PEP Specialist transition


RACGP’s international specialist program 

PEP Specialist transition


RACGP’s international specialist program 

Education > Become a GP > Train to be a GP > PEP Specialist transition
Last updated 6 June 2024

We’re making improvements to our Practice Experience Program Specialist (PEP SP) pathway, which will take effect from 1 July 2024.

These reflect the RACGP’s aim to provide an improved, streamlined experience for our PEP SP participants and make it easier for overseas GP specialists to begin practicing in Australia.

Changes will apply to both streams of the program; substantially comparable (SC), and partially comparable (PC).

Please note that information pertaining to the original PEP SP pathway will remain on our website until 1 July 2024.

What's changing?

  • The application process
  • Program delivery
  • Fees

Program stages

Part A

  • Comparability assessment

Part B

  • Job offer approval application

Part C

  • Right to work application

Part D

  • Program requirements (SC)
  • Program requirements (PC)

Part E

  • Exam candidacy (AKT, KFP, CCE - PC only)
  • Eligibility and application for Fellowship
  • A higher percentage of curricula will be recognised as ‘substantially comparable’ (SC).
  • The requirements for continuing professional development (CPD) have been simplified.
  • We have invested in people and platforms to speed up the submission process. CVs can be uploaded as PDFs via the RACGP CV form and will not need to be submitted in any other format.

It is important to note that certain third-party approvals required during the application process fall outside the control of the RACGP. These include verification of qualifications, visas, medical registration and Medicare provider number allocation.  

Please find more information about the application process here.
 

We’ve made improvements to the delivery of PEP Specialist to ensure it continues to meet the needs of participants. The enhancements will allow more focus on individual needs, along with robust assessment and training support. We have grown our team of assessors in the workplace-based assessment component to better identify competencies and support participants.

Below is an overview of changes occurring to program delivery.

Part D (six months)

Stream

Current

 New

Both streams Nil Early assessment for safety and learning (EASL) - multiple choice questionnaire (MCQ). These assessments help identify the level of support required to maximise opportunity for successful program completion.
Mentor/induction meeting Induction meetings with your mentor will focus on individual learning needs. The EASL MCQ will inform the development of a tailored learning plan.  
Reflective essay No longer a requirement
Nil Six small group learning sessions of 1.5 hours each, run by a medical educator. Offered monthly to work with peers and the ME on topics from the RACGP curriculum and syllabus guide. Attendance is not compulsory.
Substantially comparable

Workplace-based assessments x 7
Conducted during two direct observation sessions (four mini clinical evaluation exercises and three case-based discussions). Conducted by two assessors.

Workplace-based assessments x 6
Conducted during three direct observation sessions (three mini clinical evaluation exercises and three case-based discussions). Conducted by three assessors.
 
Supplementary assessments
Workplace-based assessments x 7
Conducted over two direct observation sessions (four mini clinical evaluation exercises and three case-based discussions). Conducted by two assessors.
Supplementary assessments
Workplace-based assessments x 6
Conducted over two direct observation sessions (four mini clinical evaluation exercises and two clinical case analyses discussions). Each session will have two assessors (four in total).
 
Partially comparable Nil An orientation webinar is provided.
Nil An orientation small group learning session providing opportunities to engage with peers.
Workplace-based assessments x 7
Conducted during two direct observation sessions by two assessors (four mini clinical evaluation exercises and three case-based discussions).
 
Workplace-based assessments x 6
One direct observation with a medical educator (four mini clinical evaluation exercises with medical educator (ME) feedback)
+
Two clinical case analyses (CCAs) delivered using the small group learning format to provide benefits of peer learning opportunities

There are no immediate changes being made in this stage. However, the RACGP continues to enhance our delivery of training and education, which includes ongoing development of additional education and support offerings in the post-education space.

We have reviewed the program fees in alignment with program quality and a new fee structure will apply for: 

  • Applications submitted after 3 June 2024
  • Applications submitted prior to 3 June 2024, where the applicant does not commence the program before 1 December 2024.

Current participants in the program, ie. those who have already commenced work, will not be affected by the fee changes.

For further details, please visit the fee page.

Policies and guides

Please refer to our new policies and guides that support these program changes.
Please visit our PEP Specialist webpage for more information about the program.

 PEP Specialist policies and guides 

Frequently asked questions

Please see FAQs below

 

Which approvals fall outside the control of the RACGP? 
Certain third-party approvals required during the application process fall outside the control of the RACGP. These include verification of qualifications, visas, medical registration and Medicare Provider Number allocation.  
Please find more information about the application process here.

