Council. Be sure to select the Medical Council of New Zealand from the drop-down list when sending your report or your request will be rejected.

Documents Required by Council

The documents you need to have verified through EPIC depend on the pathway through which you are applying for registration:

Provisional general (New Zealand / Australian graduates pathway)
Note: Use of EPIC applies only to applicants on this pathway who are relying on a primary medical degree conferred by an Australian medical school.

  • Primary medical degree (final medical diploma) *

Provisional General (Examinations pathway)

  • Primary medical degree (final medical diploma) *

Provisional General (Competent Authority pathway)

  • Primary medical degree (final medical diploma) *
  • If you completed your internship (foundation year 1) in the UK, but are not currently listed on the General Medical Council's on-line register:
    • Certificate of full registration issued by the General Medical Council. Registration does not need to be current.
  • If you completed your internship in Ireland and gained general registration with the Medical Council of Ireland, but are not currently listed on the Medical Council of Ireland's on-line register:
    • Certificate of general registration or certificate of experience issued by the Medical Council of Ireland. Registration does not need to be current.
  • If you have completed your internship in Ireland but have not yet gained general registration with the Medical Council of Ireland:
    • Certificate of experience issued by the Medical Council of Ireland.

Provisional General (Comparable Health System pathway)

  • Primary medical degree (final medical diploma) *
  • Certificate or licence showing current full or general medical registration in the comparable health system you have worked in during the last 48 months
    • Note: If you are lawfully not required to hold registration with a regulatory authority because you are participating in a recognised American or Canadian training programme, a letter from the training institution confirming satisfactory participation in the training programme must be verified through EPIC.
  • If your application relies on an exception to the active clinical practice requirement (for example, if you have completed a postgraduate training programme in general practice and been awarded a specialist qualification in general practice within the last 3 years):
    • The relevant specialist qualification. If you're not sure whether this applies to you, or you're not sure what qualification to have verified, please contact Council.

Provisional General (Australian General Registrants pathway)

  • Primary medical degree (final medical diploma) *
  • If you are not currently listed on the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) on-line register:
    • Certificate of full medical registration with AHPRA

General (New Zealand / Australian graduates pathway)
Note: Use of EPIC applies only to applicants on this pathway who are relying on a primary medical degree conferred by an Australian medical school, or who hold a primary medical degree conferred by a New Zealand medical school, but completed their internship in Australia.

  • Primary medical degree (final medical diploma) *
  • If you are not currently listed on the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) on-line register:
    • Certificate of full medical registration with AHPRA, or certificate of completion of internship issued by AHPRA or an Australian state medical board. Registration does not need to be current.

Provisional Vocational (International Medical Graduates)
Note: Use of EPIC applies to international medical graduates, including doctors who obtained their postgraduate qualification from an Australian (rather than a New Zealand or Australasian) training provider.

  • Primary medical degree (final medical diploma) *
    • Not required for applicants who hold a degree conferred by an accredited New Zealand medical school.
  • Postgraduate qualification
    • The postgraduate medical qualification must have been awarded at the end of a period of specialist training. This must include evidence that you have obtained a specialist qualification (upload as a specialist qualification) or evidence of completion of a period of formal postgraduate training (upload as a postgraduate medical education credential) in the specialty.

Vocational (Holders of the approved New Zealand / Australasian postgraduate qualification)
Note: Use of EPIC applies to doctors who undertook their postgraduate training with a Council-approved training provider and who do not already have general registration in New Zealand.

  • Primary medical degree (final medical diploma) *
    • Not required for applicants who hold a degree conferred by an accredited New Zealand medical school.

Special Purpose (Locum Tenens)

  • Primary medical degree (final medical diploma) *
    • Not required for applicants who hold a degree conferred by an accredited New Zealand medical school.
  • Approved postgraduate qualification (or qualifications) for locum tenens registration (see list of approved qualifications on Council's website)
    • Upload as a specialist qualification in EPIC.

Note: Most applicants with UK or Irish postgraduate qualifications will be required to upload two documents as specialist qualifications to EPIC.

Special Purpose (Teleradiology)

  • Primary medical degree (final medical diploma) *
    • Not required for applicants who hold a degree conferred by an accredited New Zealand medical school.
  • Approved postgraduate qualification in teleradiology (see Teleradiology on Council's website for the list of approved qualifications)
    • Upload as a specialist qualification in EPIC.

