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


Clinical Exam

A pass in the Clinical Exam is a requirement for application to the NZOA Training Programme from the 2023 year of application (next years applications).  RACS have opened a waitlist for the October sittings of the Clinical Exam, should a participant not be able to make it or cancel they will look to this waitlist so get onto it early, you can find this at WAITLIST

Please watch the RACS website for any additional sittings that may be offered in October.

February 2023 sitting:

2023 Clinical
Registration Opens: 17 Nov 2022
Registration Closes: 8 Dec 2022
Exam: 25-26 Feb 2023

How to prepare for a RACS Surgical Education and Training

Podcast with Teriana Maheno


2023 Dates: (tbc)

Selection Registration with RACS opens Tuesday 10 January

Selection Registration with RACS closes Tuesday 31 January

Selection Applications open Wednesday 1 March

Selection Applications close Wednesday 29 March

Assessment Reporting opens Friday 14 April 

Assessment Reporting closes Friday 28 April 

Selection Interviews 30 June 2023 at Boulcott Hospital


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


If you have completed a SET application in previous years please login HERE. This will take you to Step 1 with some data prefilled.

If this is your first time applying, please go straight to Step 1 HERE.


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).