The RACGP accreditation process
Accreditation aims to ensure that the standard of general practice training is uniformly high throughout Australia with appropriate role models, experience, supervision, teaching and access to suitable facilities and resources. The principles underlying the accreditation of training sites and supervisors are:
- providing a safe environment for the registrar and the patient
- providing quality training suitable for the registrar’s training needs
- ensuring supervision is matched to the training needs and competence of registrar.
Training site accreditation is initially granted as provisional for six months to enable additional support to be given to the practice.
Progression to full accreditation for a three-year accreditation cycle is anticipated after six months of successful registrar placements.
Applicants should complete a self-assessment against the eligibility criteria to determine if they can meet the Standards and what improvements may need to be made before applying.
Expression of interest
Initial application to the RACGP is via an expression of interest. You will then be sent a unique link to an online application form. If you wish to be dually accredited by both the RACGP and ACCRRM, you only need to make one application, through either college’s website. We will seek permission to share information between the colleges.
Where possible, we’ll use information that has been provided for general practice accreditation, and the application form will be pre-populated with this information. Some extra evidence may be required, for example, a CV for each supervisor applying.
Additional sites or branch practices
If a practice has additional sites or branch practices, consider which of the following categories is relevant, as this information is required in the application:
- Branch practices – The training sites are directly related (eg a main practice and branch or multiple sites of the same facility). Sites use the same systems, share medical software, and staff often work across sites. All sites will be managed as a single accredited facility. A registrar may work at any of the branch practices, providing supervision is adequate and the registrar agrees.
- Group practices – The practices are linked organisationally but function independently within a network (eg corporate practices or a group of facilities that share administration but operate autonomously). These sites will be treated as different training sites, and each requires its own separate accreditation. In your application, please describe the facility management and ownership structure of the facility, and any impact on registrars.
- Co-operative arrangement – A training site enters into an arrangement with another training site, whereby the registrar will work in both sites concurrently (eg academic posts, university clinical practice, a registrar who is working in a small hospital and a private practice or working concurrently in two private practices that are not affiliated). In this situation the training sites will work with the registrar to achieve agreement on overall supervision arrangements, distribution of the teaching load, and strategies for fatigue leave and patient safety, especially if the registrar is required to perform on-call duties.
Reasons for applying for accreditation
It is important to consider why the practice staff, as a collective, wants to have a registrar at the practice and that the reasons are clearly articulated in the application.
The supervisory team and training site should all share responsibility for the registrar’s training in a supportive, collegial way to ensure a positive training experience.
After hours and on-call arrangements
Training sites will be asked to provide their opening hours and the hours that the primary and secondary supervisors are physically at the training site to ensure appropriate availability of supervision. Supervisors are required to match the level of supervision to the registrar’s competence and the context of the training situation.
In rural locations, if the registrar is required to participate in the emergency on-call roster or as a VMO, you will need to consider how the registrar will be supervised during these times or how they can access support.
Additional or advanced skills
If the supervisor applicants have additional recognised skills or conduct procedures in a discipline in which registrars can obtain further clinical or educational opportunities, these may be listed in the application to be endorsed. Supporting documents will be required and the discipline should be included in the relevant supervisor’s CV.
New supervisor application
In most cases, a training site will apply for accreditation concurrently with one or more of its GPs applying to become accredited supervisors. However, sometimes a supervisor may apply for direct accreditation, such as when:
- a supervisor moves to an already-accredited site and wishing to join the supervisory team
- a supervisor wishes to become a remote supervisor.
If the applicant is already accredited and is applying to add or change a location, information previously provided doesn’t need to be resubmitted. New applications can be made through the training management system.
Review of application and site visit
The application will be reviewed by the regional accreditation coordinator, who will liaise with the practice if further information or clarification is required.
The accreditation coordinator may also arrange a site visit (if needed).
The local medical educator will conduct an interview with the prospective supervisor(s) to ensure all aspects of the supervisor role are discussed and understood.
The reaccreditation process is informed by ongoing monitoring of practices and supervisors. We monitor adherence to accreditation standards through the many points of contact with the site and supervisor, including:
- informal liaison
- professional development activities
- registrar feedback
- supervisor feedback
- external clinical teaching visits
- the registrar placement process.
We also consider any critical incidents relating to the performance of training sites and supervisors and relevant information shared by practice accreditation agencies (with the practice's consent).
We encourage you to view reaccreditation as an opportunity to review your practice's learning environment and plan future enhancements, and to verify that all components of supervision requirements continue to be met.
Reconsiderations and Appeals
If you’re not satisfied with a decision about your accreditation status, you can apply for reconsideration through the reconsiderations and appeals process.
Applications for reconsideration should be submitted to the National Accreditation Unit using the accreditation decision reconsideration request form.
If you’re still not satisfied with the reconsideration decision, you can apply to the RACGP to appeal the decision.