About the PEP

About the Practice Experience Program – Standard Stream

The RACGP’s Practice Experience Program (PEP) is a self-directed education program designed to support non-vocationally registered (non-VR) doctors on their journey to RACGP Fellowship. The Non-Vocationally Registered Fellowship Support Program (FSP) is funded by the Australian Government’s (Department of Health) Stronger Rural Health Strategy.

From January 2022 onwards, it will be compulsory for all doctors to complete an RACGP approved program in order to be eligible to sit the RACGP exams.

Extraordinary exception: GPE Pathway candidates affected by the 2020.2 AKT and KFP cancellations* will have a six month extension, and will not be required to complete an RACGP-approved program before continuing to sit the Fellowship exams until 1 July 2022 (2022.2 semester).

For further information, please contact educationpolicy@racgp.org.au

*affected candidates are those who had a valid enrolment in the 2020.2 AKT and/or KFP as of 9am AEDT Friday 9 October 2020.

The structure of the program

The PEP consists of terms which are six-months in duration, and we recommend completion of a minimum of five online learning units per term. Participants are allocated terms according to the time they begin the PEP.

Because participants are working in practice, the unit activities are largely practice-based. This has the dual benefit of enabling participants to put new knowledge and skills into practice while spreading the workload between the workplace and home.

Once allocated a place in the program, applicants will be assigned to an appropriate training organisation. This will be based on the applicant's practice location and the training organisation’s capacity. There will be a pre-determined number of places available with each training organisation. Please note the program is designed for doctors working – or with a job offer – in MMM2 to MMM7 areas. For more information, read our FAQs.

A1 Medicare rebates

  • With access to a PEP provider number and full A1 Medicare rebates, you can experience the same benefits as a specialist GP while participating in the PEP.

Personalised program

  • You have a wealth of medical knowledge, so you can choose from the extensive online range of topics and focus your studies on areas you’d like to develop.

Support network

Professional confidence

  • With ongoing support from mentors and online learning units to expand your skills in Australian general practice, the PEP supports your professional development as you work towards Fellowship.

Best practice

  • Regional, rural and remote Australia needs doctors like you. The PEP empowers you to provide the highest quality of care where it’s needed most.

Prior to October 2020 (2020.4), the program duration ranged from two to five six-month terms (ie. 12-30 months).

Those who commence the PEP in October 2020 or January 2021, will be allocated three terms (18 months) in the program.

Subsequent to this, participants who commence the PEP in April 2021 or July 2021 will be allocated two terms (12 months).

With ongoing support from mentors and online learning units to expand your skills in Australian general practice, the PEP supports your professional development while you prepare for the RACGP Fellowship exams.

Step 1

Apply for the PEP

To find out if you’re eligible to apply for the PEP, please refer to eligibility criteria.

 For application dates, please refer to the 'Key dates' dropdown below .

Step 2

Enrol in the PEP Entry Assessment

After applying for the PEP, eligible candidates will be advised via email about how to enrol in and pay for the Practice Experience Program Entry Assessment (PEPEA).

This assessment tests situational knowledge and applied knowledge and passing it is a prerequisite for entering the program. The PEPEA cost is $725 and it is currently delivered remotely.

You may be exempt from sitting the PEPEA once you have been deemed eligible for the PEP. For details, see the FAQs.

Please be aware that the outcome of the PEPEA is valid for 12 calendar months following the date of results release.

Step 3

Accept your offer

Once all your eligibility is confirmed and you have passed the PEPEA and you have passed the PEPEA, you will be offered a place to start on the PEP in the next cohort.

Places are limited. We cannot guarantee that every applicant will be accepted.

Step 4

Take part in PEP

Once enrolled in the program, you will have access to the range of benefits available to the PEP participants, including mentorship and the ability to apply for a PEP provider number, which will unlock full A1 Medicare rebates.

You will also be asked to undertake the Initial Core Skills Analysis (ICSA) in your first term and last term on the PEP. Data from this analysis will assist in viewing participant progression and development from commencement to completion on the PEP.

Step 5

General Practice Experience (GPE) assessment

In your final term of the PEP, you may be starting to think about your future enrolment in the RACGP Fellowship exams.

Prior to enrolling in any examination, participants must have completed a General Practice Experience (GPE) assessment.

GPE assessments can take up to 10 weeks to assess, from the date of receiving a complete application. If you do not have a GPE assessment outcome by the close of enrolments for the relevant exam period, you will be unable to enrol in the exam.

For more information see the ‘Applying for a General Practice Experience Assessment’ guidance document.

Step 6

Sit the exams

Upon completion of the PEP, participants will be required to pass the RACGP Fellowship exams to be eligible for Fellowship.

There are three Fellowship exams:

  • Applied Knowledge Test (AKT)
  • Key Feature Problem (KFP)
  • Clinical Examination, which depending on the time of sitting, is the Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE), Remote Clinical Exam (RCE) or Clinical Competency Exam (CCE).

Step 7

Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (FRACGP)

The attainment of the FRACGP signifies that a GP has been assessed as competent across the core skills of general practice enabling him or her to practice safely, unsupervised, anywhere in Australia.

In short, the FRACGP denotes safe, specialised, high-quality general practice care.

Under the Department of Health’s Stronger Rural Health Strategy, the PEP is co-funded by the Commonwealth Government which reduces the cost of the program for eligible participants. 

If you are not eligible for funding under the PEP program, you will be required to pay the full-fee. 

Participant fees for 2020:

PEP Standard Stream


PEP Entry Assessment (PEPEA) $725.00
Co-funded Term Fee (6 months) $2,000.00
RACGP Membership fee (Registrar) $465.00

It’s worth noting that PEP fees do not cover the costs of the RACGP Fellowship Exams – this is a separate fee that needs to be paid by anyone who chooses the sit the exams. See the RACGP fees and exam dates for more specific information.

For more information related to program costs, please see program fees.

PEP Application dates

PEPEA dates

Program commencement*

29 June – 16 July 2020
3 August – 13 August 2020

Friday 18 September 2020

January 2021 – PEP 2021.1

5 October – 29 October 2020* Wednesday 20 January 2021 April 2021 – PEP 2021.2

11 January – 29 January 2021*

Wednesday 21 April 2021

July 2021 – PEP 2021.3

PEPEA dates are subject to change at the discretion of the RACGP.

You may sit the PEPEA and commence the PEP at a later date. For example, you may sit the PEPEA on Friday 18 September 2020 and commence the PEP in January 2021 or April 2021, however, you will need to reapply to get your eligibility assessed to start at a later date.

*Please note dates are subject to change.

Further information

Should you have further questions, please: