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


Selection Registration Opens | Wednesday 12 Jan 2022

Selection Registration Closes | Wednesday 9 Feb 2022

Selection Applications Open | Wednesday 2 March 2022

Selection Applications Close | Wednesday 30 March 2022

Referee Reporting Opens | Friday 29 April 2022

Referee Reporting Closes | Friday 13 May 2022

Interview Date | 24 June 2022


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.

NZOA SET Regulations for 2022 (2023 Intake)

All applications are made through our online application system only

  • 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 application fee of NZ$1,000 +gst, if you wish to pay by credit card please contact
  • If you have any questions please contact Prue Elwood | Education and Training Manager | | 04 913 9898
  • It is important that you read the SET REGULATIONS BEFORE applying as these detail the Selection Process.   

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 can apply for 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.

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

Further information contact: Prue Elwood | Education and Training Manager | | 04 913 9898

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.

Research Requirement:

Trainees are required to complete research as per the Training Regulations and record this in TIMS, all research claimed must be approved by the Chair of the Education Committee.


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).