Council accreditation fee proposal poses problem for public health college

The headline on this article has been changed. See comment below

Council accreditation fee proposal poses problem for public health college

Medical students learning suturing. Source - Tulane University
New Zealand-based medical colleges face a proposed new fee for accreditation of vocational training and recertification
“A steep increase in the membership fees for our members driven by the costs of accreditation may result in members switching to the alternate provide


The Medical Council sent the following statement:

The proposal is to introduce the vocational training and accreditation fee from the 2020/21 financial year. If it proceeds it would be factored into Council operating budgets which are expected to be finalised in June 2020.

The fees are intended to recover the direct and indirect costs of carrying out an accreditation of New Zealand based vocational training and recertification providers. The direct cost component is expected to offset with the new costs associated with carrying out the strengthened accreditation process. The accreditation standards and the process to undertake the visit have recently been reviewed and strengthened.

The accreditation of training providers is an important regulatory function that ensures that doctors receive quality vocational training – this in turn ensures that doctors provide good quality care to patients, in the interests of public health and safety.

Our philosophy is to capture the costs where they fall to ensure that the Council’s fee structure is fair and equitable. This means that all fees should be on a ‘user pays’ basis to remove cross subsidisation (from the practising certificate fee) which historically has been occurring.

Currently any cost associated with this process has been nominal and covered by the practising certificate fee, however the introduction of a strengthened more robust process will result in a greater cost reflected by the proposed fee. The impact on the practising certificate fee is not likely to be commensurate, given the strengthened process.

In setting fees, Council strives to maintain a balance between the efficient and effective discharge of its public safety obligations and practitioner affordability.

The consultation document was a proposal only and Council has not yet considered the feedback received, as the consultation only closed last Friday.

Council values the feedback to its consultation. Council will carefully consider the feedback at its meeting in February. We are cognisant of the impact of any increased fee on providers and this will be taken into account, along with all of the feedback to the consultation. It is likely that Council’s decision will reflect the feedback received. 

Once Council has made a decision, we will further engage with our stakeholders.

We are unable to comment further until after Council has considered all of the feedback.

The original headline on this article read "Council accreditation fee could sink public health college, says president"

This was changed to "Council accreditation fee proposal poses problem for public health college" to reflect the fact the proposal by the Medical Council to impose accreditation fees on medical colleges, is just a proposal.

Changes were also made in to the third paragraph with the words "it could be sunk" replaced by "its future viability could be threatened".

Apologies for any confusion

Other small NZ only college memberships are affected, as this is a NZ only fee.  

NZ Association of Musculoskeletal Medicine

Family Planning and Reproductive Health

Larger Australasian Colleges are not included and arguably should be, their fees are paid through the Australian Medical Council: