Skin cancer is one of the most common dermatological conditions seen in general practice – and it is not overly complex to manage if you have the right skill set. This certificate course has been specifically designed for time-poor general practitioners wishing to acquire the knowledge required to safely and confidently diagnose and treat commonly encountered skin lesions.

This course is the first 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.

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The course provides training in skin cancer medicine and teaches various techniques allowing GPs to treat more complex cases in the primary care setting. Course participants can choose to complete the course entirely online or with an optional practical workshop.

  • Histology
  • Diagnosis with dermoscopy
  • Benign and malignant skin lesions
  • Melanoma management
  • Punch and shave biopsies*
  • Elliptical excisions and suturing*
  • Dermatopathology
  • Topical treatment options
  • Medicare billing and Clinic workflow

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.


The course is delivered fully online with the option to attend a 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.

Entry Requirements and course requisites

The Professional Certificate of Skin Cancer Medicine is the ideal starting point for medical professionals who wish to build their core knowledge in skin cancer management and acquire vital diagnostic skills and basic management techniques to provide effective care to patients with skin cancer concerns. Participants will learn proven techniques to independently and confidently diagnose and treat skin lesions in primary care.

The course is suitable for medical doctors, International Medical Graduates, nurses and nurse practitioners. It assumes no prior knowledge or training in the field, although HealthCert recommends that participants have some exposure to skin cancer management before enrolling in this course.

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

Course Outline

Module 1 – The foundations

Unit one introduces the foundation information required for skin cancer medicine and outlines the content of the module.

Unit two describes the BEST protocol (BEnign or Suspicious Test) and divides lesions into benign or suspicious with guidelines and clinical images of pigmented skin lesions. Benign lesions require no action and suspicious lesions require biopsy or referral. A quiz with clinical and dermoscopic images to select benign or suspicious lesions is provided, with contextual answers as part of this unit.

This unit discusses the importance of skin checks and commences with a table dividing assessment of skin cancer risk into three categories: high, medium and low risk and includes patient self-examination and opportunistic skin check. The unit describes how to perform a skin examination and necessary information including lesion history, general medical history, allergies and current medications. The unit includes a video of a systemic total skin examination.
This final unit describes partial and complete punch and shave biopsy techniques. The unit concludes with a patient case showing cylindrical portion of skin bearing a dark pigmented surface for which biopsy is recommended. The pathology report is provided as the lesion was partially excised and sent for examination.

Module 2 – Pigmented skin lesions

Unit one discusses common benign lesions including freckles, solar lentigo, seborrheic keratosis, haemangioma, dermatofibroma and blue nevi. Normal and dermoscopic clinical images are provided to demonstrate patterns and assists with analysis. Benign lesions can mimic skin cancers and careful examination is required to decide the management steps. The signs of common benign lesions that may be skin cancer are discussed in detail. A medico-legal case is included for a patient where a melanoma was masquerading as a benign lesion.

Unit two begins with the description of dermoscopy including examples of dermoscopic devices used for this technique. The 3-point checklist consists of asymmetry in colour or structures, atypical network and blue-white structures (white scar-like depigmentation or blue pepper-like, globular or structure-less areas), showing various clinical dermoscopic images of lesions.

This unit covers dysplastic nevi and melanoma. A table is shown of the relationship between nevus, dysplastic nevus and melanoma and includes a table of relative risk factors for melanoma. Several types of melanomas and treatment options are listed and supported by clinical images. The unit concludes with key points for detecting benign or suspicious lesions.

Module 3 – Non-pigmented skin cancer lesions

This unit starts with a clinical description of solar keratosis and outlines treatment options including field treatment. Attention is also paid to Bowen’s disease (a very early form of skin cancer), including symptoms, diagnosis (punch biopsy) and treatment. Dermoscopic images of both conditions are provided.

