Fellowship Support Program Registrar handbook

Fellowship exams


      1. Candidacy


Candidacy is a three-year period, separate from your training program time, in which you can attempt Fellowship exams. Your candidacy starts in the first semester after 2019 in which you enrol in and sit a Fellowship exam.

An exam semester is a period of time during which all three Fellowship exams are delivered.

Your candidacy is made up of six exam semesters and not by the number of times you sit an exam. During your candidacy you may enrol in exams over a maximum of six exam semesters. This means you have six exam semesters to attempt and pass all Fellowship exams. You don’t have six attempts at each Fellowship exam. Exam passes obtained from the 2019.1 semester onwards remain valid until the end of your candidacy. Keep in mind it's a prerequisite to pass both the AKT and KFP before sitting the CCE. You can, however, enrol in the CCE with a pending AKT and/or KFP result.

Candidacy commences when you enrol and sit your first exam. Once your candidacy starts, each subsequent exam semester counts towards your candidacy. If you don’t sit an exam in a particular exam semester, your candidacy will not be extended unless you are granted a suspension of candidacy.

If you've commenced your candidacy period (attempted or passed any exam/s), the RACGP will suspend your candidacy upon entry to the FSP (the start of your first term). Upon satisfactory completion of the FSP, your candidacy will recommence, and you should resume sitting exams as soon as your educational term ends. We'll confirm you have satisfactorily completed the FSP via email, six weeks after your final term end-date. If you don't already hold a valid GPE assessment, you should apply for one as soon as you have met the requirements. You don't have to wait until completing the FSP to apply for a GPE assessment.

If you don't feel ready to commence your exams immediately in the post-education phase, you may apply for a suspension of candidacy, which if approved, will extend your candidacy beyond three years. Keep in mind though, you are expected to complete all components of the FSP within 5 calendar years. Refer to Suspension of candidacy in this handbook.

If you reach the end of your candidacy and have not passed all Fellowship exams, you'll be ineligible for Fellowship and withdrawn from the FSP.


We recommend you apply for your GPE assessment in the final term of the educational component of the FSP.

The exams you pass from the 2019.1 semester onward are valid for the duration of your candidacy, including any periods of extension. See the Fellowship exams policy for more information.

An example of how the candidacy period works.

If the first Fellowship exam you attempt is the 2023.2 KFP, your candidacy commences in the 2023.2 exam semester and expires at the end of the 2026.1 exam semester if no suspensions are applied.

If you decide not to enrol in any Fellowship exams in the 2024.1 exam semester, the semester still counts towards your candidacy (because candidacy is made up of semesters in which you’re eligible to enrol and sit, not exam attempts). Your candidacy will still expire in 2026.1.

Suspension of candidacy

A suspension of candidacy is a period in which you’re not required nor permitted to attempt Fellowship exams.

There are two types of suspension, standard and non-standard.


You'll find details of your candidacy in the My candidacy portal. You'll get access to this portal when you enrol in your first exam.

Standard suspension

You’re eligible for one standard suspension during your candidacy. This suspension may be undertaken at any time during your candidacy.

You may use your standard suspension because of:

  • financial reasons
  • personal reasons
  • unsuccessful exam attempts (so you can dedicate time to improving your exam technique or knowledge).

You can apply for a standard suspension through My candidacy portal and you don’t need to submit supporting documentation. If you need to apply for a standard suspension retrospectively, send an email to examinations@racgp.org.au.

A standard suspension applies to the entire exam semester and not to any one exam type; therefore, if you have sat any exam in the semester, a suspension can’t be applied.

Non-standard suspension

We recognise that extenuating and unforeseen circumstances may affect your ability to complete Fellowship exams within your candidacy and you may need to apply for a non-standard suspension.

In an application for non-standard suspension, we will consider the following reasons:

  • ill health (other than minor illnesses)
  • carer’s leave
  • bereavement
  • acute adverse life circumstances
  • hospitalisation
  • Australian Defence Force deployment leave
  • other significant changes to your circumstances.

All applications for non-standard suspension of candidacy must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. We may ask for additional supporting documentation if insufficient evidence is submitted with your application.

Making an application doesn’t mean it will automatically be approved. Non-standard suspensions will be granted on a case-by-case basis and approval is at the discretion of the RACGP.

If you believe you need extra time off from sitting exams because of your circumstances and you wish to apply for a non-standard suspension of candidacy, send an email to examinations@racgp.org.au.

Financial membership

You must maintain current financial RACGP membership throughout your candidacy until you are admitted to Fellowship or exhaust your candidacy.