Applying for a Registrar Post
The main APPLICATION round for 2024 (for psych registrar posts starting in Feb 2024 or later in 2024, in the Auckland metro area) is now closed. To enquire at another time about posts, contact Song Chan.
See below for Whangarei applications.
Is psychiatry the right choice for you, and what are we looking for in a psychiatric registrar? Obviously, you need to be interested in people, in psychology and how the brain works. You need good communication and interpersonal skills and to speak and write English fluently. You need to be motivated and both clinically and academically competent, as RANZCP training is quite a demanding postgraduate course and the examinations are not easy. You need to be able to tolerate uncertainty and to be curious - psychiatry is fascinating and we don't fully understand the brain and the mind yet, so although there's a solid and growing evidence-base of research, there are plenty of unknowns. On a practical note, you need to be able to type well as all our services have electronic records. For on-call work you need to be able to drive and to have your own car - or to get one shortly after arriving here, if you're from overseas. And finally, although the College allows entry into training after the PGY-1 year, the Medical Council of NZ mandates two house officer years before RMOs can become registrars, so in fact two years as a house officer are essential before starting as a registrar in Auckland.
Whangarei and Auckland
Posts in Auckland
The employment process for psychiatric registrar posts in Auckland is centralised through the Director of Training and the NRA (Northern Regional Alliance - they handle RMO coordination and recruitment in Auckland). The NRA's website is www.aucklanddoctors.co.nz. If you make initial contact with the NRA Recruitment Consultant the Director of Training will be notified about your query. If you have specific questions, you can email the Director of Training directly.
The main annual intake process occurs mid-year for 3 weeks in April, planning ahead for posts starting in early December, across all of the following year. There's a selection process with either a face-to-face or teleconferenced interview, in June. The Selection Panel consists of the Director of Training, a Training Facilitator, the training programme manager and a trainee representative, and a Recruitment representative from NRA. Our selection process covers both selection into RANZCP training, and also employment by the Auckland DHBs, via NRA. Unlike some other programmes, it's all handled together, not as separate processes.
We're a large programme so we almost always do have a vacancy and we're keen to recruit all the year round. Don't worry if you miss the main selection process application deadline as we schedule one-off interviews at other times, as needed. If you're applying outside the main annual recruitment round in April, email the Director of Training with your CV, saying when you'd like to start. Most registrars start their posts in December, but some start mid-year, in June. If we have vacancies you can often start at another time if you're coming from overseas. Obviously it's somewhat difficult for a clinical team and supervisor if you need to have a late start while completing a post overseas before arriving here, but we may be able to locate a post that can cope with this. You'd have less choice as to your initial placements, however.
The stages in joining the Auckland part of the programme are thus:
Posts in Whangarei
You should start the process by emailing or phoning the Northland Mental Health Services Training Facilitator Dr Heide Griesemann or the Clinical Director Dr Margaret Aimer (via +64-9-430-4100), who will involve HR staff to assist with the practicalities. The Clinical Director will inform the programme's overall Directors of Training who are based in Auckland, who will also make contact with you and arrange the necessary paperwork as above. Then there's a selection interview for RANZCP training, as above. Note that this is more of a two-stage process so if you definitely want a training post rather than a service post, you need to make sure that the selection-into-training process is also underway. The process for Whangarei is thus:
Should You Use an Employment Agency?
We'd rather you didn't, as agency fees are very costly to our Districts so we have a non-agency recruitment policy. The Auckland NRA Recruitment Consultant or Northland HR staff can help you with the practical details about Registration and Immigration just as well as an agency.
Is there any assistance when travelling from overseas to take up a post in the programme?
Whangarei do sometimes offer relocation assistance when recruiting from overseas. You'd need to talk to the HR staff involved with your recruitment, to check the details. The Northland DHB careers website has a lot of useful immigration and relocation information, and details about life in Northland.
For registrars, the most useful resource is this guide for new recruits from NRA’s Auckland Doctor’s website. The Auckland DHBs provide practical help from NRA with your Registration and Immigration processes but they don't pay for airfares or other relocation costs. They do provide some advice and support though, about relocation to Auckland. Here's the Te Toka Tumai Auckland District relocation support site and the WDHB relocation page. These websites, and especially the NRA "New Start" guide, have helpful links and information about getting started in New Zealand, no matter which District your post is in.