Policy update notice: Practice Experience Program policies – 2 September 2019


2 September 2019

Notice of RACGP policy update

This notice is to advise that the RACGP has updated the Practice Experience Program (PEP) policies, and other relevant guidance associated with the PEP.

Please see below for an outline of each policy and the key changes which have been made.

Entry Policy

Summary

Key changes – September 2019

  • This policy outlines the eligibility requirements for the PEP, including experience, qualifications, registration, employment and provider number requirements.
  • It describes the process of application and entry, including application requirements, the Practice Experience Program Entry Assessment (PEPEA), the Initial Core Skills Analysis (ICSA), the development of Individual Program Requirements (IPR) and signature of the Program Agreement.
  • Reflects changes to PEPEA validity (clause 6). It will now remain valid for 12 months from the date of sitting.
  • Reflects new terminology relating to Basic Life Support requirements in line with the Basic and Advanced Life Support Guidance Document (8.1.c).
  • Outlines new policy allowing some AGPT and RVTS registrars to transition to the PEP without undertaking the PEPEA (6.6).

Progression Policy

Summary

Key changes – September 2019

  • This policy outlines participants’ educational and clinical requirements during the program, and the implications of non-compliance upon provider number maintenance.
  • It also provides the option of the clinical break, available where a participant is unable to continue with clinical experience for a defined period of time.
  • Reflects the new requirements of the Satisfactory Completion Framework, which outlines the criteria to be met by participants in order to maintain access to their PEP provider number (5).
  • Clarifies the distinction between educational and clinical requirements, and to ensure that the impact of leave upon progression is clear for participants (6 & 7).
  • Outlines provider number and employment requirements for participants (7.1).
  • Outlines the new ‘clinical break’ option, which will allow participants to continue with educational units for up to three months in the event that their provider number or employment is interrupted (7.2)

Remediation Policy

Summary

Key changes – September 2019

  • This policy outlines remediation program payments, duration, and a range of activities which may be offered to participants.
  • There have been no substantive changes to this policy.

Withdrawal Policy

Summary

Key changes – September 2019

  • This policy outlines the reasons for participant withdrawal; withdrawal can be voluntary or involuntary, with involuntary withdrawal being applied where a candidate fails to abide by registration, professional, and education and training requirements.
  • The policy also provides details of avenues to appeal an involuntary withdrawal, and details regarding program re-application.
  • Provides more information regarding program re-entry (5.2).
  • Clarifies policy regarding refunds for withdrawal at different stages of the PEP (i.e. before a term/during a term) and from the PEPEA (5.1).
  • Clarifies timeframes for voluntary and involuntary withdrawal and reconsideration periods where relevant (6 & 7).

Transfer Policy

Summary

Key changes – September 2019

  • This policy describes the circumstances under which transfer between TOs may be permitted (under extenuating and unforeseen circumstances).
  • It also outlines the process by which applicants may request a transfer and the types of documents required to prove extenuating circumstances.

Leave and Extensions Policy

Summary

Key changes – September 2019

  • This policy outlines the types of leave available to participants, the maximum permitted timeframe for each type of leave, and the impact of leave upon provider number maintenance.
  • Provides details around the implications of leave on provider numbers over different leave time frames (6.1.f).
  • Limits the amount of personal leave permitted from 12 months over the course of the PEP to three months (6.3).
  • Reflects the new Extenuating and Unforeseen Circumstances Guidance Document, which outlines the circumstances which would meet this definition, and the evidence which would be required (6.2.c).
  • Outlines the new ‘clinical break’ option, which will allow participants to continue with educational units for up to three months in the event that their provider number or employment is interrupted (7).
  • Outlines the terms of enforced leave, which allows for leave of up to 3 months in the event that a participant finishes a clinical break without finding new employment, and of up to 6 months where a participant loses their medical registration (6.4).

Exam Eligibility Policy

Summary

Key changes – September 2019

  • This policy outlines the clinical, registration and membership requirements to be met prior to sitting FRACGP exams.
  • There have been no substantive changes to this policy.

Requirements for Fellowship Policy

Summary

Key changes – September 2019

  • This policy describes the education, assessment, professional and ethical requirements which must be met before a participant is awarded Fellowship of the RACGP.

Post-Education Progression Policy

New policy

  • This policy covers the phase of the program following completion of the education component, and outlines the requirements for maintenance of the PEP provider number throughout this post-education phase and during a participant’s exam candidacy.
  • It details leave and extensions available during this phase, whereby participants must show genuine effort towards Fellowship in line with the terms of the Provider Number Continuation Framework.

Code of Conduct

Summary

Key changes – September 2019

  • This document outlines the ethical framework within which all PEP participants must work, in their professional, ethical, educational and personal lives.
  • This document has been updated to include stronger language around plagiarism and other forms of educational dishonesty (6.3.c).

Satisfactory Completion Framework – new guidance

New guidance

As per the Progression Policy, participants who satisfactorily complete the PEP will be given an ongoing 3GA provider number for a period of three years in which to complete Fellowship exams. Participants must demonstrate satisfactory progress in line with this framework throughout their time in the PEP, and at the end of their educational program, to retain access to their PEP provider number for the post-education phase.

Provider Number Continuation Framework – new guidance

New guidance

As per the Post-Education Progression Policy, participants may be eligible for extension to their provider number at the end of their three year post-education period if they can demonstrate genuine and ongoing effort towards attaining Fellowship, in line with the terms of this framework.

Extenuating and Unforeseen Circumstances Guidelines – new guidance

New guidance

This document outlines the RACGP’s definitions of extenuating and unforeseen circumstances, and the evidence which is required of PEP participants when applying for leave, transfer or extension under such circumstances.


The policies and guidance are available here. For more information, please contact Rebecca Mackinnon, Policy Coordinator, at rebecca.mackinnon@racgp.org.au

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