Practice Experience Program (PEP)


Applications are now open for the PEP

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PEP participant's guide  PEP Practices guide  Placement guidelines

The RACGP’s Practice Experience Program (PEP) is a self-directed education program designed to support non-vocationally registered (non-VR) doctors on their journey to RACGP Fellowship. The first intake of PEP participants started the program in January 2019. A second group of participants will commence the PEP in July 2019. From 2022 onwards, it will be compulsory for all doctors to complete an RACGP approved program in order to be eligible to sit the RACGP exams.

Applications for 2019 will open on 11 February and close 29 March at 8pm AEST.

The PEP intake for July 2019 will be limited to 200 places. Allocation of these places will be informed by factors including practice location and years of Australian general practice experience (GPE).

You can download the participant's guide to the PEP for more information. Please note this guide is curently being reviewed, keep an eye on the website for the next version.

 

The RACGP is implementing a PEP Entry Assessment (PEPEA) for participants commencing the program in 2020. Participants commencing the PEP in July 2019 will be exempt from sitting the PEPEA.

 

PEP intake

2019

2020

Applications

  • 11 February 2019 – 29 March 2019
  • 18 February – 15 March 2019
  • 1 May – 28 June 2019
  • 19 August – 13 September 2019

Program start date

01 July 2019

Apply now

 01 January 2020

Apply now

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for the PEP, applicants must:

 
  • hold current Australian medical registration without restrictions
  • have a job or a job offer delivering general practice services in Australia
  • hold a valid general practice experience assessment with at least one year of assessed Australian general practice experience (full-time equivalent).
  • pass PEPEA
  • hold current Australian medical registration without restrictions
  • have a job or a job offer delivering general practice services in Australia
  • hold a valid general practice experience assessment with at least one year of assessed Australian general practice experience (full-time equivalent).

You may be eligible to attempt the PEPEA without meeting all of the entry criteria for the PEP. For details, see the PEPEA FAQs

PEP Entry Assessment (PEPEA) required

No

Yes

PEPEA dates

n/a

  • 29 – 30 April 2019
  • July 2019
  • November 2019

Places (limitation)

200

Unlimited

Program cost

-

Entry assessment $725 payable by the participant

Co-funded program by the Commonwealth.

Co-funded program by the Commonwealth.

The cost for participants is $2000 per term (i.e. 6 months)

The cost for participants is $2000 per term (i.e. 6 months)

Once allocated a place on the program, applicants will be assigned to an appropriate Regional Training Organisations (RTOs) and Remote Vocational Training Scheme (RVTS). This will be based on the applicant’s practice location and RTO / RVTS capacity. There will be a pre-determined number of places available with each RTO and RVTS.

Entry to the PEP, program and pathway requirements once enrolled, exam eligibility and requirements for Fellowship are governed by the PEP Policies, which are available here.

For more information download the participant's guide and see the FAQs below

Support
Support

PEP participants are supported throughout their program via access to qualified medical educators.

Professional
Professional

The program will be delivered in partnership with Regional Training Organisations (RTOs).

 
Personalised
Personalised

Time spent on the PEP and the units required for completion will be specifically tailored to each participant.

Collegiality
Collegiality

As RACGP members, PEP participants will have access to numerous resources, workshops, conferences and networking opportunities.

Tailored programs

Program content

The PEP has a strong emphasis on self-directed learning.

The program consists of six terms. Each term is six months in duration and involves completion of a minimum of five online learning units per term. The length of time on the program will range from a maximum of three terms (18 months) to a minimum of one term (six-months).

Because participants are working in practice, the unit activities are largely practice-based. This has the dual benefit of enabling participants to put new knowledge and skills into practice while spreading the workload between the workplace and home.


Frequently asked questions

Please be advised these FAQ’s are updated frequently. Prior to contacting us, we suggest you review these FAQ’s in case your query has already been addressed.
 


