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Becoming a GP in Australia

Specialist IMGs

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) is responsible for undertaking an assessment to the determine comparability of specialist international medical graduates (SIMGs) based on the professional attributes, knowledge and clinical skills expected of an Australian-trained specialist in general practice. The recognition of SIMGs is part of a nationally agreed assessment and registration process developed in conjunction with the Australian Health Practitioner Registration Agency (AHPRA), the Australian Medical Council (AMC), the Australian Department of Health and the RACGP.

The RACGP provides a pathway to Fellowship for SIMGs based on an assessment of their recency of practice, professional development, qualification, exams, training and experience in general practice. Fellowship of the RACGP gives doctors the right to deliver general practice unsupervised to the Australian community and access the higher rebates under Medicare, the national health insurance scheme.

RACGP has reviewed the pathway to Fellowship for SIMGs and undertaken extensive consultation. The RACGP has taken feedback into account and is now ready to launch the new program, the RACGP Specialist Recognition Program (SRP). The SRP has been developed to be compliant with best practice and the Medical Board of Australia’s good practice guidelines, and includes improved education and support for SIMGs.

If you have already applied for the Specialist Pathway, or will apply by 31 August 2018, continue reading.

If you will not be applying until after 31 August 2018, please read the FAQs

Further information will be published in the coming months, please check back or submit an expression of interest via pathways@racgp.org.au to receive updates.

SPP - Before you apply:

  1. Review the categories of qualifications listed below. This will indicate:
    1. whether or not you may be eligible to apply to the SPP
    2. the category you may be eligible for
  1. Complete the online self-assessment guide for indication of your potential category.
  1. Review the step-by-step guide relevant to your category for instructions on making an online  application.

Please note
All specialist IMGs now need to apply directly to the ECFMG’s Electronic Portfolio of International Credentials (EPIC) for verification of their medical qualifications.

Self-assessment is a guide only and the RACGP will make all final eligibility and categorisation decisions. If a new pathway to any of the qualifications listed is introduced this may affect your categorisation outcome. The RACGP may at any time vary the qualifications or categories listed.

Category 1 IMGs (FAEG)

If you have one of the below qualifications you may be categorised as a category 1 IMG and awarded Fellowship ad eundem gradum (FAEG).

Please note
Qualifications gained through "grandfathering" or reciprocal arrangements may not be accepted for FAEG and documentation of training and assessment will be requested.

UK doctors

The RACGP only accepts applications as category 1 for doctors who achieved their MRCGP qualification via examination, combined with the other qualification as listed below.
Candidates who achieved MRCGP via iMAP, or candidates who have iMAP but not one of the other qualifications will not be categorised as category 1.

Qualification heldCategory
Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners holding the Joint Committee on Postgraduate Training for General Practice (JCPTGP) certificate via prescribed experience 1
Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners holding the Joint Committee on Postgraduate Training for General Practice (JCPTGP) certificate via equivalent experience 1 or 2, assessed on a case by case basis
Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners holding the Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) issued by the Post Graduate Medical Education and Training Board (PMETB) or the General Medical Council (GMC) 1
Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners holding the Certificate of Eligibility for GP registration (CEGPR) 1 or 2, assessed on a case by case basis

Other Category 1

Canada Certificate in Family Medicine from College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) with evidence of completion of an accredited family medicine residency in Canada + Evidence of Canadian Qualifying Examinations Part 1 + 2 post 1992

Certificate in Family Medicine from College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) with evidence of completion of an accredited family medicine residency in Canada + Evidence of The Canadian Qualifying Examination Part 1 and Certification Examination in Family Medicine post 2013
Ireland Graduate of ICGP through passing the MICGP Examination holding MICGP membership
New Zealand Fellowship of The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (FRNZCGP) via the General Practice Education Programme (GPEP)
Singapore Fellowship with the College of Family Physicians

Category 2 IMGs

If you hold one of the qualifications below you are considered to be at the level of an Australian-trained advanced trainee in general practice however still require further training/supervised practice and assessment to be regarded as fully comparable.