This unit describes keratocanthoma, a low-grade malignancy that requires a deep incision biopsy and also discusses squamous cell carcinoma, a common cancer due to chronic, cumulative, sun exposure. Treatment options include surgery, curettage and cautery, specialist referral or radiation therapy. Clinical images of both conditions are provided.

Unit three describes basal cell carcinoma, the most common human cancer due to intermittent excessive sun exposure. BCC can be classified as non-aggressive (superficial, nodular) or aggressive (sclerosing/infiltrating/ micronodular/multifocal/solid). Diagnosis and treatment options and clinical images of the different types of basal cell carcinoma are included.

Module 4 – Dermatopathology

This module assists the medical practitioner in the best approach to pathology requests and how to interpret pathology reports. This unit list the steps that occur when a skin sample is sent for pathology testing. The module then continues with images of pathology processing of a punch, shave or excision biopsy. The report interpretation is discussed, including interobserver agreement, clues to pathologist uncertainty, reconciliation of unexpected results, assessment of margins and errors that occur in dermatopathology.

Module 5 – Topical treatments/medico-legal issues

This unit describes topical treatments, the (contra-)indications and dose of Imiquimod 5% cream used for treating superficial basal cell carcinomas, and 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) 5% cream used for preventing and treating SCC and Bowen’s disease. A table of topical treatment regimens in primary care for solar keratosis is provided. An extensive list of tips including cost, pre-treatment and patient-education is provided. The unit looks at different treatment options for solar keratosis. Clinical images of lesions at the initiation visit, during and after topical treatment are shown.

Medico-legal tips and resources are listed in unit two. The importance of detailed medical record keeping, follow up and recall systems and patient consent are included. The unit concludes with a medico-legal case of a middle-aged man with a past medical history of non-melanoma skin cancer, the resulting investigation and the problems in how the case was managed that resulted in medico-legal action.

Module 6 – Preparation for surgical treatment

The first unit outlines the fundamental principles when preparing for and performing skin cancer surgery. The fundamentals include an aseptic approach using sterile equipment, sutures and dressings and emphasizes the importance of clean skin, operator and environment. The unit then looks at local anaesthetics and haemostasis. Equipment for wound closure and sutures are listed including the fundamentals of closing the defect. Recommended suture removal times and the suture techniques, use of prophylactic antibiotics and anticoagulants conclude this unit.

Unit two describes the punch and shave biopsy and includes a video and clinical images of these procedures.

Module 7 – Excision and repair

Unit one lists the instruments used for wound closure and sutures used for skin closure, including suture technique and removal times. Drawings and description of the simple interrupted suture are discussed, including a recording of this procedure.

Unit two emphasizes the importance of using an absorbable suture and shows drawings of a conventional buried dermal suture. The unit concludes with a recording of this procedure.

Unit three the preparation for an elliptical excision, including placement of excisions for the best cosmetic result. It outlines the steps leading to performing the ellipse including surgical marking up. The procedure is described, illustrated by drawings of the incision considering maximal skin tension lines and fusiform excision lines. The unit concludes with a video of this procedure.

Module 8 – Medicare billing

Unit one commences with a list of billings items and has a quick reference card of skin cancer item number guide.

Unit two details what is included in each applicable procedural item number and describes the multiple services rule as well as bulk billed fee for a procedure. Billing of punch and shave biopsy are explained as well as non-surgical procedures including cryotherapy (benign or pre-malignant), serial curettage and lesion removal, considering site, size and type. The unit concludes with billing of post operative care and treatment after a procedure.


Additional information: Workflow management

Part one describes an efficient process for diagnosing and treating skin cancer in a general practice. A suggested basic skin cancer workflow plan is listed that includes an appointment system, dividing consults and procedures and maximising operational efficiency and minimising time wastage.

Part two describes how to set up your facility. Consulting room requirements are listed, including essential examination tools and equipment for skin cancer medicine. This includes patient information sheets, consent forms and brochures for topical preparations.

