Annual Practising Certificates

You must hold a current Annual Practising Certificate (APC) to practise as medical laboratory scientist, a medical laboratory technician, a medical laboratory pre-analytical technician or an Anaesthetic technician practitioner in New Zealand.

It is an offence to practise without one. If you do so, you may be:

  • prosecuted by the Ministry of Health and liable to a fine of up to $10,000, and
  • liable to disciplinary proceedings before the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal and cancellation of your registration. 

You will be granted an APC if we are satisfied that you meet the criteria set out in section 27 of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003. This means you:

  • are fit to practise
  • have maintained the standard of competence required for your scope of practice
  • have held an APC within the 3 years immediately before your application
  • have lawfully practised your profession within the 3 years immediately before the application
    • Anaesthetic Technicians - please note, you will be asked to declare that you have practised in your scope of practice for an average of 8 clinical hours per week over the past 12-months
  • have complied with any conditions included on your scope of practice
  • have completed the requirements of any competence programme that we, the Medical Sciences Council, may have directed you to undertake
  • do not have a health condition that adversely affects your ability to practise.

For new graduates from a New Zealand accredited programme, you are “deemed” to be competent if you apply for your first APC within a year of graduation.  Accordingly the requirements for practising and having held an APC within the 3 years before your application do not apply.

APC Cycle

An APC is valid for a maximum of twelve-months between 1st April of one year and 31st March of the next year.  An APC may be issued for a part of the relevant twelve-month period. 

If you are a current holder of an APC you will be notified by the Council in January/February of each year of the need to renew your APC for the following year (1 April to 31 March), unless you have otherwise informed Council that you will not be practising in that period.

Need more information?

Click here for more information regarding applying and renewing your APC