Provisions and procedures for nursing breaks during RACGP exams


Education IMGs Fellowship Policy framework Guidance documents Provisions and procedures for nursing breaks during RACGP exams

Special consideration requests

The RACGP aims to accommodate all exam candidates for exceptional circumstances that appreciably exceed the pressures experienced by other candidates in an assessment setting and this extends to nursing mothers.

The RACGP acknowledges the importance of breastfeeding to both mother and infant and therefore makes reasonable accommodations, for both candidates and examiners during the computer-based exams – Applied Knowledge Test (AKT) and Key Feature Problem (KFP) and the Clinical exam – the Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE).

The RACGP recognises that each breastfeeding relationship is unique. While these provisions aim to address universal needs of nursing mothers, they do not preclude applications for additional special consideration.

All special consideration requests must be lodged and granted within reasonable time before the exam takes place. Exam candidates must complete and submit a Special Consideration Application Form within the timeframe listed in the Special Consideration Policy. All exam candidates that expect they will be breastfeeding an infant at the time of their exam are encouraged to submit a Special Consideration Application form at the time of enrolment or prior to the close of enrolments.

Computer-based exams:

  • An RACGP supervisor will be in attendance to monitor exam timing.
  • The exam may be paused for nursing breaks for up to 30 minutes.
    There will be no extension to the time allocated for completing the exam (exam duration
    time).
  • A care-provider may be permitted to care for the infant in a designated area within the exam venue if appropriate.

The RACGP will ensure:

  1. the exam room is equipped with appropriate seating
  2. a supervisor is in attendance to monitor exam timing.

The RACGP advises candidates:

  1. they may be granted permission to breastfeed for up to 30 minutes per exam but there will be no extension to the exam duration time;
  2. they may also be granted permission to breastfeed for up to 30 minutes per exam to breastfeed if completing the exam in paper-based format, but there will be no extension to the exam duration time;
  3. to arrive at the exam centre 30 minutes prior to exam start time to set up and receive pre-exam instructions.

OSCE:

  • No changes to exam structure, or timing is possible
  • Breastfeeding can occur pre-exam and post-exam ONLY, but not during an exam
  • Once an exam is in progress, expressing milk is ONLY permitted during the pre-determined exam rest stations
  • Infants are not permitted on the rotation during an exam.

The RACGP will ensure:

  1. an appropriately equipped specified rest station / area is provided
  2. the area is either a separate room or a screened off section of a larger area
  3. the area is fitted with appropriate lighting, electrical outlets and appropriate seating
  4. the candidate is preferentially allocated to an afternoon rotation of an exam, to avoid the pre and post-lock down (quarantine) period associated with the morning session
  5. a supervisor will be in attendance to supervise the candidate for the duration of the circuit / rotation.

The RACGP specifically advises OSCE candidates:

  1. to arrive at the exam centre 30 minutes prior to exam start time to set up and be present for pre-exam instructions
  2. that infants are not permitted in the exam area
  3. they must supply their own breast pump and appropriate storage container (no refrigeration facilities are available); Power supply at rest stations may not always be available
  4. they may only use the specified nursing area when accompanied by a supervisor
  5. that specified nursing area use is confined to scheduled rest stations and during the pre-exam period
  6. that no additional time is permitted for the completion of their rotation
  7. to inform RACGP prior to exam day if they wish to arrange to meet their infant and care-provider at a pre-determined location before the exam start time.

Candidates who have applied or are considering applying for special arrangements in an exam are welcome to contact the Assessment Operations Team to discuss their requirements specific to their exam venue in advance of their exam dates.


Enquiries

 1800 626 901

 racgpeducation@racgp.org.au