Fitness for Intended Clinical Practice Interview

1. Introduction

This guidance document is designed to help Applicants prepare and apply for a Fitness for Intended Clinical Practice Interview. The FICPI is a panel interview which assesses an Applicant’s expertise and experience to determine their suitability for a specified practice.

The outcome of a successful FICPI is a recommendation to the AHPRA of the Applicant’s fitness for conditional medical registration within the Specialist Pathway, and for employment in the intended general practice position.

2. Definitions

AHPRA Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency

AKT Applied Knowledge Test

AMC Australian Medical Council

Applicant A doctor who has submitted an application for categorisation, but has not yet passed the FICPI

Candidate A doctor who has obtained a successful FICPI outcome and been accepted into the Specialist Pathway

CV Curriculum Vitae

FICPI Fitness for Intended Clinical Practice Interview

GP General Practitioner

RACGP Royal Australian College of General Practitioners

3. Guidance

3.1 Complete pre-FICPI requirements

3.1.1 The Applicant must prepare and submit a completed application for the Specialist Pathway as per the requirements in the relevant Category Two or Category Three Applying for Entry into the Specialist Pathway Guidance Document.

3.1.2 Once the completed application for categorisation has been submitted, it will be assessed by the RACGP. After a successful assessment outcome, the Applicant will receive an email with a categorisation outcome. The Applicant can log in to their application and review the outcome in detail.

3.1.3 When the applicant logs in to the application, they will be instructed to

  1. complete the Specialist Pathway Education Program. Details on completing this program are provided to Applicants at the appropriate time.
  2. pay for the FICPI. For information relating to the fee structure, please refer to the Specialist Pathway Fees document.

Applicants must complete a FICPI within 3 months of receiving their categorisation outcome. (Applicants will receive an outcome by October 2018).

3.1.4 Having paid for the FICPI, the Applicant will need to provide documents for the college to organise the interview. Documents should be submitted by email to the Fellowship Pathways Team. Applicants must provide:

  1. a position description, in the RACGP format (provided in the FICPI Application Form) which clearly outlines the position offered. Generic position descriptions will not be accepted.The position description is to give details of the situation in which the Applicant will be working and the supervision they can expect. The document must nominate and be signed by an appropriate supervisor.
  2. a summary of the patient demographics for the intended position. A printout from the practice management system of the patient demographics is provided. This should give the age ranges and gender of the practice population using the BEACH data headings as provided in the templates in the FICPI Application Form.
  3. an orientation plan which details how the Applicant will begin work at the clinic and how the clinic will manage the Applicant’s transition to general practice in Australia. This should include a two-week orientation program in line with both the requirements of the position and the Applicant’s cultural background.The orientation plan must include the content of the program, the delivery mechanism, documentation of the delivery and the scheduled completion times for each component. A suitable template, such as The Medical Board of Australia Practice for Limited Registration – Orientation Report (provided in the FICPI Application Form) may be used. If the Applicant is applying through a rural workforce program, the practice may delegate some aspects of the orientation program to the rural workforce agency.

3.1.5 The RACGP will also refer to earlier submitted documentation, including:

  1. the Applicant’s offer of a job in general practice
  2. the Applicant’s CV.

3.1.6 The Fellowship Pathways team will review the documentation and, if appropriate, confirm with the practice before organising the interview. If the Applicant has not provided sufficient information, further information may be requested via email.

The Fellowship Pathways team will then forward the submitted information to the relevant state faculty, who will contact the Applicant to organise the FICPI at a mutually convenient time.

3.2 Attend the FICPI

3.2.1 The FICPI is conducted by a panel of three interviewers and lasts approximately 90 minutes. The panel will select 5 – 7 short cases (clinical scenarios) to discuss with the Applicant. The FICPI is designed to assess the suitability of the Applicant to work in a specific practice in Australia and may include discussion of the Applicant’s skills; their historical and current clinical practice; clinical scenarios with an examiner role-playing a patient; or viva style oral examination questions.

3.2.2 During the interview, the panel will:

  1. make independent judgements on the Applicant’s capability
  2. reach a consensus on the Applicant’s risk category and suitability for the practice in question
  3. decide on recommendations to be included in the report provided to the AMC and the Applicant.

3.2.3 If the Applicant is not in Australia, they will have the option to either come to Australia for a face-to-face interview or conduct the FICPI via video link. Videoconferencing for the FICPI is not recommended. More information is given in the Appendix.

