On 01 April 2002 an amendment to the Civil Aviation Act, 1990 (the Act) established a new medical certification system. At the core of this system are Medical Examiners (MEs) designated by the Director of Civil Aviation (the Director) by being issued a certificate. This ME designation certificate is an Aviation Document, the privileges of which enable the ME to conduct examinations for a specified class of aviation medical certificates. These are described in the Civil Aviation Rules (the rules).

Medical Examiners may also be delegated certain powers and functions of the Director, such as the power to issue medical certificates. In practice, all MEs are given the delegation to suspend medical certificates of the Class(es) they are allowed to examine, for 10 working days and to extend the suspension by a further 10 working days, as described in Changes in medical condition / suspension process.

The rules are made by the Minister of Transport under the Civil Aviation Act. The medical standards are prescribed in Civil Aviation Rules (CAR) Part 67.

General Directions (GDs) are issued by the Director under section 27G of the Act. They are items of legislation and are mandatory. They provide directions to MEs in relation to the conduct of medical examinations, and other requirements.

In that regard they address matters of a clinical nature, refer to Use of General Directions.