Practice Experience Program – Specialist Stream Substantially Comparable Requirements for Fellowship


Policy

1. Purpose

1.1 The purpose of this policy is to describe the requirements for substantially comparable participants on the Practice Experience Program (PEP) – Specialist Stream to be awarded Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (FRACGP).

1.2 Context

  1. 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 substantially comparable participants on the PEP Specialist Stream have satisfied all educational, experience, assessment, professional and ethical, and administrative requirements prior to the awarding of FRACGP. In turn, this policy ensures that general practitioners who have attained FRACGP are of good repute.
  2. 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:
    1. the Specialist Pathway Program (SPP), which ran from 2010 to 2018, and categorised SIMGs as Category 1, 2 or 3, or not comparable; and
    2. the Specialist Recognition Program (SRP), which superseded the SPP from 2018 to 2019.

2. Scope

2.1 This policy applies to substantially comparable IMGs enrolled in the PEP Specialist Stream and outlines the requirements these participants must meet in order to obtain Fellowship.

2.2 This policy and associated policies superseded the existing SRP from 1 September 2019.

2.3 Participants enrolled in the SPP or SRP before 31 August 2019 will continue their candidacy under policies in existence at the time of their enrolment in the SRP or SPP.

2.4 This policy is to be read in conjunction with the Fellowship Exam Attempts Policy, Fit and Proper Fellow Policy, Assessment of General Practice Experience Policy and Practice Experience Program - Specialist Stream Satisfactory Completion Framework.

2.5 This policy is to be read in conjunction with the Fit and Proper Fellow Policy, Assessment of General Practice Experience Policy and Practice Experience Program - Specialist Stream Satisfactory Completion Framework. This policy replaces the previous Practice Experience Program – Specialist Stream Substantially Comparable Requirements for Fellowship Policy and will come into effect as of Monday 31st May 2021.

3. Requirements for Fellowship

3.1 Experience requirements

Participants must:

  1. Commence work in an Australian comprehensive general practice within six calendar months of signing the Program Agreement; and
  2. Complete at least six months’ full time equivalent (FTE) experience in comprehensive Australian general practice under limited or provisional supervision.

3.2 Education requirements

Participants must:

  1. 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;
  2. 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;

3.3 Assessment requirements

  1. Participants must satisfactorily 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.
    1. Participants must repeat the WBA if it is not satisfactorily completed on the first attempt. No subsidisation will be available for participants undertaking a second WBA.
    2. A maximum of two attempts at the WBA is permitted, and those who do not satisfactorily complete the WBA after the maximum number of attempts will be reassessed as partially comparable. They must then meet the requirements detailed in the Practice Experience Program – Specialist Stream Partially Comparable Requirements for Fellowship Policy to be awarded Fellowship of the RACGP. This includes completion of 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).

3.4 Administrative requirements

Participants must:

  1. 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:
    1. restrictions on or changes to their medical registration; and
    2. regulatory authority activity, whether in Australia or otherwise, that:
      1. has led or may lead to a restriction on practice; or:
      2. 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. Failure to disclose 3.4..i.a or b will be handled as per the Academic Misconduct Policy.

  2. maintain financial membership of the RACGP from the time of entering the PEP Specialist Stream until the award of their Fellowship certificate or their withdrawal from the program;
  3. achieve Fellowship within 12 months' FTE of commencing employment, with a maximum time on the program of 24 months if working part time:
    1. Participants may apply for leave from the PEP Specialist Stream as per the Practice Experience Pathway – Specialist Stream Leave Policy.
  4. 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:

  1. engages in conduct which would attract sanctions under clause 27 of the RACGP’s Constitution; or
  2. is unsuitable to be awarded Fellowship of the RACGP as detailed in the Fit and Proper Fellow Policy.
  3. has restrictions, conditions and/or undertakings on their current medical registration that prevent them from undertaking unsupervised general practice.

4. Compliance

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. Reconsideration

5.1 If a GP in Training (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.

  1. GPiT must submit an application for reconsideration 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 Amendments to this policy at any time.

If the CIC makes Minor Amendments, he/she 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

  1. Give recommendations regarding the awarding of Fellowship to the RACGP Board on behalf of the Council of Censors.
  2. Responsible for Minor Amendments.

8.3 Participant

  1. Provide all relevant documentation and supporting evidence regarding their eligibility for Fellowship to the RACGP.
  2. Notify the RACGP of any changes to their eligibility status.

8.4 RACGP

Review and approve participants applications for Fellowship.

9. Glossary

9.1 Comparable/comparability

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.

  1. Substantially comparable means the participant has been assessed as suitable to undertake the full scope of practice, taking full responsibility for all patients, with limited oversight of their practice by a supervisor (peer review) and reach comparability within 12 months’ full time equivalent (FTE) practice, with a maximum time on the program of 24 months if working part time.

9.2 Comprehensive Australian general practice

  1. Continuity of care that is person centred, comprehensive and coordinated; focusing on the whole person, and all presenting symptoms;
  2. Health promotion and illness prevention services that are based on patient need and the best available evidence;
  3. 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
  4. Community-based general practice undertaken in Australia.

9.3 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.

9.4 GP in Training (GPiT)

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.

9.5 Multi Source Feedback (MSF)

Consists of three components – a colleague feedback assessment tool, a patient assessment tool, and a reflective task.

9.6 Participant

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 Program Agreement

The RACGP agreement signed by the participant preceding official entry into the PEP.

9.10 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.

9.11 Workplace Based Assessment (WBA)

A framework for evaluating a doctor’s 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

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

Release Notice

Version

Date of effect

Amendment details

Amended by

2

31/05/2021

Moderate Amendments

Policy Advisor, Strategy and Development

Policy owner:

Board

Approved by:

CiC

Approved on:

25/05/2021

Next Review Due:

31/05/02024