Course Overview

The Advanced Certificate of Skin Cancer Medicine course will solidify and advance your competency in dermoscopy, surgical and non-surgical treatments.  You will gain valuable experience in rarely covered areas of skin cancer medicine including diathermy, curettage and cautery or suturing ‘paper-thin’ elderly skin. You will also receive an excellent introduction to advanced dermoscopy and acquire the essential knowledge to diagnose and manage most skin cancers in your practice.

This course is the second part of the three-part Professional Diploma of Skin Cancer Medicine. The education pathway is Professional Certificate of Skin Cancer Medicine, Advanced Certificate of Skin Cancer Medicine and Professional Diploma of Skin Cancer Medicine

If you choose to attend the optional practical workshop and there is cause for postponement or you cannot travel due to Covid-19 restrictions, full workshop refund, transfer or alternative learning opportunities will be available for you. View full refunds and cancellation policy here.

Professional Certificate of  Skin Cancer Medicine     LEARN MORE Advanced Certificate of Skin Cancer Medicine      YOU ARE HERE Professional Diploma of Skin Cancer Medicine     LEARN MORE


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The course is delivered fully online with the option to attend a six-hour practical workshop. The modules are set up in such a way that you are not required to be online at specific times but can view and replay video lectures at your convenience. The suggested timeline is weekly learning over 15 weeks, with 12 weeks of teaching followed by the submission of required activities.  There are no face-to-face requirements for exams which can be conveniently completed online.


  • Commence your course anytime online, access all course content instantly and study at your own pace.
  • Reinforce your learning, participate in case discussions, follow along procedure demonstrations, and ask any questions in webinars with presenters.
  • Complete your assessment online and receive your CPD points and certificate.


  • Complete your course fully online and receive all of the benefits of online study.
  • Receive your CPD points and certificate.
  • Cement your knowledge in the accompanying workshop with hands-on training, demonstrations and expert guidance in a small group setting on a date and location of your choice.

Course Contents

The course offers a solid foundation for various surgical techniques and provides an excellent introduction to advanced dermatoscopy. Course participants can choose to complete the course entirely online or with an optional practical workshop.

  • Advanced dermoscopy
  • Curettage and cautery*
  • Diathermy*
  • Advanced biopsy techniques*
  • Topical treatment options
  • Local anaesthetics
  • Incisions / haemostasis*
  • Large elliptical excisions*
  • Lower leg grafts*
  • Suturing, including "paper-thin" skin*

All topics are covered online and during the web live tutorials. *These topics are also covered during the hands-on practical sessions in the optional skills workshop. Course graduates also receive ongoing post-course support through regular alumni webinars.

Entry Requirements and course requisites

The Advanced Certificate of Skin Cancer Medicine is suitable for medical professionals wishing to solidify and advance their competency in dermoscopy, surgical and non-surgical treatments. Participants can expect to gain valuable experience in diathermy, curettage and cautery, advanced biopsy techniques and topical treatment options, equipping them with the knowledge to manage most skin cancers encountered in primary care and offering their skin cancer patients a wide range of treatment options.

The course is suitable for medical doctors and International Medical Graduates. Participants must have completed the Professional Certificate of Skin Cancer Medicine (or a qualification deemed equivalent).

Participants do not have to pass an IELTS test but, as the courses are delivered in English, proficiency in listening, reading and writing English is assumed.

Participants will require access to a computer/laptop, an internet connection and a basic level of technology proficiency to access and navigate the online learning portal.


Recognition of Prior Learning

Professionally accredited qualifications and prior studies may be recognised for entry into this course. Please send an email to for an individual assessment of your prior qualifications and experience. This email should contain information about your educational history and work experience that specifically pertain to the content and procedures covered in the Professional Certificate of Skin Cancer Medicine. Please include any applicable certificates and course outlines from previous education. The relevant Course Chair will make a determination on your application within two to three weeks. 

