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New Zealand is one of the best countries in the world to live and work. The country provides its citizens excellent living conditions and has a growing economy that lets you live the life you want.

The New Zealand healthcare system is one of the best in the world because the country only accepts qualified and skilled healthcare workers, especially doctors, nurses, and allied health executives.

Becoming a general practitioner (GP) in New Zealand requires you to register with the country’s medical board. Medfuture guides you through the entire process of registering as a GP in New Zealand.

How to register as a general practitioner in New Zealand?

Irrespective of the type of registration you want to apply for, the basic process remains very much the same if you want to register as a general practitioner in New Zealand. You must show that you are fit, qualified, and competent to register and work as a GP in New Zealand.

The Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ) is responsible for registering doctors in the country. The MCNZ register over 1500 GPs every year and currently has over 17000 GPs already registered. Above 40% of these GPs are overseas trained coming from over 100 countries.

Here is the process on registering as a general practitioner in New Zealand

Use the registration self-assessment tool to determine the appropriate registration pathway

The registration self-assessment tool determines which registration pathway you must take to register as a GP in New Zealand. It is applicable for medical practitioners applying in Aotearoa New Zealand. The council’s self-assessment tool does not cover student electives.

Learn about the different registration pathways

There are three main types of registration pathways or scopes when registering as a general practitioner in New Zealand. These pathways are as follows:

General Scope

General scope typically includes resident doctors, resident medical officers, or doctors that undergo vocational training. This registration pathway has several different sub categories as follows:

New Zealand and Australian graduates

New Zealand and Australian graduates (those who have completed internship)

Examinations registration pathway

UK and Irish medical graduates

Comparable health system

Australian general registrants

United Kingdom general registrants

Vocational scope

The vocational registration scope is a permanent, specialist registration pathway that lets you work independently as a doctor in New Zealand. The following are the different registration pathways that are available under the vocational scope.

VOC1 Vocational (specialist) registration: This is for doctors who hold a recognized New Zealand or Australian postgraduate qualification and also holds registration in the General scope of practice.

VOC2 Vocational (specialist) registration: This registration pathway is for those who hold a recognized New Zealand or Australian postgraduate qualification, but does not hold general registration.

VOC3 Vocational (specialist) registration: This is for those who are qualified and trained as specialists in any country other than New Zealand or Australia and want to work in New Zealand as specialists.

Provisional vocational registration: International medical graduates (IMGs) who apply for vocational registration need to complete a provisional vocational registration period. During this period, you will be working under supervision to ensure you are competent to practice as a specialist in your selected field of medicine.

Complete the required documentation

Following is a checklist of the documentation required to register as a general practitioner in New Zealand.

Application forms for interns doing PGY1 and PGY2: PGY2-OS and PGY2-OSER

Application forms for general registration: APC2, REG1, REG2, REG3, REG4, REG6, REG7, and REG12

Fellows applying for vocational registered and have already being registered: VOC1 Vocational (specialist) registration and myMCNZ portal for doctors

Application forms for vocational registration: VOC2

Application forms for provisional vocational registration: VOC3 Vocational (specialist) registration

Application forms for special purpose visiting experts: VEX1 and VEX2

Referee reports: RP6

Certificate-related requests: COR and Request for confirmation of internship

Application for change of scope: COS1, COS2, COS4, COS5, and COS7

Registration checklists: CHKL1, CHKL2 – online applications, CHKL3, CHKL4, CHKL5, CHKL7, CHKL11, CHKL12, CHKL13, and CHKL20

Continuing professional development and collegial relationships: Forms for recertification and CPD

Other forms: Low-income declaration and statutory declaration

Undergo pre-assessment interview (if required)

Once the necessary documents are submitted you will be required to undergo a pre-assessment interview, if required. The registration meeting will be held to assess you qualification and skills, and to assess your competency in registering and practicing as a general practitioner in New Zealand. This pre-assessment interview is vital and you must give it your best go to be registered as a GP in New Zealand.

Once your registration application is reviewed, you will be provided GP registration, if appropriate. After that, you will receive your practicing certification which will enable you to start practicing as a general practitioner in New Zealand.

Once registered as a GP, you should go through your rights and responsibilities with regard to your practicing certificate, and the related consequences of practicing without a registration certification.

How long does it take to get registered?

The process of being registered as a general practitioner in New Zealand takes quite some time. It depends on the type of registration you are applying for and the documents you have in hand.

Here is an idea of how long it will take to get registered under the different registration types available for GPs in New Zealand.

General and special purpose registration

The applications for general, provisional general, and special purpose registration takes approximately 20 days to be completely assessed. The 20 working days for assessing eligibility for registration begins once a completed application is received. If the registration pathway that you ate applying for requires you to have an offer letter before applying, your employer will need to be contacted to help complete your application and registration process.

Vocational registration

The time period for vocational registration varies based on the assessment of eligibility for registration as follows:

VOC1 – 10 working days

VOC2 – 2 months

VOC3 (Provisional vocational) – 6 months

The countdown starts once your application has been received at the other end. You don’t need to have a job offer before applying via any vocational registration pathways. Some people already have a job offer when applying for registration, in which case they may require help from their employer.

What is required to process the application?

Your application will be process only if it is duly completed. Here are the things that you must do for your application to be considered as complete.

Submit the necessary documents primary source verification prior to applying for registration.

Submit all of the completed documents as given in the checklist applicable for your registration pathway.

Satisfy the English language policy.

Submit references that meet the reference policy in the GP registration process.

You may be required to provide additional details along with your application if you have any disclosures to make, such as professional status certificates from foreign regulatory bodies.

How are applications assessed?

A registration coordinator will be assigned for your application to ascertain the following:

If you are fit to register as a general practitioner in New Zealand

If you hold the required qualification

If you are competent to practice as a GP in New Zealand in the scope of practice that you have applied for

 The following are considered to be essential in this assessment process:

Educational qualifications

Work history and related experience


Details from other regulators, like the registration type that you hold

What are the requirements to register as a GP in New Zealand?

Irrespective of the registration pathway that you are applying for, here are some of the standard requirements to register as a GP in New Zealand.

Fitness for registration

You are required to provide answers to fitness-related questions when filling your application forms for GP registration. These questions are made to identify any health conduct or competence issues that you may be having. These questions are very much similar to the questions that registered doctors answer during the renewal process of their annual practicing certificate. The responses and details you given by your referees and other authorities will assist the council in identifying if you are fit and competent to practice as a general practitioner in New Zealand.

English language communication skills

You must show your competence level in the English language if your first language is not English. However, you may be exempt from doing so if you were employed in an English-speaking country for at least 2 years, 5 years prior to application. You must past the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) with 7.5 points for Listening and Speaking and 7.0 for Reading and Writing. As a renowned healthcare recruitment agency, Medfuture will assist you on the way to finding a general practitioner job role in New Zealand.

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