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Recognition of Prior Learning and Experience Policy


Policy

1. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to define the principles and requirements for the application and assessment of Recognition of Prior Learning and Experience (RPLE).

2. Scope

2.1 This policy applies to:

    1. Registrars enrolled in the:
      1. Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program,
      2. Remote Vocational Training Scheme (RVTS),
      3. Fellowship Support Program (FSP),
    2. Post-Fellowship general practitioners (GPs) training towards RACGP Rural Generalist Fellowship, and RACGP Staff.

2.2 This policy is to be read in conjunction with the relevant application and Registrar handbooks and Staff training manuals.

2.3 This policy replaces the previous Recognition of Prior Learning Policy and will come into effect on the start date of the first term of the Training Program or RVTS in 2023. For the avoidance of doubt, to the extent that there is any inconsistency between the previous policy and this policy, the terms of this policy apply.

3. General principles

3.1 The RACGP recognises that Registrars and GPs may have prior learning and/or experience that suitably meets some of the requirements of their Training Program, the RVTS or their Rural Generalist Fellowship training, therefore allowing them to safely reduce their Program Time.

3.2 The RACGP has a key objective to improve health outcomes for all Australians. Therefore, the RACGP will only approve an RPLE application if the Registrar or GP demonstrates that their experience meets the appropriate standard relevant to the application.

3.3 The assessment of prior learning and experience is transparent and fair.

3.4 All RPLE outcomes are determined at the discretion of the relevant Censor.

4. Applying for RPL

4.1 The Registrar or GP must demonstrate that the training and experience in their RPLE application was in clinical practice.

4.2 The Registrar or GP must provide current, complete and verifiable information in their application.

    1. The RACGP will take reasonable steps to verify the information provided. Submission of plagiarised, false or misleading information will be handled as per the Academic Misconduct Policy.

4.3 The relevant Censor will determine the outcome of an RPLE application, and the outcome will remain valid for the duration of the Registrar’s Training Program, the RVTS or the GP’s Rural Generalist Fellowship training, whichever is applicable.

    1. The Registrar or GP can only submit an RPLE application once, and it cannot be amended, augmented or revoked, once submitted.

4.4 The RACGP will advise the Registrar or GP of the outcome of the RPLE application within eight calendar weeks after receipt of the complete application, unless the RACGP advises otherwise.

5. RPLE for AGPT Registrars

5.1 An AGPT Registrar may apply for recognition of:

    1. a minimum of 12 calendar weeks Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) and a maximum of 52 calendar weeks FTE of clinical Hospital Rotations completed after Postgraduate Year 1 (PGY2+), of which a maximum of 26 calendar weeks FTE can be in any one discipline,
    2. a maximum of 26 calendar weeks FTE of Extended Skills Training, where the Registrar can clearly demonstrate that they undertook training that extended both the depth and breadth of their skills in an area relevant to general practice, or
    3. a maximum of 52 calendar weeks FTE of a combination of Hospital Rotations and Extended Skills Training that adheres to the parameters of clauses 5.1.i and 5.1.ii of this policy.

5.2 To be eligible to apply for RPLE, the Registrar must have satisfactorily completed a minimum of two FTE years, in total, of clinical hospital training in an Accredited Australian or New Zealand Hospital by the start date of their Core Vocational Training.

5.3 In addition to clause 4.1 of this policy, the Registrar must also demonstrate that the clinical hospital experience in their RPLE application:

    1. was relevant to Comprehensive Australian General Practice, and
    2. included relevant educational activities and formative assessment processes.

5.4 The RACGP will only consider clinical hospital experience gained after the date the Registrar was granted general registration.

    1. The relevant censor has discretion to consider clinical hospital experience gained before general registration was granted, if the RACGP deems the Registrar to have extensive and diverse clinical hospital experience.

5.5 Only clinical hospital posts undertaken in the 10 calendar years prior to the start date of the Registrar’s Core Vocational Training will be assessed.

    1. Registrars applying to have hospital posts recognised that were undertaken more than five calendar years prior to the start of GPT1 must provide additional evidence to demonstrate that they have maintained the knowledge and skills acquired during the post.

5.6 The Registrar must submit a complete RPLE application to the RACGP by the end of their first general practice training term (GPT1).

5.7 Where the Censor does not approve the full 52 calendar weeks of the Registrar’s RPLE application for the hospital training term of the AGPT program, the Registrar can make up the remaining time of the hospital training term at any stage during the program.

5.8 Up to 12 calendar weeks can be undertaken in comprehensive general practice to meet the outstanding requirement, at the Censor’s discretion.

