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.   

SET Selection Timetable 2021 - Applications have closed for 2021

Selection Registration Opens Wednesday 6 January 2021 12:00pm AEDT
Selection Registration Closes Wednesday 3 February 2021 5:00pm AEDT

Selection Application Opens Wednesday 24 February 2021 2.00pm NZ
Selection Application Closes Wednesday 24 March 2021 2:00pm NZ (you may only apply if you have been notified by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons that you are eligible)

Referee Reporting Opens Wednesday 21 April 2021 9:00am NZ
Referee Reporting Closes Wednesday 12 May 2021 5:00pm NZ

Interviews Friday 18 June 2021 in 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.
  • from and including the 2023 application year (this means the year of application) must have successfully completed the Clinical Exam (CE) at the time of application.

All applications are made through our online application system only.

  • Access is login and password controlled.  
  • The online application requires you to complete the application in STEP's and submit after each one, you must upload all your supporting documentation.
  • Once a STEP is completed and submitted you will be emailed a copy.
  • Before commencing make sure you have all supporting information needed for each STEP, you cannot save and come back to add documentation.
  • Please be aware that once you submit each STEP it will be saved and you will no longer have any access.
  • No extensions will be granted, we recommend completing and submitting well before the due date.
  • Your application will be acknowledged by NZOA in due course.
  • You will receive an automated invoice for the application fee of NZ$1,000 +gst, if you wish to pay by credit card please contact
  • If you have any questions please contact Prue Elwood | Education and Training Manager | | 04 913 9898
  • It is important that you read the SET REGULATIONS BEFORE applying as these detail the Selection Process.   

You must complete each Step in one session and submit.

Make sure you have the correct files and enough time to complete before starting.

Note: ED requirement is 12 weeks minimum, no requirement to have been completed within last 5 years.

Only include relevant rotations, do not include rotations outside the timeframe given in the Regulations or House Surgeon rotations (add the last 2 years’ experience as Orthopaedic Registrar ONLY i.e. 24 March 2019 to 24  March 21.  Do not include House Surgeon or Registrar in another specialty)

How to complete the application:
Step 1 you will need the following files:
  • A recent passport style photo of yourself
  • Residency documentation (photo page of your passport; birth certificate; residency status, citizenship certificate)
  • RMO Unit/Hospital/employer administration letter/s with dates and durations as evidence of a qualifying Orthopaedic run/s
  • RMO Unit/Hospital/employer administration letter with dates and durations as evidence of a qualifying Emergency Department run
  • Generic Surgical Science Exam result sheet (if completed)

Step 3 you will need the following files:

  • RMO/employer letter/s detailing relevant surgical and medical experience/s (as applicable) Only include relevant Registrar level experience only
  • RACS or equivalent transcript/certificate for each Skill Course completed (as applicable)
  • University transcript or enrolment confirmation for anatomy course/experience (as applicable)

Step 4 you will need the following files:

  • University transcript or appropriate validating documentation for each qualification (as applicable)
  • A copy of your research project for each project (as applicable)
  • Timetable/schedule detailing presentation title and presenter name for each presentation (as applicable)
  • Article or letter of acceptance from publisher for each publication (as applicable)

Step 5 - Leadership and Community Contribution

Step 6 - Clinical Rotations

Step 7 - Referees

Step 8 - Hospital Post Preferences and Declaration

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.