This guidance document provides further information to the process covered in clause 5.5 (Extension to Transition) of the AGPT Program Extension of Training Time Policy 2020 regarding transition of a Australian General Practice Training Program registrar to the Practice Experience Program – Standard Stream (PEP Standard) .
- Extensions to Transition to the PEP Standard will only be available to eligible GPs-in-Training (GPiTs) in consideration of clause 6 the AGPT Training Obligations Policy 2020.
- According to the current policy, extensions are capped at a maximum of 12 calendar weeks. However, the Department of Health (DoH) has expressed support for amending the AGPT Program Extension of Training Time Policy, and increasing the current 12 calendar week cap on Extensions to Transition to 26 calendar weeks (please see clause 5.5.1). While the RACGP is waiting for DoH to implement this amendment, we’re confident that the change will be implemented soon.
- In the meantime, the RACGP are able to grant a further extension of time in extenuating circumstances (see clause 7 of the policy) on top of the current 12 calendar week cap to cover the remaining time until transition to the PEP Standard has been completed. This further extension of time is not automatically granted, and the RACGP will only consider applications from GPiTs that are supported by their Training Organisation. Factors to consider are:
- the GPiT has taken active steps to transition to the PEP Standard, including submission of an acceptable transition plan and PEP application; and
- acceptance onto the PEP Standard is likely to occur within a total of 26 weeks (12-week extension to transition plus further extension of time).
3.1 Key Timing and Issues
- When determining the process for and timing of a GPiT transition from AGPT to the PEP Standard, there are three important factors that should be considered simultaneously, these being provider number and AGPT Training time expiration dates; eligibility for a Practice Experience Program Entry Assessment (PEPEA) exemption; and practice suitability.
- What are the GPiT’s AGPT end dates and provider number expiration dates?
- The Training Organisation usually issues a provider number with an expiry date coinciding with the end of AGPT training time. If this is not the case, then the Training Organisation should extend the provider number until the end of AGPT time. However, the end of AGPT time may not correlate with the start of the PEP (and the processing time needed to issue a new provider number). So, the GPiT should submit concurrently an AGPT Program Extension of Training time form for the purposes of transitioning to PEP with an application form to enter the PEP Standard.
- It is imperative that extension and provider number end dates align and cover any period required to accommodate the process of issuing a PEP provider number, which can only start from the PEP start date.
Ideally the last day of the GPiT’s AGPT provider number should be immediately followed by the commencement of their PEP provider number.
- Please note that the PEP start dates are quarterly and do not necessarily align with the AGPT term dates.
- Will the GPiT be required to sit the PEPEA?
- Some GPiTs may be exempt from completing the PEPEA. This is outlined in Clause 4.6 of the Practice Experience Program – Standard Stream Eligibility Policy,. If the GPiT does not meet the PEPEA exemption criteria, they will be required to sit the PEPEA. The GPiT needs to apply for the PEP Standard through the usual application process to enrol and sit the PEPEA.
- Does the GPiT intend to remain in their current practice?
- GPiTs who transition from the AGPT program to the PEP Standard may be able to continue practising at their most recent AGPT accredited practice with the written support of their AGPT supervisor and Training Organisation. However, it is important to note that if the GPiT’s provider number for this practice expires prior to the start date of their PEP intake, they will need to find a new placement that meets PEP practice suitability requirements. The RACGP cannot rollover a provider number that has closed or expired.
- If the GPiT is unable to continue in their current practice, they will need to provide evidence of a job offer from a new practice meeting the PEP practice suitability requirements.
Please read this in conjunction with the Manage AGPT to PEP Transition Process diagram (in Appendix 1 below).
By the Training Organisation and GPiT:
- Assess expiration date of current provider number
- Ensure the current provider number is valid until expiry of AGPT training time, if not, the Training Organisation must extend it.
- To help us monitor the GPiT’s transition to the PEP, please let us know the GPiT’s provider number end-dates that are extended by the Training Organisation by email to PEPApprovedPlacement@racgp.org.au
- Submit a completed PEP application and apply for transition to the PEP
- The GPiT must apply for the PEP through the standard PEP online application process.
- In the meantime, provide GPiT’s details, including expiry date of AGPT training time and provider numbers in the template provided by the RACGP to AGPTadmin@racgp.org.au
- Given that the PEP application process is likely to take longer than the capped 12-week Extension – Transition period, the GPiT may request a further extension in extenuating circumstances to cover the remaining time. Such an application must be supported by their Training Organisation, and be in line with clause 7 of the AGPT Program Extension of Training Time Policy 2020. Applications will be assessed and determined by the RACGP on a case-by-case basis.
- Develop a transition plan and apply for a provider number extension
The GPiT and Training Organisation work together to develop a transition plan for RACGP approval. The plan is to include:
- a statement that the GPiT is requesting to transition to the PEP and why;
- dates for proposed PEP enrolment;
- a plan for learning that articulates:
- the actions the registrar will commit to undertaking to address any previously identified education issues, including preparation for previously unmet Fellowship assessment requirements; and
- when the GPiT would be likely eligible to sits Fellowship exams under the General Practice Experience Pathway – Exam Eligibility Policy;
- written confirmation that the GPiT is supported by the Training Organisation and training practice to remain in the same AGPT accredited practice, or that they are planning to relocate practices;
- the Modified Monash (MM) classification and Distribution Priority Area (DPA) details of the GPiT’s continuing practice or new practice location; and
- a copy of the GPiT’s RIDE transcript through the PEP application process if exemption from PEPEA is being requested.
- The plan should be sent to AGPTadmin@racgp.org.au by the Training Organisation, and it should be clear in the application that both the GPiT and the Training Organisation agree to the plan. Both parties must be copied in the email.
- On approval of the Extension to Transition, the current provider number must also be extended by the Training Organisation (if not already done) and communicated to PEPApprovedPlacement@racgp.org.au
By the RACGP:
- cross check AGPT withdrawals against PEP applications to ensure all GPiTs who wish to enter the PEP are monitored during transition;
- cross check the provider number of GPiT’s who wish to enter the PEP against 3GA provider number records;
- send the GPiT (copy to the Training Organisation):
4.2 Appendix 1
- Manage AGPT to PEP Transition Process Level 3