Colorectal Surgery is a surgical subspecialty in Australia and New Zealand.

Specialist Colorectal surgeons have extensive knowledge of all colorectal diseases and conditions as well as colorectal cancer. This includes diagnosis, treatment and surgery.

In Australia and New Zealand, a formal colorectal surgical training program is run by the Australia and New Zealand Training Board in Colon and Rectal Surgery (ANZTBCRS) – a Conjoint Board formed by the CSSANZ and the Colon and Rectal Surgery Section, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.



About the ANZTBCRS Program

The purpose of the Post Fellowship training program is to provide the structured educational and training experience necessary to achieve expertise in the understanding, diagnosis and management of diseases of the colon, rectum, small bowel and anus.

Colorectal surgery is increasingly becoming one of the more competitive surgical specialties, with an average of three to four applicants per available training position each year. 

The ANZTBCRS program is accredited by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) as a Post Fellowship Education and Training (PFET) program. There are two program streams, a two year program focusing on clinical practice and a three year program made up of one year research (as part of a higher degree) and two years clinical practice. 

The clinical years of colorectal surgical training are based at ANZTBCRS accredited units throughout Australia and New Zealand, with the expectation of one year outside of a Fellow’s home state/country to increase their exposure to the full range of colorectal surgery procedures as well as variations in technique. Fellows will be expected to maintain a logbook of work completed and this is reviewed by the Board to ensure that training exposure to different cases is adequate.

During the program, Fellows will participate in monthly CSSANZ Journal Club meetings as well as an annual ANZTBCRS Fellows Weekend, where they will present on a nominated topic and contribute a written paper.  First year clinical Fellows are expected to complete a research project which is suitable for presentation and publication. An annual exam takes place for second year clinical Fellows.  Fellows attend a progress interview with the Board each year and a final Exit Interview after their clinical training years. Laparoscopic and pelvic floor courses have been developed for Fellows as additional training opportunities. Several prizes and scholarships are also available. 

Click here for more information about Applying to the ANZTBCRS Program. 


ANZTBCRS Accredited Training Units

There are 29 ANZTBCRS accredited hospital training units across Australia and New Zealand. Each training unit undergoes a strict reaccreditation process every 5 years. Further accreditation is granted only following reinspection of that Unit and achievement of the accreditation criteria. A Supervisor or Program Director of colorectal training is appointed to each unit who is a CSSANZ member on that Unit. The Program Director will be responsible for supervising the Fellow trainee according to the requirements of the training program.

Click here for more detail on each AHTU