Course Outline

Module 1 – Suturing and perfecting the ellipse

Unit one looks at the most common type of excision (elliptical excision). The detailed marking out process consists of dotting and assessing the edge of lesion, determining solid line surgical margin and designing the ellipse. The unit is illustrated by mathematical diagrams and clinical images of performing the ellipse on various parts of the anatomy. Recordings of key suture techniques and procedures support the learning on both pigskin and in the clinical setting.

Unit two continues with the ellipse procedure. It describes how best to cut the ellipse and how to hold the scalpel. Diagrams and images demonstrate the best practice approach to cutting the ellipse. Videos of blade handle tilt and cutting ends of the ellipse are illustrated in this unit. Attention is also paid to atraumatic technique and undermining supported by clinical recordings.

In unit three, different types of sutures are listed describing pros and cons of each suture type. These include dermal, the slider, dermal pulley, butterfly dermal, simple interrupted, mattress and continuous sutures. Knotting techniques for sutures is described in detail. Multiple clinical images, recordings and diagrams assist with understanding these techniques. The unit concludes with suturing in elderly patients with thinner skin.

Module 2 – Local Anaesthesia

The module lists the pharmacology and guidelines of the two main classes of local anaesthetic - amides (lignocaine, bupivacaine, prilocaine) and esters (procaine, benzocaine, cocaine). Two routes of administration of local anaesthesia are described - local field infiltration and/or nerve block. The process of infiltration is listed, including bevel and needle orientation. Recordings of preparation and injecting the site support the learning. Practical tips for the patient are outlined to minimise wound damage due to site numbness.

The second part of this module focusses on injecting the ear and lip, paying attention to sensory nerve blocks including the trigeminal nerve, infra-orbital nerve, mental nerve and temporal nerves. Diagrams, images and clinical recordings of nerve blocks are provided. ‘Tiger country’ complexities are described and supported by diagrams and images. Areas of extreme complexity like Erb's point, facial nerve (temporal branch and marginal branch), and the common peroneal nerve are listed. Signs and symptoms of nerve injury are included and practice tasks are provided.

Module 3 – Biopsy, haemostasis and halo grafting

Unit one defines monopolar and bipolar modes of cautery, including pros and cons of each mode. Electrical and fire risks of cautery are mentioned. The unit concludes with haemostasis options for punch and shave biopsy. Procedures and sizes of punch biopsies are given in addition to the use of marini sutures for biopsy closure if required.

The second unit looks at shave biopsies and shave excisions. Attention is paid to using shave excisions for excising melanoma. The technique, advantages and limitations of halo grafting are explained, including three skin graft phases - plasmatic imbibition, Inosculation and neovascularization. Clinical diagrams, mathematical equations and recordings are provided. The final section of this unit outlines suitable dressings and dressing changes. Recordings of procedures on pigskin and in the clinical setting are provided.

Module 4 – Curettage and cautery

This module commences with a comparison of thermal injury with liquid nitrogen to mechanical and thermal injury with electrical desiccation. A table of (pre-)malignant conditions, the freeze time, freeze-thaw cycle and halo diameter are included. The process of cryotherapy (cryosurgery) and where it is appropriate to use cryosurgery including which lesions and locations is explained. The use of a cryogun is described, illustrated by several videos.

The second part of this module focusses on when to use curettage and cautery and locations for curettage, dividing these into three zones of recurrence - high, middle and low risk. The process of curettage and cautery is listed and supported by videos and images. Tips for diagnosis of small basal cell carcinomas and sBCC including a patient case of a small BCC on the nose finalize this module.

Module 5 – Ellipse planning

The first unit looks at the three priorities in skin cancer surgery: cut the cancer out, close the resulting defect including the limitations of the ellipse, and minimising scar lines. The unit reviews designing the ellipse and applying the ellipse around different anatomical locations with consideration to skin tension lines. Different techniques are demonstrated to determine the best direction to design an ellipse. Diagrams are included of tension lines on face, limbs and chest. Images and videos illustrate the learning in this unit.

The second unit focusses on ellipse planning on various areas of the face and hands. Curving ellipses may be used when following skin tension lines. Clinical recordings and images are provided. ‘Tiger country’ is reinforced at the conclusion of this module.

