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Assessment of clinical knowledge and skills

International Medical Graduates (IMG) may undergo a pre-employment, structured, clinical interview known as PESCI as one of the assessments of clinical knowledge and skills that they will need to complete. This is part of the nationally consistent assessment processes for IMGs.

Queensland Health Pre-Employment Structured Clinical Interview

A PESCI is a mandatory requirement for employment within a Hospital and Health Service (HHS) in Queensland. Candidates who are progressing via the standard pathway and have been offered a Principal House Officer (PHO)/Registrar** position for the first time within a HHS, will be required to undertake a PESCI in the following specialties:

  • emergency medicine
  • obstetrics and gynaecology
  • mental health
  • anaesthetics
  • general medicine
  • intensive care medicine
  • paediatrics
  • general surgery
  • orthopaedics.

IMGs already employed by a HHS in a Junior House Officer or Senior House Officer position and who are applying for a PHO position in the above specialties must undertake a PESCI.

When an international medical graduate is being employed as a PHO generalist and they are required to work across any of the specialties listed above they will be required to undertake a PESCI.

**IMGs who are basic trainees of their relevant specialty college, and may be referred to by the college or the hospital as a Registrar who are on the Standard Pathway to general medical registration and are, or will be, registered with the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) as a PHO.

Interview panel and outcome

The panel will consist of three members. The panel will pose between three and five clinical scenario questions relevant to the role description. The following competencies will be assessed during the clinical scenarios:

  • clinical history taking
  • clinical knowledge
  • management plan
  • communication skills
  • interpersonal skills.

Outcomes of the PESCI will be provided by email, within five working days from the interview date. A successful outcome of a Queensland Health PESCI does not guarantee registration with the MBA. For information about registration, contact the Medical Board of Australia.


A candidate may request a review of the assessment outcome within 30 days of receiving the report by writing to the Director of the Clinical Skills Development Service (CSDS) at

The specific grounds on which CSDS will consider a review of a PESCI decision are as follows:

  • ill health of the candidate or
  • a procedural fault or error in the process or
  • that relevant information was not properly considered or
  • that the candidate was not given a fair opportunity to fairly participate in the role plays/scenarios comprising this stage of the selection process.

CSDS will not consider a review based on the clinical aspects of the interview, such as the content of the scenario questions, the candidate's response to the questions or the candidate's perception of their performance in the interview.

For more information about the Queensland Health PESCI,contact Clinical Skills Development Service on (07) 3646 6500 or via email

Last updated: 4 February 2016