Practice Experience Program Specialist – Withdrawal Policy


Policy

1. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to define the principles and circumstances under which Participants may withdraw or be withdrawn from the Practice Experience Program Specialist (PEP SP).

2. Scope

2.1 This policy applies to:

    1. PEP SP Participants

    2. RACGP Staff.

2.2 This policy is to be read in conjunction with the PEP SP Participant Handbook - Partially Comparable Stream or the PEP SP Participant Handbook - Substantially Comparable Stream.

2.3 This policy will come into effect as of 01 July 2024.

3. General principles

3.1 The RACGP recognises that circumstances may arise that require Participants to withdraw (voluntary) or be withdrawn (involuntary) from the PEP SP.

3.2 The RACGP is committed to ensuring the withdrawal process:

    1. observes the rules of natural justice, and

    2. complies with legislative requirements, including anti-discrimination and privacy legislation.

3.3 The RACGP will offer case management support to Participants throughout the withdrawal process.

3.4 The RACGP will notify the Australian Medical Council (AMC) of any withdrawal via the AMC secure portal, for use by AHPRA for registration purposes.

3.5 The RACGP will notify Services Australia of any withdrawal, to have the Participant removed from the Register of Approved Placements.

4. Voluntary withdrawal

4.1 Participants must inform the RACGP in writing if they wish to voluntarily withdraw from the PEP SP.

4.2 Participants who voluntarily withdraw from the PEP SP have a cooling off period of 20 Business Days (Cooling Off Period) during which they may reconsider their decision to withdraw from the PEP SP.

    1. The Cooling Off Period does not apply to Participants who withdraw prior to the Commencement Date of their Training Program.

    2. Participants who have voluntarily withdrawn from the PEP SP and are seeking to apply for re-entry can waive the Cooling Off Period.

4.3 Participants who have voluntarily withdrawn from the PEP SP may apply for re-entry into the program.

    1. The RACGP will consider applications for re-entry on a case-by-case basis.

    2. The decision to approve re-entry is at the RACGP’s discretion.

4.4 The Dispute, Reconsideration and Appeals Policy does not apply to voluntary withdrawals.

5. Involuntary withdrawal

5.1 The RACGP must advise the Participant in writing if they intend to withdraw the Participant from the PEP SP.

5.2 The RACGP may withdraw Participants for issues including but not limited to:

    1. Clinical Competence, where the Participant is unable to sustain an acceptable level of Clinical Competence to progress with their Training Program, or

    2. Capacity, where the Participant is willing but unable to continue the Training Program, including but not limited to instances where the Participant:

      1. fails to maintain their AHPRA Medical Registration as required by their Training Program,

      2. has Addenda imposed on their AHPRA Medical Registration which renders them unable to progress with their program, or

      3. fails to maintain a valid visa status.

    3. Compliance, where the Participant fails to comply with the Training Program Requirements, including but not limited to:

      1. not meeting the Maximum Timeframe requirements,

      2. not completing the Workplace-Based Assessment (WBA) program as per the PEP SP Requirements for Fellowship Policy,

      3. not returning to the Training Program after a period of leave, or taking a period of leave that extends beyond a reasonable timeframe for that category of leave, as per the PEP SP Leave Policy,

      4. repeatedly failing to respond to correspondence from the RACGP relating to the Participant’s enrolment in the PEP SP,

        1. Prior to withdrawing the Participant, the RACGP must attempt to make contact with the Participant a minimum of three times, including once by certified/registered mail, over an eight-calendar week period.

      5. failing to maintain Financial RACGP Membership throughout the PEP SP,

      6. failing to pay the PEP SP fees.

5.3 Participants have 20 Business Days from the date of withdrawal or the date of Receiving the Notification of their withdrawal, whichever is later, to raise a dispute regarding their involuntary withdrawal as per the Dispute, Reconsideration and Appeals Policy.

      1. If no dispute is lodged, the RACGP will formally withdraw the Participant from the PEP SP.

      2. Participants cannot lodge a dispute against their withdrawal from the PEP SP if this withdrawal has occurred as the result of the outcome of an appeal.

5.4 Participants who have been withdrawn from the PEP SP may not apply for re-entry into the program.

6. Amendment of this policy

The Censor-in-Chief (CiC) may, without the consent of the RACGP Board, make Minor, Moderate and Consequential Amendments to this policy at any time.

If the CiC makes amendments, they must advise the RACGP Board of those amendments as soon as practicable.

The RACGP Board may make amendments to this policy at any time.

7. Responsibilities

7.1 Censor-in-Chief

  1. Approving Minor Amendments

  2. Approving Moderate Amendments

  3. Approving Consequential Amendments

7.2 Participant

  1. Notifying the RACGP in writing if they choose to withdraw voluntarily

  2. Raising a dispute within 20 Business Days after notification of involuntary withdrawal

7.3 RACGP

  1. Advising the Participant before formally withdrawing them

  2. Attempting to make contact with the Participant a minimum of three times, including once by certified/registered mail over an eight-calendar week period if withdrawing a Participant under clause 5.2.iii.d of this policy

  3. Formally withdrawing the Participant from the Training Program

  4. Notifying the Australian Medical Council (AMC) of any withdrawal via the AMC secure portal

  5. Notifying Services Australia to remove the withdrawn Participant from the Register of Approved Placements

7.4 RACGP Board

  1. Approving Major Amendments

8. Glossaries

8.1 Addenda

Includes, but is not limited to, restrictions, conditions, limitations, reprimands, supervision requirements, tribunal outcomes, suspensions, undertakings and/or any other remarks or changes on a Participant’s medical registration.

