1.1 The purpose of this policy is to describe the requirements for partially comparable participants on the Practice Experience Program – Specialist Stream to be awarded Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (FRACGP).
- Upon the award of Fellowship, the RACGP formally recognises that a medical practitioner is competent for unsupervised general practice anywhere in Australia. In the interest of upholding public health and safety, this policy ensures that partially comparable participants on the PEP Specialist Stream have satisfied all educational, experience, assessment, professional and ethical, and administrative requirements prior to the awarding of Fellowship of the RACGP. In turn, this policy ensures that general practitioners who have attained Fellowship of the RACGP are of good repute.
- The PEP Specialist Stream is the pathway to Fellowship of the RACGP available to specialist international medical graduates (SIMGs). Previous iterations of this pathway include:
- the Specialist Pathway Program (SPP), which ran from 2010 to 2018, and categorised SIMGs as Category 1, 2 or 3, or not comparable; and
- the Specialist Recognition Program (SRP), which superseded the SPP from 2018 to 2019.
3. Requirements for Fellowship
3.1 Experience requirements
- Participants must complete at least six months’ full time equivalent (FTE) comprehensive general practice under supervision during their candidature in the program. This must be approved in advance by the RACGP. Participants may work part time but must meet the part time requirements as detailed in clause 3.4 and the Medical Board of Australia’s program duration requirements
3.2 Education requirements
- provide evidence of a Basic Life Support (BLS) course completed within the 12 calendar months prior to applying for Fellowship. The requirements are detailed in the Basic Life Support and Advanced Life Support Guidance Document;
- provide evidence of training in the early management of trauma and advanced life support (ALS) completed within the four years prior to applying for Fellowship. The requirements are detailed in the Basic Life Support and Advanced Life Support Guidance Document; and
- complete a Workplace Based Assessment (WBA) program in line with the Practice Experience Program Specialist Stream – Satisfactory Completion Framework, to be undertaken any time after the participant has worked three months’ FTE in comprehensive general practice.
3.3 Assessment requirements
- Satisfactorily meet the program requirements as detailed in the Practice Experience Program Specialist Stream – Satisfactory Completion Framework.
- pass the RACGP’s Applied Knowledge Test (AKT), Key Feature Problem (KFP) and Clinical Examination, which depending on the time of sitting, is the Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE), Remote Clinical Exam (RCE) or Clinical Competency Exam (CCE) within 24 months’ FTE and a maximum 48 months if working part time of the date of program commencement. Candidates are also subject to restrictions on exam attempts in accord with the Fellowship Exam Attempts Policy.
3.4 Administrative requirements
- hold current Australian medical registration from the date of commencing work in Australian general practice and throughout their candidature. Participants must promptly disclose all details of any past or present:
- restrictions, conditions, suspensions and/or undertakings on, or changes to their medical registration; on or changes to their medical registration; and
- regulatory authority activity, whether in Australia or otherwise, that:
- has led or may lead to a restriction, condition, suspension and/or undertaking on practice; or:
- has led to an adverse finding for the medical practitioner, or forms part of an ongoing investigation.
Participants with restrictions on their medical registration or any other regulatory activity may not be granted Fellowship of the RACGP. Participants must disclose changes to their medical registration to the RACGP via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Failure to disclose 3.4..i.a or b will be handled as per the Academic Misconduct Policy.
- 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.
- achieve Fellowship within 24 months' FTE of commencing employment, with a maximum time on the program of 48 months if working part time:
- Participants may apply for leave from the PEP Specialist Stream as per the Practice Experience Pathway – Specialist Stream Leave Policy.
- apply for Fellowship within one year of successful completion of all of the requirements of the program.
Participants who fail to meet the requirements of the PEP Specialist Stream or who fail to maintain adequate progression may be withdrawn from the program.
3.5 Professional and ethical requirements
The RACGP reserves the right to withhold awarding an applicant Fellowship of the RACGP, if the RACGP reasonably considers the relevant applicant:
- Engages in conduct which would attract sanctions under clause 27 of the RACGP’s Constitution; or
- is unsuitable to be awarded Fellowship of the RACGP as detailed in the Fellowship Policy.