The final part summarises how to efficiently prepare to incorporate skin cancer medicine into a clinic.


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.


The first four course modules can be completed entirely online OR in a practical Saturday or Sunday workshop. The below time table refers to the practical workshops delivered on Saturdays or Sundays.

Time Session Topic
8:00am - 8:30am Registration  
8:30am - 10:00am Session 1 The foundations
  • Quiz
  • BEST protocol
  • Skin history
  • Skin examination
  • Biopsy
10:00am - 10:30am Morning Tea  
10:30am - 12:00pm Session 2a

An approach to pigmented skin lesions

  • Common benign skin lesions
  • Dermoscopy and Three Point Checklist
  • Dysplastic naevi
  • Multi-naevi syndrome
  • Melanoma
12:00am - 12:30pm Session 2b


12:30pm - 1:30pm Lunch  
1:30pm - 3:00pm Session 3

Surgical procedures

  • Punch biopsy, shave biopsy
  • Suturing
  • Ellipse excision and repair
3:00pm - 3:30pm Afternoon Tea  
3:00pm - 5:00pm Session 4

Skin cancer diagnosis and treatment

  • Actinic keratosis
  • Bowens disease
  • Keratoacanthoma
  • SCC
  • BCC

The last four course modules must be completed entirely online in addition to the first four modules completed online OR in a practical Saturday or Sunday workshop.

Session 5: Dermatopathology

Session 6: Topical treatment options

Session 7: Medicare billing

Session 8: Skin cancer business management


available fully online or with practical workshop


From $2,295



From $2,295



From $2,295



From $2,295



From $2,295



From $1,595


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 $300

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 $395

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.



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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.
Prof David Wilkinson

Prof David Wilkinson


Chief Medical Officer, National Skin Cancer Centres

Professor David Wilkinson is a registered general practitioner and public health medicine specialist. Prior to taking up the role as Chief Medical Officer with National Skin Cancer Centres, he was Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the Macquarie University, Sydney for eight years, and before that was Dean of Medicine at The University of Queensland for nine years.

Since 2004, David’s clinical work has focused on skin cancer medicine in primary care. He has published research papers on the topic, designed and led development of the only Master of Medicine degree in skin cancer, and helped develop and present a suite of skin cancer short courses delivered by HealthCert. He has taught almost 7,000 GPs the basics of skin cancer medicine in primary care.

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.

Dr Simon Clark

Dr Simon Clark

MBChB FRCPA Specialist

Honorary Lecturer in Pathology, The University of Queensland

Dr Simon Clark runs the pathology component of the postgraduate certificate courses in skin cancer medicine at The University of Queensland and lectures in the Masters of Medicine course. He has been involved in dermatopathology education for more than 20 years, training registrars in dermatology, pathology and plastic surgery. More recently he has been active in GP education. One of the best known dermatopathologists in Australia, Simon was recently appointed a visiting professor in dermatology at the Tehran University of Medical Sciences.

Paul Elmslie

Mr Paul Elmslie

Founder & CEO  

HealthCert & National Skin Cancer and Skin Repair Centres 

Paul Elmslie has over 20 years' work experience with a focus on skin cancer. An early pioneer in the development of skin cancer clinics, Paul operates Australia's leading network of dedicated skin cancer facilities and continues to lead the industry through HealthCert Education, the world's first integrated university-assured education provider for medical professionals. Paul has authored books and speaks at conferences all over the world. He has completed business programs with Harvard, MIT and London School of Business, and holds an MBA.

Matt Woollard__1

Mr Matt Woollard

Chief Operations Officer, National Skin Cancer Centres


Born and educated in Adelaide, a true entrepreneur, Matt Woollard has run various businesses in the areas of advertising, entertainment and retail. 

Matt began his career in skin cancer in 2000 as the second employee of Skin Alert. He worked alongside Paul Elmslie to grow the company to 14 skin cancer clinics throughout Australia in seven years. 

Matt has worked as a consultant in education with companies like HealthCert, Notre Dame Australia, University of Melbourne, The University of Queensland, Zimmer, NSW Health and the RACGP. 

Matt is now the Chief Operations Officer of National Skin Cancer Centres (NSCC). Established in 2016, NSCC builds and operates skin cancer clinics across Australia, starting out with just one centre and now expanding to eight, with another 22 scheduled to join the group. 

Matt’s area of expertise in the industry is operations, based on a very strong understanding of skin cancer medicine including all aspects of Medicare in primary care.


There are eight units in a HealthCert Professional Certificate program. Course participants will have permanent access to all learning materials. There will be pre-reading activities, an intensive one-day practical workshop with expert demonstrations and practical hands-on activities, online materials and further readings, individual assessment tasks and finally two online examinations. 

What you get for your one-off investment:

  • Online pre-course activity (to be completed in your own time prior to the course component).
  • One-day practical workshop including catering.
  • 4 course modules to be completed online at your convenience. 
  • All materials including surgical instruments and consumables for practical sessions.
  • Receive all presentation slides available for download.
  • Additional online training in dermoscopy.
  • 8 video-based lectures for reference and review for life.
  • Post-course online assessment (to be completed in your own time within three months of attending the program).
  • Post-course support in monthly webinars with the opportunity to discuss cases with course presenters.


For delegates who are unable to attend the face-to-face two-day program due to timetable conflicts or travel distance, we offer a 100% online training option. We offer a ‘start anytime online’ course structure, which gives flexible start and completion times for studies, as well as exam extensions, to fit in with busy schedules. Upon registration, you will be able to access all learning contents immediately and complete the certificate course online. If you would then like to cement your knowledge, you have the option to attend the one-day practical workshop anytime that suits you (at an additional cost).  

You can enjoy the flexibility to study at your own pace, in your own time, within your home or office, and on your favourite mobile device. 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 the video lectures at your convenience. The webinars offer the opportunity to join and interact with the presenters online in real-time but can also be viewed later. There are no face-to-face requirements for exams which can be conveniently completed online within six months of the start of the cohort. With no travel, accommodation or out-of-office expenses incurred, you can build critical skills and tailor your career while working in a busy practice or raising a family.

What you get for your one-off investment:

  • 8 video lectures, including video demonstrations of procedures.
  • All presentation slides available for download.
  • Additional online training in dermoscopy (100 image quiz using the Three-Point Checklist).
  • Mandatory case studies for each of the eight modules.
  • Post-course online assessment (to be completed in your own time within six months of attending the program).
  • Post-course support in monthly webinars with the opportunity to discuss cases with course presenters.


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

  • Develop a report/explanation of how you will use the learning from this course in your professional work.

Online assessment

  • 88 knowledge questions based on a scenario of a medical practitioner undertaking special interest training.
    • 11 per module
      Example: The medical practitioner believes that 10% of the population … Is he correct?  Yes/No
  • 100 Three-Point Checklist authentic clinical and dermoscopic images multiple choice questions – decide if each benign or suspicious (there is also a practice exam for the Three-Point Checklist where you can see the answers immediately).

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.


Professional Certificate of Skin Cancer Medicine - 1Upon successful completion of the course requirements, course participants will receive the Professional 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.

RACGP: CPD Accredited Activity 40 Points
ACRRM: PDP Units: 35 Educational activity, 16 Performance review
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.
  • Has been independently developed with subject specialists and does not receive education grants from any pharmaceutical company.


Professional Diploma Pathway

This course is the first stage of the three-part 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

Doctors participating the Skin Cancer Medicine program can attend a HealthCert Clinical Attachment at a specialist clinic or university teaching hospital to further refine and enhance their professional knowledge. A HealthCert Australian Clinical Attachment is recommended as the first clinical attachment and a HealthCert International Clinical Attachment is recommended for subsequent clinical attachments.

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