Reconsiderations and Appeals


1. Introduction

This guidance document provides further information on the appeals procedures detailed in the RACGP Reconsiderations and Appeals Policy.

2. Definitions

  1. Appeals Committee means the committee convened under clause 7.3.1 of the RACGP Reconsiderations and Appeals Policy.
  2. Applicant means an RACGP member who is applying for reconsideration or appeal under the RACGP Reconsiderations and Appeals Policy.
  3. Member has the meaning given in the RACGP Constitution, and includes Affiliates, Associates, Registrar Associates, Members and Fellows.
  4. Original decision means the primary decision made by the RACGP which the applicant contends has been made incorrectly.
  5. Original decision maker means the RACGP body that had made the original decision.
  6. RACGP Assessments and Examinations includes the following:
    1. Applied Knowledge Test (AKT)
    2. Key Feature Problem (KFP)
    3. Clinical Examination, which depending on the time of sitting, is the Objective Structured Clinical  Exam (OSCE), Remote Clinical Exam (RCE) or Clinical Competency Exam (CCE)
    4. Candidate Assessment and Applied Knowledge Test (CAAKT)
    5. Practice Experience Program Entry Assessment (PEPEA)
    6. Workplace-based Assessment (WBA)

3. Context

3.1 Decisions that may be appealed

As per clause 5.2 of the RACGP Reconsiderations and Appeals Policy:

  1. in the instance of an application for reconsideration or appeal related to a result in an RACGP Examination, an investigation will be undertaken to ensure all exam marking and quality assurance steps were correctly executed. This investigation does not extend to a remarking of an examination paper or reassessment of exam performance.
  2. in relation to the WBA, only RACGP concordance decisions regarding the participant’s eligibility for Fellowship are appealable. Assessments made by individual assessors that form part of the overall assessment are not appealable.

3.2 Decisions that are out of scope

As per clause 5.3 of the RACGP Reconsiderations and Appeals Policy, Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) registrars who contend that a clinical or non-clinical decision made by their Regional Training Organisation (RTO) or the RACGP was made incorrectly may apply for appeal in line with the RACGP Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) Program Appeals Policy.

4. Guidance

4.1 Submitting an application for reconsideration or appeal

4.1.1 Applicants wishing to reconsider or appeal a decision must:

4.1.2 Applications must be submitted in the following timeframes:

Type of application

Submission deadline

Application for reconsideration

Within ten national office business days of being notified of the original decision.

For example:

  1. Exam results: Application for reconsideration must be received within ten national office business days of the date of exam results release.
  2. Exam withdrawal: Application for reconsideration must be received within ten national office business days of the date of the email or letter advising the applicant that they have been withdrawn from the exam.
  3. Exam special arrangements: Application for reconsideration must be received within ten national office business days of the date of the email or letter advising the applicant of the outcome of their application for exam special arrangements.
  4. GPE outcomes: Application for reconsideration must be received within ten national office business days of the date of the GPE Confirmation Letter.
  5. Comparability assessments: Application for reconsideration must be received within ten national office business days of the date of the Comparability Assessment Outcome Letter.

Application for appeal

Within 20 national office business days of being notified of the outcome of a reconsideration application.

4.1.3 The following fees apply when submitting an application:

Type of application

Fee

Application for reconsideration

AUD 300.00

Application for appeal

AUD 5,000.00

Application fees are a contribution to the cost of a reconsideration or appeal. It involves staff time and resources in investigating the matter, liaising with relevant internal and external stakeholders as required, and in the case of an appeal, the participation of Appeals Committee members and RACGP staff in the appeal proceedings. In cases where the original decision is overturned the applicant will be reimbursed the full application fee.

4.1.4 The RACGP may withdraw an application for reconsideration or appeal due to non-payment of the application fee by the stipulated deadline.

4.1.5 If an application for reconsideration or appeal is incomplete, the RACGP will request further information from the applicant. The RACGP may withdraw the application if the requested information is not received by the stipulated deadline.

4.1.6 The applicant may withdraw their application for reconsideration or appeal at any time before a determination has been made by emailing education.appeals@racgp.org.au. The applicant will be refunded the application fee minus an AUD 100.00 administrative fee and any irrecoverable or otherwise committed costs (for example, Appeals Committee member travel or accommodation).

4.2 Grounds for the application

4.2.1 Applicants have the onus of proof to establish the ground(s) for their application.

4.2.2 Reconsideration

An application for reconsideration may be made on one or both of the following grounds:

  1. The original decision was inconsistent with RACGP policies; and/or
  2. The provided information was not appropriately considered at the time of the original decision

4.2.3 Appeal

As per clause 7.3.2 of the RACGP Reconsiderations and Appeals Policy, the Appeals Committee decides each appeal on its merits, and subject to the rules of natural justice and procedural fairness, may inform itself of any matter and in such a manner as it thinks fit. An application for appeal therefore need not be made on one or both of the grounds listed in clause 4.2.2 above.

Examples of the grounds for appeal that may be accepted by the Appeals Committee include:

  1. an error in law or in due process occurred in the formulation of the original decision;
  2. relevant and significant information, whether available at the time of the original decision or which became available subsequently, was not considered or not properly considered in the making of the original decision;
  3. irrelevant information was considered in the making of the original decision;
  4. procedures that were required by College policies to be observed in connection with the making of the decision were not observed;
  5. the original decision was made for an improper purpose;
  6. the original decision was made in accordance with a rule or policy without regard to the merits of the particular case;
  7. the original decision was clearly inconsistent with the evidence and arguments put before the original decision maker.

5. References

RACGP Reconsiderations and Appeals Policy