The curriculum of my specialist general practice qualification has changed from Partially Comparable (PC) to Substantially Comparable (SC). Will my comparability assessment outcome be SC?
The reclassification of the curricula relates to the assessment of curricula only and does not reflect the outcome of your comparability assessment.
Comparability assessments are based on several eligibility criteria, including your curriculum, assessments undertaken and the context of your training and current medical practice. Applicants must meet all criteria before applying. The outcome of your comparability assessment is only determined after your complete application has been assessed by RACGP medical assessors.
If the curriculum of your specialist general practice qualification has changed to SC, your qualification is considered to be comparable to the 2022 RACGP curriculum and syllabus for Australian general practice.
If you have received a PC outcome where any of the other criteria was previously assessed as PC, your outcome will remain PC. For more information, please refer to your outcome documentation.

I have started my comparability assessment application (Part A) but haven’t submitted yet, do these changes apply to me?
Your application will be assessed under the policies in place on the day you submit a complete application. When you start PEP Specialist, the new documentation (eg. policies, handbook and fees) will apply.

Are there any changes to the comparability assessment application fee?
There will be no changes to the comparability assessment application fee, which will remain $575 as of 1 July 2024.
RACGP may review fees at any time and can make changes due to a variety of factors including operational costs, improvement to programs, and delivery requirements.
For more information about PEP Specialist fees and charges, please refer to our fee page.

I have already submitted my comparability assessment application, do I still need to provide a copy of my CV?
From 1 July 2024, you will be required to upload a copy of your CV on the RACGP CV template. No other forms of CV will be accepted. The template is an editable PDF; save a copy onto your computer and open this saved copy to insert your details. 
Your CV needs to outline all your work and training experience since graduation (including non-medical roles) with no gaps. It must be electronically signed and dated within the past three months. 
How will this impact you:

  • If you have not yet completed the CV task in the online application form, you have until 1 July 2024 to complete your CV in this format. If you are unable to complete the CV task by 1 July 2024, you will be asked to upload a copy of your CV on the RACGP CV template. All information previously entered in the CV section will be removed.
  • If you have completed the CV task in the online application form prior to 1 July 2024, you will only be required to upload a copy of your CV on the RACGP CV template, in the event it requires updating. 

The information you have previously provided has been stored and will be available upon request. Please contact the education support team educationsupport@racgp.org.au if you need a copy of your information.

What are the Clinical Case Analyses (CCA) and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements?
You will no longer be required to submit 10 clinical case analyses as the requirements for CPD have been simplified. These changes will automatically apply to all current applications.

I have submitted my comparability assessment application, when will I receive the outcome?
Completed applications may take up to 10 weeks to be assessed. A completed application is defined by the date at which all information is received and no further feedback is required. If the assessors require further information, this timeline may be extended.
You will be advised of your comparability outcome via email.

I have a comparability assessment outcome but haven’t submitted a job offer application (Part B) yet. How long is my comparability assessment outcome valid?
All comparability assessment outcomes are valid for 12 months from the date of the outcome. You need to complete all parts of the application and start the program within this timeframe.
You must submit a new application if your comparability assessment outcome expires before beginning the program.
You will need to meet the policies that are in place at the time you submit your Part B application.

I have a job offer (Part B) application but haven’t applied for right to work (Part C) yet. What are my next steps?
You can use your Part B outcome to apply for Part C as usual. You will need to meet the policies that are in place at the time you submit your Part C application.

 

I’ve commenced work in practice already. Which set of policies and guidance documents will apply to my program?
All participants in the program will move to the new policies and handbooks on 1 July 2024. If you are an active participant prior to this date we will ensure that your training outcomes are not negatively impacted by the change. For example, if you have already commenced your workplace-based assessments (WBA), your education delivery structure will not change and you will complete the program in the same format in which you started. 
For others who are currently in the program but have not yet commenced assessments, you will follow the new education delivery structure. If you are concerned about this, please contact the PEP Specialist team.

Which WBA will I complete?
The requirements for the WBA will change from 1 July 2024.
If you have already completed part of your WBA, you will complete the remaining WBAs as per the old framework.
If you are still to commence your WBA by 1 July 2024 you will complete your WBA under the new framework.

What are the new requirements and changes under the new structure?
Please see the changes outlined in the table above. 

