Six steps in a re-entry plan

Completing a re-entry plan

There are six steps to completing a re-entry plan: learning needs analysis, goals, professional development for next 12 months, orientation to the workplace, supervision, monitor and review.

GPs are required to supply a professional development plan for re-entry to general practice, and Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) registration.

Registration approval is normally based on the re-entry plan. Adhering to the plan is a condition of registration, so it is important that it is realistic and achievable. The plan should include specific detail, such as short, medium and long term goals. It doesn’t have to include all the information, knowledge and skills initially. However, it is important that the plan provides AHPRA with a clear understanding of the GP’s re-entry learning needs and how they will be addressed.

There is a template plan on the AHPRA website.

Completing a professional development plan

The plan includes:

  1. A learning needs analysis

This should identify knowledge gaps and specific skills that need updating as a result of absence from general practice.

Examples of areas in which learning needs may be self-identified are:

  • understanding of industry changes
  • prescribing methods and medications
  • treatment protocols
  • patient care and safety
  • areas of specific interest.
  1. Goals

These relate to the identified learning needs and include:

  • what the GP needs to achieve
  • expected outcomes.
  • timeframes for achievement.
  1. Professional development activities for the next 12 months

These are the activities the GP will undertake to meet the identified learning needs.
Specific courses/activities for completion should be detailed, including the dates.

  1. Orientation to the workplace

Orientation is specific to each GP’s role and the practice, and should include relevant protocols and processes such as:

  • vaccination protocols
  • billing standards
  • note taking
  • patient Handover
  • management of drugs
  • near misses /OHS
  • consultation techniques.
  1. Supervision

Supervision of GPs re-entering practice can include:

  • sitting in with supervisor and patients
  • supervisor sitting in with re-entry doctor and patients
  • discussion with the supervisor about the management of all patients
  • frequent review of the management of all patients
  • reporting to the supervisor about the management of individual patients
  • review of all difficult cases
  • review of all clinical notes at the end of each day or randomly.

At least one supervisor will be onsite when a re-entry doctor is practising. If the supervising doctor is not onsite, they will be available by phone.

The supervising GP will:

  • manage the number of patients seen each week
  • manage the number of patients booked each week
  • monitor and review the re-entering GP’s plan to ensure it is on track and the goals are being met.

Supervision should be directed towards self-managements, (start as high level supervision for a set period and taper over 12 months.)

An alternative form of supervision is a period of observation. This can start at any time and can be included in either completed education or upcoming education before registration.

Observation must be logged as the number of hours observed per week, over a given time period.

  1. Monitor and review

Linked learning requires timelines, clinical development, and supervision with a review process to ensure the re-entry plan is on track and being met.