Government Policies affecting all Medicine Students

Special Note

Students, including New Zealand citizens, who will not be Australian citizens or permanent residents at the time of enrolment, may not be automatically entitled to registration, internship, and access to a provider number in Australia. If they wish to stay in Australia after graduation, they should make their own enquiries regarding their situation related to these matters as they lie beyond the control of the University. For further information, please see:

For further information on Internship, please see our website at "Can I complete my internship in Australia".

Criminal Record Checks

The New South Wales Department of Health has a policy that all students undertaking clinical placements (which includes all Teaching Hospitals used by UNSW in its Medicine Program) must undergo an Australian National Criminal Record Check prior to placement in the NSW Health System.

Students must note that clinical placement in the NSW Health System is a substantial and essential element in the UNSW Medicine Program. Students who fail to satisfy the requirements of this criminal record check at any point during their enrolment will be excluded from the Program. Depending upon the circumstances at the time, students may be eligible to transfer to another Program of the University.

Students currently living overseas are also required to undergo a criminal record check from their country of residence.

Students need to apply for a National Criminal Record Check and finalise the process prior to the commencement of clinical placements in Week 8 of Year 1. Students are not permitted to commence clinical placements until a National Police Certificate showing no criminal offences has been provided to NSW Department of Health Staff who verify student compliance with NSW Health regulations.

Information on obtaining a National Police Certificate and other NSW Health requirements can be found on the Medicine program website.

Working with Children

Under the new Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012, work as a student in the course of a student clinical placement in a hospital or other health service is as of 15 June 2013 exempt from the definition of child related work. Therefore students undertaking a clinical placement will no longer be required to sign a Working with Children Check declaration.

Blood-borne Viruses and Immunisation

In order to be enrolled in the UNSW Medicine program, you must comply with UNSW Medicine’s Immunisation and Blood-borne Viruses Policy, which aims to minimise the risk of medical students contracting or spreading an infectious disease or blood-borne virus, such as HIV, and Hepatitis B or C. All students in the Medicine program could ordinarily be expected to undertake exposure-prone procedures and all students in the program must know their infective status in relation to blood-borne viruses. A student who is aware he or she has a blood-borne virus infection must not undertake exposure-prone procedures.

Any infective student who knowingly undertakes an exposure-prone procedure or any student who in any other way endangers the health of patients or staff will be reported to the Medical Board of Australia. The Board may prohibit or restrict the student’s right to undertake clinical studies or practice. Such a student would also be liable to criminal prosecution if a blood-borne virus is knowingly transmitted. Depending on the circumstances, the student could also be subject to the University’s Student Misconduct Rules.

All information regarding personal infective status in relation to blood-borne viruses is completely confidential. No student need divulge personal results to the University and no student will be discriminated against or prevented from qualifying for the degree of BMed MD because of any such infection.

Early in the course of medical training you may be exposed to patients with infectious diseases, thus immediate personal protection in the form of immunisation is essential.  It is also a NSW health department requirement that all students provide evidence of immunisation/immunity prior to having contact with patients. While UNSW Medicine makes students aware of the immunisation requirements of NSW Health, it is your responsibility to ensure that you can provide the necessary documentation to show you are compliant with these requirements.

UNSW Medicine's Immunisation and Blood-borne Viruses policy is available here.

Student Registration with the National Medical Board

All Medicine program students must at all times during enrolment be registered with the Medical Board of Australia. Registration is administered by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). Registration at the commencement of Year 1 will be organised by the Medicine Education and Student Office. If a student fails to maintain registration (e.g. if it is made subject to a restrictive condition because of an impairment suffered by the student) which results in the student being prohibited from undertaking clinical studies or practice, the student will be excluded from the Medicine program. For more details on student registration see the Medical Board’s website at: Medical Board of Australia website

As well as student registration, the National Medical Board also deals with notifications about students. Notifications can include students whose health is impaired, have been charged with an offence, or have contravened a condition of student registration. For further details see the AHPRA website.