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Practice Experience Program – Standard Stream Post-Education Progression


Policy

1. Purpose

1.1 The purpose of this policy is to describe the requirements of participants in the post-education phase of the PEP Standard Stream (PEP Standard) to maintain access to a PEP 3GA Medicare provider number.

1.2 Context

The RACGP PEP Standard has been developed to provide non-vocationally recognised doctors with a route to Fellowship grounded in individualised learning and workplace based assessment.

2. Scope

2.1 This policy applies to all participants of the PEP Standard following completion of the Program’s educational phase, and covers requirements relating to progression, leave from the program, extension to and withdrawal of a provider number.

2.2 This policy is to be read in conjunction with the Fellowship Exam Attempts Policy and Practice Experience Program Code of Conduct.

2.3 This policy replaces the previous Practice Experience Program – Standard Stream Post-Education Progression Policy and will come into effect as of Tuesday 4 January 2022.

3. General principles

3.1 The RACGP issues continuing provider number access to PEP participants for a period of up to three years (the post-education phase) immediately following satisfactory completion of the program’s educational requirements in accordance with the Practice Experience Program – Standard Stream Satisfactory Completion Framework.

  1. The RACGP expects participants to become exam eligible in accordance with the General Practice Experience - Exam Eligibility Policy within this three-year period.
    1. To monitor exam eligibility, all participants must obtain a current general practice experience outcome during the 6 months before satisfactory completion of the PEP Standard. Participants who do not receive a valid outcome signifying their exam eligibility must obtain a subsequent outcome when their experience requirements have been met.
  2. Participants must commence their exam candidacy as soon as the RACGP confirms they are eligible.
  3. If the timeframe for expiry of Fellowship exam results will recommence once the educational component of the PEP Standard is complete or when the candidate becomes eligible to recommence exam attempts (whichever is the sooner) as detailed in the Fellowship Exam Attempts Policy.

3.2 Extensions to the post-education period are available to participants under the circumstances outlined in clause 5. The RACGP offers these extensions on the grounds that a participant can demonstrate genuine and consistent effort towards achieving Fellowship, in line with the Provider Number Continuation Framework.

3.3 The RACGP will not extend a provider number where a participant has exhausted their period of exam candidacy under the Fellowship Exam Attempts Policy.

  1. If a participant has exhausted their exam candidacy, the RACGP will notify the participant 20 business days prior to requesting Medicare to withdraw access to the participants provider number.

3.4 The RACGP reserves the right to withdraw a participant’s provider number at any time during the post-education phase in line with the terms of clause 5.

3.5 Participants are responsible for maintaining minimum part time working hours (14.5-hour working week over two sessions, 10.5 hours of which must be face-to-face) for the duration of the post-education phase to maintain access to a provider number.

3.6 Access to a provider number is not an exam eligibility requirement.

3.7 All GPs in Training hold financial membership of the RACGP from commencement of their program until they have either attained Fellowship or they have exhausted their Fellowship exam candidacy as per the Fellowship Exam Attempts Policy. Please refer to the GP in Training Membership Guidance Document for further information.

4. Leave

4.1 Participants in the PEP Standard may take leave from employment during the post-education phase of the program. Participants are responsible for ensuring that they continue to work towards exam eligibility and the requirements for Fellowship regardless of leave taken.

4.2 Participants are responsible for understanding the implications of periods of leave on their exam candidacy under the Fellowship Exam Attempts Policy.

4.3 Participants must inform the RACGP when leave beyond permitted workplace leave entitlements is taken by completing a via the PEP portal. Participants who do not inform the RACGP of leave may not be entitled to extension of their provider number.

4.4 Participants must not undertake paid work using their PEP provider number during periods of leave. Failure to abide by this clause will be handled as per the Academic Misconduct Policy, Services Australia (Medicare) and/or the Medical Board of Australia (MBA).

4.5 The RACGP will take periods of leave into consideration when determining the outcome of requests for extension to provider number access, as per clause 5.

5. Extensions

5.1 Extensions to provider number access may be available under the following circumstances:

  1. Legislative or extenuating and unforeseen circumstances leave
    The RACGP may give a participant who has taken prospectively approved legislative or extenuating and unforeseen circumstances leave at any time during the educational or post-education phases of the PEP an extension equivalent to the length of leave (up to three years) to complete exam requirements, without submission of additional evidence.
  2. Exam candidacy suspension
    The RACGP may give a participant who has taken the six month suspension of exam candidacy, during the post-education phase of the Program, as permitted under the Fellowship Exam Attempts Policy, an equivalent six month extension in order to complete exam requirements, without submission of additional evidence.
  3. Other professional or personal factors affecting exam candidacy
    The RACGP may give a participant who has experienced other factors impacting their ability to complete exam requirements an extension of up to three years to complete these requirements, dependent upon submission of evidence demonstrating a genuine and consistent effort towards achieving Fellowship, in line with the Provider Number Continuation Framework.
  4. Extension awaiting Fellowship
    The RACGP may give a participant who has completed all requirements for Fellowship, including all three Fellowship exams, an extension of up to three months from the date of publication of Clinical Examination results, if they:
    1. Are in the process of submitting an application for Fellowship; or
    2. Are awaiting confirmation of Fellowship.

