australia_flag North Adelaide, Australia

"The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons assesses new surgical technologies in Australia. The results are widely disseminated to ensure public and professional confidence in the quality of new surgical procedures."

– Professor Guy Maddern, Director, ASERNIP-S

History and Structure

The Australian Federal Government and the South Australian State Government Departments of Health and Ageing, are committed to improving health outcomes for patients by funding health technology assessment (HTA). The Australian Safety and Efficacy Register of New Interventional Procedures – Surgical (ASERNIP-S) was set up in early 1998. ASERNIP-S, a program of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, is overseen by Advisory Committee of surgeons, HTA experts and representatives of both professional bodies and consumer groups. The program is managed by a Surgical Director, Director and a Research Manager. There are three administrative staff and thirteen research and project staff with expertise in information management, epidemiology, biostatistics, critical analysis of literature and scientific editing.


The ASERNIP-S mission is to provide quality and timely assessments of new and emerging surgical technologies and techniques. Services provided include systematic reviews of the peer-reviewed literature, the establishment and facilitation of clinical audits or trials, the identification of emerging technologies by horizon scanning and the production of clinical practice guidelines.


Surgical specialty groups, government and consumer bodies, other organizations and individuals suggest procedures for assessment to ASERNIP-S. Procedures reviewed cover a range of specialties and are ratified by Advisory Committee. Review Groups, comprising surgeons and other experts for each procedure, advise and direct the researchers conducting the reviews. Data on safety and efficacy is collected, and the reviews are usually completed within six months. A rapid review may also be produced using less extensive but methodologically rigorous techniques. As a result the rapid review can inform stakeholders within 3 months of the original notification.

Dissemination Activities

Each review, once endorsed by the Council of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, is published in full on the ASERNIP-S website. The Executive Summary is then disseminated to the surgical community, government, hospital credentialing committees and consumers by various means including mail outs, journals, newsletters and the ASERNIP-S website. Consumer summaries are an important part of the dissemination process and these are also available on the website

Current Projects (A selection)

  • Surgery for the treatment of obesity
  • Credentialing in surgery

ASERNIP-S is currently auditing two procedures:

  • Gastric and Oesophageal Cancer Audit (ANZGOSA Audit)
  • National Breast Cancer Audit

Future Plans

  • To establish an interactive dynamic and evolving information portal for surgeons
  • To contribute to the development of guidelines for the assessment of new health technologies
  • To establish further national and international links with relevant healthcare organizations
  • To facilitate research via further trials/audits on new surgical techniques
  • A rapid enquiry service to provide summary of procedure information in a short time-frame

Agency Information


Country: Australia
Description of population served: National
Population served (mil): 21.4
Current HTA budget (mil USD): 0.75
Permanent staff: 12
Consultants: variable
Ongoing TA projects: 2 (we are also conducting 2 projects for other organizations)

Contact Information

Director: Professor Guy Maddern
Contact person: Dr. Wendy Babidge

Australian Safety and Efficacy Register of New Interventional Procedures -Surgical
199 Ward Street
North Adelaide SA 5006  Australia

Tel: +61 8 8219 0900
Fax: +61 8 8219 0999