Module 6 – Chaos and clues

This module focusses on the Chaos and Clues algorithm looking at pattern recognition and analysis. A chaos and clues flowchart for this decision algorithm for cutaneous malignancy and revised pattern analysis is included. Many dermoscopic images are used to demonstrate the application of this algorithm. The definitions of the different patterns are listed, with a focus to understanding colours in dermatoscopy as well as clues to a specific diagnosis or malignancy.

Pattern + Colours + Clues = Diagnosis. The use of this equation is demonstrated throughout the presentation. The identification of chaos in lesions is outlined. Histopathology images are also included for consideration.

Module 7 – The big three: BCC, SCC and melanoma

Unit one commences with outlining the clinical and dermoscopic features of BCCs, biopsy options, pathology and treatment approaches. The module then moves to solar keratosis and examines the use of topical non-surgical treatments.

Unit two continues with field-directed treatment methods including photodynamic therapy, and lists the pros and cons of available treatments. Two patient cases are included.

Unit three covers SCC lesions and outlines the clinical and dermoscopic features, biopsy options, pathology and treatment approaches. Clinical cases including images are provided for various SCCs.

Unit four focusses on melanomas and sentinel lymph nodes and again outlines the clinical and dermoscopic features, biopsy options, pathology and treatment approaches. Clinical cases are provided for various melanomas.

Module 8 – Case management

This module builds on the course learning and relates this information to clinical case studies. It includes planning surgical procedures, suturing techniques (simple interrupted, dermal, mattress, mirini, pulley and continuous), and suturing on "paper-thin" skin. Curettage and cautery, elliptical excisions, biopsies, lower leg grafts are also applied to these cases. Determining when to refer to others is included. Presented as three units, clinical case management of various cancers on different anatomical areas are featured throughout this module.



Time Session Topic
8:15am - 8:45am Registration  
8:45am - 10:45am Session 1 Suturing
10:45am - 11:15am Morning Tea  
11:15am - 12:15pm Session 2 Local anaesthetics
12:15pm - 1:15pm Lunch  
1:15pm - 2:45pm Session 3 Incision / Haemostasis
2:45pm - 3:15pm Afternoon Tea  
3:15pm - 4:45pm Session 4 Curettage / Cautery


Time Session Topic
7:45am - 8:00am Registration  
8:00am - 9:30am Session 5 Ellipse planning
9:30am - 10:00am Morning Tea  
10:00am - 11:30am Session 6 Chaos and clues
11:30am - 12:30pm Lunch  
12:30pm - 2:00pm Session 7 The big three: BCC, SCC, Melanoma
2:00pm - 2:30pm Afternoon Tea  
2:30pm - 4:00pm Session 8 Case management




Session 1: Suturing

Getting the basics right, this session includes clinical videos and student practicals covering a variety of suture types, including:
  • simple interrupted
  • buried dermal
  • sliding dermal
  • vertical horizontal mattress
  • Mirini
  • pulley dermal
  • half buried horizontal mattress
  • continous.
We also focus on closing dead space and paper-thin skin on elderly patients.


Session 5: Ellipse Planning

In this session, students will break up into small groups and work around torso models marked with specific lesions. Students will work together to design the most appropriate ellipses to treat these lesions, using knowledge gained in earlier sessions and with reference to NHMRC guidelines. Groups will also learn to mark out major nerves at risk including the temporal and marginal branches of facial nerves, Erb's point, and common peroneal nerves using surface anatomy.

Session 1b: Perfecting the Ellipse

Students will learn how to mark out a lesion using a dermatoscope with appropriate margins for both non-melanoma and melanoma skin cancers. This session includes marking a standard ellipse and S-plasty, designing your ellipse for optimal scar results, working with ellipses around joints, and facial skin tension lines.  We also cover tips for optimum wound apposition and undermining. The session includes video and clinical images of ellipses on a variety of anatomical areas.

Session 6: Chaos and Clues

Using a dermatoscope improves diagnostic accuracy for all types of skin malignancy, but only if the operator is trained. Chaos and Clues is a method designed for use in routine practice on multiple lesions without mathematical calculations.

