The RACGP will undergo substantial changes in the coming months, as the college attempts to better align its staffing structure to serve the needs of members and prepare for the transition back to profession-led, community-based training.
New CEO Paul Wappett revealed the restructure via a series of meetings on Monday 29 November, which culminated in an all-staff update where several personnel changes were also confirmed.
Mr Wappett informed staff that the shift is a direct result of membership feedback, as well as internal surveys that formed part of an organisation and capability review instituted in September, which compared the RACGP to other member-centric organisations.
Following the meetings, Mr Wappett said that the new structure will give the college the opportunity to better focus on its members and strategic priorities.
‘Our members have been consistent in telling us what they need from their organisation; they want us to fight for them through focused advocacy, to facilitate opportunities to learn and network, and to ensure that education standards are high,’ he said.
‘Our new structure reflects these pillars and allows us to improve support for members so that we can positively impact the health of all Australians moving forward.’
As part of the restructure, RACGP faculties will be elevated, and the national and regional faculty managers will report directly to a revamped executive team.
Meanwhile, staff will be arranged according to the following key pillars:
- Advocacy and policy
- Member engagement
- People, capability and transformation
- Business services
In addition, the RACGP will establish a Chief of Staff position to support the Office of the CEO and Office of the President jointly, with the goal of helping the college to act ‘nimbly and responsively’ to member concerns.
Part of this role will include providing support for several college initiatives, including digital transformation, insights and business intelligence, as well as internal auditing, planning and performance.
A new Chief Operating Officer role will also be created to focus on operational efficiency, simplifying college processes, and preparing the college to assume control of PLT by 2023.
A number of executive staff members will leave the college as part of the restructure. General Manager of Membership and Business Transformation, Nick Williamson, and the General Manager of Operations, Simon Richardson, are due to depart before the end of the year.
More changes to the executive team are also possible, although have not yet been confirmed.
Meanwhile, the General Manager of Fellowship Pathways, Christine Cook, has accepted a role at the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons as the Executive General Manager of Education Partnerships. Her departure will result in the creation of two new roles reporting directly to the CEO – a Profession-Led Training (PLT) Transition Leader and a PLT Program Leader.
Mr Wappett said while the changes are ‘significant’, they are necessary and allow the RACGP to be structured in a way that aligns with the strategy that management will take to the Board for approval in early 2022.
‘GPs have never been more needed by their communities. It’s our job at the RACGP to fight for them and to have their interests always front and centre,’ he said.
‘I want all staff to be focused on the issues that matter to our members, including the bread-and-butter concerns that have left so many GPs and general practice teams concerned and frustrated over the past two years.
‘After careful consideration, and with a firm view of our members’ needs, we made the decision to realign our executive leadership team to reflect the things our members expect from the RACGP.
‘The outgoing team members have all made significant contributions in their roles and I warmly thank them all for their efforts and leadership.’