Apply to the NZOA Training Programme

NZOA conducts the selection process, training and assessment of Orthopaedic Surgical Trainees on behalf of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.   

2022 Timetable

Selection Registration Opens – Wednesday 12 January 2022

Selection Registration Closes – Wednesday 9 February 2022

Selection Applications Open – Wednesday 2 March 2022

Selection Applications Close – Wednesday 30 March 2022

Referee Reporting Opens – Friday 29 April 2022

Referee Reporting Closes – Friday 13 May 2022

SET Selection Interviews - Friday 24 June 2022

NZOA conducts the selection process, training and assessment of Orthopaedic Surgical Trainees on behalf of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.   

2021 SelectionApplications have closed for 2021

SET Selection was held on Friday 18 June at Boulcott Hospital in Lower Hutt without any Covid restrictions.  A mihi whakatau opened the day led by Mr Ken Te Tau, NZOA Cultural Adviser.  Members of the Training Board and Education Committee followed this with a waiata Tūtira mai ngā iwi followed by a reply on behalf of the registrars made by Zanazir Alexander and their waiata.  Thank you to everyone involved in making this a success, not only on the day but also to those who have given their time for references and support to applicants, also thanks to Boulcott Hospital for again allowing us to take over their orthopaedic clinic for the day.  The Specialty Orthopaedic Training Board and the Education Committee congratulate the following registrars who have been accepted onto the 2022 programme, including where they will spend their first year on the programme:

Congratulations to:

Dean Ramage (Christchurch); Michael Douglas (Invercargill); Sarah Hunter (Tauranga); Jay Jefferies (Invercargill); Blair Mason (Christchurch); Alexander Campbell (Palmerston North); Jonathan Chan (Rotorua); Zanazir Alexander (Waikato); Andrew Suchowersky (Auckland); Ryan Chaffey (Auckland); Atua Fuimaono Asafo (Rotorua); Brendon Newton (Whanganui); Tangi Purea (Taranaki); Annabel Dekker (Timaru) and Ayaaz Ebramjee (Wellington)

All applicants:

  • must have successfully completed the Generic Surgical Science Exam (GSSE) prior to applying.  Details about the exam can be found on the RACS website 
  • must have pre-registered with RACS in each year of application, this must be done even if you have applied previously
  • must be currently working in a New Zealand hospital and have completed a minimum of 52 weeks of Orthopaedics at Registrar level or above in a New Zealand Orthopaedic Department prior to the closing date for applications.
  • SET applicants in 2023 (for the 2024 training year) will be required to have successfully completed the Clinical Examination  Clinical Examination

To become an orthopaedic surgeon an applicant must have a basic medical degree and at least two years post graduate experience. The training takes a minimum of five years where the trainee is employed as a registrar and rotated through a range of accredited New Zealand hospitals. The curriculum is a mixture of practical operating competencies, communication skills and formal theoretical examinations. Progress is reviewed annually by the NZOA Education Committee.  On successful completion the applicant can apply for Fellowship with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) and be able to become vocationally registered as an orthopaedic surgeon with the New Zealand Medical Council. The training is completed jointly through the College (RACS) and the NZOA Education Committee.

To receive a copy of the Reconsideration, Review and Appeals Mechanism contact

Further information contact: Prue Elwood | Education and Training Manager | | 04 913 9898

Further Resources

The JDocs Framework is aligned to the RACS Core Competencies and provides junior doctors with the skills, knowledge and behaviours expected for entry to procedural specialist training.

NZOA Training Regulations
The Training Regulations, set by the NZOA Speciality Orthopaedic Training Board specify the rules, procedures and administrative processes of the SET Program in New Zealand. 

New Zealand Hospital Placements
Trainees may be placed in any one of our accredited training centres within New Zealand: Whangarei, Auckland, Waikato, Nelson, Christchurch, Tauranga, Taranaki, Hawkes Bay, Palmerston North, Timaru, Wellington, Hutt Valley, Dunedin, Rotorua or Invercargill.

Completion of Assessments 
Trainees must complete Work Based Assessments and Feedback Entries, skills courses and examinations as part of their training and their performance is reviewed regularly by their Supervisor of Training. Trainees must maintain an eLog of surgical experience to be reviewed by their supervisor. A trainee’s progression through the programme is dependent on satisfactory completion of all assessments.  All assessments and recording of eLogs are completed on the NZOA Training Information Management System (TIMS).

Training Weekends
All trainees will attend compulsory Training Weekends SET 0/1 (OHE course) in most cases during November each year (SET 0 determined as the following years intake of trainees), SET 1 Training Weekend in March each year, SET 2-5 twice per year in most cases during March and October).

Research Requirement
Trainees are required to complete research as per the Training Regulations and record this in TIMS, all research claimed must be approved by the Chair of the Education Committee.


New Zealand Orthopaedic trainees who complete the five year SET Program and succeed in the Fellowship Examinations are eligible to be awarded the Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS).