Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) is the principal organisation representing the medical specialty of psychiatry in Australia and New Zealand and has responsibility for training, examining and awarding the qualification of Fellowship of the College (FRANZCP) to medical practitioners.


There are currently more than 3500 Fellows of the College who account for approximately 85 per cent of all practising psychiatrists in Australia and over 50 per cent of psychiatrists in New Zealand. Over 1000 trainees are undertaking basic and advanced training to become psychiatrists in both countries.

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists is a collegial community of medical specialists and trainees committed to the following core purposes:

  • Preparation of medical specialists in the field of psychiatry
  • Support and enhancement of clinical practice
  • Influence and leadership across the mental health sector.

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists's vision:

A fellowship of psychiatrists leading the achievement of quality psychiatric care and mental health for our community.


The Australasian Association of Psychiatrists was formed on 9 October 1946. In 1962, the association resolved to “take the necessary action forthwith to convert the association into a college”. and the Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists was officially incorporated in Sydney on 28 October 1963. The Australasian Association of Psychiatrists was officially dissolved at a special general meeting in Melbourne on 12 April 1964. The first formal meeting of the council of the new College took place in Canberra on 25 October 1964. The meeting coincided with the College’s first annual congress.

The RANZCP was granted the Royal prefix with effect from May 1978. An extraordinary meeting of the College ratified the inclusion of “Royal” in the College’s name on 7 May 1978.

Menders of the Mind, published by Oxford University Press, commemorated the 50th anniversary of The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatry.


The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists is a company limited by guarantee.

The RANZCP is governed by its General Council, a democratically-elected Board of Directors which oversees a wide range of issues concerning the affairs and activities of the College, and is its supreme policy-making body.

The College comprises Branches in each State and Territory of Australia, and New Zealand. Its governance structure also includes Boards, Faculties, Sections and Special Interest Groups.

Specialist aspects of psychiatry are represented by three Faculties and four Sections:

  • Faculty of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Faculty of Psychiatry of Old Age
  • Faculty of Forensic Psychiatry [1]
  • Section of Addiction Psychiatry
  • Section of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry
  • Section of Psychotherapy
  • Section of Social and Cultural Psychiatry

The RANZCP also has a Board of Education and a Board of Practice and Partnerships.



  • Conducts a training and examinations process for qualification as a consultant psychiatrist
  • Administers a continuing professional development programme for practising professionals
  • Holds an annual scientific congress and various sectional conferences throughout the year
  • Supports continuing medical education activities at a regional level
  • Publishes a range of journals, statements and other policy documents
  • Liaises with government, allied professionals and community groups in the interests of psychiatrists, patients and the general community

RANZCP Publications

The RANZCP publishes:

  • Two journals: the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry and Australasian Psychiatry.(;
  • Consumer and carer treatment guides for Australia and New Zealand covering Anorexia nervosa, Bipolar disorder, Depression, Panic disorder, Schizophrenia and Self-harm. (
  • A variety of position statements, clinical memoranda and practice and ethical guidelines pertaining to the practice of psychiatry to inform practitioners and the general public of issues that may impact upon the practice of psychiatry across Australia and New Zealand. (
  • A Strategic Plan details the RANZCP’s vision, purposes, values and ethical principles, and strategic and operational priorities for 2009-2011.(
  • Annual reports of the RANZCP are available on the College website. (
  • RANZCP media releases are available on the College website.(


The RANZCP holds several events, general psychiatry and mental health conferences.(


The first step in becoming a psychiatrist is to undertake medical training at university and qualify as a doctor. The next step is to complete a 12-month period of intern training in a general hospital in order to become a fully registered medical practitioner and gain experience in specialist aspects of medicine and surgery. After this, interested doctors are eligible to apply for entry to the Psychiatric Training Programme, although some doctors choose to extend their general medical training before applying. Careful selection of psychiatric Trainees is conducted by a panel of psychiatrists who interview applicants in each Australian State and in New Zealand. Applicants must also provide extensive references regarding their work performance and suitability for psychiatric training. Those applicants who successfully progress through this process and satisfy all the criteria will be offered a place on the Training Programme.

Training requires mandatory supervision by experienced, qualified psychiatrists and is undertaken in approved training hospitals/services. In Australia and New Zealand, specialist postgraduate psychiatric training is conducted by the RANZCP. Training takes a minimum of five years to complete, during which time trainees work as registrars under supervision in hospitals and community clinics. They gain wide experience in dealing with the full range of psychiatric problems, including those of children and families, adults and the elderly.

Notable Fellows (FRANZCP)

  • Prof. Marie Bashir, AC, CVO
  • Prof. Sir Mason Durie, KNZM, FRSNZ, FHCNZ
  • Prof. Christos Pantelis, FRCP
  • Dr. Ainslie Meares
  • Dr. John Cade, AO (President, 1969-70)
  • Dr. Eric Cunningham Dax, AO, FRACP
  • Dr. Felice Lieh-mak, CBE, JP, FRCP
  • Dr. John Diamond


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