The Practice Experience Program (PEP), is a self-directed education program designed to support non-vocationally registered (non-VR) doctors on their journey to RACGP Fellowship.

The PEP aims to provide targeted educational support for non-VR doctors (primarily international medical graduates (IMGs) to help them deliver quality general practice care to their patients.

From January 2022 it will be compulsory that all RACGP Fellowship exam candidates to complete either the Australian General Practice Training program (AGPT) or the PEP in order to be eligible to obtain FRACGP.


The PEP is an RACGP initiative that will be delivered in partnership with Regional Training Organisations (RTOs) and Remote Vocational Training Scheme (RVTS).


Applications for the July 2019 PEP intake are now open. Please check this website regularly to see up to date information on the PEP and when applications open for future intakes.


You should make sure that you are aware of your existing pathway requirements when considering accepting a place on the PEP. You may be required to withdraw from a pathway you are currently enrolled in. Please see below for more details

Current pathway/program

Able to enrol in PEP

AGPT or RVTS (RACGP’s Vocational Training Pathway)

You can only be in one training program at a time. If you decide to accept your place on the PEP, you must have withdrawn from the AGPT or RVTS before starting on the PEP.

If you are looking at transferring from AGPT or RVTS, the RACGP will be able to facilitate a provider number for your time on the PEP, however, please be aware it could take up to 6 weeks for the new provider number to become active.

Practice Based Experience (PBA) Pathway

No. You would need to withdraw before you can enrol in the PEP, as you cannot be enrolled in more than one pathway to Fellowship. You will be given the opportunity to consider the offer of a place on the PEP and your individual program requirements, including pathway duration before you accept your place.

Rural Locum Relief Program (RLRP)

Yes, you may enrol in the PEP while remaining on the RLRP. Please note from 1 January 2019; the RACGP will facilitate the provision of provider numbers to those GPs whose provider numbers expire after that date. Please read FAQ 14 for more information.

SRP/SPP

The PEP is not recommended for current SRP/SPP candidates, due to the conditions of your registration under the Medical Board of Australia’s Specialist Pathway. This pathway has conditions that require that you obtain Fellowship within a limited time of starting work in Australia, depending on your categorisation. You cannot sit RACGP Fellowship exams until you have completed your allocated PEP program time, which means that you may run out of time on your registration before you are able to complete all requirements.


Anyone who has been on a non-VR Fellowship Support Program attracting government funding (either the ACRRM Independent Pathway from 1/1/19 or the RACGP PEP) is not eligible for funding under the other program. You cannot be on both programs either simultaneously or sequentially. If you left the ACRRM Independent Pathway prior to 1/1/19, you are eligible to join PEP (assuming other eligibility requirements are met).


Yes. The PEP is a Commonwealth supported program funded under the Stronger Rural Health Strategy. Please note you will need to meet eligibility requirements to be considered for the program and that meeting these requirements does not guarantee you a place in the PEP.


Yes. The PEP is a Commonwealth supported program funded under the Stronger Rural Health Program. Please note you will need to meet eligibility requirements to be considered for the program and that meeting these requirements does not guarantee you a place in the PEP.


You do not need to be an Australian citizen to apply for the PEP. Please note you will need to meet eligibility requirements to be considered for the program and that meeting these requirements does not guarantee you a place in the PEP.


The PEP is Commonwealth Government supported, which will result in a reduced cost to participants. The co-payment amount that each participant will be required to pay will be $2,000 per six-month term. Please be advised if you withdraw from the program after having been formally accepted (in writing via a Program Agreement and subject to invoice payment) you will not be eligible for government funding should you wish to join the program in another intake.


Yes, you are able to apply for and enrol in the PEP. However, applicants who already hold vocational registration as a specialist General Practitioner will not be able to access government funding for the program. Therefore, the applicant will be required to fund the program themselves which costs $8500 per term.


