Guidelines from RANZCP

The Royal College of Psychiatry Australia, or RANZCP have guidelines for rTMS therapy. Please click here for details of the guidelines available RANZCP Position Statement rTMS therapy. 

The position statement seeks to provide information to psychiatric and medical service providers, education and research bodies, and medical and other healthcare professionals about the use of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) a treatment in clinical psychiatric practice, highlighting the evidence-base, benefits and side effects, and provides recommendations for quality service delivery.


Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) is an effective treatment for major depressive disorders. It involves the focal application of a localised, pulsed magnetic field to the cerebral cortex, inducing small electrical currents which stimulate nerve cells.


The College of Psychiatry Australia recommends treatment access in both public and private settings. rTMS involves the focal application of magnetic energy to the cerebral cortex. By inducing small electrical currents, rTMS can alter brain functioning for therapeutic purposes. The treatment does not involve seizure induction or loss of consciousness. During the procedure the patient is completely alert. Anaesthetic is not required during TMS therapy.

Some key points highlighted in the College of Psychiatry Australia guidelines include:

  • Treatment with rTMS can occur in combination with psychological therapies or medications
  • rTMS should be offered in psychiatric clinical settings. Also, appropriate protocols, training and equipment are required to appropriately select patients with major depression.
  • The screening and selection of appropriate patients is essential. This should be conducted by a psychiatrist with appropriate training and expertise in rTMS.


The research to date indicates that TMS is relatively safe. Patients are carefully screened for relevant exclusions. They are also checked for seizure risk and treatment is given within recommended safety parameters. With appropriate screening, the overall risks are low.


The College promotes ongoing research into rTMS. Examples of ongoing research include different patient groups like children/adolescents and other psychiatric conditions.