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


After recent consideration by the NZOA Speciality Orthopaedic Training Board, a decision was made to remove the '3 strikes' clause in the SET Selection Regulations for applicants to the NZOA Training Programme.  This has now been approved by the RACS Education Board.  

This will take effect from the 2025 selection process and will be updated in our 2025 SET Selection Regulations available in November 2024.

It is important to note that this enables applicants that had/have any past or current applications they are now able to apply again in 2025.   There are now no restrictions on the number of applicants you can make.  


Applications have closed for this year.


At our 2023 Orthopaedic SET Selection matua Ken Te Tau, our Māori Cultural Advisor, provided the name: ‘Te Kāhui Kahurangi’ - ‘Our Treasured People – Our Shining Stars’ as a name for the SET Selection Applicants ...... read more

Congratulations to our Te Kāhui Kahurangi who were selected to start training in 2024:

Erynne Scherf, Jess Lynch-Larkin, Vik Gupta, Will Caughey, Chynna Gleeson, Luca Killick, Mike English, Kat Sim, Zoe Wells, Darina Gilroy, Martin Coia Jadresic, Anna McDonald, Jess Leary, Patrick Bekhit, Sophie Wilton, Abby Heath, Gina Kioa, Cherrelle George and Kenrick Rosser

Alex Boyle was selected but has deferred to start in 2025


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

Podcast with Teriana Maheno 

The Clinical Exam (CE) is a requirement for application but for the 2024 year of application the requirement for the CE has been suspended due to unavailability of the exam in New Zealand.  Applicants who are selected and have not passed the CE will be required to pass the CE by the end of SET 2.  Failure to do so will result in dismissal from training.

Curriculum Vitae

The Structured Curriculum Vitae is scored out of a potential 20 points.  The required components are:

Part 1                Core Experience                        Maximum 14 points

                          Work experience                          6 points

                          Skills Courses                               4 points

                          Research Experience                   4 points

Part 2               Additional Expertise                  Maximum 6 points

                          Higher Degrees                           4 points

                          Cultural Experience                    3 points

                          Personal Statement

Suspended for 2024: A pass in the Clinical Exam is a requirement for application to the NZOA Training Programme from the 2023 year of application (this years applications).  Clinical Exam 

Each step 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.
  • 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 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.  

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