Applying for Recognition of Prior Learning: FAQs


Education IMGs Fellowship Policy framework Guidance documents Applying for Recognition of Prior Learning: FAQs

Everything you need to know about applying for recognition of prior learning

No. If you are a 2017 intake registrar or earlier, the RPL deadline was 30 June 2017. These changes apply only to registrars entering the AGPT Program in 2018 and from this date onwards.

No.  If you have been assessed as GP term ready by your RTO and started in GP terms, additional hospital terms (which can include community posts and up to 3 months of general practice) can be done at any stage of training.

No. To be eligible to be assessed for any RPL registrars must have completed either a minimum of twelve months of hospital post General Registration OR a minimum of two years in total of Australian or New Zealand accredited hospitals by the start of GPT1. These time periods are full time (part time work is calculated pro rata). The maximum amount of leave allowed in any hospital year is 7 weeks (all types of leave, including sick leave and study leave). Detailed leave statements may be requested for verification purposes.

Yes, but be aware that the overall maximum RPL awarded is 12 months.  If RPL is awarded for a 6 months ES term, a maximum of 6 months of RPL can be given for hospital terms. This would mean a minimum of 6 months of hospital terms must be completed during training.

The College Censors look at the range of terms completed, the recency of the experience and the quality of evidence provided. The hospital experience needs to provide the Registrar with adequate exposure to the disciplines of medicine, surgery, emergency medicine, paediatrics, and other rotations appropriate to the discipline of general practice, sufficient to demonstrate an understanding of safe practice in these areas prior to commencing GPT1. For further guidance as to whether your experience achieves the required breadth, please discuss with your RTO training advisor. It may also be helpful to refer to the Vocational Training Pathway – Requirements for Fellowship Policy.

No. On average, it will decrease training time by removing RPL without time credit, and will allow more people to obtain RPL by allowing those with pre-general registration hospital experience to apply.

No. Once your application is submitted, it cannot be amended, augmented or revoked – information submitted to the RACGP will be final, so make sure that you have included everything that you want to be assessed, presented in its best possible form.

While the intern year can be used towards RPL eligibility to apply for RPL, the terms done as an intern, in your first postgraduate year (PGY1), are not able to be used for RPL as the level of clinical responsibility in intern terms is insufficient to be recognised for RPL.

For RPL to be awarded, evidence of satisfactory performance, not just completion, needs to be provided. While term assessments are the preferred way to demonstrate this, when these are unavailable, there are other options as outlined in the Applying for Recognition of Prior Learning Guidance Document.

Statements of Service, in isolation, are not sufficient. The onus is on the registrar to prove performance has been satisfactory and more than one evidence source may be required if term assessments are not available.

Applications need to be submitted to the RACGP by the end of your time in GPT1, but you should leave enough time prior to this deadline for your RTO to assess and approve your RPL application prior to RACGP submission. Your RTO may have its own internal deadlines to facilitate this.

This means that if you are assessed as GP ready, and begin GPT1 (full time) at the beginning of term 1 2018, your application must be received by the RACGP by at the end of term 1 2018. If you are required to begin your training with hospital time, and commence in GPT1 (full time) after 6 months of (full time) hospital time, your application must be received by the RACGP at the end of term 2 2018. Please note that the submission deadline is based on the dates of your individual GPT1 term, which will not necessarily align with other registrars. Part time registrars will have more time to submit their applications as they will spend more calendar months in GPT1. 

RPL applications are submitted via RTOs; no direct submissions from registrars are accepted. Contact your RTO for more information on how to apply.

Non-ACEM accredited emergency medicine terms can be used for RPL if the position provided appropriate clinical experience, supervision and teaching. Your RTO will help you determine the classification based on the Standards outlined in the ACEM Statement of Delineation of Emergency Departments document.

The hospital time (being two years) must be met by doing hospital rotations and cannot be substituted by GP time unless the up to three months is a rotation sanctioned by the hospital and undertaken whilst employed as an RMO – i.e. as per a PGPPP model.

If the registrar submits an RPL application which is deemed insufficient, the registrar must undertake hospital and community posts to make up the shortfall.  The making up of the shortfall can include up to three months in general practice; however, this is at the discretion of the Censor and relies upon the registrar being deemed as having sufficient breadth and recency of hospital experience.  The undertaking of a general practice term would only be available however if the registrar had not previously undertaken a general practice rotation, i.e. three months is the maximum that can potentially be substituted for hospital experience.

Please note:

The registrar is responsible for providing information pertaining to their RPL application that allows the censor to make a clear judgment that the candidate has gained useful experience from the post and that the term was completed successfully.  Inadequate, incomplete or unverifiable documentation submitted is likely to lead to delays in the assessment and/or possible rejection. The onus to collate and prepare the documentation rests with the applicant in consultation with their RTO.

Competency assessment is based on the level of the individual and not the post undertaken. The applicant should engage with the process in good faith and submit only those terms they assess have genuinely helped prepare them for undertaking a career in general practice.