Session 2: Local Anaesthetics

We will go into detail on local anaesthetics with both theory and practical components. We will cover pharmacology, toxicity, buffering, needles, nerve blocks, injection techniques, and risk areas and specific sites for injection. We will demonstrate how to prepare buffered lignocaine, practice use of Luer Lock and Luer Slip syringes with injection and infiltration on pig skin, and demonstrate injection sites with clinical video clips. We will also cover surface anatomy of trigeminal nerve branches and blocking these nerves.

Session 6b: Topical Treatments

Topical treatments are becoming more and more effective for certain lesions. In this session, we look at what works and what doesn't. We will review Fluorouracil, Imiquimod and Ingenol Mebutate, and look at the indications, application, contraindications and tips for use. We will also cover field versus specific lesion treatment. Clinical case studies will make up a key part of this session.

Session 3: Incision/Haemostasis

In this practical hands-on session, we will be covering punch and shave biopsies and use clinical videos to demonstrate proper techniques. As part of the practicals, we will cover mono and bipolar cautery with hands-on practicals and video demonstrations for effective cautery. We will cover the fire risk of cautery with alcohol and the safety aspects of pacemakers and other implanted electrical devices. We will also extend the proper shave technique to the HALO graft including marking out, dressing and aftercare.

Session 7: The Big Three

In this session, we look at the big three: BCC, SCC and melanoma. We look at the main types of BCC, their dermatoscopic features, margins, perineural invasion, radiotherapy treatment and other treatment modalities available. With SCC, we cover IEC differentiation, biopsy, aggressive and tame types, and the treatment modalities available. We also cover the various types of melanoma and look at margins, Breslow thickness, various biopsy methods, and when and what to refer.

Session 4:  Curettage/Cautery

Continuing from session 3, we will cover curettage and cautery with theory, clinical video and student practicals. We will look at appropriate sites, and discuss keloid and hypertrophic scar risks and appropriate lesions for this modality. Practicals for this session will be done on pig skin models. We will also cover dressings and aftercare for curettage and cautery, and cover the Medicare item numbers used. The cryotherapy segment will include safe handling of liquid nitrogen, clinical video, and consideration of appropriate sites for this modality.

Session 8: Case Management

In the final session, we summarise the learning outcomes with a series of case studies. Each case study includes clinical images from different locations and types of lesions. This session includes group discussion on the appropriate modality such as topical treatments, cautery, curettage, type of biopsy to be used, and excision.




For your one-off investment, you will receive unlimited access to all course content, additional learning materials, ongoing post-course support and more.

  • Online pre-course activity to be completed in your own time.
  • Eight online video modules to be viewed, replayed and completed at your convenience.
  • All presentation slides and further learning materials available for permanent access and download.
  • Instruments and consumables for practical sessions in the optional practical workshop.
  • Post-course online assessment to be completed in your own time within six months of the course start date.
  • Ongoing post-course support in monthly webinars with the opportunity to discuss cases with course presenters.
  • Access to the HealthCert Community with additional free learning opportunities, special offers and other benefits.


available fully online or with practical workshop


From $3,295



From $3,295



From $3,295



From $3,295



From $3,295



From $2,495


If you choose to attend the optional practical workshop and there is cause for postponement or you cannot travel due to Covid-19 restrictions, full workshop refund, transfer or alternative learning opportunities will be available for you. View full refunds and cancellation policy here.



Save up to $200

Only available for “online & workshop” option if registered 30 days prior to workshop date.


Save up to $500

For Doctors in training who are on a pathway to General Practice Registration through a recognised training provider.


Save up to $1,148

Enrol in two or three courses within the same education pathway to optimise your savings.


Monthly from $495

Enrol in one, two or three courses within a pathway now and pay later in small monthly instalments.

*The individual offers and special rates cannot be used in conjunction with any other specials.



