I am eligible for the PEP

Frequently asked questions

If the program is oversubscribed, and as per the Operational Framework for the Non-VR Fellowship Support Program, the RACGP will use their discretion to apply one or more of the below criteria (in the order presented) to determine which successful PEP Entry Assessment (PEPEA) candidates are offered a place in the PEP: 

  1. practising in rural and remote locations (Modified Monash Model 3-7) with priority given to those in MMM 7 first and so forth; 
  2. practising in an MMM 2 location which has District Priority Area (DPA) or Area of Need (AON) Status (priority) then in MMM 1 under Extenuating and Unforeseen circumstances (EUC) then MMM 2 without DPA or AON; 
  3. permanent residents or Australian citizens; and 
  4. hold general registration with the Medical Board of Australia. 

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 Eligibility 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.

The PEPEA is a computer-based test delivered by our exam provider Pearson VUE. Candidates can use the navigator tool on the bottom right of the screen to move through the questions via Pearson’s platform in any order, and also have the ability to skip and return to questions as many times as they like.

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.

In the past, applicants have not been granted consecutive attempts for the PEPEA. That is, you couldn't sit the PEPEA immediately following an unsuccessful attempt.

However, candidates who are unsuccessful at the January 2022 PEPEA will be allowed to re-sit the April 2022 PEPEA as this will be the last iteration of this assessment under the current government funded scheme.

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.

If you need to take a toilet break during the assessment, please raise your hand to alert a Test Administrator. Please note the test cannot be paused so the timer will continue. Any breach of exam rules may be reviewed under the RACGP Academic Misconduct Policy.

Water will be available at the test venue. If you require water, please raise your hand and a Test Administrator will assist you. No personal items (including water bottles or any other drinks/food), may be taken into the testing room. Any breach of exam rules may be reviewed under the RACGP Academic Misconduct Policy.

If you applied to start in April 2022, and now prefer to start later, you'll need to withdraw/stop the process and wait until applications open in July, for the new self-funded training program.

You can't defer as your application would need to be reassessed and unfortunately there is no period provided for this.

You can register your interest for the self-funded model via our website.

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).

You'll need to accept the terms of your Program Agreement and pay your Term 1 invoice to secure your place in the program. Before program commencement, you must also become a member of the RACGP.

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.