Refer to AHPRA’s website for more information.

8.2 AHPRA Medical Registration

Registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), which allows the registrant to practise medicine.

Refer to AHPRA’s website for more information.

8.3 Business Day

A day when the RACGP national office is operating.

8.4 Clinical Competence

Demonstrated ability to consistently perform relevant clinical tasks to the standard prescribed in the Progressive capability profile of the general practitioner.

8.5 Commencement Date

The day the Participant starts work in Australia in an RACGP-approved Practice.

8. 6 Consequential amendment

An amendment that requires urgent implementation as a necessary result of an amendment to another policy or process.

8.7 Cooling Off Period

The 20 Business Days after the Participant voluntarily withdraws from the PEP SP.

8.8 Fellowship

Admittance to either:

  1. Fellowship of the RACGP (FRACGP), or

  2. FRACGP and Rural Generalist Fellowship (FRACGP-RG).

8.9 Financial Member

An RACGP Member who has:
  1. met the membership category requirements,

  2. had their complete membership application form accepted, and

  3. paid their current membership fee in full.

8.10 Major Amendment

An amendment that materially changes the operation of the policy but is not otherwise a Minor or Moderate Amendment (ie a change to one major clause or policy review).

8.11 Maximum Timeframe

The maximum amount of time a Participant can remain on the PEP SP from the day they start their Training Program to the day they are admitted to Fellowship of the RACGP.

  1. Substantially Comparable stream:
    1. Participants who are working in their RACGP-approved practice on a full-time basis must be admitted to FRACGP within 12 calendar months of starting their training program.
    2. Participants who are working in their RACGP-approved practice on a part-time basis must be admitted to FRACGP within 24 calendar months of starting their training program. Their maximum timeframe will be calculated proportionally to their part-time status.
  2. Partially Comparable stream:
    1. Participants who are working in their RACGP-approved Practice on a full-time basis must be admitted to FRACGP within 24 calendar months of starting their training program.
    2. Participants who are working in their RACGP-approved practice on a part-time basis must be admitted to FRACGP within 48 calendar months of starting their training program. The maximum timeframe will be calculated proportionally to their part-time status.

8.12 Minor Amendment  

An amendment to style, to correct grammatical mistakes, change overall formatting, make updates that do not materially change meaning, or any other amendment, which in the opinion of the Censor-in-Chief, does not materially alter the operation of the policy. 

8.13 Moderate Amendment

An amendment that materially changes the operation of a policy by a limited amount (ie a change to one minor clause, or changes that have a limited impact on the outcome of the policy).

8.14 Participant

A Specialist International Medical Graduate who has been accepted into the PEP SP.

8.15 Practice Experience Program Specialist (PEP SP)

The route to Fellowship available to Specialist International Medical Graduates who have been assessed as Substantially Comparable or Partially Comparable to an Australian-trained specialist general practitioner at the point of admission to Fellowship.

8.16 Program Requirements

The mandatory components of the PEP SP as defined in the PEP SP Participant Handbook – Partially Comparable Stream and the PEP SP Participant Handbook – Substantially Comparable Stream.

8.17 RACGP Staff

Anyone who is an employee or contractor of the RACGP.

8.18 Receiving the Notification

The RACGP deems a Participant to have received a notification as:

  1. the date the RACGP sends the email, or

  2. the confirmed date of delivery of the registered mail.

8.19 Register of Approved Placements

An electronic register maintained by Services Australia under Section 3GA of the Health Insurance Act. Doctors placed on the Register satisfy the requirements of Section 19AA of the Act.

8.20 Training Program

The six-calendar-month period that starts from the day the Participant commences work in Australia in an RACGP-approved Practice. Participants must complete the program requirements within this six-calendar-month timeframe. 

8.21 Workplace-Based Assessment (WBA)

A framework for evaluating a doctor’s performance and progress in those areas of practice best assessed in the context of the workplace. The aim is to provide evidence that the Participant is competent for unsupervised practice in Australia.

9. Related Documents, Legislation and Policies

10. Policy Review and Currency

This policy will be reviewed every three calendar years from the last approval date, or when there is a significant change in the intent of the policy. This policy remains valid and applicable notwithstanding if it is overdue for review.

 

Version

Date of effect

Amended by

1

01/07/2024

Education Policy and Guidance Lead

Amendment details

  • Development of policy based on previous Practice Experience Program Specialist Stream Policies.

     

Policy owner:

RACGP Board

Approved by:

RACGP Board

Approved on:

15/09/2023

Next Review Due:

09/2026

   

Enquiries

 1800 626 901

 racgpeducation@racgp.org.au

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