The Initial Core Skills Analysis (ICSA) assesses your level of competence and confidence against each of the core skills of general practice.
There are a series of steps involved in undertaking an ICSA:

  • Provide records of any previous Quality Improvement and Continuing Professional Development (QI&CPD) activities
  • Undertake a set of timed, online multiple choice questionnaires (MCQs). This IS NOT intended to be an exam. The MCQs will help to determine your level of clinical knowledge and confidence and therefore which PEP learning units you may need to undertake. There will be a total of 150 questions, delivered in 5 timed blocks of 30 questions. You will also be asked to rate your level of confidence in each of your answers
  • Watch a set of online, simulated GP consultations and answer questions on the scenarios presented. This will help to provide insight into your clinical reasoning and communication skills
  • Complete an online self-reflection questionnaire. This will provide an opportunity for you to express your views on your own learning goals.


Based on the results of your ICSA and your application documentation, RACGP medical educators will determine the length and content of your personalised learning program.

There are around 40 online self-directed learning units, each mapped against the curriculum and each one covering various combinations of the core skills of general practice. Each unit is the equivalent of about 30 hours of work. Some are longer or shorter; however, the five units that you will complete each six-month period are unlikely to exceed 150 hours in total.

Because you will be working in practice, the unit activities are largely practice-based. This has the dual benefit of enabling you to put new knowledge and skills into practice while spreading the workload between the workplace and home. You can expect to spend between one and two hours a day on the units.

In general terms:

  • 1 term (FTE) = 6 months
  • Minimum time spent in the PEP = 6 months (1 term)
  • Maximum time spent in the PEP = 1.5 years (3 terms)
  • Each term = 5 learning units
  • 1 Learning Unit = approximately 30 hours (please note this may vary).

You will be provided with a Learning Program Agreement to review and sign. This will detail your program, its length and the costs involved and also include a Code of Conduct.

Once the RACGP has received your signed Learning Program Agreement you are officially a participant of the PEP. Following this, you will be assigned to an RTO / RVTS based on your geolocation and RTO / RVTS capacity.


Your learning units are allocated based on your results from the ICSA, your previous experience, your reflections and your practice.

Everyone in the PEP will complete the Core units. Due to the number of learning outcomes and amount of content, the first unit is in four parts.

* Core skills unit:

  • The Australian healthcare system and context of Australian general practice
  • Ethics and legalities of practice in Australia
  • Safety (patient, personal and practice)
  • Emergencies in practice

* Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health
* Doctor’s health
* Clinical skills in the general practice context
* Communication and consulting skills – Part 1
* Communication and consulting skills – Part 2

If you work in rural or remote areas, you may also need to complete:

* Rural health

You will receive feedback on some (but not all) of the tasks in the units.

In subsequent terms, you will complete the learning units specified in your Learning Program as agreed with you. These will be allocated to you, but you will have the opportunity to substitute your allocated units for other units that you consider are more appropriate for you following a discussion with a medical educator when you start the program. Other units will be recommended, which means you might find it useful to complete them to further your skills and knowledge. You will not receive feedback from a medical educator about the activities in a recommended unit, but you could choose to discuss them with a friend or colleague.

If you have extra experience in an area (e.g. a Diploma of Child Health) and wish this to be recognised in the allocation of units, you can supply this information with your ICSA assessment. You will need to provide sufficient evidence that you have achieved the learning outcomes and competencies expected at the completion of that unit.

Please refer to Table 1 in the participant’s guide for a full list of the learning units.


Upon completion of your ICSA your results will be assessed by an RACGP Medical Educator (ME) and your learning program subsequently created.

After this, you will be sent your Program Agreement via email which includes your outlined learning program. Prior to signing your Program Agreement you are required to become a member of the RACGP. You need to pay your invoice for term 1 and return via email your signed Program Agreement to secure your place in the program.


The PEP is a self-directed learning program, and you will need to commit your own personal time and effort to ensure satisfactory progression during your participation in the program.