Note: Most applicants with UK postgraduate qualifications will be required to upload two documents as specialist qualifications to EPIC.

Special Purpose (Visiting Expert/Teaching)

  • Primary medical degree (final medical diploma) *
    • Not required for applicants who hold a degree conferred by an accredited New Zealand medical school.

Special Purpose (Postgraduate Training)

  • Primary medical degree (final medical diploma) *
  • Certificate of current medical registration in home/sponsor country
  • If you have selected option C in the eligibility section of the CHKL11:
    • The relevant postgraduate qualification / specialist qualification

Special Purpose (Research)

  • Primary medical degree (final medical diploma) *
    • Not required for applicants who hold a degree conferred by an accredited New Zealand medical school.

* In lieu of a final medical diploma, Council may accept another document (for example, your academic transcript) issued by your medical school confirming your graduation. The document must confirm:

  • that you have graduated
  • the degree awarded
  • the date on which you met the requirements

If you have any questions about the pathway through which you should apply for registration, or about Council's application process, please contact Council.

For more information on the credentials verified through EPIC, see Using EPIC.

If you have any questions regarding EPIC and the EPIC verification process, please contact EPIC at info@ecfmgepic.org or +1 (215) 966-3900. Telephone assistance is available Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time in the United States.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please also read the general Frequently Asked Questions in the For Physicians section of the website.

About Applying to the Medical Council of New Zealand (Council)

I am applying to Council for registration; do I need to use EPIC?

Applicants will be required to have documents primary-source verified through EPIC if they are:

  • Relying on international medical qualifications in their registration application. This includes doctors with primary medical degrees from Australian medical schools and with postgraduate qualifications from Australia-only vocational training providers
  • A first-time applicant for registration and do not already, or have not in the past, held any other form of registration
  • Currently registered with Council but are applying for a new scope of practice that relies on a qualification that has not previously been assessed by Council and is relied on to support that new registration application

EPIC verification is required for applications made via the following pathways:

  • Provisional General—Competent Authority (UK/Irish medical graduates), Comparable Health System, Australian graduates (internship not yet completed), Australian general registrants, Examinations
  • General—Australian graduates (internship completed)
  • Provisional Vocational (VOC3)
  • Vocational (VOC2)
  • Special Purpose—Locum Tenens, Teleradiology, Visiting Expert, Postgraduate Training, Research

When in the application process should I use EPIC?

You must submit the required documents to EPIC for primary-source verification before you submit your application for registration to Council. Any application submitted to Council before the required documents have been submitted to EPIC will be considered incomplete and will not be accepted.

How far in advance of applying for registration to Council do I need to upload my documents to EPIC?

By the time you attend your registration meeting (one to two weeks before you start work in New Zealand) primary-source verification of the required documents must be complete. Therefore, it is important that you begin the EPIC process as early as possible, and a minimum of three months before your intended start date in New Zealand.

Through EPIC, your documents are verified directly with the issuing institution. The time required to complete the verification of documents varies and depends on a number of factors, including the time it takes for the issuing institution to respond to verification requests.

How do I determine which registration pathway I am eligible for when applying to Council?

Use Council’s Registration self-assessment tool to determine which pathway to registration may be suitable for you. Confirm your eligibility by reviewing the full requirements on Council’s website.

Which qualifications do I need to submit to Council through EPIC?

The documents you need to have verified through EPIC depend on the pathway through which you are applying for registration:

Provisional general (New Zealand / Australian graduates pathway)
Note: Use of EPIC applies only to applicants on this pathway who are relying on a primary medical degree conferred by an Australian medical school.

  • Primary medical degree (final medical diploma) *

Provisional General (Examinations pathway)

  • Primary medical degree (final medical diploma) *

Provisional General (Competent Authority pathway)

  • Primary medical degree (final medical diploma) *
  • If you completed your internship (foundation year 1) in the UK, but are not currently listed on the General Medical Council's on-line register:
    • Certificate of full registration issued by the General Medical Council. Registration does not need to be current.
  • If you completed your internship in Ireland and gained general registration with the Medical Council of Ireland, but are not currently listed on the Medical Council of Ireland's on-line register:
    • Certificate of general registration or certificate of experience issued by the Medical Council of Ireland. Registration does not need to be current.
  • If you have completed your internship in Ireland but have not yet gained general registration with the Medical Council of Ireland:
    • Certificate of experience issued by the Medical Council of Ireland.

