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Pre-Employment Structured Clinical Interview (PESCI) Policy


1. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to define the principles and requirements for International Medical Graduates (IMGs) to apply for and undertake a Pre-Employment Structured Clinical Interview (PESCI) with the RACGP. 

2. Scope

2.1 The PESCI is an evaluation of an Applicant’s suitability for a particular general practice position. It assesses whether the Applicant has the clinical knowledge, skills and experience to practise safely and effectively in the position.

2.2 This policy applies to:

    1. International Medical Graduates (IMGs) applying for and undertaking a PESCI conducted by the RACGP,

    2. PESCI Assessors,

    3. RACGP Staff.

2.3 For the purposes of this policy, we refer to the PESCI as the ‘interview’.

2.4 This policy is to be read in conjunction with the PESCI Handbook and the AMC’s Pre-employment Structured Clinical Interview (PESCI) Guidelines and Criteria for AMC Accreditation of PESCI Providers

3. General principles

3.1 The PESCI is an evaluation of an IMG’s suitability for a particular position sourced by the Applicant. It is not an examination or an assessment of an IMG’s overall performance.

3.2 The RACGP is accredited by the Australian Medical Council (AMC) to be a PESCI provider.

3.3 The RACGP will report PESCI outcomes to the Medical Board of Australia (MBA).

3.4 The RACGP does not:

    1. grant medical registration in Australia. Under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act 2009, the MBA is responsible for granting medical registration in Australia.

    2. grant exemptions to the requirements for sitting a PESCI. This is the responsibility of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).

    3. find employment. This is the responsibility of the Applicant.

    4. make decisions relating to the employment. This is the responsibility of the employer.

    5. make applications for a Medicare provider number. This is the responsibility of the Applicant and the employer.

    6. issue a Medicare provider number. This is the responsibility of Services Australia.

    7. monitor Applicants after the PESCI is complete. This is the responsibility of the MBA.

    8. provide assistance with immigration or visa requirements. This is the responsibility of the Applicant.

    9. complete primary source verification of overseas qualifications. This is the responsibility of the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG).

3.5 Receiving a suitable PESCI outcome does not contribute to meeting entry requirements for any RACGP-Approved Program.

4. Eligibility and application

4.1 Applicants must meet the eligibility requirements to apply for a PESCI, as per the AMC’s Pre-employment Structured Clinical Interview (PESCI) Guidelines and Criteria for AMC Accreditation of PESCI Providers.

4.2 Applicants must submit a complete application online through the RACGP website. 

4.3 Applicants must provide current, complete and verifiable information in their application. 

    1. Submission of plagiarised, false or misleading information will be handled as per the Academic Misconduct Policy.

4.4 The RACGP will only assess complete applications that have been submitted with all required documentation and for which the interview fee has been paid.

    1. The required documentation is listed in the PESCI Handbook.

    2. The RACGP may, at its discretion, request information or documentation in addition to the required documentation.

    3. Documentation submitted but not requested by the RACGP will not be considered.

    4. The RACGP will not accept incomplete applications. Incomplete applications include, but are not limited to those that:

      1. provide incorrect, uncertified or unverifiable documentation or information,

      2. fail to include payment of the interview fee, or

      3. fail to provide additional information or documentation requested. 

4.5 During the application process and while the interview outcome is valid, Applicants must disclose to the RACGP any changes to their medical registration, including past or present restriction, condition, limitation, reprimand, supervision requirement, tribunal outcome, suspension, undertaking, investigation and/or other remark, or regulatory authority activity whether in Australia or overseas. 

    1. Failure to disclose to the RACGP any changes to medical registration, including past or present restriction, condition, limitation, reprimand, supervision requirement, tribunal outcome, suspension, undertaking, investigation and/or other remark, or regulatory authority activity whether in Australia or overseas will be handled as per the Academic Misconduct Policy.

4.6 Applicants must notify the RACGP via email of changes to their application within 15 Business Days of submitting their application. Change requests will be handled on a case-by-case basis and a fee may apply as per the PESCI Handbook.

4.7 Applicants may withdraw their application before the interview date is confirmed. A fee may apply as per the PESCI Handbook

5. Interview

5.1 An email will be issued to the Applicant with available interview dates. The Applicant must accept an interview date via email within five Business Days. Once the date has been accepted by the Applicant, the RACGP will send a confirmation email to the Applicant within two Business Days.

    1. Failure to accept an interview date will result in the application being cancelled and fees paid forfeited.

    2. In Extenuating Circumstances, the Applicant may request an alternative interview date. Requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis as per the PESCI Handbook.

5.2 After the interview date has been confirmed by the RACGP, Applicants may request the date be rescheduled. Requests must be received at least 20 Business Days before the confirmed interview date except in Extenuating and Unforeseen Circumstances. Requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis and a fee may apply as per the PESCI Handbook.

5.3 If the Applicant requests the application be withdrawn after the interview date has been confirmed by the RACGP, a fee may apply as per the PESCI Handbook.

5.4 The interview panel will include three members.

    1. At least two members from the panel must be general practitioners who:

      1. hold current AHPRA registration,

      2. have no conditions on their registration, and

      3. are Fellows in good standing with the RACGP.

    2. A health professional, lay person or other medical practitioner may be appointed to be the third member of the panel if required.

    3. All panel chairs must work in active clinical general practice.

    4. Panel members generally must work in active clinical general practice; however, general practitioners within two years of retirement from active general practice will be considered for panel membership on a case-by-case basis.