Additional information regarding key program changes:

  1. The introduction of small group learning sessions (SGL) for participants. Throughout the training program participants will be invited to attend online monthly small group learning (SGL) sessions facilitated by a medical educator (ME). Although these sessions are not mandatory, we encourage participants to attend as they will assist in your understanding of the Australian general practice context.
  2. The current program requirement includes completion of seven workplace-based assessments (WBA), which are currently conducted over two direct observation sessions. Under the new changes the program will require the completion of six WBAs and the delivery of these activities will change depending on your stream:
    • SC – will complete the six WBAs over three direct observation sessions 
    • PC – will complete four mini clinical evaluation exercises during one direct observation. Two clinical case analyses (CCAs) will be completed using the small group learning format to provide peer learning opportunities.
  3. The introduction of early assessment for safety and learning (EASL) - multiple choice questionnaire (MCQ) to tailor individual training needs more effectively.
There will be no fee changes for current PEP Specialist participants.

What is small group learning (SGL)?
Small group learning (SGL) run by a medical educator (ME) will be offered monthly to participants. In these groups, you’ll work with your peers and the ME on topics from the RACGP Curriculum and syllabus. These sessions will be semi-structured and tailored to the group’s learning needs and will include Fellowship exam preparation.
Participation in SGLs is not mandatory.

Will website portal updates affect existing participants in the program?
The RACGP portal will undergo updates on 1 July 2024 to align with the new program delivery structure. As a result, the portal will support and display tracking related to the new structure, rather than the old one. Existing participants who have already completed part of their workplace-based assessments (WBAs) and will complete the remaining WBAs as per the old framework may encounter conflicts of information. 

Please contact the PEP Specialist team if you need assistance or clarification during this transition period.

I am currently on leave from the program. Which policies will apply when I return?
You will continue the program using the policies that apply when you recommence in practice. If this means you will finish your requirements after 1 July 2024 then the new changes will apply.

I was unsuccessful in my SC program and have been advised I will need to move to the PC program. Which policies will apply?
If you move to PC you will complete the program under the documentation (eg. policies and handbook) that applies at the time you are expected to complete your requirements.

 

Why are the fees changing?
GP Specialists with overseas training bring valuable experience to our healthcare systems and communities. A new fee structure has been applied to maintain the quality of the PEP specialist pathway.
Please refer to our fee page for further information.

How are the fee changes being implemented?
There will be no fee changes for current PEP Specialist participants.
A six-month grace period will be provided to people who have submitted an application (part A, B, C) prior to 3 June 2024. If you have submitted an application prior to 3 June 2024 you will remain on the old fee structure of $8000 for Part D and the post-education admin fee will not apply, providing you commence work in the approved practice where you will undertake the program on or before 1 December 2024. Otherwise, you will be subject to the new fees.

For applications that were submitted on or after 3 June 2024 the new fees will apply.

Please refer to our fees page for further information.

Are there any changes to the comparability assessment application fee?
There will be no changes to the comparability assessment application fee, which will remain $575 as of 1 July 2024.
RACGP may review fees at any time and can make changes due to a variety of factors including operational costs, improvement to programs, and delivery requirements.
For more information about Specialist Pathway fees and charges, please refer to our fees page.

For queries relating to:

  • Applications for entry (Part A - comparability assessment and Part B - checking the job offer is a comprehensive general practice position)
  • PEP Specialist curriculum comparison requests
  • Letters of status (evidence the Dr is on a pathway to Fellowship)

​Please reach out to the Education Support team - educationsupport@racgp.org.au.

For queries relating to:

  • PEP Specialist education and post program queries, from signing of the program agreement to applying for Fellowship.

​Please reach out to the Training Programs team (PEP Specialist) - pepspecialistadmin@racgp.org.au.

For queries relating to:

  • PEP Specialist Part C (right to work queries)
  • PEP Specialist provider number queries
  • PEP Specialist Part B (job offer location requirements)
  • PEP Specialist Extenuating and Unforeseen Circumstance applications

​Please reach out to the Approved Placement team - approvedplacement@racgp.org.au.

If you'd like to speak with a Member Services Centre team member, please contact our member helpline 1800 4RACGP | 1800 472 247 or email racgp@racgp.org.au. For international callers +61 3 8699 0300.

 

Appeals and complaints

If you wish to apply for reconsideration or appeal a decision relating to your progression towards Fellowship, then the Dispute, Reconsideration and Appeals Policy applies.

If you wish to express concern, dissatisfaction, or frustration about:

  • the quality of RACGP services
  • a policy or procedure
  • unsatisfactory or unacceptable conduct from another person 
You should refer to the RACGP complaints policy. You can also make a complaint if you want a reconsideration of a decision that is not covered in the policy. Please see the website here for more information.