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Specialist Pathway

Specialist Pathway

Last updated 4 August 2023

Before you start reading the information on this webpage, please be aware that this information is a guide only and is subject to change based on updated regulation and policy. Each individual’s experience may vary slightly.


The Specialist pathway is for overseas-trained specialist GPs who wish to be assessed for comparability to the standard of an Australian-trained specialist GP.

The RACGP is the specialist medical college for general practice and you will need to apply to the RACGP for a comparability assessment to determine if you are eligible for this pathway. This assessment will consider your specialist general practice qualification, the nature of the training, methods of previous assessment, general practice experience, continuing professional development (CPD) and continuity of practice.

If our assessment shows that you are substantially or partially comparable, then you are eligible to apply for the RACGP’s Practice Experience Program – Specialist Stream (PEP-SP).

To begin the PEP-SP, you will need to have an approved job offer so that you can complete six months of supervised general practice. You’ll also need to meet some education requirements and undertake workplace-based assessments.

Steps to Fellowship

  • Obtain letter of offer and employment contract from your employer.
  • Ensure your offer of employment meets the conditions for a 3GA program provider number.
  • Upload information about your job offer including supervisor details, the scope of practice and location to the PEP - Specialist Stream application platform.
  • RACGP assessors will review the information.
  • Once your job offer is approved, you can apply for AHPRA medical registration.
  • The RACGP uploads Report 1, which is an interim outcome assessment, to the AMC portal:
    • Substantially comparable: Apply to AHPRA for provisional registration
    • Partially comparable: Apply to AHPRA for limited registration
    • Non-comparable: Apply for the competent authority or standard pathways.
  • Translate all documents into English and certify.
  • Complete English language test (if needed).
  • Complete criminal history check.
  • Ensure you meet the registration standards.
  • Complete AHPRA registration application.
  • AHPRA will assess your application against the registration standards and decide if you are eligible for registration. This usually takes six to eight weeks.
  • If you are eligible, you will receive a notice of in-principle approval from AHPRA .
  • Present in person at an AHPRA office or your practice office for an identification check.
  • If you are granted registration, your name will be published on the National Register of Health Practitioners within two weeks.
  • Check which visa options would suit your need with Department of Home Affairs Visa Finder (for example, with pathways to permanent residency for temporary residents, direct pathways to permanent residency, temporary business sponsored visas)
  • For enquiries about 3GA programs and visa status, please contact your local Rural Workforce Agency for assistance 
  • The Temporary Skill Shortage Visa (subclass 482) medium-term stream is the most common pathway for migrating to Australia as a doctor and requires that you be sponsored by an Australian medical practice or hospital. For this visa, follow the step-by-step guide here.
  • Apply to enter the PEP – Specialist Stream within 12 months of receiving your comparability assessment outcome.
  • Provide evidence of the following:
    • AHPRA medical registration, including your name, must be on the National Register of Health Practitioners.
    • An approved job offer.
    • Completion of an advanced life support course.
    • An agreement with a suitable supervisor and two supervisor training plans completed by your practice.
  • If all requirements are met, you will be provided with the Fellowship pathway agreement.
  • Pay the invoice and return a signed program agreement to the RACGP.
  • Complete the Medicare provider number application form and submit it to the RACGP.
  • The RACGP will help you to apply for an approved placement, a Medicare provider number and to have your approved placement entered into the Register of Approved Placements.
  • It can take up to 12 weeks for the Medicare provider number application form to be processed by the RACGP, the Department of Health and Aged Care and Medicare. Contact approvedplacement@racgp.org.au if you have any questions.
  • You will receive an approved placement outcome letter issued directly from Services Australia or Medicare that outlines your specific provider number, placement address, exemption/s, and placement start and end dates.
  • Commence work in the RACGP-approved practice within six calendar months. The PEP – Specialist Stream six-12-month term commences from the first day of work.
  • Submit to RACGP and the Medical Bord of Australia your AHPRA orientation report (ORIG-30 form) and AHPRA work performance report (WRIG-30 form).
  • Complete all the workplace-based assessment components within three to six months of commencing work. These include:
    • online core learning units and reflective activity
    • Complete Doctor’s Interpersonal Skills Questionnaire (DISQ), Colleague Feedback and Evaluation Tool (CFET) and self-appraisal, together known as "multisource feedback”
    • a clinical assessment visit from a medical educator who will observe you in practice during four consultations (direct observation) and conduct clinical case analyses
    • a clinical case analysis that involves the assessor selecting patients seen by you in the preceding week and asking you questions about aspects of the case.
  • Complete other assessment requirements, including RACGP core modules, a self-reflective activity and workplace-based peer review.
  • More information about the 6-12 month Specialist program can be found in the Specialist Participant Guide
  • Check the Fellowship Exams Policy to see if you have satisfied the educational, training, experience and administrative requirements prior to enrolling in the Fellowship exams, to better ensure exam readiness and success.
  • Enrol in the RACGP Fellowship exams via the RACGP website.
  • Complete and pass the:
    • Applied Knowledge Test (AKT)
    • Key Feature Problem (KFP) exam
    • Clinical Exam
  • Check and ensure you have met the Fellowship requirements.
  • Apply to the RACGP for Fellowship as soon as you’ve met the Fellowship requirements.
  • Once you have received confirmation of Fellowship, apply for specialist registration with AHPRA.

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