Provisional General (Comparable Health System pathway)

  • Primary medical degree (final medical diploma) *
  • Certificate or licence showing current full or general medical registration in the comparable health system you have worked in during the last 48 months
    • Note: If you are lawfully not required to hold registration with a regulatory authority because you are participating in a recognised American or Canadian training programme, a letter from the training institution confirming satisfactory participation in the training programme must be verified through EPIC.
  • If your application relies on an exception to the active clinical practice requirement (for example, if you have completed a postgraduate training programme in general practice and been awarded a specialist qualification in general practice within the last 3 years):
    • The relevant specialist qualification. If you're not sure whether this applies to you, or you're not sure what qualification to have verified, please contact Council.

Provisional General (Australian General Registrants pathway)

  • Primary medical degree (final medical diploma) *
  • If you are not currently listed on the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) on-line register:
    • Certificate of full medical registration with AHPRA

General (New Zealand / Australian graduates pathway)
Note: Use of EPIC applies only to applicants on this pathway who are relying on a primary medical degree conferred by an Australian medical school, or who hold a primary medical degree conferred by a New Zealand medical school, but completed their internship in Australia.

  • Primary medical degree (final medical diploma) *
  • If you are not currently listed on the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) on-line register:
    • Certificate of full medical registration with AHPRA, or certificate of completion of internship issued by AHPRA or an Australian state medical board. Registration does not need to be current.

Provisional Vocational (International Medical Graduates)
Note: Use of EPIC applies to international medical graduates, including doctors who obtained their postgraduate qualification from an Australian (rather than a New Zealand or Australasian) training provider.

  • Primary medical degree (final medical diploma) *
    • Not required for applicants who hold a degree conferred by an accredited New Zealand medical school.
  • Postgraduate qualification
    • The postgraduate medical qualification must have been awarded at the end of a period of specialist training. This must include evidence that you have obtained a specialist qualification (upload as a specialist qualification) or evidence of completion of a period of formal postgraduate training (upload as a postgraduate medical education credential) in the specialty.

Vocational (Holders of the approved New Zealand / Australasian postgraduate qualification)
Note: Use of EPIC applies to doctors who undertook their postgraduate training with a Council-approved training provider and who do not already have general registration in New Zealand.

  • Primary medical degree (final medical diploma) *
    • Not required for applicants who hold a degree conferred by an accredited New Zealand medical school.

Special Purpose (Locum Tenens)

  • Primary medical degree (final medical diploma) *
    • Not required for applicants who hold a degree conferred by an accredited New Zealand medical school.
  • Approved postgraduate qualification (or qualifications) for locum tenens registration (see list of approved qualifications on Council's website)
    • Upload as a specialist qualification in EPIC.

Note: Most applicants with UK or Irish postgraduate qualifications will be required to upload two documents as specialist qualifications to EPIC.

Special Purpose (Teleradiology)

  • Primary medical degree (final medical diploma) *
    • Not required for applicants who hold a degree conferred by an accredited New Zealand medical school.
  • Approved postgraduate qualification in teleradiology (see Teleradiology on Council's website for the list of approved qualifications)
    • Upload as a specialist qualification in EPIC.

Note: Most applicants with UK postgraduate qualifications will be required to upload two documents as specialist qualifications to EPIC.

Special Purpose (Visiting Expert/Teaching)

  • Primary medical degree (final medical diploma) *
    • Not required for applicants who hold a degree conferred by an accredited New Zealand medical school.

Special Purpose (Postgraduate Training)

  • Primary medical degree (final medical diploma) *
  • Certificate of current medical registration in home/sponsor country
  • If you have selected option C in the eligibility section of the CHKL11:
    • The relevant postgraduate qualification / specialist qualification

Special Purpose (Research)

  • Primary medical degree (final medical diploma) *
    • Not required for applicants who hold a degree conferred by an accredited New Zealand medical school.

