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RANZCO Vocational Training Program Fee Information FAQ

What is the College doing to manage its costs?

The College is a not-for-profit organisation and all revenue is channeled into operational delivery, including developing and running the Vocational Training Program (VTP) and providing a wide range of member services from CPD and Congress, to Governance and Advocacy. Part of the College’s ongoing strategic plan is to be sustainable, which translates across all College activities in terms of cost minimisation and effective expense management.

What Federal grant funding does the College receive to support the VTP?

RANZCO receives a small fee for administering the Specialist Training Program (STP) funds provided by the Commonwealth Government. This fee is used to fund training posts based outside of state-funded public hospitals in settings like private practices and regional and remote locations. It covers the cost of administration of STP funds only.

RANZCO VTP vs University fees comparison

The full five-year RANZCO VTP is $43,998 (based on 2022 published fees). This is the investment for the full five-year program and payments are phased over the five years. This comprehensive fee includes all training, access to training materials and one sitting of all examinations and assessments. (Note that if a trainee fails an exam, then the full fee is charged to re-sit the exam.).

Successful completion of this program and acceptance as a RANZCO Fellow opens the door to a worthwhile, stimulating and rewarding career. According to recent salary surveys, early career ophthalmologists can earn more than $200,000 per year, with mid-career specialists earning more than $400,000.

The RANZCO VTP fee compares favourably with most post graduate medical-related university study, which commonly costs $27,000 to $38,000 per year of study for a Commonwealth supported place. International student or full fee-paying domestic student university fees are considerably higher.

How are the AMC and MCNZ accreditation requirements impacting the cost of delivering the VTP?

All Specialist Medical Programs like the VTP must meet 30 accreditation standards set by the AMC and MCNZ. They cover all aspects of the curriculum including:

  • Governance of the program and trainee participation in governance;
  • Program management, educational expertise and resourcing;
  • The curriculum including the framework, outcomes and content;
  • Teaching and learning approach and methods;
  • Assessment approach, methods and quality;
  • Performance feedback;
  • Selection;
  • Communication with trainees, trainee wellbeing and resolution of issues;
  • Roles, responsibilities and development of Term Supervisors and Clinical Tutors;
  • Accreditation of training sites and posts;
  • Monitoring and evaluation of the program; and
  • Continual renewal.

To successfully deliver the VTP and improve trainee skills and progression requires the services of highly skilled educators and other professionals who work in partnership with ophthalmologists to design effective learning and assessment systems. Effective quality control and improvement also require ongoing evaluation and monitoring performed by qualified professionals.

Therefore, RANZCO requires an internal team of highly skilled staff with broad experience to design, develop, run and renew the VTP so it continues to meet these standards.

Is there a mechanism to support rural trainees?

The College is also looking at a range of scholarships to provide support to trainees, including those from, or based in, rural areas.

Isn't it the case that the VTP should be a loss leader that is subsidised by the Fellow subscriptions?

In spite of increasing costs, the VTP in recent years has been subsidised by Fellow subscriptions. Fellows volunteer their time to assist with the operations and strategic direction of the VTP. Their fees need to be directed to ensure they have access to the same world-class education as trainees through the CPD program, and the provision of courses and online materials. In addition to education and upskilling, the College also advocates on behalf of the profession and for the communities of Australia and New Zealand to have equitable access to the best possible eye care. Accordingly, for each of the years 2022, 2023 and 2024, VTP and exam fees will increase by 10% annually.

Are there financing options available?

Payment plans can be arranged with the RANZCO finance team to spread payments over a semester. Fees have moved from an annual basis to a bi-annual basis to give trainees more time to pay.

Trainees should also seek tax advice about deductibility of education expenses.

Last updated: March 27, 2023

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RANZCO acknowledges our First Australians, the Traditional Custodians of the land
on which we live and work, and pays respect to Elders past, present and emerging.
Gadigal people of the Eora Nation are the traditional custodians of the land
where the RANZCO head office is located.
In recognition that we are a bi-national College, we also
acknowledge the Rangatiratanga of Māori as Tangata Whenua
and Treaty of Waitangi partners in Aotearoa New Zealand.