However, in addition to the online learning units, your assigned RTO / RVTS will provide you with the following support during your participation:

  • Medical educator mentoring and support to provide feedback and assistance on developing your learning plan as well as monitoring your progress and performance throughout the duration of each term
  • Longitudinal assessment and feedback, delivered in the workplace and designed to help you improve your performance as a general practitioner and to help prepare you for the Fellowship exams
  • Program administrative support to assist with coordination of training program activities and workplace-based assessment and help you to stay on track throughout the program.


Your RTO / RVTS will advise the RACGP when you have completed your program satisfactorily and have been deemed eligible to sit the RACGP Fellowship exams. Once this is approved by the RACGP, you may enrol for the exams, for further details see the RACGP Fellowship Exams Candidate Handbook.


The Practice Experience Program Entrance Assessment (PEPEA) is a test which comprises clinical applied knowledge questions and Situational Judgement Test (SJT) questions.


SJT questions aim to assess candidate’s judgement in a range of professional scenarios, often with a focus on ethical, moral, legal issues and professionalism. These questions seek to assess your reasoning in these scenarios.


No, for the first year of PEP introduction, participants commencing the PEP in 2019 will not be required to sit the PEPEA.


Yes, participants commencing the PEP from 2020 onwards will be required to sit the PEPEA.


In 2019, the PEPEA will be offered in April, July and November to start the PEP in January 2020. From 2020, the PEPEA will be held quarterly.


The PEPEA will be held in the following locations:

Sydney
Brisbane
Adelaide
Melbourne
Hobart
Canberra 
Perth


The PEP entry assessment, is a similar exam to the AGPT candidate assessment and applied knowledge test (CAAKT). Although the standard is set at different levels, both assessments test situational knowledge and applied knowledge, therefore candidates seeking advice on PEP entry assessment preparation will benefit from referring to CAAKT documentation here.


Your PEPEA pass will be valid for three years from the date results are released. If you don’t start PEP in that time, you may need to attempt the PEPEA again.


Participants will only be have one attempt at the PEP entrance assessment per year. For example, participants who are unsuccessful in attempting the April 2019 PEP entrance assessment will not be able to attempt again until 2020.


In line with the Fellowship Exam Attempts Policy, you will have six semesters across three years to finish the exams. This three-year candidacy begins when you become eligible for exams. If you have enough time in general practice at or before the completion of your Program time to be exam eligible, your period of exam candidacy begins in the first exam semester after completing or withdrawing from PEP. You should, therefore, ensure you enrol in the first exam for which you are eligible – enrolments may fall before the completion of allocated Program time.

For example, if you finish PEP at the end of 2019 and meet the requirements of clause 5 of the Exam Eligibility Policy, your exam candidacy will begin with the 2020.1 exams; you must, therefore, enrol in late 2019 before you have completed your time in the Program.


No, you cannot sit exams while still in the Program. You can enrol in exams (if you are eligible) while still on the Program but must have completed your program time or withdrawn from PEP to sit the exams.


You will carry your exam passes with you into the PEP, in line with clause 6 of the Fellowship Exam Attempts Policy. Existing pass results obtained before 2019.1 remain valid in accord with the exam candidate handbook that was in place at the time of the first pass – usually three years. If you enter the PEP, exam expiry will be frozen for the duration of your program; you will then have the remainder of the three years after you complete your program to pass any remaining exam segments.

If you have no passes before entering PEP, you will have three years from the point of becoming eligible to pass all three segments, in line with clause 5.1.ii of the Fellowship Exam Attempts Policy.

Please note that you are not able to enrol in any exams until you have completed your allocated program time.


You will carry your exam passes with you into the PEP, in line with clause 6 of the Fellowship Exam Attempts Policy. Existing pass results obtained before 2019.1 remain valid in accord with the exam candidate handbook that was in place at the time of the first pass – usually three years. If you enter the PEP, exam expiry will be frozen for the duration of your program; you will then have the remainder of the three years after you complete your program to pass any remaining exam segments.