* In lieu of a final medical diploma, Council may accept another document (for example, your academic transcript) issued by your medical school confirming your graduation. The document must confirm:

  • that you have graduated
  • the degree awarded
  • the date on which you met the requirements

If you have any questions about the pathway through which you should apply for registration, or about Council's application process, please contact Council.

About Using EPIC

Will I have access to my medical documents after I apply to Council?

Yes. The documents that you upload to EPIC remain available to you as part of your EPIC Portfolio. You can use EPIC to send copies of these documents along with reports verifying their authenticity to organizations worldwide at any time throughout your career.

Will Council have access to my EPIC Portfolio?

No. Council will not have direct access to your EPIC Portfolio. Council will have access only to the documents, notifications, and verification reports that you make available to them through EPIC.

Do I need to wait until all of my documents have been verified before requesting EPIC Reports for Council?

No. You do not need to wait until all your documents have been verified in order to request an EPIC verification report for Council. As you upload each document, you can request that an EPIC Report on that document be provided to the Medical Council of New Zealand. Once the document is verified; the report will be sent automatically.

However, please note that you must submit the required documents to EPIC for primary-source verification before you submit your application for registration to Council. Any application submitted to Council before the required documents have been submitted to EPIC will be considered incomplete and will not be accepted.

By the time you attend your registration meeting (one to two weeks before you start work in New Zealand) primary-source verification of the required documents must be complete. Therefore, it is important that you begin the EPIC process as early as possible, and a minimum of three months before your intended start date in New Zealand.

I requested that an EPIC Report be sent to Council. How do I know if Council received the verification report and a copy of my document?

When an EPIC Report is sent to Council, Council will have access to the report and a copy of your document through the EPIC Report Portal.

If you need to confirm whether Council has accessed your report through the Report Portal, contact Council or the Registration Coordinator processing your registration application.

Can I select Council to receive EPIC Reports only once, or should I do it for every document individually?

An EPIC Report will only be sent for a document if you indicate a report should be sent to Council for that document. You should request an EPIC Report for Council for each document required by Council.

Do I need to use EPIC when applying to Council if my documents have already been verified by ECFMG for a purpose other than applying to Council?

If your documents have already been primary-source verified by ECFMG for ECFMG Certification or through ECFMG’s International Credentials Services (EICS), you will need to create an EPIC Account and use EPIC to provide your documents and verification reports to Council. However, you will not need to upload the documents that were previously verified by ECFMG; they will be added to your EPIC Portfolio at no cost. Simply provide your ECFMG/USMLE ID and/or EICS ID when you establish your EPIC Account. ECFMG will review your file typically within 10 business days; if your file is acceptable, ECFMG will add your previously verified documents to your EPIC Portfolio.

Can I verify additional documents not required by Council?

Yes. You may upload documents for verification in addition to those required by Council. In addition to using EPIC in support of an application to Council, you can use EPIC to build a digital career portfolio of the documents related to your medical education, training, and registration/licensure, and request reports verifying the authenticity of those documents for other organizations worldwide. Please note, however, that there is a fee associated with each document you upload to EPIC for primary-source verification. Therefore, in support of your application to Council, you only need to upload documents required by Council.

Additionally, you should not send EPIC Reports to Council for documents that are not required in support of your application.

See Medical Credentials for more information on the documents you can add to your EPIC Portfolio, including definitions and document specifications.

What if ECFMG cannot obtain verification of my documents?

When you submit a document to EPIC, ECFMG will make up to four verification attempts with the issuing institution. ECFMG is typically able to verify a document within 90 days, and it is not common that a document cannot be verified. If it has not been possible for ECFMG to primary-source verify your documents after four attempts at contacting the issuing institution, please contact Council to discuss next steps.

If I have questions or problems regarding EPIC, should I contact EPIC or Council?

If you have questions regarding EPIC’s services—such as creating an EPIC Account, uploading your documents, managing your portfolio, the verification process, sending verification reports, or fees—please contact EPIC at info@ecfmgepic.org or +1 (215) 966-3900. Telephone assistance is available Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time in the United States.

If you have questions regarding applying to Council—such as necessary documentation, required qualifications, or registration pathways—please contact Council.

Last updated April 30, 2020