FSP Training Site and Supervisor Handbook

For practices

Your role in hosting a registrar

Last revised: 04 Aug 2023

Your role in hosting a registrar

The role of a practice manager

As a practice manager, you’re a valuable support for your registrar and supervisor, helping to ensure that training goes smoothly. You’ll often be the first person the registrar will contact for assistance with a range of queries.

You can support your registrar by:

  • providing an orientation to the practice (if they are new to that location)
  • providing information on the practice and practice systems
  • helping them understand the Medicare Benefits Schedule
  • managing their rostering
  • helping them improve their technology skills
  • giving advice on administrative tasks
  • sharing knowledge of local services
  • helping to resolve issues and problems that may arise
  • advising them on interpersonal skills, such as dealing with confrontation and conflict resolution
  • being aware of when they have allocated teaching time with their supervisor, what their training and study requirements are and when they are scheduled to sit an exam.

You also have an important role in providing feedback. You’ll receive feedback about the registrar from their patients and other practice staff and practitioners. This feedback is valuable in helping the registrar develop their skills, but it does need to be given sensitively.

At the beginning of the training term, discuss the process for two-way feedback with the registrar and their supervisor. You can also assist with aligning expectations from both the employment and training perspectives.

If you’re new to being the practice manager of an accredited training practice, the national RACGP program team will give you an orientation and provide ongoing support.

The role of the supervisory team

Supervisors are integral to the apprenticeship model of general practice training. As a supervisor and an experienced GP, you’re a professional role model for your registrar, helping to lay the foundation for lifelong learning, professionalism, and high-quality patient care. You’ll provide advice and support, one-on-one teaching, supervision, feedback, and assessment.

The supervisory team usually consists of a primary and secondary supervisor(s) who share supervision of a registrar. Other members of the practice team who may also help registrars learn clinical skills and improve their local knowledge, and support them professionally, include:

  • other health practitioners
  • cultural educators and mentors
  • practice administrative staff.

General practices require enough accredited supervisors to ensure that there is always a supervisor (primary or secondary) available for escalation of issues requiring supervisor advice or support. The level of supervision is matched to the competence of the registrar. We recommend that a primary supervisor should have no more than two GPT1 registrars at a time and supervise no more than three registrars in total across multiple training programs.

In some situations, an offsite supervisor might be approved. If the registrar is unable to receive onsite supervision, they will need to find an offsite supervisor who will be required to submit a supervision plan at the time of the application for entry into the FSP. The approval of the offsite supervision is at the RACGP’s discretion.

You’ll find more detailed information about the role of supervisors in For supervisors.

The role of other practice staff

Practice staff play an important role in ensuring the success of a registrar’s placement. Whether you’re a receptionist, practice nurse or allied health practitioner, you have experience that can benefit the registrar and help them learn about the essential features of general practice. You can help with:

  • orientation
  • explaining practice processes
  • sharing local knowledge
  • sharing your particular expert knowledge (e.g. immunisation schedules).

You may be asked to contribute to a registrar’s supervision within your scope of practice. The primary supervisor will oversee your participation in supervision and document it in the supervision and teaching plan. 

In Aboriginal Medical Services, a cultural mentor should be engaged to guide, teach and support the registrar.