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Dispute, reconsideration and appeals guide


Introduction

This guide provides further information about the processes detailed in the Dispute, Reconsideration and Appeals Policy. It is relevant to medical practitioners applying for entry to or enrolled in an RACGP training program, or applying for a pre-employment structured clinical interview (PESCI) that the RACGP conducts.

The aim of the policy and this guide is to ensure that all applicants are treated fairly and consistently. The processes describe how decisions can be made or challenged.
 

What decisions can be disputed, reconsidered or appealed?

When the RACGP makes a decision, you are entitled to:
  • dispute the decision if it relates to your training program
  • apply for reconsideration if the decision relates to your progression towards Fellowship or your PESCI
  • appeal the outcome of either a dispute or reconsideration.

Decisions made as a result of a dispute can’t be reconsidered, and decisions made as a result of a reconsideration can’t be disputed.

If the decision relates to an RACGP exam result, we will investigate if all exam marking and quality assurance steps were followed correctly. Per the Assessment and Examination candidate handbook, this investigation does not extend to a recalculation of results or performance reassessment.

If the decision relates to a workplace-based assessment, only your eligibility for Fellowship will be investigated. Assessments made by individual assessors can’t be reconsidered or appealed.

We have included some examples of decisions that may be disputed, reconsidered or appealed.


Disputing a decision

The dispute process is available to you if you’re training on either the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program or the Fellowship Support Program (FSP). A dispute can only be raised about decisions the RACGP has made in relation to your training program. If you have a dispute with an employer that isn’t related to your general practice training or if your dispute is in relation to a decision made by another organisation, we can’t deal with these under the RACGP policy.

How to dispute a decision

If you’re unhappy with the outcome of a decision you should work with your program team to find an agreed outcome. You may also like to speak with your registrar liaison officer. Issues can generally be resolved through this informal mediation process.

You may decide, however, that you need to raise a formal dispute if you’re unable to reach an agreed outcome with your program team. They will apply to the regional team to dispute the decision. The regional team will only consider your dispute if you have attempted informal mediation with your program team and been unable to reach an agreed outcome.

Time frame

You have 10 business days after we notify you of the original decision to raise a dispute.

Application fee

There is no fee to apply to dispute a decision.

Examples

  1. You’re offered an outer metropolitan practice placement for GPT1 that isn’t compatible with a recent change in your personal circumstances. You’ve informed your program team that the placement isn’t suitable, and requested that the requirement to complete an outer metropolitan placement be deferred to a later term, but they haven’t supported this. You ask to have the regional team review the decision. The Regional Director of Training will firstly ensure that informal mediation has taken place between you and your program team, and then review the decision and the information you provide about your personal circumstances.
  2. You’re a GPT3 registrar and your medical educator raises some concerns with you from a recent ECTV and your midterm report about how you structure your consultations and your time management. They are concerned that you may have trouble passing your Fellowship exams and want to put you on a remediation term. You don’t believe that this is warranted. You ask to have the regional team review the decision. The regional team will firstly ensure that informal mediation has taken place, and then review the reports and consider if the decision made was reasonable.

Applying for reconsideration

The RACGP makes decisions about matters other than those which relate to a training program. For example, in relation to:

  • your entry into an RACGP-approved program
  • your PESCI results
  • exam eligibility
  • your exam results.

It’s up to you to present the reasons and evidence for why you think the decision should be reconsidered. You may apply for reconsideration for one or both of the following reasons:

  • the original decision was inconsistent with RACGP policies
  • the information provided wasn’t appropriately considered when the original decision was made.

How to submit an application

To apply for reconsideration of a decision, you need to:

  1. complete the Application for Reconsideration form and send this to education.appeals@racgp.org.au
  2. submit the application in the required time frame
  3. pay the application fee.

If your application is incomplete, we may ask you to provide further information, and if we don’t receive the information by the date requested, we may withdraw your application.

