Registrars in the Australian Defence Force


Guidance Document

1. Introduction

This guidance document aims to provide context specific support to Training Organisations, registrars and the Australian Defence Force (ADF) on managing the requirements for the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program while also training in the ADF.

2. Context

Registrars who also train in the ADF face a unique training experience. They must adhere to two training schedules, standards and policies amidst deployments and transfers by the ADF while meeting the requirements for Fellowship as detailed in the RACGP Vocational Training Pathway Requirements for Fellowship Policy.

3. Guidelines for registrars in the ADF

3.1 Special training environments
    1. The RACGP recognises that ADF registrars often practise in special training environments such as ADF bases. While special training environments (STEs) can offer excellent training opportunities, it is vital that the ADF registrar gains experience in the full depth and breadth of general practice. Therefore, the RACGP strongly recommends undertaking GPT1 and GPT2 (12 months sequentially in total) in civilian general practice.
    2. STEs do not meet accreditation standards for comprehensive general practice training. Therefore, they are limited to a maximum of 6 months' placement and must be approved prospectively by the RACGP for GP training. Please refer to the RACGP GP Registrars in the ADF webpage for more information.
3.2 Guidance for assessing hospital posts
  1. ADF registrars need to meet all the requirements for general practice vocational training in accordance with the RACGP Standards for General Practice Training. There are no differences in vocational training standards from civilian registrars, meaning that 12 months of post-intern hospital training must be undertaken in accredited hospital posts in Australia or New Zealand.
  2. The RACGP strongly recommends that emphasis be placed on paediatric and geriatric disciplines in these hospital training posts, as these clinical experiences are often limited for ADF registrars during training due to their ADF commitments.
3.3 Guidelines for Extended Skills Posts
  1. ADF registrars need to meet all the requirements for general practice vocational training in accordance with the RACGP Standards for General Practice Training and the RACGP Vocational Training Pathway Requirements for Fellowship Policy. This means that ADF registrars may undertake up to six months of extended skills training approved by the vocational training provider in accordance with the RACGP Standards for General Practice Training.
  2. There are no differences in vocational training standards for Extended Skills Posts from civilian registrars.
3.4 Overseas Extended Skills Post
  1. Extended Skills applications for an overseas setting will only be considered for ADF registrars after completion of GPT1 and GPT2 in Australia and will be assessed on an individual basis.
  2. Requirements for an ADF overseas extended skills post:
      1. The nominated post can take registrars,
      2. There is appropriate onsite supervision,
      3. The supervisor’s current resume and onsite supervisor details and agreement are provided as required,
      4. The post has relevant opportunities for learning, appropriate patient demographics, a commitment to teaching and review of the ADF registrar’s learning plan,
      5. The post is safe for the registrar, determined by assessment of the registrar‘s living arrangements and health service infrastructure.
      6. An adequate learning plan is provided.
    1. Applications should be provided to the relevant RACGP Censor for approval prospectively wherever possible. Please refer to the RACGP GP Registrars in the ADF webpage for more information.
3.5 Recognising deployments in Australia as general practice training time
  1. From time to time, ADF registrars are deployed and removed from their usual training posts. When this occurs, only deployments or exercises within Australia that meet the RACGP Standards for General Practice Training requirements for accreditation as a training post will be recognised as GP training time.
    1. Applications for approval from the relevant RACGP Censor should be made prospectively. In instances where prospective approval is not possible, the ADF registrar can discuss retrospective approval with the relevant RACGP Censor. Please note, once the term is completed retrospective approval cannot be given
  2. For those wishing to use deployment as extended skills please refer to section 3.3 ‘Guidelines for Extended Skills Posts. ADF registrars are encouraged to speak to their Training Organisation for any clarifications or requests for exemption.

ADF registrars are encouraged to speak to their Training Organisation for any clarifications or requests for exemption. 