IMGs with existing Australian medical registration will not meet the eligibility criteria for entry into category 2 of the SPP, however may be able to complete the RACGP Fellowship assessment requirements via the General Practice Experience Pathway.

UK doctors
Candidates who achieved MRCGP via iMAP, or candidates who have iMAP but not one of the other qualifications, will be categorised as category 2.

Qualification heldCategory
Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners holding the Joint Committee on Postgraduate Training for General Practice (JCPTGP) certificate via equivalent experience 1 or 2, assessed on a case by case basis
Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners holding the Certificate of Eligibility for GP registration (CEGPR) 1 or 2, assessed on a case by case basis
Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners via iMAP holding the Joint Committee on Postgraduate Training for General Practice (JCPTGP) certificate via prescribed OR equivalent experience 2
Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners via iMAP holding the CCT issued by the PMETB or the GMC 2
Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners 2
JCPTGP certificate via prescribed experience 2
JCPTGP certificate via equivalent experience 2
CCT issued by the PMETB or the GMC 2
CCT issued by the PMETB 2
CEGPR 2

Other Category 2

Belgium Specialist Certificate in General Practice / Family Medicine
Canada Certificate in Family Medicine from the College of Family Physicians of Canada
Denmark Specialist Certificate in Family Medicine
Netherlands Certificate of Specific Training for General Practice
New Zealand Fellowship of The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (FRNZCGP) via Experiential Interim Pathway (EIP)
Norway Certificate of Specific Training for General Medical Practice
Singapore Master of Medicine in Family Medicine
South Africa Fellowship of the College of Family Physicians of South Africa
South Africa Registration as a Family Physician with the Health Professions Council of South Africa
South Africa Master of Family Medicine
South Africa Master of Prax Medicine
Sweden Certificate of Specific Training for General Practice
USA Certificate of the American Board of Family Medicine

Category 3 IMGs

If you hold qualifications in general practice from the countries listed below you are considered to be at a level equivalent to an Australian basic trainee in general practice and as such require further training/supervised practice and assessment to be regarded as fully comparable.

IMGs with existing Australian medical registration will not meet the eligibility criteria for entry into category 3 of the SPP, however may be able to complete the RACGP Fellowship assessment requirements via the General Practice Experience Pathway.

Prerequisites to categorisation for category 3

  1. Achieve a pass in the Applied Knowledge Test (AKT)
  2. Be assessed as having at least 4 years general practice experience

Austria
Croatia
Estonia
Finland
France (post 2007 VT)
Germany
Latvia
Malta (post 2007 VT)
Portugal
Spain
Turkey
MRCGP[INT]

Not comparable
If an applicant’s qualifications are determined to be not comparable to those of an Australian-trained general practitioner, the IMG is categorised as ‘not comparable’.

Applicants may be able to complete the RACGP Fellowship assessment requirements via the General Practice Experience Pathway.

Specialist Pathway Fees - from 1 July 2017

Category 1Fee
Application Fee for Categorisation Process $515
Application processing fee for FAEG $635
Total cost per applicant - Category 1 $1,150 
Category 2Fee
Application Fee for Categorisation Process $515
FICPI $5,155
RACGP Fellowship Examinations $8,720
Total cost per applicant - Category 2 $14,390
Category 3Fee
AKT Examination $2,190
Application Fee for Categorisation Process $515
Assessment of Overseas GP Experience $760
FICPI $5,155
RACGP Fellowship Examination $6,530
Total cost per applicant - Category 3 $15,150

See all pathway policies

Further Information

Applicants can see statistics on the outcomes of applications to the Specialist Pathway from 2015 on the Medical Board of Australia website.

For more information on the size and location of the medical workforce in Australia, please see the National Health Workforce Data Set.