5.5 PESCI panel members are required to complete an annual Declaration of Interest and provide it to the National Assessment Advisor – PESCI. 

5.6 Prior to an interview, all members of the panel must disclose any Conflicts of Interest they may have with the Applicant, as per the Conflicts of Interest Guidance. The Chair of the panel must determine how disclosed conflicts will be managed in consultation with the National Assessment Advisor – PESCI.

    1. Conflicts of Interest include any actual, perceived, or potential conflicts.

    2. If the Chair determines the conflict requires the member to stand down from the interview panel, then the Chair must nominate an alternative member.

    3. The Chair must accurately record disclosures and the management of Conflicts of Interest.

5.7 If the Applicant does not attend the interview, their application will be cancelled, a fee may apply and they will be required to resubmit a new application, as per the PESCI Handbook

5.8 The RACGP may need to reschedule the interview. If this occurs, there will be no cost to the Applicant.

    1. Circumstances where the interview may be rescheduled include, but are not limited to, unforeseen operational issues, interview panel member illness and interview panel member technology issues.

5.9 Disclosing PESCI assessment materials, including the PESCI cases and questions, to Third Parties is a breach of confidentiality and may be handled as per the Academic Misconduct Policy.

6. Interview outcome

6.1 The two possible outcomes of a PESCI are the Applicant is deemed: 

    1. suitable for the position, or

    2. unsuitable for the position.

6.2 Applicants will receive the PESCI outcome report via email within 15 Business Days of the interview date, unless advised otherwise.

6.3 The PESCI outcome is valid for 12 calendar months from the date of the PESCI outcome report.

6.4 Applicants deemed unsuitable for a position may submit a new application at any time.

6.5 Any change to the Applicant’s position after the PESCI outcome has been reported must be discussed with AHPRA. This includes, but is not limited to, change of Supervisor, addition of a clinic location owned and operated by the same employer, or a change of working hours.

6.6 Applicants who contend the RACGP has made an incorrect decision in relation to the conduct or outcome of their PESCI can apply for reconsideration as per the Dispute, Reconsideration and Appeals Policy

7. 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.

8. Responsibilities

8.1 Censor-in-Chief

  1. Approving Minor Amendments
  2. Approving Moderate Amendments
  3. Approving Consequential Amendments

8.2 RACGP Board

  1. Approving Major Amendments

8.3 Applicant

  1. Submitting a complete PESCI application
  2. Attending the interview
  3. Responding to requests for information or documentation

8.4 RACGP

  1. Assessing PESCI applications
  2. Conducting interviews
  3. Providing the Applicant and the MBA with an outcome report
  4. Managing declared conflicts of interest

 

9. Glossary

9.1 Applicant

The medical practitioner applying for a PESCI.

9.2 Business Day

A day when the RACGP national office is operating.

9.3 Conflict of Interest

A conflict of interest may arise in a situation where it could reasonably be concluded that a person’s capacity to make a decision on a matter is influenced by the fact that they hold other interests. A conflict of interest may include:

  • an actual conflict of interest
  • a potential conflict of interest
  • a perceived conflict of interest.
Refer to the Conflicts of Interest Guidance for more information.

9.4 Consequential Amendment 

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

9.5 Declaration of Interest 

Details of a panel member’s vested interests.

9.6 Extenuating Circumstances

Circumstances the RACGP considers on a case-by-case basis, that are outside the Applicant’s control and that can be shown to have a direct and significant impact on the Applicant’s ability to sit an assessment and/or their performance in an assessment.

9.7 Extenuating and Unforeseen Circumstances

Circumstances that are outside the Applicant’s control and can reasonably be considered to have been unforeseen, and can be shown to have a direct and significant impact on the Applicant. The RACGP considers Extenuating and Unforeseen Circumstances on a case-by-case basis. 

9.8 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).

9.9 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.

9.10 Moderate Amendment 

An amendment that materially changes the operation of the 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).

9.11 RACGP-Approved Program

An education or Training Program approved by the RACGP as a suitable avenue to Fellowship, including the:

  1. Australian General Practice Training Program
  2. Remote Vocational Training Scheme
  3. Fellowship Support Program
  4. Practice Experience Program – Standard Stream
  5. Practice Experience Program – Specialist Stream Partially Comparable
  6. Practice Experience Program – Specialist Stream Substantially Comparable

These are specified programs listed in Division 6 of the Health Insurance Regulations 2018.

9.12 RACGP Staff

Anyone who is an employee or contractor of the RACGP.

9.13 Supervisor

The medical practitioner appointed to supervise practice as defined in the MBA’s Supervised practice for international medical graduates.

9.14 Third Party Any person or group besides the Applicant, PESCI Assessors, or RACGP Staff.

 

10. Related documents, legislation and policies

11. 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

3 18/03/2024 Education Policy and Guidance Lead
 
  • Clause 5.9 added to address confidentiality of PESCI assessment materials
  • Clause 5.6 updated to add reference to Conflicts of Interest Guidance
  • Update to glossary.
2 06/11/2023 Education Policy and Guidance Lead
Amendment details
  • Clauses 5.4.iii and 5.4.iv added
1 03/07/23 Education Policy and Guidance Lead
Amendment details
  • This policy is required as the RACGP nationalises the PESCI.
  • It aligns with the provider requirements set out by the Medical Board of Australia.
  • It replaces any existing PESCI policies previously published by the RACGP.
Policy owner: RACGP Board
Approved by: RACGP Board Approved on: 10/03/23
Next review due: 03/2026    


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