- Has restrictions, conditions, suspensions and/or undertakings on their current medical registration that prevent them from undertaking unsupervised general practice.
4.1 RACGP will audit compliance with the clause 3 requirements six months’ FTE after the candidate has commenced work.
4.2 Participants who have complied with the requirements as per clause 3 above will receive a certificate of Fellowship and be invited to a graduation ceremony.
4.3 Participants who have not complied with the requirements as per clause 3 above may be allowed six further calendar months to become compliant, at the discretion of RACGP. If after this period of time the clause 3 requirements have not been met, candidate non-compliance will be reported to the Medical Board of Australia as per the requirements of the Medical Board of Australia Registration Standard: Specialist Registration.
5.1 If a GPiT believes that the RACGP has made an incorrect decision regarding their attainment of, or eligibility for Fellowship, they may apply for reconsideration in line with the RACGP Reconsiderations and Appeals Policy.
- An application for reconsideration must be submitted to the RACGP within ten national office business days of the date of the original decision.
6. Changing Fellowship Pathway
6.1 GPiT can only be enrolled in one Fellowship pathway at a time. If a GPiT seeks to participate in a different Fellowship pathway, they must resign their candidature in the current pathway and apply for entry into the alternative pathway. If a change in pathway is accepted, the GPiT must then meet all of the requirements of the new pathway to be awarded FRACGP.
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.
8.1 RACGP Board
Responsible for approval of policy and Major Amendments.
- Give recommendations regarding the awarding of Fellowship to the RACGP Board on behalf of the Council of Censors.
- Responsible for Amendments.
- Provide all relevant documentation and supporting evidence regarding their eligibility for Fellowship to the RACGP.
- Notify the RACGP of any changes to their eligibility status.
Review and approve participants applications for Fellowship.
The extent to which an SIMG’s recency, continuity of practice, continual professional development, assessment, training, qualifications and clinical experience are assessed as equivalent to an Australian-trained specialist general practitioner at the point of Fellowship.
- Partially comparable means the participant has been assessed as suitable to undertake work in general practice in a supervised capacity and reach comparability within 24 months’ full time equivalent (FTE) practice, with a maximum time on the program of 48 months if working part time.
9.2 Comprehensive Australian general practice
- Continuity of care that is person centred, comprehensive and coordinated; focusing on the whole person, and all presenting symptoms;
- Health promotion and illness prevention services that are based on patient need and the best available evidence;
- 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; and
- Community-based general practice undertaken in Australia.
9.3 Full time general practice experience
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.
9.4 GP in Training (GPiT)
A medical practitioner enrolled in any RACGP Approved Program before gaining Fellowship, of which there are two types;
- Registrars, who are currently enrolled in the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) or Remote Vocational Training Scheme (RVTS) programs; and
- Participants, who are currently enrolled in the Practice Experience Program (PEP) Standard and Specialist Streams.
9.5 Multi Source Feedback (MSF)
MSF consists of three components – a colleague feedback assessment tool, a patient assessment tool, and a reflective task.
A medical practitioner who has been accepted into the PEP Specialist Stream.
9.7 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.
9.8 PEP Specialist Stream
The route to Fellowship available to SIMGs who have been assessed as substantially or partially comparable to an Australian-trained specialist general practitioner at the point of Fellowship.
9.9 Supervision/supervised practice
Supervision in line with the principles of supervision and supervised practice, based upon the prescribed Medical Board of Australia Guidelines – Supervised Practice of International medical graduates.
9.10 Workplace Based Assessment (WBA)
A framework for evaluating a doctors’ performance and progress in those areas of practice best assessed in the context of the workplace. The aim is to provide evidence that the SIMG is competent for unsupervised practice in Australia. The WBA program will include MSF, clinical assessment, a learning unit reflection task, and supervisor reports.
10. Related Documents, Legislation and Policies
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.
Date of effect
|Amended to include reference to Fellowship Policy
|Policy Officer, Education Policy and Guidance
Policy Officer, Education Policy and Guidance
Next Review Due: