I am a PEP participant

Frequently asked questions

The ICSA assesses your level of competence and confidence against each of the core skills of general practice.

The ICSA involves a set of timed, online multiple choice questionnaires (MCQs) – though this is not intended to be an exam – which will help determine your level of clinical knowledge and confidence. There will be 150 questions, delivered in five timed blocks of 30 questions. You’ll also be asked to rate your level of confidence in each of your answers.

After completing the ICSA, your results will be recorded in the RACGP database.

You’ll be asked to undertake a second ICSA at the end of your PEP duration, and we’ll compare the results to understand your professional progression and development.

Your PEP duration is determined by one or more factor/s. These are:

  • information from a valid general practice experience (GPE) assessment (submitted at the time of your PEP application), OR
  • if a valid GPE assessment is not available, then GP experience is calculated using a CV (taking into consideration 3 years of recency) (submitted at the time of your PEP application), OR
  • if you are an ex-Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) registrar (noted at the time of your PEP application), OR
  • if your PEP Entry Assessment (PEPEA) band is P1 or P2, then an additional 6 months is added to the program length.

It is also determined by the Australian Government’s funding for the program.

No. It is not mandatory that you complete the PEP learning units. We recommend you complete the PEP Core Skills units in your first term; however, this is your choice.

You are required to attain 40 CPD points per year, and this can be achieved by completing a few of the PEP learning units

These assess your performance as a GP. PEP WBAs are conducted by different assessors at various times during your program.

Direct observation of patient consultations in your practice is a key part of the program.

Different assessment tools are used, each with a different focus.

Reflection on your own performance and your use of this to continually plan your learning is a key component of the WBA.

It’s important to note these assessments are not exams, but rather the methods and tools used to evaluate progress and educational needs. There is no pass or fail as a result of the PEP WBA, and there is no specific study or preparation required.

You’ll get the most out of this part of the program by actively participating in the process. Think about all the evidence being collected as being pixels in the ‘picture’ of your competence. Each piece of information about you can provide valuable feedback on your progress towards achieving Fellowship of the RACGP (FRACGP).

The WBA is designed to support your professional development, provide feedback on your progress and help identify any areas for improvement.

So we can provide you with feedback, the medical educator needs to make an assessment of your competence or performance.

The RACGP Curriculum for Australian General Practice provides a clear outline of the competencies required of a GP at the point of Fellowship. This spans across 13 core skills described within five domains.

For assessment purposes, a number of focus areas have been described and mapped to the core skills of the RACGP curriculum. Each has a specific focus describing the consultation, as well as areas such as professionalism and general practice systems. The aim is to ensure you consider the whole range of general practice as described in the curriculum.

The WBA is focused on essential skills that enable you, as a GP, to competently deal with numerous presentations. This is a shift away from assessment of knowledge and towards areas such as patient-centred communication and management, clinical decision-making and therapeutic reasoning.

The required standard for all assessment is set at the point of Fellowship, so this is the level you’re aiming for.

The WBA competencies are described in the PEP participant guide, so have a look through this to help familiarise yourself with what’s needed.

You are assessed by yourself, medical educators, colleagues and patients. This ensures you gather evidence of your competence from multiple sources and perspectives.

The WBA provides a number of ways to gather evidence of your competence:

  • Direct observation of consultations – the Mini-Clinical Evaluation Exercise (Mini-CEX)
  • Clinical case analysis – case-based discussion and random case analysis
  • Multisource feedback (MSF) – colleague and patient assessment
  • Clinical examination and procedural skills logbook – used for self-reflection on your learning needs

Exemptions to completing the WBA requirement in practice

Yes. This can be provided verbally after an assessment and/or in written form as part of a report. The ratings on an assessment form are not used for any other purpose than to indicate your progress towards Fellowship. This means any rating is also a form of feedback.

As individuals we are all inaccurate in assessing our own performance, so feedback from an observer allows us to uncover some of our ‘unknowns’ which can help our learning.

The Practice Experience Program (PEP) is a self-directed Learning Program, and you will need to commit your own personal time and effort to ensure satisfactory progression during the program.

However, your assigned training organisation will provide you with the following support during your participation:

  • Medical educator mentoring and support to provide feedback and assistance, as well as monitoring of your progress and performance throughout each term
  • Longitudinal assessment and feedback, delivered in the workplace and designed to help you improve your performance as a GP and to help prepare you for the Fellowship exams
  • Program administrative support to help with coordination of training program activities and WBA, and help you to stay on track throughout the program

We have built an online portal where you will find everything you need related to the PEP.

You’ll need to log in to the RACGP website for access. You can use the same RACGP credentials you use regularly.

Once logged in, the PEP portal can be accessed from the drop-down menu on the top right corner of the RACGP website. Your user guide can be accessed by selecting the Help button on the top menu.

You can email pepsupport@racgp.org.au or call 03 8699 0463 for technical support and other PEP portal enquiries.

And you can email pepadmin@racgp.org.au or call 1800 472 247 for all other PEP enquiries.

You don’t have to defer your place and can start your program with a period of leave, provided your leave request meets all other leave requirements outlined in the Leave and Extensions Policy.

You’re not required to apply for every period of leave; however, if you’re likely to take five weeks’ leave or more in total over any 12-month period, you must complete the ‘Change in Circumstances’ form, which can be located by logging into the PEP portal and clicking on ‘My Account’. 

Note that requests for leave won't be approved if this causes your program time to extend beyond 30 June 2023. This is due to the current government funding ceasing on this date.

You’ll need to apply via a ‘Change in Circumstances’ form, which can be located by logging into the PEP portal and clicking on ‘My Account’.

It’s important to note that you won’t automatically be granted a transfer; all transfers must be approved by the RACGP.

As per the Progression Policy, you have three months to start suitable employment.

If you’re not able to start your new employment within three months, you can choose to either apply for leave/further leave, or withdraw from the PEP.

It’s important to note that applying for leave does not guarantee it will be approved.

We’re always here to help, so you can email pepadmin@racgp.org.au if these FAQs have not answered your question/s.