Applying for Recognition of Prior Learning

Important notice

The RACGP is aware the ACEM has updated their list of Accredited Emergency Departments. This policy refers to the previous ACEM Accredited Emergency Departments list which can now be found in clause 5 of the Applying for Recognition of Prior Learning Guidance Document. We will accept applications for recognition of prior learning for work undertaken up to December 2022 as per this previous list or under the new list.

Doctors will need to ensure they adhere to the new list of ACEM Accredited Emergency Departments for any work undertaken from January 2023 onwards. We will also accept work undertaken in 2022 under the new list. This will be reflected in our revised Recognition of Prior Learning Policy for 2023 onwards.


Registrars may apply to have some of their previous training in hospital and community posts recognised as credit towards the requirements of the Vocational Training Pathway.

2. Definitions

ACEM Australasian College of Emergency Medicine

GPTI A General Practice Training first rotation in an RACGP accredited comprehensive Australian general practice of 6 months FTE duration.

Lead medical educator (LME) Clinical education lead at a vocational training provider

RACGP Royal Australian College of General Practitioners

RPL Recognition of Prior Learning

Registrar A medical practitioner who is enrolled in the Vocational Training Pathway

3. References

Recognition of Prior Learning Policy

4. Guidance

4.1 Application process

4.1.1 Registrars must submit their application to their vocational training provider for assessment. The application must include a portfolio as detailed in 4.3 of this document. As part of their application, Registrars may include up to seven weeks of leave per year pro-rata, which may include any combination of personal leave, sick or carers leave and educational leave.

4.1.2 The Registrar’s vocational training provider will assess the application, if deemed appropriate the LME will approve the application. The vocational training provider will then forward the application to the relevant RACGP Censor for approval.

4.1.3 The RACGP Censor will make a final assessment and confirm the decision in writing to the vocational training provider and the Registrar (via the training provider).

4.2 Timelines

4.2.1 Registrars must submit their application for RPL within the timelines specified by their vocational training provider.

From 1 January 2018:

  1. for commencing Registrars, RPL applications must be received by the RACGP by the end of their time in GPT1 of the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program or the Remote Vocational Training Scheme (RVTS). Registrars should ensure that adequate time is allotted for their vocational training provider to receive the application and provide feedback. The information submitted to the RACGP is considered final and may not be amended, augmented or revoked.

4.3 Portfolio

4.3.1 All applications for RPL must include assessment by the vocational training provider attached to the Registrar’s application. The application must be accompanied by a portfolio which provides sufficient evidence that the learning outcomes for the posts being applied for have been met, including evidence that:

  1. there has been satisfactory participation in educational activities
  2. there has been satisfactory participation in formative assessment
  3. the Registrar’s results in assessments have been satisfactory.

Documentation should be provided for each discipline (even if they are undertaken in the same hospital). It is the Registrar’s responsibility to obtain the required documentation.

4.3.2 The portfolio must include the following evidence sources:

  1. vocational training provider assessment of the Registrar’s RPL application
  2. a curriculum vitae
  3. statements of services from the hospital or community posts
  4. details of how supervision was undertaken
  5. assessment forms for each post, if unavailable the following evidence will be considered:
    1. letter from supervisor detailing the Registrar’s performance in the post
    2. communication between the Registrar’s vocational training provider and the post supervisor verifying performance
  6. evidence of attainment of medical registration
  7. the names and addresses of three supervisors who could act as referees to discuss the Registrar’s knowledge and skills, with particular reference to training for general practice

4.3.3 In exceptional circumstances when the above evidences sources cannot be provided, Registrars may provide an explanation of why that evidence is not available and submit an alternate selection (more than one) of the following evidence sources to support their application:

  1. a de-identified patient log
  2. relevant information such as conference papers, research grants, publication, committee activity, testimonials, etc.
  3. a case study analysis
  4. a log of educational activities attended by the Registrar with accompanying reference to how such activities relate to the learning objectives of the Registrar.
  5. a written essay of 500 words explaining how the training experience has helped meet the learning objectives of the Registrar. The essay should address the experience with reference to the domains of general practice
  6. Evidence of enrolment in another training program which includes assessment and feedback

4.3.4 For hospital or community posts undertaken more than five years prior to the application for RPL, Registrars must also provide the evidence sources below:

  1. a description of the experience and how it relates to general practice training
  2. learning activities and professional development demonstrating how skills have been maintained.
  3. RPL will not be granted for experiences more than ten years prior to the receipt of the application by the RACGP; however, this experience may contribute to the determination of an applicant’s breadth of experience.

4.3.5 Emergency Medicine experience

  1. Registrars who can demonstrate diverse clinical experience in a range of Emergency Medicine settings may be eligible to apply for more than 26 weeks of Emergency Medicine, to a maximum of 26 weeks FTE in any of the four ACEM-classified Emergency Medicine subgroups:
    1. Level 1 – Rural Emergency Services
    2. Level 2 – Major Regional/Rural Base Emergency Department
    3. Level 3 – Urban District Emergency Department
    4. Level 4 – Major Referral Emergency Department.
  2. Emergency Medicine terms not accredited by ACEM (see clause 5 of this guidance document for ACEM Accredited Emergency Departments) may be eligible for RPL consideration if the position provided appropriate clinical experience, supervision and teaching. Classification should be based on the ACEM Statement of Delineation of Emergency Departments. For assistance determining the classification of a non-ACEM accredited post, Registrars should consult their Training Organisation.
  3. Documentation submitted when applying for RPL of Emergency Medicine posts must meet the requirements outlined in Clauses 4.3.1, 4.3.2 and 4.3.3 of this Guidance Document.

ACEM Accredited Emergency Departments (prior to March 2022)

Emergency Departments are accredited by ACEM for 6, 12, 18 or 24 months ED Training.
This list (PDF 354 KB) outlines the EDs training Role Delineation and whether the ED was approved for the minimum paediatric requirement (PLB).
*Provisional Accreditation
Provisionally Accredited Sites are sites that had been granted Provisional Accreditation under the new AC549 standards. These sites are yet to be inspected by the Accreditation Inspectors for ongoing full accreditation status. Once a trainee has been appointed to a Provisionally Accredited site, the site will be inspected towards the end of the trainee's placement to determine if it meets the requirements for ongoing accreditation.

Other Abbreviations: DEMT = Director of Emergency Medicine Training  PLB = paediatric logbook