ACCC proposes to allow university medical schools to continue streamlined admission and interview policies

29 October 2014

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has issued a draft determination proposing to re-authorise policies which govern the selection and interviewing of applicants to study medicine at Australian graduate-entry medical schools.

The Preference and Interview Policies are a collaboration between ten university medical schools in the GAMSAT Consortium.

“These policies streamline the application and interview process and produce cost savings for the medical schools,” ACCC Deputy Chair Dr Michael Schaper said.

“Students are also likely to benefit by avoiding the costs of attending multiple interviews”.

“This is a good example of how the higher education sector can use the authorisation process to enable collaborative arrangements that would otherwise raise competition law issues”.

Medical schools will continue to compete for the preferences of applicants.

The ACCC is also satisfied that there are steps in place to ensure the fairness and integrity of the selection and interview process.

Under the Preference Policy, applicants submit a single online application listing in order of preference the medical schools to which they wish to apply.  Applicants can list up to six preferences.

Under the One Interview Policy, qualifying applicants will receive only one offer for an interview.  If an applicant is not offered a place by the interviewing medical school, the Preference Policy provides for the referral of their interview results to the applicant’s next nominated medical school.

The universities currently in the GAMSAT Consortium are:

  • Australian National University
  • Deakin University
  • Flinders University
  • Griffith University
  • University of Melbourne
  • Monash University
  • University of Notre Dame Australia
  • University of Queensland
  • University of Western Australia
  • University of Wollongong.

Authorisation provides statutory protection from court action for conduct that might otherwise raise concerns under the competition provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. Broadly, the ACCC may grant an authorisation when it is satisfied that the public benefit from the conduct outweighs any public detriment, including that resulting from a lessening of competition.

The ACCC’s draft determination and further information about the application are available from the public register.

Release number: 
MR 264/14
ACCC Infocentre: 

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