4. Guidance for managing registrars in the ADF

4.1 ADF registrars must meet all requirements for general practice vocational training in accordance with the RACGP Standards for General Practice Training and the RACGP Vocational Training Pathway Requirements for Fellowship Policy: This means that ADF registrars must complete:
  1. A minimum of one year of hospital rotations post Postgraduate Year 1 (PGY1) or intern year. The hospital rotations (in combination with PGY1) must:
    1. Provide the ADF registrar with adequate exposure to the disciplines of medicine, surgery, emergency medicine, paediatrics, and other rotations appropriate to the discipline of general practice, sufficient to demonstrate an understanding of safe practice in these areas prior to commencing GPT1. For further information on fulfilling these requirements, see RACGP’s Mandatory Hospital Term Requirements Guidance Document.
    2. Include certification in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) that meets the requirements detailed in RACGP’s Basic Life Support and Advanced Life Support Courses Guidance Document.
    3. Be undertaken in an accredited hospital in Australia or New Zealand.
  2. A minimum of 18 months full time equivalent general practice experience in RACGP accredited general practice training posts under the guidance of an RACGP accredited supervisor, as detailed in the RACGP Vocational Training Pathway Requirements for Fellowship Policy.
    1. The RACGP recommends ADF registrars undertake GPT1 and GPT2 (PGY3+) in civilian general practice to ensure continuity of education and training in preparation for the Fellowship exams.
    2. During the two terms of civilian general practice experience, an ADF registrar may take up to a maximum of four weeks to attend a accredited clinical military course to maintain the posts as comprehensive general practice..
      1. To limit interruptions to their practice and their training, we recommend ADF registrars undertake no more than one accredited clinical military course of up to two weeks per six month term.
    3. Of the 18 months, ADF registrars can complete 6 months training in an accredited Special Training Environment (STE). Most ADF bases can be accredited as STEs. For more information on STE placements and accrediting an ADF base, please visit GP Registrars in the ADF webpage. Training posts must meet the minimum part time requirements as detailed in the RACGP Vocational Training Pathway Requirements for Fellowship Policy.
  1. Six months of extended skills training approved by the vocational training provider in accordance with the RACGP Standards for General Practice Training. Extended skills training must meet the requirements detailed in the RACGP Vocational Training Pathway Requirements for Fellowship Policy.
    1. Once an ADF registrar has completed their hospital year (PGY2+) they can undertake an accredited extended skills post.
    2. Once an ADF registrar has completed GPT1 and GPT2 (PGY3+), they can undertake an extended skills posts in:
      1. A special training environment (STE), such as an accredited army, air force or navy base. This extended skills placement can be in addition to the 6 months STE placement enabling 12 months at the base as approved by the relevant RACGP Censor, or
      2. An overseas clinical post:
        1. ADF registrars can apply for approval of an overseas extended skills placement of between 1 month and 6 months duration.
        2. The ADF registrar should always apply for prospective approval of posts. However, we acknowledge the context of ADF deployments can make this difficult. Therefore, in instances where prospective approval is not possible, the ADF registrar can discuss retrospective approval with the relevant RACGP Censor. Please note, once the term is completed retrospective approval cannot be given.
        3. For ADF registrars, the posts do not need to be part of an accredited training institution or program in the relevant country. However. formal application is required with clear documentation of expected learning outcomes and supervision arrangements. Following the registrar’s return to Australia, a Summary Report of the completed post must be submitted to obtain final sign-off on the post.
        4. For more information on Overseas Extended skills placements and how to submit an application, please visit the GP Registrars in the ADF webpage.
      3. Training experience that involves a diversity of patient presentations in relation to age, gender, socioeconomic status, and cultural and linguistic backgrounds.
        1. Accredited ADF bases will count towards practice diversity provided the Training Organisation can prove the ADF meets the practice diversity requirements of the RACGP Standards for General Practice Training. Please refer to A Guide to Managing Practice Diversity for more information.
4.2 ADF registrars are a highly mobile cohort. Therefore, they often transfer between training regions and Training Organisations. To better manage the progress of these registrars, the RACGP mandates that:
  1. All Training Organisations transfer ADF registrars on a permanent basis, as per the Department of Health’s AGPT Program Transfer Policy,
    1. The exceptions to clause 3.2.i where ADF registrars may be transferred on a temporary basis include when:
      1. their transfer is known to be temporary with a designated end date, and/or
      2. they are in their final general practice training term. The Training Organisations involved must agree to this arrangement.
  2. Training Organisation staff must use the Completion of Training form and RIDE report to record what the ADF registrar has completed up to this point in their training,
  3. The State Censor for the region the ADF registrar is transferring from must sign off on the Completion of Training form. This form is then sent to the new Training Organisation and incoming State Censor,
  4. The State Censor for the region the ADF registrar is transferring into must review the Completion of Training form and ask for clarity where necessary within four weeks of receiving the form, and
  5. Steps 4.2 to iv must be repeated every time an ADF registrar transfers.
  1. The ADF registrar Training Organisation must apply to the relevant RACGP Censor for any variations or exceptions to these guidelines prospectively where possible.

4.3 The ADF registrar’s Training Organisation must apply to the relevant RACGP Censor for any variations or exceptions to these requirements prospectively where possible.

Training Organisations are encouraged to speak to their relevant state RACGP Censor for any clarifications or requests for exemption.

5. References

5.1 A Guide to Managing Practice Diversity
5.2 Basic Life Support and Advanced Life Support Courses Guidance Document.
5.3 Department of Health’s AGPT Program Transfer Policy
5.4 Overseas Extended Skills Post application form
5.5 RACGP GP Registrars in the ADF webpage
5.6 RACGP Standards for General Practice Training
5.7 Vocational Training Pathway Requirements for Fellowship Policy. Mandatory Hospital Term Requirements Guidance Document.

Enquiries

 1800 626 901

 racgpeducation@racgp.org.au

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