6. Withdrawal

6.1 The RACGP reserves the right to withdraw a participant’s provider number at any time during the post-education phase, under circumstances including but not limited to:

  1. Loss of medical registration;
  2. Inappropriate use of a PEP provider number, including but not limited to use while on approved leave;
  3. Failure to pay RACGP membership fees;
  4. Failure to comply with CPD requirements; and
  5. Failure to comply with the Practice Experience Program Code of Conduct.

7 Amendment of this Policy

The CIC may, without the consent of the Board, make Minor, Moderate and Extenuating Amendments to this policy at any time. If the CIC makes amendments, they must advise the Board of those amendments as soon as practicable.

The Board may make amendments to this policy at any time.

8. Responsibilities

8.1 RACGP Board

Responsible for approval of policy and Major Amendments.

8.2 Censor-in-Chief

Responsible for approval of Minor, Moderate or Extenuating Amendments to the policy by delegation of the RACGP Board.

8.3 Participants

Responsible for complying with all clauses outlined in this policy.

8.4 RACGP

Responsible for provider number access, managing leave, extension and withdrawal requests or requirements, monitoring progression through the post-education progression phase and enforcing the clauses outlined in this policy.

9. Glossary

9.1 CPD

Continuing Professional Development

9.2 Current outcome

An outcome of a general practice experience assessment which has an expiry date in the future, has not been superseded by a more recent general practice experience assessment outcome, and has not been rendered void for other reasons such as academic misconduct.

9.3 Educational phase

The program time during which participants complete learning units and workplace-based assessment requirements.

9.4 Extension

Continued provider number access beyond the three years of post-education provider number access given upon satisfactory completion of the educational component of the participant’s program.

9.5 Extenuating and unforeseen circumstances

Circumstances which were unforeseen, outside the participant’s control and which can be shown to have a direct and significant impact on the participant’s ability to complete the PEP exam candidacy requirements, including:

  1. ill-health (other than minor illnesses) with valid certificates; carer’s leave with valid certificates;
  2. bereavement;
  3. acute adverse life circumstances;
  4. hospitalisation;
  5. Australian Defence Force deployment leave;
  6. Loss of employment, medical registration or provider number; or
  7. Other circumstances involving significant changes to a participant’s circumstances

For more information regarding leave for extenuating and unforeseen circumstances leave, please see the Extenuating and Unforeseen Circumstances Guidelines.

9.6 GPs in Training

A medical practitioner enrolled in any RACGP Approved Program before gaining Fellowship, of which there are two types;

  1. Registrars, who are currently enrolled in the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) or Remote Vocational Training Scheme (RVTS) programs, and
  2. Participants, who are currently enrolled in the Practice Experience Program (PEP) Standard and Specialist Streams.

9.7 Legislative leave

Includes both

  1. Parental, sick and carers leave granted pursuant to the participant’s workplace entitlements under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), and any other form of leave as permitted under the National Employment Standards.
  2. Leave taken which meets the definition above where the participant is a contractor or otherwise not covered by the NES.

9.8 Part time general practice experience

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.

9.9 Personal leave

Any leave requested for purposes other than those described in Clauses 4.b and 4.d above.

9.10 Post-education phase

The three years following the educational phase of the PEP in which participants must fulfil Fellowship requirements, including accruing sufficient general practice experience as assessed under the Assessment of General Practice Experience Policy and for completion of Fellowship exams.

9.11 Valid outcome

An outcome of a general practice experience assessment which has an expiry date in the future, has not been superseded by a more recent general practice experience assessment outcome, has not been rendered void for other reasons such as academic misconduct and confirms the experience eligibility requirements have been met.

10. Related Documents, Legislation and Policies

Compliance

Guidance

11. Policy Review and Currency

This policy will be reviewed every three years from the last approval date, or when there is a significant change in the intent of the policy. This policy remains valid and applicable notwithstanding if it is overdue for review.

Version History

Version

Date of effect

Amended by

2

04/01/2022

Policy Officer, Education Policy and Guidance

Amendment details

  • Amendement to clause 3.1 relating to GPE outcome requirements 6 months prior to competion of PEP through to awarding of Fellowship.
  • Amendment of clause 3.1 relating to commencement of exam candidacy.
  • Amendment of clause 3.1 relating to the period of suspension of Fellowship exam results while on the PEP Standard.
  • Change of defintion of valid outcome to current outcome.
  • Nomenclature review.

Policy owner:

Board

Approved by:

Censor-in-Chief

Approved on:

14/12/2021

Next Review Due:

11/24

   

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