Registrar Clinical Appeals

1. Registrar Clinical Appeals Policy

1.1 Policy number:CO-E-0031.0

1.2 Category: Education

1.3 Approval date: May 2017

1.4 Revision due date: May 2020

1.5 Unit responsible: Education Services 

2. Policy declaration

The purpose of this policy is to provide access to an appeals process for Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) registrars challenging clinical decisions rendered by their Regional Training Organisations (RTOs).

3. Definitions

  1. AGPT Program means the Australian General Practice Training Program.
  2. AGPT registrar means a registrar registered under section 3GA of the Health Insurance Act 1973 in the Australian General Practice Training Program.
  3. Clinical practice means a GP registrar’s clinical work with patients.
  4. Appeals process means the process by which the RACGP reconsiders the matter under dispute afresh, including facts and policy aspects of the RTO’s decision, determines whether the appeal should be upheld or rejected, and makes a recommendation to DoH.
  5. Primary decision means the original decision affecting an AGPT registrar.
  6. Primary decision maker means any employee of the RTO who makes a primary decision.

4. Background

4.1 Context

4.1.1 Registrars who are dissatisfied with an RTO’s decision in relation to clinical matters and/or performance, including readiness of a registrar to sit their Fellowship exams, progression through or withdrawal from the AGPT Program, or matters related to remediation requirements or outcomes, may appeal that decision.

4.1.2 Applications for appeal are, in the first instance, sent to the Department of Health (DoH). DoH will determine whether the appeal is of a clinical or administrative nature. If clinical in nature, the application will be forwarded to the RACGP.

4.2 Objective

4.2.1 This policy provides for appeals to be conducted in accordance with procedures that promote fairness, openness and transparency and afford natural justice to all parties involved in the appeal process.

4.2.2 This policy must be read in conjunction with the AGPT Appeals Policy 2017.

4.3 Scope

4.3.1 Access to a review under this policy is available only when all actions to resolve the issue(s) at the RTO level have been exhausted, in accord with the RTO’s dispute resolution policy and procedures.

4.3.2 This policy applies to: all registrars enrolled in, and who have commenced training in, the AGPT Program all RTOs that have contractual agreements with the Department of Health for the delivery of the AGPT Program.

4.4 Matters out of scope of this policy

This policy does not apply to applicants seeking entry to the AGPT Program.

5. Decisions that may be appealed

The following decisions may be appealed under this policy:

5.1 Program clinical determinations connected to a registrar’s readiness to sit their Fellowship exams

5.2 Progression through, or withdrawal from, the AGPT Program

5.3 Remediation requirements and outcomes of a remedial term.

6. Appeal objectives

6.1 The RACGP will review clinical practice decisions made by the RTO.

6.2 The RACGP will:

6.2.1 consider all facts and policy aspects of the primary decision, based on the evidence that was available to the primary decision maker at the time of rendering the decision

6.2.2 consider any additional evidence

6.2.3 make a recommendation to DoH as to whether the appeal should be upheld or rejected.

7. Appeal process

7.1 Initiating an appeal

7.1.1 Access to a review is available only when all actions to resolve the issue(s) have been exhausted, in accord with the RTO’s dispute resolution policy and procedures.

7.1.2 If the registrar is not satisfied with the RTO’s decision, a review of that decision may be applied for.

To initiate this process, the registrar must submit an application for Appeal to the Department of Health, in accordance with Clause 5 of the AGPT Appeals Policy 2017.

7.2 Assessment for relevance

7.2.1 The Department of Health will review the application in accordance with Clause 5.4 of the AGPT Appeals Policy 2017.

7.2.2 The DoH will refer the application to the RACGP if it is deemed that the application relates to a clinical decision.

7.3 Appeals Panel

7.3.1 The RACGP Appeals Panel is established under this policy to assess an AGPT registrar’s application for appeal and make a recommendation, as per item 4.2 of this document.

7.3.2 The Appeals Panel will review the evidence provided and make a recommendation, within 30 national office business days of the application having been received from the DoH, to either: Reject the appeal Uphold the appeal with recommendations.

7.4 Notification of appeal outcome

The Department of Health will be informed in writing of the RACGP’s recommendation within five national office business days of the recommendation being made. 

8. Related policies, documents and legislation

Department of Health policies related to the AGPT Program.

Relevant RACGP policies are available on our policy page.

9. Administrative procedures

9.1 Access to published policy

This policy will be available via the policy page.

9.2 Promulgation of published policy

Relevant staff members, including RTO CEOs, directors of training, and remediation officers, will be provided communications explaining the function and role of this policy.

9.3 Review of this policy

This policy will have a review cycle of three years.


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Related guidance document

Registrar clinical appeals