I am eligible for the PEP

Frequently asked questions

What is available

Candidates who were enrolled to sit the July PEPEA in NSW or SA can still start the PEP in October 2021, with the following changes: 

  • You must sit the PEPEA on 22 September 2021
  • Your PEP start date will change from 1 October to 25 October 2021

You also have the option to defer your start date from:

    • 1 October 2021 to 1 January 2022, OR
    • 1 October 2021 to 1 April 2022

What you need to do 

To take advantage of this arrangement, candidates enrolled to sit the July PEPEA in NSW must: 

  • Email pepadmin@racgp.org.au by 5.00 pm 29 July 2021 confirming your preferred start date 
  • Return to your PEP application (we’ll email you instructions) and confirm your eligibility status by 5.00 pm on 6 August 2021
  • Between 16 August and 5.00 pm 25 August 2021, enrol in the September PEPEA
  • Sit the PEPEA on 22 September 2021
  • After passing the PEPEA, sign your program agreement, pay your term invoice and be a financial member of the RACGP by 5.00 pm on 21 October 2021 (if commencing on 25 October 2021).

As you can see, the timelines are tight, and therefore, we need your help to make this possible. It is essential that you keep an eye on your inbox during these upcoming months and meet the deadlines outlined. We won’t be able to accept any late responses. Please mark the dates above in your calendar, and contact us by email to pepadmin@racgp.org.au if you’re concerned you’ve missed anything. 

If these dates change, we’ll update this website and contact you.

What happens with your provider number? 

If you are currently on a 3GA provider number that is due to expire shortly, the RACGP will work with your provider to secure an extension. Once you have commenced on the PEP, the RACGP will issue you a PEP provider number for the duration of your PEP educational and post-educational components. It is understood the requirements for satisfactorily completing the PEP, progression during and after the educational component and the requirements for Fellowship exam eligibility are met as outlined in the PEP policies.

If you don’t hold a provider number, we’ll work with you to expedite your PEP provider number so that it is issued as soon as possible in readiness for your start in the PEP on 25 October 2021/ 1 January 2022/ 1 April 2022. A member of our Provider Number team will follow your case and keep you updated. 

What if I prefer to sit the PEPEA in September but not start the PEP until January or April 2022, instead of October 2021?

You’ll need to follow the steps as outlined under the above heading ‘What you need to do’. Two months before your preferred commencement, we’ll email you to provide access to your existing PEP application. You’ll need to access it and re-confirm your practice details, medical registration, and other application details so we can ensure you’re still eligible. You’ll be sent your Program Agreement and term invoice approximately one month before scheduled commencement.

What happens if you prefer NOT to sit the September PEPEA? 

 If you prefer to wait and start the PEP next year, you’ll have to submit a new application for the PEP. The next application period will open from 4 October to 25 October 2021 and the PEPEA for that cohort will be held on 15 January 2022. The PEP start date will be 1 April 2022.

The PEPEA is designed to assess the suitability of candidates seeking to participate in the Practice Experience Program (PEP), a self-directed educational support program for non-vocationally registered doctors. The PEPEA is a computer-based test with 100 questions.

The PEPEA consists of 2 sections:

  1. 75 Applied Knowledge Test (AKT) questions
  2. 25 Situational Judgment Test (SJT) questions

AKT questions aim to assess applied clinical knowledge in the context of Australian general practice, while SJT questions assess candidate’s judgement in a range of professional, ethical, and legal scenarios. Using a combination of SJT and AKT questions the RACGP assesses candidates against the five RACGP domains of general practice. To prepare for the PEPEA candidates should familiarise themselves with the RACGP’s domains of general practice as this will give a broad overview of the content of the questions that may appear in the PEPEA.

The AKT questions are of the single best answer type where you are asked to select the best answer from five or more possible options.

The SJT questions are multiple choice questions also where you are asked to choose the three best answers from eight possible options.

The SJT questions aim to assess your attitudes in a range of different general practice scenarios relating to communication, professionalism as well as ethical, legal, and organisational issues.

You must pass the PEPEA before progressing into the next step of the program.

The information in your PEP application is used to assess eligibility for both the PEPEA and the PEP. The application must be submitted during the application period and all requests for further information must be addressed.

If you’re eligible, you’ll be advised via email with instructions about how to enrol in and pay for the PEPEA.

To be exempt from the PEPEA, you must be either:

  • a current training organisation or Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) registrar who has completed all training terms and finished their training time
  • a previous training organisation or AGPT registrar who has completed all training terms and was withdrawn within the three years of the expected start date in the PEP.

For more information, you can refer to the PEP Standard Stream Entry Policy clause 6.6.

These aim to assess your judgement in a range of professional scenarios, often with a focus on professionalism and ethical, moral and legal issues. SJT questions are designed to assess your reasoning in these scenarios.

Since candidates are required to select the three best answers from the eight provided, the answer is not simply marked as ‘correct’ or ‘incorrect’. There is a range of scores possible for each of the SJT items depending on whether candidates choose one, two or all three of the correct answers.

Sample PEPEA questions are available for download.

You can refer to About the PEP for a list of dates.

The PEPEA is delivered in test centres in most capital cities in Australia.

In order to prepare for the PEPEA, we recommend familiarising yourself with the five domains of general practice and reading information provided in the FAQs about the PEPEA and SJT and AKT questions.

PEP applicants may find the following RACGP resources useful in preparing for the AKT section of the PEPEA. Please note this is not an exhaustive list. There are several other RACGP resources, as well as external clinical resources, that may be useful in your preparation.

1. gplearning

gplearning is the RACGP’s online portal that provides general practice education and is free to RACGP members. Members can access this by logging into the RACGP’s website.

All of the educational activities in gplearning are evidence based, peer reviewed and developed ‘by GPs for GPs’.

2. Clinical Guidelines

These clinical guidelines have been prepared by the RACGP and are available to all members.

3. check

check is an independent learning program produced 11 times a year by the RACGP. Each unit includes between four and six clinical cases with answers, followed by 10 multiple choice questions, as well as references and resources.


The Australian Journal of General Practice

5. Webinars

There is a large range of educational webinars located in the RACGP website.

Twelve months from the date results are released. If you don’t start the PEP in that time, you might need to attempt the PEPEA again.

You can’t sit consecutive PEPEAs; that is, you can’t sit the PEPEA immediately following an unsuccessful attempt. You’ll be required to submit a new PEP application and enrol in the PEPEA aligned with that application period.

After you have enrolled, you will receive a confirmation email outlining what you need to know regarding your arrival time, identification required and permitted items in the exam room. If you have further queries after receiving this email, please email selection@racgp.org.au.

Note-taking isn’t required during the assessment, so you’re not permitted to use pen and paper or any other note-taking devices.

Any breach of exam rules may be reviewed under the RACGP Academic Misconduct Policy.

One toilet break of no longer than five minutes is allowed, but it’s important you know that the assessment won’t be paused in this break and no additional time will be granted. Your session will also continue to be recorded during this break.

Any breach of exam rules may be reviewed under the RACGP Academic Misconduct Policy.

You’re allowed to have a glass or bottle of water on your desk, but these should be clear with no writing or labels. No other food or drink is permitted.

Any breach of exam rules may be reviewed under the RACGP Academic Misconduct Policy.

Your PEP duration is determined by RACGP Medical Educators who use a formula that combines one or more of the below listed factors:

  • Information from a valid general practice experience (GPE) assessment (submitted at the time of your PEP application)
  • GP experience from the submitted CV - taking into consideration 3 years of recency - (CV submitted at the time of your PEP application)
  • Existing data if you are an ex-Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) registrars (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.

Program duration is also determined by the Australian Government’s funding for the program under the Non-Vocationally Registered Fellowship Support Program (FSP) for Doctors based in Modified Monash Model (MMM) areas 2 to 7.

Approximately one month before you are due to commence in the Practice Experience Program (PEP).

Before you sign your Program Agreement, you’re required to become a member of the RACGP. You also need to pay your invoice for Term 1 and accept the terms of your Program Agreement to secure your place in the program.

Following this, you will be assigned to a Regional Training Organisation (RTO) or Remote Vocational Training Scheme (RVTS) based on your geolocation and RTO/RVTS capacity.

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