6. RPLE for RVTS Registrars

6.1 An RVTS Registrar may apply for recognition of a maximum of 52 weeks FTE, which may comprise of:

    1. a minimum of 12 weeks FTE and a maximum of 52 weeks FTE of Hospital Rotations completed after Postgraduate Year 1 (PGY2+), of which a maximum of 26 calendar weeks FTE can be in any one discipline,
    2. up to 26 weeks FTE of prior general practice experience, or
    3. up to a maximum of 52 weeks FTE of a combination of Hospital Rotations and general practice experience that adheres to the parameters of clauses 6.1.i and 6.1.ii of this policy.

6.2 To be eligible to apply for RPLE for hospital experience, the Registrar must have worked in an Accredited Australian or New Zealand Hospital after the date of their general registration by the Registrar’s Commencement of Training.

    1. The RACGP will only consider clinical hospital experience gained after the date the Registrar was granted general registration.
    2. The relevant censor has discretion to consider hospital clinical experience gained before general registration was granted, if the RACGP deems the Registrar to have extensive and diverse clinical experience.

6.3 To be eligible to apply for RPLE for general practice experience, the Registrar must have worked in a general practice accredited against the RACGP Standards for general practice (5th edition), with appropriate supervision.

6.4 In addition to clause 4.1 of this policy, the Registrar must demonstrate that the training and experience in their RPLE application:

    1. was relevant to Comprehensive Australian General Practice, and
    2. included relevant educational activities and formative assessment processes.

6.5 Only experience undertaken in the 10 calendar years prior to the Registrar’s Commencement of Training will be assessed.

    1. Registrars applying to have experience recognised that was undertaken more than five calendar years prior to the application for RPLE must provide additional evidence to demonstrate that they have maintained the knowledge and skills acquired during the period.

6.6 The Registrar must submit a complete RPLE application to the RACGP by the end of their first six months of the RVTS.

7. RPLE for FSP Registrars

7.1 An FSP Registrar may apply for recognition of one 26-calendar week term to reduce their Program Time.

7.2 To be eligible for RPLE, the RACGP must assess the Registrar as:

    1. having two years FTE of Comprehensive Australian General Practice experience within the last four calendar years, assessed as per the Assessment of General Practice Experience Policy, and
    2. being at ‘expected standard’ within the Registrar’s six-month FSP Training Program progress report.

7.3 In addition to clause 4.1 of this policy, the Registrar must demonstrate that the training and experience in their RPLE application was relevant to Comprehensive Australian General Practice.

    1. The Registrar should demonstrate, where possible, that they undertook educational activities and formative assessment processes.

7.4 The Registrar must submit an RPLE application to the RACGP within 13 calendar weeks of the start date of the Registrar’s first term in the FSP.

8. RPLE for Rural Generalist Fellowship

8.1 The Registrar or GP training towards Rural Generalist Fellowship may apply for recognition of a maximum of 52 weeks FTE for the ARST component.

    1. The Registrar or GP must demonstrate that the training and experience in their RPLE application was relevant to the clinical discipline of the ARST,
    2. The Registrar or GP must demonstrate that recency of practice has been maintained and;
    3. The relevant training and experience was completed within the last 5 calendar years.

8.2 The Registrar or GP may also apply for RPLE to contribute towards the achievement of the following Rural Generalist Fellowship requirements with appropriate evidence, without a reduction of Program Time:

    1. 52 weeks FTE of rural general practice experience in a Modified Monash Model (MMM) 3–7 location within the last five calendar years,
    2. Core Emergency Medicine Training, including an advanced level emergency course.
      1. The Registrar or GP must have completed the course within the last 5 calendar years and;
      2. The Registrar or GP must demonstrate that recency of practice has been maintained.
    3. a community project (as a requirement of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health ARST post and, potentially, individualised ARST posts). 

8.3 Registrars or GP’s applying to have experience recognised that was undertaken more than five calendar years prior to the application for RPLE must provide additional evidence to demonstrate that they have maintained the knowledge and skills acquired during the period, including relevant CPD requirements.

8.4 The RACGP will advise the Registrar or GP of the outcome of the RPLE application within eight calendar weeks after the receipt of a complete application, unless the RACGP advises otherwise.

9. 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.

10. Responsibilities

10.1 Censor
  1. Assessing RPLE applications

10.2 Censor-in-Chief

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

10.3 RACGP Board

  1. Approving Major Amendments

10.4 RACGP Staff

  1. Assessing and submitting RPLE applications to the relevant Censor

10.5 Registrar or GP

  1. Submitting a complete RPLE application to the RACGP with the correct documentation relevant to their Training Program


11. Glossary

11.1 Accredited Australian or New Zealand Hospital

Either:

  1. An Australian hospital accredited by a postgraduate medical council against the Australian Medical Council requirements or
  2. A New Zealand hospital accredited by a postgraduate medical council against the Medical Council of New Zealand requirements.