If you have no passes before entering PEP, you will have three years from the point of becoming eligible to pass all three segments, in line with clause 5.1.ii of the Fellowship Exam Attempts Policy.

Please note that you are not able to enrol in any exams until you have completed your program time satisfactorily.


Yes, however, when considering accepting a place on the PEP, you should note that RACGP exam passes expire after three years. This means that passes gained more than three years prior to your completion of the Program would expire, and you would need to undertake those exam segments again, in line with the RACGP Fellowship Exam Attempts Policy


Applications for an Approved Placement – RACGP Fellowship Program (Practice Experience Program) Provider Numbers will not be accessible to PEP participants working in MMM1 locations (unless exceptional circumstances apply or After Hours Medical Deputising Service - limited).The PEP can be undertaken in MMM1 locations if participants have an ongoing provider number issued by another 3GA (workforce) program. The RACGP advises PEP participants that are presently working in MMM1 practices to retain their current provider number.

For more information, please access the RACGP Fellowship Program placement guidelines.


Applications for an Approved Placement – RACGP Fellowship Program (Practice Experience Program) Provider Numbers are available for those that meet the following requirements:

  1. A PEP Practice position approved by RACGP Medical Educators (adequate scope of practice and meeting at least minimum part time requirements re: weekly hours)

  2. If applicable, the practice location meets the participant’s obligations under section 19AB of the Health Insurance Act, 1973.

Anyone working under Section 19AB will be required to work in a District of Workforce Shortage (DWS) location or in an Indigenous Health Post. Please note that the Department of Human Services are the governing body for exemptions from 19AB requirements.


If your current provider number is issued outside of the RACGP Fellowship Program (Practice Experience Program) and is due to expire and you are not eligible for an extension under that current program please contact PEPAdmin@racgp.org.au for further information after reviewing the following:

  • Change in practice location request application (if wanting to change practices)
  • RACGP Fellowship Program Placement Guidelines


The Modified Monash Model is a new classification system that better categorises metropolitan, regional, rural and remote areas according to both geographical remoteness and town size. The system was developed to recognise the challenges in attracting health workers to more remote and smaller communities. You can find the classification of your location by using the Modified Monash Model locator.


We have built an online portal where you will find everything you need related to the PEP.

To access the PEP portal you will need to login to the RACGP website. You can use the same RACGP login credentials you use regularly.

If you have forgotten your password, follow the ‘forgotten password’ link on the login page to reset it.

Once you have logged in, the PEP portal can be accessed from the drop-down menu on the top right corner of the RACGP website.

Your PEP portal user guide can be accessed by selecting the Help button on the top menu.

We hope your experience with this program is valuable and would like to remind you that we are here to support you throughout your experience:

  • For technical and other PEP portal enquiries, please email pepsupport@racgp.org.au or call 03 8699 0580
  • For PEP enquiries please email pepadmin@racgp.org.au or call 1800 472 247
  • For membership enquiries, please contact 1800 472 247.


You do not have to defer your place, and may commence your program with a period of leave, provided that your leave request meets all other leave requirements outlined in the Leave and Extensions Policy.


You are not required to apply for every period of leave; however, if you are likely to take 5 weeks leave or more cumulatively over any 12-month period, you must complete the Change in Circumstances form. This policy applies to all participants, regardless of employment status.


You will need to apply for a change in circumstances through RACGP. Please note that you will not automatically be granted a transfer, all transfers must be approved by RACGP before they take place. Please contact RACGP for further details and to complete the change in circumstances form.


As per the Progression Policy, you have three months to start suitable employment. During this time, you are expected to work on your learning units to the best of your ability. If you are not able to do this, you may apply for leave. If you're unable to start your new employment within three months, you can choose to either apply for leave/further leave or withdraw from the Program. Applying for leave does not guarantee that it will be approved.