Components of SET training


Find a surgeon

The Find a Surgeon directory is a listing of active Fellows of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons who meet the requirements of the College's Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Program and have opted to be on the list. This list excludes retired or inactive Fellows.


The main components of training

Surgical trainees work and train in hospitals under the supervision of experienced surgeons. The training year begins in December in New Zealand and in January in Australia. The main components of SET training are:

  • placements (or rotations) in hospital posts
  • short courses - College run skills courses and specialty-specific courses
  • research - each specialty has research requirements
  • assessments - including work-based assessments and generic and specialty-specific examinations


Skills courses

All surgical trainees must complete a number of generic short courses, often called 'skills courses'. Learn more about skills courses. Many surgical specialties also deliver specialty-specific courses. Information about these is available on each specialty's website.


All surgical trainees undertake one or more research projects during SET. Learn more about audits and surgical research. Each surgical specialty can provide information about their SET research requirements.


Surgical trainees are assessed during SET through a combination of work-based assessments and examinations. Work-based assessments include Mid Term and End of Term reports, Direct Observation of Procedural Skills (DOPS) reports, Mini Clinical Examination (MiniCEX) reports and logbooks. Examinations comprise both written format and practical 'clinical' format exams, and the topics being examined are either generic to all surgical trainees or specialty-specific.   

Surgical Education and Training - Selection process 

What happens after SET?

Upon successful completion of SET, trainees become Fellows of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS) and are endorsed to practise independently in the specialty in which they trained. In their first 10 years of Fellowship, they are known as Younger Fellows.