11.2 Additional Rural Skills Training (ARST)

52 calendar weeks (FTE) in an accredited training post that provides the appropriate depth and breadth of experience necessary to meet the requirements of the particular ARST curriculum.

11.3 Commencement of Training

The first day on which the Registrar begins their RACGP-Approved Program.

11.4 Comprehensive Australian General Practice

As defined in the Comprehensive Australian general practice guide.

11.5 Consequential Amendment

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

11.6 Core Emergency Medical Training

An essential component of the Rural Generalist Fellowship that is designed to strengthen general practice training by providing Registrars with the skills and confidence to manage emergency situations in rural and remote environments.

11.7 Core Vocational Training

General practice term (GPT) 1, GPT2, GPT3 and Extended Skills Training Term of the AGPT Program.

11.8 Current Outcome

As defined in Assessment of General Practice Experience Policy.

11.9 Extended Skills Training

A 26-calendar week (FTE) term undertaken to extend the depth and breadth of the Registrar’s skill base in an area relevant to general practice.

11.10 Full-Time Equivalent (FTE)

The RACGP determines FTE to mean 38 hours per week and includes all practice time, education, and Training Program activities – the composition of which will vary depending upon the Registrar’s stage of training.

11.11 GPT

General practice training terms on the AGPT Program:

  1. GPT1
  2. GPT2
  3. GPT3

11.12 Hospital Rotations

The time medical practitioners spend working in different medical disciplines within the jurisdiction of an accredited Australian or New Zealand hospital.

11.13 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).

11.14 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. 

11.15 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).

11.16 Modified Monash Model

The Modified Monash Model (2019) (MMM) is a classification system that categorises metropolitan, regional, rural and remote areas according to both geographical remoteness and town size. 

The MMM classification for any given area can be found by using the locator tool on the DoctorConnect website

11.17 Program Team

The Registrars Medical Educator and Training Coordinator.

11.18 Program Time

The length of time required to complete an RACGP-Approved Program.

11.19 RACGP Staff

Anyone who is an employee or contractor of the RACGP.

11.20 Regional Team

The team that manages a training region, providing local support with specialised resources and expertise. Activities of the Regional Team include training site accreditation, larger group educational workshops requiring special resourcing, oversight of key stakeholder support and engagement, and regional advocacy

11.21 Registrar

A medical practitioner enrolled in the:

  1. Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) Program,
  2. Remote Vocational Training Scheme (RVTS), or
  3. Fellowship Support Program (FSP).

11.22 Rural Generalist Fellowship

Admittance to Fellowship of the RACGP – Rural Generalist.

11.23 Training Program

Either the:

  1. Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) Program, or
  2. Fellowship Support Program (FSP).


12. Related documents


13. 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.

Version history

Version

Date of effect

Amended by

6

31 October 2023

Education Policy and Guidance Lead

Amendment details

  • Update to clause 7.4 relating to the timelines for RPLE applications for FSP.
  • Addition of clause 8.4 relating to the timelines for RPLE applications for Rural Generalists.
  • General update to links throughout.

5

06 June 2023

Education Policy and Guidance Coordinator

Amendment details

  • Updates to links and titles of links and in 11.4, 11.15, and 12

4

13 March 2023

Education Policy and Guidance Lead

Amendment details

  • Amendment to clause 5.5.i relating to the evidence required for hospital posts completed more than 5 years prior to the start of GPT1.

3

The start date of the first term of the Training Program in 2023

Education Policy and Guidance Lead

Amendment details

  • Clarification to clause 5.6 to clarify complete RPLE applications must be submitted by the end of the first general practice training term (GPT1)

2

The start date of the first term of the Training Program in 2023

Education Policy and Guidance Lead

Amendment details

  • Amendment to clause 8 RPLE for Rural Generalist Fellowship to clarify recency requirements and additional evidence that may be required.
  • Definition of Registrar has been updated to include a medical practitioner enrolled in the Fellowship Support Program (FSP)
  • Defintion of Accredited Hospital has been included as previously it was undefined
  • Links have been updated throughout where documents have become avaliable

1

The start date of the first term of the Training Program in 2023

Education Policy and Guidance Lead

Amendment details

  • Aligned the RPLE available for RVTS and AGPT Registrars
  • Included Rural Generalist Fellowship RPLE allowances
  • Included timeframes for application submissions and responses
  • Included FSP RPLE allowances

Policy owner:

RACGP Board

Approved by:

RACGP Board

Approved on:

07/03/2023

Next review due:

06/2025

   


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