How to become a Trainee on the NZOA Training Programme

2019 Applications have now closed

We would like to congratulate the following candidates who have been successful in their application to the 2020 intake of the NZOA Training Programme in Orthopaedic Surgery:

Heidi Chan

Reinhold Gregor

Matthew D'Arcy 

Rutvik Vanamala

Alexandria Gibson 

Tyler Rudolph

Shea Timoko-Barnes

Guy Smith

John Zhang

Penisimani Funaki 

Joshua Chamberlain 

Rushi Penumarthy

Teriana Maheno

Shiran Zhang

SET Selection Timetable (for 2021 intake)

Selection Registration Opens | Monday 6 January 2020 12:00pm AEDT

Selection Registration Closes | Monday 3 February 2020 5:00pm AEDT

Selection Application Opens | Wednesday 26 February 2020 12:00pm AEDT

Selection Application Closes | Wednesday 25 March 2020 12:00pm AEDT

Referee Reporting Opens | Wednesday 22 April 2020 AEST

Referee Reporting Closes | Wednesday 20 May 2020 5:00pm AEST

Interviews June/July 2020 | TBC
Announcement of Offers New Zealand | Wednesday 1 July 2020
Australia (including bi-national programs) | Monday 27 July 2020
Last Date for Offers | Friday 13 November 2020

You can only apply to Selection in Orthopaedic Surgery if you have been notified by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons that you are eligible.  

Please note all applications are through our online application system only | this will open on 26 February 2020

  • 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 NZ$800 fee, if you wish to pay by credit card please contact
  • If you have any problems, concerns or questions please contact Prue Elwood at or 04 913 9898
  • It is important that you read the Selection  Regulations Surgical Education and Training Program Orthopaedic Surgery 2019 Intake 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.

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)
  • 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

If you have any queries, please email

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 will receive a 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, contact is through Prue Elwood

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

Important notice for applicants to SET Selection from 2016 onwards

The NZOA Education Committee has recently agreed that all who apply for SET Selection from 2016 must have passed the Generic Surgical Science Exam (GSSE) prior to applying.  Details about the exam can be found on the RACS website 

All applicants must have pre-registered with RACS, even if they have previously applied. Applicants must be a NZ citizen or have NZ Residency and be registered with the NZ Medical Council.    

Following links have further information