HubSpot Video

Meet Your Instructors

Your course instructors are widely regarded as leading specialists in skin cancer medicine and business management. The optional practical workshops will be led by esteemed practitioners and surgical assistants in the respective location.
A/Prof Cliff Rosendahl

Prof Cliff Rosendahl


Professor and Course Coordinator MMed (Skin Cancer) Program School of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Australia

Professor Cliff Rosendahl currently works in Brisbane as a primary care practitioner with a special interest in skin cancer. He also has an interest in research as the clinical developer and Director of the Skin Cancer Audit Research Database (SCARD). His other main area of research has been in evaluating dermatoscopic clues and artificial intelligence for the diagnosis of skin malignancy in collaboration with colleagues at the Medical University of Vienna, Austria.

Prof Rosendahl has published over 70 articles in peer-reviewed journals and authored/co- authored two textbooks. He has a busy schedule presenting to GPs in Australia and to GPs and dermatologists internationally.

Dr Colin Armstrong

Dr Colin Armstrong

BSc, BMBS, MMed (Skin Cancer), FRACGP

Skin Cancer Doctor, National Skin Cancer Centres, Redcliffe

Dr Colin Armstrong is a general practitioner and part-time clinical trials investigator at the Wesley Research Institute, Brisbane. He completed all HealthCert certificate courses and The University of Queensland Master of Medicine (Skin Cancer) in 2011. Working primarily in skin cancer since 2010, Colin is passionate about building GPs’ confidence in their management of skin cancer and has an ongoing commitment to GP education in all facets of skin cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Dr Hamilton Ayres

Dr Hamilton Ayres


Skin Cancer Doctor, National Skin Cancer Centres, Monash

Dr Hamilton Ayres worked in Adelaide as a Plastic Surgery Registrar at Flinders, Repatriation General Hospital and the Royal Adelaide Hospital where his main role was the management of trauma, hand injuries and difficult skin cancers. Hamilton has obtained a Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and Certificates in Skin Cancer Medicine, Dermatoscopy and Histopathology from HealthCert and The University of Queensland School of Medicine.


In order to meet the requirements of professional and academic learning, the course assessment includes professional requirements and two online examinations.

  • Develop a one-page report/explanation of how you will use the learning from this course in your professional work.
  • Compile a report listing the resource materials that you have collected to advance and apply your knowledge.

Online assessment

  • 104 knowledge questions based on a scenario of a medical practitioner undertaking special interest training.
    • 13 per module
      Example: The medical practitioner believes that 10% of the population … Is he correct?  Yes/No
  • 104 authentic scenario based questions based on cases of patient care at a clinic.
    • 13 per module
      Example: A patient arrives at your clinic with this problem … What should you do?  Multiple choice images based on patient cases.

The knowledge-based examination is worth 50 per cent and the application-based examination is worth 50 per cent. The overall pass mark is 80 per cent. It is therefore not possible to pass this course on knowledge alone. Knowledge must be successfully applied to patient cases in order to pass the course.

Certification and ACCREDITATION

SCTIC_CertificateUpon successful completion of the course requirements, you will receive the Advanced Certificate of Skin Cancer Medicine certificate and below points. You may also receive CPD recognition for the optional practical workshop; you will need to apply to your college, and the awarding of any CPD points will be at their discretion. To learn more about the delivery of certificates in Australia and overseas, please visit our FAQs.

CPD Accredited Activity 40 Points
- PDP units: 23 Educational activity, 12 Performance review
- MOPs points: 6 Surgery
Rural Procedural Grants Program: Check with your college for eligibility

This certificate course:

