1. Specialist Recognition Program Substantially Comparable Entry Policy
1.1 Policy number: CO-E-0036.0
1.2 Category: Education
1.3 Approval date: May 2018
1.4 Revision due date: May 2021
1.5 Unit responsible: Education Services
2. Policy declaration
Applicants assessed as Substantially Comparable must meet the requirements detailed in this policy to be granted entry into the Specialist Recognition Program.
3. Objectives and scope
This policy aims to describe the entry requirements for the Specialist Recognition Program to Fellowship of the RACGP for specialist international medical graduates (SIMGs).
- This policy applies to SIMGs wishing to pursue Fellowship of the RACGP via the Specialist Recognition Program (SRP) who have been assessed as Substantially Comparable under the Comparability Assessment.
- This policy and associated policies will supersede the existing Specialist Pathway Program (SPP) policies as from 3 September 2018 and Comparability Assessments will be conducted from this time. Participants enrolled in the existing SPP before 31 August 2018 will continue their candidacy under the policies of the SPP.
For the purposes of this policy:
- Applicant means a medical practitioner who is applying for entry to the Specialist Recognition Program.
- Acceptance of application means the date on which the Comparability Assessment application is accepted is the date that all necessary documents are received by the RACGP.
- Candidate means a medical practitioner who has been accepted into the Specialist Recognition Program.
- Comparable/comparability means the extent to which an SIMG’s recency, continuity of practice, continual professional development, assessment, training, qualifications and clinical experience is assessed as equivalent to an Australian-trained specialist general practitioner at the point of Fellowship.
- Substantially Comparable means applicants have been assessed as suitable to undertake the intended scope of practice, taking full responsibility for all patients, with limited oversight of their practice by a supervisor (peer review).
- Comprehensive Australian general practice means
- 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
- Community-based general practice undertaken in Australia.
- 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.
- 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.
- SIMG means Specialist International Medical Graduate.
- Specialist Pathway Program (SPP) means the SPP referred to throughout this and associated policies and documentation. This is the pathway superseded by the Specialist Recognition Program on 3 September 2018, and which categorised SIMGs as Category 1, 2 or 3.
- Specialist Recognition Program (SRP) means the Specialist Recognition Program referred to throughout this and associated policies and documentation. This program superseded the SPP on 3 September 2018, and which assesses SIMGs as Substantially, Partially or Not Comparable.
- Supervision/supervised practice means principles of supervision and supervised practice will be based upon the prescribed Medical Board of Australia Guidelines – Supervised Practice of International Medical Graduates.
5. Applying for Entry
5.1 Eligibility requirements
Applicants must have completed a Comparability Assessment and been assessed as Substantially Comparable. The process for applying for a Comparability Assessment is detailed in RACGP's A Guide to Completing the Specialist Recognition Program Comparability Assessment.
5.2 Application requirements
Applicants must submit a completed application for entry into the SRP. This application must include the following information:
- Evidence of current medical registration in the applicant’s current jurisdiction of practice and all details of any:
- restrictions on or changes to their medical registration; and
- regulatory authority activity, whether in Australia or otherwise, that:
Applicants with restrictions on their medical registration or any other regulatory activity may not be granted entry into the SRP. Failure to disclose 5.2.a.i or 5.2.a.ii will be handled as per the Educational Misconduct Policy.
- has led or may lead to a restriction on practice; or
- has led to an adverse finding for the medical practitioner, or forms part of an ongoing investigation.
- A certificate of good standing from all registering authorities with whom the applicant has held medical registration, which is valid at the date of the application for the program being accepted. If the certificate does not have an expiry date, it will be considered valid for six months from the date of issue.
- An offer of a job in comprehensive general practice in Australia, as defined in the Assessment of General Practice Experience Policy.
- Evidence of the completion of the RACGP Core Modules, as amended from time to time.
- Evidence of an agreement with a suitable mentor.
- Proof of current financial membership of the RACGP.
- Evidence of a Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) course completed within the twelve calendar months prior to acceptance of application into the SRP. The requirements are detailed in RACGP’s Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Advanced Life Support Courses Guidance Document.
- Evidence of training in the early management of trauma and advanced life support (ALS) completed within the four years prior to applying for entry to the program. The requirements are detailed in RACGP’s Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Advanced Life Support Courses Guidance Document.
5.3 Professional and ethical requirements
Applicants must satisfy the Fit and Proper Fellow Policy.
The decision to grant entry into the SRP is at RACGP’s absolute discretion.
6.1 Applicants must return a signed Program Agreement to the RACGP preceding official entry into the Program.
6.2 Applicants meeting all the requirements outlined in Clause 5 will be awarded Fellowship ad eundem gradum (FAEG).
6.3 Following the awarding of FAEG, participants must complete six months of full time equivalent (FTE) comprehensive general practice, and educational requirements as outlined in the Specialist Recognition Program Substantially Comparable Post-Fellowship Requirements Policy.
7. Related policies, documents and legislation
All policies and guidance documents related to the Specialist Recognition Program are available on our policy page.
8. Administrative procedures
8.1 Access to published policy
This policy will be available via the RACGP website as detailed in clause 7.
8.2 Promulgation of published policy
Relevant staff members, internal and external stakeholders including international medical colleges, existing SRP and SPP participants, and prospective Specialist Recognition Pathway applicants will be provided communications explaining the function and role of this policy.
8.3 Review of this policy
This policy will have a review cycle of three years.