Time frame

To apply for a reconsideration, submit an application within 10 business days after being notified of the original decision. Examples of the decisions that you can apply to have reconsidered include:

Exam results You have 10 business days after exam results are released to apply for a reconsideration of your results, where we will investigate if all exam marking and quality assurance steps were followed correctly, but won’t re-mark your exam or reassess your exam performance.
Exam withdrawal You have 10 business days after we notify you that you’ve been withdrawn from the exam to apply for a reconsideration of the decision.
Exam special arrangements You have 10 business days after we notify you of the outcome of your application for exam special arrangements to apply for reconsideration of the decision.
General practice experience assessment outcome You have 10 business days after we notify you of the outcome in the GPE Confirmation Letter to apply for reconsideration of the decision.
Comparability assessment outcome You have 10 business days after we notify you of the outcome in the Comparability Assessment Outcome Letter to apply for reconsideration of the decision.


Application fee

The application fee is AU$300.

The application fee is a contribution to the cost of the reconsideration process, which involves staff time and resources to investigate the matter.

In cases where the original decision is overturned after reconsideration, we will reimburse the full application fee.

Examples

  1. You have received your GPE assessment outcome and believe your Australian general practice experience has been calculated incorrectly based on the information you provided, so you apply for a reconsideration. At reconsideration, the RACGP will investigate the original decision and ensure that all information was appropriately considered and no errors were made in the calculation process. Any additional information (such as a new letter of support) that was not provided at the time of the original decision can’t be considered at reconsideration.
  2. You receive your KFP exam results and believe there has been an error in marking, so you apply for a reconsideration. At reconsideration, an investigation will be undertaken to ensure all steps in the exam marking quality assurance process were correctly executed. This investigation doesn’t extend to re-marking your exam paper or giving substantive exam feedback on your score or an assessment of your performance.


Appealing a decision

You can apply to appeal a decision that is the outcome of a dispute or reconsideration. The Appeals Committee decides each appeal on its merits and according to the rules of natural justice and procedural fairness. 

Examples of the reasons for applying for an appeal include:

  • There was an error in law or in due process in making the original decision.
  • Relevant and significant information (available at the time of the original decision or became available later) was either not considered at all or not properly considered in making the original decision.
  • Irrelevant information was considered in making the original decision.
  • Relevant policy procedures were not followed in making the original decision.
  • The original decision was inconsistent with the evidence and arguments given to the decision maker.

How to submit an application

If you wish to appeal a decision, you need to:

  1. complete the Application for Appeal form and send it to education.appeals@racgp.org.au
  2. submit the application in the required time frame
  3. pay the application fee.

If your application is incomplete, we may ask you to provide further information, and if we don’t receive the information by the date requested, we may withdraw your application.

Time frame

An application for an appeal of a decision must be submitted within 20 business days after being notified of the outcome of a reconsideration.

Application fee

The application fee is AU$5000. Where the application is related to an AGPT dispute, no fee will apply as this is funded through the AGPT program.

The application fee is a contribution to the cost of the appeal process, which involves staff time and resources to investigate the matter. It also includes the participation of the Appeals Committee.

We may withdraw your application for reconsideration or appeal if you haven’t paid the application fee in the specified time frame.

In cases where the original decision is overturned after appeal, we reimburse the full application fee.

Examples

  1. You applied for a reconsideration of your eligibility for the FSP, and the reconsideration was unsuccessful. You believe that this outcome is incorrect, and you should be deemed eligible for the FSP in line with FSP policy and the guidance set out in the FSP Application Handbook. You apply for an appeal, where the Appeals Committee will consider if the reconsideration outcome was made incorrectly.
  2. You applied for a reconsideration of your GPE assessment outcome, and your reconsideration was unsuccessful. You don’t believe that the reconsideration considered a letter of support that was available to the original decision makers. You apply for an appeal, where the Appeals Committee will investigate whether all relevant information was appropriately considered at reconsideration.


Withdrawing your application

You can withdraw your application for reconsideration or appeal at any time before a decision has been made, by emailing education.appeals@racgp.org.au. We’ll refund your application fee minus an administrative fee of AU$100 and any costs that have already been committed or can’t be recovered (eg travel or accommodation for Appeals Committee members).


Related documents

Dispute, Reconsideration and Appeals Policy

 

 
Version Date of effect Amended by
2 19 April 2023 Education Policy and Guidance Lead
Amendment details
  • Inclusion of information about payment of appeal fee for AGPT registrars
1 20 January 2023 Education Policy and Guidance Lead
Amendment details
  • Updates following publication of the Dispute, Reconsideration and Appeals Policy


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