Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

FAQ’s are updated frequently

The following FAQs refer to the Practice Experience Program Specialist Stream and are updated regularly.

The Practice Experience Program Specialist Stream is for Specialist International Medical Graduates (SIMGs) wishing to qualify for specialist registration in Australia. It is a 3GA workforce program that allows doctors to access Medicare benefits whilst working towards Fellowship.

All SIMGs must complete a comparability assessment to determine their eligibility to apply for the program.

The RACGP is removing the up-front award of Fellowship ad eundem gradum (FAEG). This will facilitate a comprehensive and responsive assessment of overseas-trained health practitioners and ensure a uniform approach to the assessment process. The change comes in direct response to the Medical Board of Australia’s (MBA) good practice guidelines.

SIMGs will no longer be granted immediate recognition as a specialist and are required to work in Australia to demonstrate that they are at the same standard as an Australian-trained specialist at the point of Fellowship. Eligible SIMGs will now apply for limited registration with the MBA whilst working towards Fellowship and will be required to undertake a period of up to 24 months full time equivalent (FTE) practice under peer review determined by the comparability outcome. Under the new program, SIMGs will be issued a provider number through the RACGP to enable access to the full Medicare rebate. Upon completion of all Fellowship requirements, SIMGs will be awarded FRACGP.

  1. Completion of the RACGP core modules and units including a self-reflective activity.
  2. Successful completion of a workplace-based peer review.
  3. Supervisor reports at required intervals.

Specialist registration will be granted when all Fellowship requirements have been met. Doctors on the PEP Specialist Stream must apply for provisional or limited registration with the Medical Board of Australia.

For more information visit the Medical Board of Australia.

The time taken to complete Fellowship requirements is determined by your comparability outcome. You must be categorised as partially or substantially comparable to be eligible for the PEP Specialist Stream. Your time starts from the day you commence employment in Australia.

If your comparability outcome is:

  • Substantially comparable: you will be required to achieve FRACGP within 12 calendar months if working full time.
  • Partially comparable: you will be required to achieve FRACGP within 24 calendar months if working full time. This includes successful completion of the RACGP Fellowship examinations.

If you choose to work part time, it will take longer to complete your Fellowship requirements.

The RACGP will issue provider numbers to eligible SIMGs. SIMGs will need to have their job offer approved by the RACGP and be granted registration by the MBA before they can apply for a provider number. Provider number applications can take up twelve weeks to process and are only granted for the approved practice. If an applicant changes practices, they will need to reapply and have their new practice approved.

For more information on the requirements to be able to access an RACGP Fellowship Program Provider Number you can refer to the General Practice Fellowship Program Placement Guidelines – Third edition.

The PEP Specialist Stream is an Australian Government approved 3GA program designed to provide medical services to those communities in most need. From 1 July 2019, the Australian government requires international Medical Graduates with an overseas specialist qualification to work in a Distribution Priority Area (DPA) to access Medicate rebates under section 19AB of Australia’s Health Insurance Act 1973.

Provider numbers will only be issued to SIMGs whose job offer: 

  • meets the RACGP definition of comprehensive general practice;
  • is located in a Modified Monash Model (MMM) 2-7 location. You can check the MMM classification of a location on the doctorconnect website

If your job offer is not approved, you may submit another job offer that meets the requirements.

The 19AB class exemptions are managed by the Department of Health (DoH), not the RACGP. The RACGP can issue a provider number on its 3GA program but if the SIMG is seeking an alternative exemption to section 19AB they will need to apply directly to the DoH.

For more information email

Yes. The Health Workforce Certificate does not demonstrate that a job meets the RACGP definition of comprehensive general practice.

The workplace-based assessment (WBA) must be completed between three and six months from commencing employment and provides a framework for evaluating a doctor’s performance and progress in those areas of practice best assessed in the context of the workplace. The aim is to support professional development and transition to Australian general practice. It also enables participants to receive feedback on their progress towards Fellowship. .

The WBA consists of the following components:

  1. Online core learning units and reflective activity.
  2. Colleague and patient feedback using a Colleague Feedback Evaluation Tool (CFET) and Doctors’ Interpersonal Skills Questionnaire (DISQ), collectively known as multisource feedback (MSF).
  3. A clinical assessment visit which will involve a medical educator observing you in practice during four consultations (direct observation) and a clinical case analysis. The clinical cases analysis involves the assessor selecting patients seen by you in the preceding week with oral questioning about aspects of the case. You will be provided with feedback on your performance.
  4. Supervisor reports are a requirement by the Medical Board of Australia and must be submitted to the RACGP at 3, 12 and 24 months.

All components of the WBA must be successfully completed between three and six months of commencing FTE work in Australia.

Substantially comparable SIMGs who do not satisfactorily complete all three areas of the WBA will be required to complete further assessment to demonstrate their eligibility for FRACGP. Doctors will receive constructive feedback about performance from a medical educator and will be notified about which WBA component(s) require a second review. If the WBA is not satisfactorily completed on the second attempt, or within the specified timeframe, the doctor will no longer be recognised as substantially comparable. The doctor will be recognised as partially comparable and will be required to complete the RACGP examinations.

Partially comparable doctors must complete the WBA within the specified timeframe. Feedback from the WBA is designed to provide guidance to support the doctor through successful completion of the RACGP examinations.

Prior to sitting exams, partially comparable doctors must: 

  • complete six months of FTE work in a comprehensive Australian general practice in their RACGP-approved job
  • satisfactorily complete the WBA. 


Applications for the Practice Experience Program Specialist Stream, opened on 1 September 2019

The RACGP ceased accepting comparability assessment applications for the Specialist Recognition Program from 31 August 2019. SIMGs wishing to apply for specialist recognition after this date, must now apply through the Practice Experience Program Specialist Stream.

Yes. If you are not already an RACGP member, you will be required to fill in the Membership application form for overseas registered medical practitioners and become a financial member of the College. The form can be found on the PEP Specialist Stream resources page.

All PEP Specialist Stream policies and guidance documents are available on the RACGP website.
For more information or questions, email

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