3.3 Receive the FICPI outcome

3.3.1 The Applicant will be notified of the outcome of the FICPI by the Fellowship Pathways Team.

  1. Applicants noted as “seriously deficient” or “competence not demonstrated” will not be able to proceed until remediation has been undertaken and they have demonstrated improved likely fitness for practice via a repeat FICPI. The FICPI panel may make recommendations to the Applicant regarding the form that the remediation may take. Subsequent FICPIs may be attempted after a deferral of one month and must be requested within three months of the previous FICPI outcome. Candidates may attempt the FICPI a maximum of three times. If a successful outcome is not achieved after the third attempt, an outcome of not comparable will be given.
    Candidates who believe a decision has been made in error may request reconsideration of the outcome of the FICPI in accordance with the Fellowship Pathway Appeals Policy.
  2. As the FICPI outcome is linked to the practice, some competent Applicants may be found unsuitable for practice in high-risk locations. In these cases, Applicants may not need to re-present for a second FICPI if they are able to alleviate the risk of their practice. This may be by moving to a lower risk practice or increasing supervision levels.
  3. If the Applicant has been assessed as eligible to work in the nominated position, a ‘Report 1 – Assessment of International Medical Graduates’ report will be emailed to them and uploaded to the AMC Portal. This report will endorse the Applicant to work at the named clinics, with any restrictions determined by the FICPI panel. The RACGP and AHPRA have access to this report.

3.4 Continue on to the Specialist Pathway

3.4.1 The submission of Report 1 to the AMC marks the acceptance of the Applicant onto the Specialist Pathway to Fellowship of the RACGP. All conditions of the Specialist Pathway, as outlined in the Specialist Pathway Policies available on the RACGP website, apply to Candidates from the date of Report 1 submission.

3.4.2 The Candidate is responsible for obtaining medical registration from AHPRA.

3.4.3 The FICPI outcome is valid for 12 months from the time the Candidate is advised of the outcome. During this time, the Candidate must commence work at the endorsed practice(s).

  1. The Candidate must make contact with the RACGP at least every 3 months until they commence work.
  2. If the Candidate is unable to commence work within 12 months, they must advise the RACGP within five business days of this date. In this circumstance, another FICPI may be required.
  3. Upon commencing work, the practice manager at each endorsed practice must contact the RACGP to notify that the Candidate has commenced work.

3.4.4 If the Candidate changes their place of intended practice between sitting a FICPI and commencing work, they must notify the RACGP.

  1. The Candidate will be required to provide new documentation regarding the new intended practice. This will include the job offer; position description; patient demographics; and orientation report for the new practice.
  2. Where possible, the original FICPI panel will be re-convened. If this is not possible, a new panel will be convened. The panel will decide whether the provided documentation is sufficient to approve the new practice on the papers. If the panel approves the new position, the RACGP will notify the AMC. A fee will apply for this assessment.
  3. If there is not sufficient information to approve the new practice, another FICPI may be required.

4. References

This document is supported by the following policies:

Fellowship Pathways Appeals Policy

Specialist Pathway Fee Structure

Applying for Entry into Category Two of the Specialist Pathway Policy

Applying for Entry into Category Three of the Specialist Pathway Policy

These documents are available from our policies page.

Applicants may email the Fellowship Pathways team at

5. Appendix: Organising a FICPI via videoconference

The FICPI is an interview in which you will be assessed for your fitness for Australian general practice.

Even a perfectly functioning video link has inherent limitations in the assessment of physical examination skills, non-verbal communication and other attributes of a doctor’s manner. Unfortunately, the majority of video links are not perfectly functioning. As the FICPI is a timed interview, technological problems such as ‘freezes’ or ‘dropouts’ may put you at a disadvantage by preventing you fully understanding the questions or successfully communicating your answers within the required time.

The RACGP requires that a dedicated teleconferencing facility in a suitable venue is hired at your expense. Suitable venues include Medical Council or Medical Board offices in the country in which the interview is to be held, or an Australian Embassy, Council or International Trade Office. Venues such as private residences; medical practices; hospital clinical, educational or administrative departments; schools; universities; hotels; conference venues; police stations; court houses and retail businesses are not deemed suitable venues. You will also be required to engage an invigilator at your cost. Suitable invigilators include official staff members of the Australian Embassy, Consulate or International Trade Office; Employees of the Medical Council or Medical Board office in the country in which the interview is held; or other persons as deemed suitable by the RACGP. Relatives, work colleagues or educators involved in preparing you for the FICPI are not suitable invigilators. You will also be required to pay for the RACGP’s teleconferencing costs.

Given the considerable expense and reduced likelihood of success, most candidates find it preferable to come to Australia to present for the FICPI in person, often combining this visit with a visit to the intended practice. If you are unable to present in person, your state faculty will present you with the additional conditions for FICPI to be held via video conference.