  • Provides CPD points from the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP).
  • Provides PDP points from the Australian Council of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM).
  • Is recognised by the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (RNZCGP).
  • Is recognised by the Hong Kong College of Family Physicians (HKCFP). The HKCFP recognises all courses
    endorsed by the RACGP. Points are calculated differently.
  • Is a self-submitted activity in Dubai. The number of CPD points must be stated on the certificate. Please contact for more information.
  • Is a self-submitted activity in the UK. CPD events overseas, applicable to a doctor’s scope of practice, may be submitted for revalidation. Please confirm with your Responsible Officer.
  • Is a self-submitted activity in Canada through the College of Family Physicians of Canada. Category 1 points are reported as certified and Category 2 points are reported as non-certified. Contact for more information.
  • Meets World Federation of Medical Education standards.
  • Is recognised by the Skin Cancer Institute (SCI) and may be used as part of an application for Membership or Fellowship.
  • Has been collaboratively designed with, and is annually reviewed by, Professor David Wilkinson, Chief Medical Officer at National Skin Cancer Centres.
  • Qualifies for a clinical attachment in France at the University of Lyon.
  • Qualifies for a clinical attachment in Austria at the University of Vienna.
  • Has been independently developed with subject specialists and does not receive education grants from any pharmaceutical company.


Professional Diploma Pathway

This course is the second stage of the Professional Diploma pathway. The full pathway is Professional Certificate of Skin Cancer Medicine, Advanced Certificate of Skin Cancer Medicine and Professional Diploma of Skin Cancer Medicine.

It is recommended that this qualification be used as part of an application for Membership or Fellowship with the Skin Cancer Institute.

RPL with The University of Queensland

The Professional Diploma of Skin Cancer Medicine is guaranteed for RPL for the unit IMED7010, part of the Graduate Certificate of Medicine (Skin Cancer) which is the first step in the Master of Medicine (Skin Cancer) at The University of Queensland. There are no further requirements for this RPL, it is automatic and guaranteed and provides a saving on fees.

View The University of Queensland, Master of Medicine (Skin Cancer) program here


RPL with Torrens University

This postgraduate pathway is for General Practitioners and degree-qualified medical practitioners who have successfully completed a HealthCert Professional Diploma (all three levels) in Skin Cancer Medicine, Skin Cancer Surgery or Dermoscopy. The following postgraduate course is offered entirely online through Torrens University: Master of Business Administration (MBA). Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is available for two general electives for any HealthCert Professional Diploma. In cases where a HealthCert alumni has completed two Professional Diplomas, they will be able to apply for four general electives towards the MBA. You can find more information here. This will be helpful to further develop business, management and leadership capabilities.

Please apply directly to Torrens University through this link here


Postgraduate Diploma in Dermatology

Postgraduate Diploma in Dermatology studied through the Rila Institute of Health Sciences and awarded by the University of Plymouth (UK).

There are three modules in the Postgraduate Diploma. Medical professionals who successfully complete the HealthCert Professional Certificate of Skin Cancer Medicine, Advanced Certificate of Skin Cancer Medicine and Professional Diploma of Skin Cancer Medicine will be eligible to apply for Accreditation of Prior Certified Learning (APCL) for module 3.

The Postgraduate Diploma is mainly delivered online. No practical workshops will be required due to the APCL from the HealthCert qualifications. Overall there will be a time saving of 40 per cent of the postgraduate program due to the APCL. Exams will be held in Perth, Western Australia.

When the Postgraduate Diploma has been successfully completed, medical professionals can apply for credit from the Postgraduate Diploma to the Master of Science in the specialism awarded by the University of Plymouth.


Certified Clinical Attachments Pathway

Clinical attachments are optional and available on a 1:1 or small group basis. These provide the opportunity to observe skin cancer treatments and ask questions of the expert performing the treatments. In addition to clinical attachments in Australia, university teaching hospitals at the University of Lyon and the University of Vienna are available for clinical attachments. HealthCert certificates and university statements are awarded for participating in clinical attachments.

The Medical University of Vienna is the largest medical organisation in Austria, as well as one of the top-level research institutions in Europe and provides Europe's largest hospital, the Vienna General Hospital, with all of its medical staff. The Vienna General Hospital has about 100,000 patients treated as inpatients and 605,000 treated as outpatients each year.

The dominant areas of study covered by The Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 are science and medicine. Attached to the university are the "Hospices civils de Lyon" including the "Centre Hospitalier Lyon Sud", which is the largest teaching hospital in the Rhône-Alpes region and second largest in France. Out of the 2,630 faculty, 700 are also medical practitioners at local teaching hospitals.

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