Applications for the 2024 Fellowship Program are now closed.

The Process of Examination

This section outlines the Fellowship examination process including information for Candidates, the criteria for assessment, matters related to the examiners and the appeal process.

Examination Panel

Each examination panel is comprised of three Fellows of the College, one will act as Chair.  The panels will be selected by the Chief Examiner and coordinated by the Fellowship Program Manager.

The Chief Examiner and Fellowship Program Manager will aim to have a balance in the composition of the  examination panels in terms of gender, geography, professional backgrounds, and experience in examining Fellowship Candidates.

Examination panel members will not be from the ACHSM Branch to which the Candidate belongs and asked to declare any conflicts of interest in examining Candidates allocated to the examination panel of which they are a member.

Criteria for Assessment and the Marking Rubric

The domains of practice, assessable attributes, skills, behaviour and knowledge of a senior health services manager are detailed in the Competency Framework provided in Appendix 4.

A rubric is a coherent set of criteria for candidates' work that includes descriptions of the levels of performance against the requirements that have been set down.

Rubrics have two major elements. These elements are:

  1. A coherent set of criteria; and,
  2. Descriptions of the levels of performance for these criteria demonstrated by the candidate.

You will notice the two elements in the rubric shown below which examiners will use during the Fellowship examination. 

Candidates should consider the requirements laid down in the rubric when crafting responses to the questions from that will be put by examination panel members during the examination. Further information regarding the RUBRIC is available on the ACHSM Fellowship site. The pass mark for the Fellowship Exam is 75. To qualify for a re-examination, Candidates must achieve an overall score in the range of 70-74.9.

Criteria for the Selection Of Examiners

Every examiner will meet the following criteria:

  • Be a Fellow of ACHSM
  • Have significant senior management/leadership experience in the health sector.
  • Be familiar with the readings set for the Candidates.
  • Have attended a briefing session with the Chief Examiner prior to the examination date.
  • Attend the briefing on the day of the examinations.

Panel Chair 

Role of the panel chair please refer to page 8 of the Fellowship Manual

What Is Expected of Examiners

Please refer to page 8 of the Fellowship Manual

Examination Process for the Online Exams

The processes for the examinations are as follows:

  • Candidates must have access to email, the Fellowship Website and a reliable mobile phone with a number registered with ACHSM.  The timeframes for all exams are based on AEST and candidates are responsible for being aware of any time differences to AEST.  This includes the time differences between States and Territories of Australia (due to daylight saving adjustments) and international time differences.
  • Candidates will receive an email an hour prior to the examinations with the exam questions and the link to access the videoconference for the Examination.  Candidates will at first come into a lobby in the videoconference room and be admitted to the room when the examiners are ready to commence the examination
  • Candidates will receive a text message no later than 5 minutes prior to their exam start time to enter the  room.  As there is up to ten candidates to receive the text message to enter the room, please be aware that you may receive a text message slightly before the 5-minute minimum because these are sent out in examination room order and cannot be sent at the same time.
  • Once the Candidate has entered the room the Chair will do a photo ID the Candidate should show the same photo as the one, they sent to ACHSM and IT check before the examination begins.
  • Candidates should be aware that the Chief Examiner or Assistant Chief Examiner may enter and leave the examination room taking care not to disrupt the examination and this is to assess the progress of the examination or if their presence in the examination room is requested by the Panel Chair.
  • When the examination is complete and the Candidate has left the examination room, the examination panel will unanimously agree on one of the following results for each Candidate:
    • PASS =  score equal or greater than 75.
    • RESIT = score between 70 and greater than or equal to 74.9
    • UNSUCCESSFUL score less than 70

 The question(s) required for resit are determined by the question or questions that the Candidate demonstrated the lowest scored question(s) in original examination.  The resit questions may be those used in the original examination or may be a different question sampling the same area as the ones in the original examination.

General information for Candidates

Examinations are conducted according to the principle that responses must reflect the application of knowledge to the professional practice of health services management.  Candidates should not rely on health service management practices that may apply or be appropriate to a particular organisation, location, or clinical service.  Candidates must demonstrate their capacity to apply their attributes, skills, and knowledge across the broader health service management field.  Candidates with a strong clinical or non-clinical background with relatively narrow career histories should broaden their approach to reflect the application of knowledge to the wider professional practice of health services management.

All panel members may ask supplementary or exploratory questions where further information is required or where the Candidate appears to have taken the question out of context.  Examiners should regard these additional questions as designed to assist them in addressing the question the candidate is answering and not as a further question.  Candidates are encouraged to add supplementary information at any time and to ask for clarification from the examination panel about any question.

Candidates may exhibit strong skills and knowledge in some areas and may be less developed in other areas by virtue of their education, background, and career experiences.  However, knowledge of the subject areas is applied equally to all Candidates, regardless of background experience.

Unsuccessful Candidates

  • All examinations are marked out of 100.
  • A resit result occurs when a candidate scores between 70 and 74.9 points in the first examination.
  • An ‘unsuccessful’ result occurs when the Candidate scores less than 70 points on the first examination and this means that the Candidate is not offered a resit examination.
  • When the Panel has scored the Candidate in the range required for resit, the Candidate will be asked to return for a resit examination on the date set for these to occur as detailed in the Dates for Examinations and ACHSM Health Leadership Congress section above.
  • If the Candidate has scored less than 70, they will need to re-apply to undertake the Fellowship Program again in the future.  The table below summarises the pass/resit/unsuccessful outcomes.


Successful Candidates

For successful Candidates, confirmation of appointment as a Fellow is subject to final endorsement by the ACHSM Board, which generally takes place at the Board meeting prior to the Congress.  The successful Candidates will then have their Fellowship conferred at the ACHSM Annual General Meeting, which usually occurs the day of the Board meeting.

Appeal of Examination Results

Every Candidate who receives an ‘unsuccessful’ outcome following a first or second examination has the opportunity to appeal their examination results. Please refer to the Fellowship Manual on pages 10-12.