Assessment of General Practice Experience


Education IMGs Fellowship Policy framework Policies Assessment of General Practice Experience

1. Assessment of General Practice Experience Policy

1.1 Policy number: CO-E-0012.0

1.2 Category: Education

1.3 Approval date: March 2016

1.4 Revision due date: March 2019

1.5 Unit responsible: Education Services


2. Policy declaration

This policy describes the principles which underpin assessments of general practice experience.

This policy is authorised by the CEO.


3. Background

3.1 Objectives

This policy aims to:

i. describe how general practice experience will be assessed

ii. detail the requirements concerning the provision and disclosure of candidate information.

3.2 Scope

This policy applies to medical practitioners who apply to have their general practice experience assessed.


4. Definitions

For the purposes of this policy:

a. Academic general practice means a salaried, part time placement in a recognised university department or other higher education institution of general practice. The placement must:

i. provide an opportunity to develop skills in research, teaching, project work and critical evaluation relevant to the discipline of general practice

ii. include the production of a research paper at a publishable standard as an end result.

b. Comprehensive Australian general practice means:

i. continuity of care that is person centred, comprehensive and coordinated; focusing on the whole person, and all presenting symptoms

ii. health promotion and illness prevention services that are based on patient need and the best available evidence

iii. the diagnosis, treatment and management of the full range of undifferentiated conditions in a diverse range of individuals, families and communities not limited by practice intention or business focus 

iv.community-based general practice undertaken in Australia.

This is an abridged definition distilled from the Competency profile of the Australian general practitioner at the point of Fellowship.

c. Full time general practice experience comprises a 38-hour minimum working week, over a minimum of four days per week, of which a minimum of 27 hours must be in face-to-face, rostered, patient consultation time undertaking general practice activities. Work periods of less than three consecutive hours, or of less than one month in any one practice, will not be considered. Hours worked beyond this definition of full time will not be considered.

d. Part time general practice experience is calculated pro-rata against the definition of full time general practice experience. Part time general practice must comprise a 14.5-hour minimum working week, over a minimum of two days per week, of which a minimum of 10.5 hours must be in face-to-face, rostered, patient consultation time undertaking general practice activities. Work periods of less than three consecutive hours, or of less than one month in any one practice, will not be considered.

e. Assessment date is the date to which an applicant’s general practice experience has been assessed. It is based on work and documentation dates. It is used for the purposes of time calculations in subsequent GPE applications and application for Fellowship via the GPE pathway.


5. General principles

5.1 Assessment of general practice experience

5.1.1 The process for applying for a general practice experience assessment is detailed in RACGP's Applying for a General Practice Experience Assessment Guidance Document.

5.1.2 Assessments of general practice experience compare the post descriptions and evidence submitted by the applicant to the definition of comprehensive Australian general practice.

5.2 Assigning a comparability rating

Each clinical post is assessed and assigned one of the following comparability ratings:

a. Comprehensive Australian general practice: as defined in clause 4b of this policy.

b. Predominantly comparable: the post was undertaken within a comparable health system and covered the full range of presentations expected to be seen within a fully comparable comprehensive Australian general practice, but with a limited scope or demographic of patients. Health systems will be compared to the scope of general practice service to the Australian community in the Competency profile of the Australian general practitioner at the point of Fellowship.

c. Substantially comparable: the post covered the full range of presentations expected to be seen within a fully comparable comprehensive Australian general practice, but with a limited scope or demographic of patients.

d. Partially comparable: the post supported a limited range of presentations, in a limited demographic range, primarily supported specialised or focussed clinical activity or operated within a pre-triaged environment.

e. Not comparable: hospital experience or otherwise not comparable to comprehensive Australian general practice.

The time the applicant has worked in the post is multiplied by the general practice experience calculation rate in Table 1 to determine the amount of general practice experience that will be recognised for that post. General practice posts that are assessed as substantially comparable and partially comparable have a cap on the amount of time that will be recognised.

Table 1. General practice post comparability matrix

Comparability rating

General practice experience calculation rate

Cap recognised for this type of post

Comprehensive Australian general practice

100 %

No cap

Predominantly comparable

85 %

No cap

Substantially comparable

75 %

3.5 years

Partially comparable

50 %

2.5 years

Not comparable

Nil

N/A

 

5.3 Assessable general practice experience

5.3.1 Only general practice experience gained in the ten years prior to the date of signing the statutory declaration in the application process will be assessed. Please note that experience will be assessed up until the date of the letter of support (or other independently verifiable documentation) from general practice, or up until the date of signing the statutory declaration, whichever is sooner.

5.3.2 For the purposes of any subsequent applications, general practice experience will be assessed from the previously assigned assessment date.

5.3.3 Full time general practice experience may include up to four weeks’ annual leave per year.

5.3.4 General practice experience may be undertaken outside of normal working hours. In such cases the assessment will be based on the type of work performed and the clinical scope of practice, compared to comprehensive Australian general practice.

5.3.5 On their own, academic general practice posts do not count towards general practice experience. However, if undertaken on a part time basis concurrently with at least the minimum part time general practice experience (detailed in clause 4d), it will be assessed as partially comparable and may contribute up to 10.5 additional hours per week.

5.3.6 Only clinical general practice experience following the awarding of the primary medical qualification will be assessed.

5.4 Provision and disclosure of information

5.4.1 Applicants must provide current, full and verifiable information in their application. Post descriptions must be individualised and include breakdowns of both clinical and non-clinical tasks. Duplicated descriptions of posts will not be accepted. An RACGP Assessor will take reasonable steps to verify the information provided. Submission of plagiarised, false or misleading information will be handled as per the Educational Misconduct Policy.

5.4.2 Applicants must disclose any restrictions on, or changes to, their medical registration to the RACGP. Failure to do this will be handled as per the Educational Misconduct Policy.

5.5 Assessment outcome

General practice experience assessment outcomes are valid for three years from the date of the outcome.


6. Related policies, documents and legislation

All related policies and procedures are available on our policy page.


7. Administrative procedures

7.1 Access to published policy

This policy will be available via the RACGP website as detailed in clause 6.

7.2 Promulgation of published policy

Relevant staff members will be provided communications explaining the function and role of this policy.

7.3 Review of this policy

This policy will have a review cycle of three years.


Enquiries

 1800 626 901

 racgpeducation@racgp.org.au