A GP re-entering practice in Australia must adhere to the Board’s ‘Recency of practice’, ‘Continuing professional development’ (CPD) and ‘Professional indemnity insurance’ standards.
To meet the ‘Recency of practice’ standard, a GP must practise within their scope of practice for a minimum total of:
- four weeks full-time equivalent (152 hours) in one registration period; or
- 12 weeks full-time equivalent (456 hours) over three consecutive registration periods.
‘Full-time equivalent’ equates to 38 hours per week and is the maximum number of hours that may be counted in a week.
A GP who has been practising in a jurisdiction outside Australia will meet the ‘Recency of practice’ standard provided they:
- have not been absent from practice for a year or more
- are not intending to change their scope of practice.
With respect to the CPD standard, a GP with specialist registration must meet the RACGP’s CPD requirements.
In addition, the GP must be able to demonstrate that they are a ‘fit person for practice’; that is, that they do not have an impairment, a criminal history or a professional disciplinary history that may impact upon their practice or has relevance to their ability to practise. The GP must also have the necessary professional indemnity insurance in place for when they commence practice.
When a GP has been absent from practice and not registered, or registered as non-practising, for more than one year and is applying for registration, the Board will consider:
- registration and practice history
- when the practitioner last practised and the period of absence
- the number of years of experience prior to leaving practice
- activities related to the practice of medicine undertaken since they last practised (this includes CPD, education or professional contact)
- intended scope of practice, including the proposed role and position.
For a GP with two or more years of clinical experience and now returning to practice, the Board has additional requirements based on whether they have practised or not during the period of absence:
- If they have not practised for up to and including 12 months
- no additional requirements before re-entering.
- If they have not practised for between 12 months and up to and including 36 months
- at a minimum, the equivalent of one year’s CPD activities relevant to the GP’s intended scope of practice, before re-entering practice. These activities must have been with respect to maintaining and updating knowledge and clinical skills.
- If they have not practised for more than 36 months
- a plan for professional development and re-entry to practice must be provided to the Board for consideration and approval. The GP will have to work under supervision for a designated period of time (as determined by the Board). Consequently, a supervisor (who has agreed to undertake the supervisory and support role and report to the Board) must be nominated.
A GP with less than two years of clinical experience now returning to practice is required to work under supervision in a training position approved by the Board.