The NZOA conducts the selection process, training and assessment of Orthopaedic Surgical Trainees on behalf of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS)

Applications have closed for 2024 and will open in 2025 for the 2026 training year

After recent consideration by the NZOA Speciality Orthopaedic Training Board, the '3 strikes' clause for applications to the NZOA SET Training Programme will be removed from the 2025 , the SET Selection Regulations will be updated and available here in November 2024.    

It is important to note that there are now no restrictions on the number of applications you can make.  

A pass in the Clinical Exam is a prerequisite for applying to the NZOA Training Programme.

All applicants must have be New Zealand citizens or hold New Zealand Permanent Residency as a Speciality Specific criteria, additional to any requirements for registration with RACS.

Matua Ken Te Tau, our NZOA Māori Cultural Advisor has given Te Kāhui Kahurangi as a name for our SET applicants, read more about the meaning here:  ‘Te Kāhui Kahurangi’ - ‘Our Treasured People – Our Shining Stars’ as a name for the SET Selection Applicants ...... read more


2024 SET Interviews (click for link to blog)

2024 Interviews were held at Boulcott Hospital on 21 June, on the day 17 trainees were selected, two female and 15 male.  Our thanks again to Boulcott Hospital for hosting us and the support they provide.  Interviews began with our mihi whakatau and the sound of the Pūmoana (conch shell) followed by the NZOA Kaikaranga, Dr Mairarangi Haimona who called and invited the Te Kāhui Kahurangi (applicants, see above) to make their way upstairs.  The Kaikaranga, for the Kāhui Kahurangi, was Kyla Matenga (applicant), Ngāti Toa, who called in response.  Mātua Ken Te Tau began with a whaikōrero (oratory) and concluded with the waiata Haere mai.  Kaikōrero Ezra Nordstrom then spoke on behalf of the Kāhui Kahurangi concluding with the waiata Te Aroha. The final speaker for the NZOA was mātua John Mutu-Grigg, Ngāti Kahu, Te Rarawa then stood and spoke concluding with the waiata Tūtira mai. 

Congratulations to the following registrars selected: Andrew Kim, Anshuman Gupta, Chris Ling, Connor Fitz-Gerald, Dan Goddard-Hodge, Ezra Nordstrom, Jack Hanlon, Jaeha Lee, Jon Bartlett, Keith Lee, Kelsey Rao, Kyla Matenga, Naji Ghamri, Nick Keddell, Sam Choi, Tanushk Martyn, and Tom Hoffman, joined by Alex Boyle who was selected in 2023 but had deferred to 2025.


SET 5 2024 having just passed the Fellowship Exam

How to prepare for the RACS Surgical Education and Training Programme: 


Podcast with Teriana Maheno 

The Clinical Exam (CE) is a requirement for application from the 2025 year of application (suspended for 2024 year of application).   Clinical Exam 

Curriculum Vitae

The Structured Curriculum Vitae is scored out of a potential 20 points.  The required components can be found in the SET Selection Regulations.

Each step of the application must be completed and submitted before moving to the next, after each submission a copy will be emailed to you.  Once submitted you cannot add additional information to that step.  Any questions email Prue Elwood, Education and Training Manager at or 027 586 4336

 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.
  • must have successfully completed the Clinical Exam (CE) at the time of application.
  • must be a New Zealand Citizen or New Zealand Permanent Resident, this is a Speciality Specific requirement.

All applications are made through an online application

  • Access is login and password controlled.  
  • The online application requires you to complete the application in STEP's and submit after each one including uploading all supporting documentation.
  • Once a STEP is completed and submitted you will be emailed a copy.  Once you submit a STEP it will be saved and you will no longer have access.
  • Before commencing ensure you have all supporting information you need for each STEP, you cannot save and come back to add documentation.
  • No extensions will be granted, we recommend completing and submitting well before the due date.
  • Once completed you will be given the option of paying via credit card or receive an invoice. 
  • It is important that you read the SET APPLICATION REGULATIONS BEFORE applying as these detail the Selection Process.  
  • Pay attention to the Regulations regarding Publications, Research and Presentations, research and/or publications will only be scored once in either of the three categories of publications, research and/or presentation. 

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

Further information contact:

Prue Elwood | Education and Training Manager | | 04 913 9898 | 027 586 4336

Additional 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.


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).

This information may be varied, withdrawn or replaced at any time