Fellowship Exam Attempts

1. Fellowship Exam Attempts

1.1 Policy number: CO-E-0042.0

1.2 Category: Education

1.3 Approval date: May 2018

1.4 Revision due date: May 2021

1.5 Unit responsible: Education Services

2. Policy declaration

Candidates for Fellowship are permitted to enrol in up to six cycles of each FRACGP examination over a maximum period of three years, with the addition of a six-month suspension of time during their candidacy (upon application). Application for leave in excess of three years and the automatic six months can only be made on the basis of significant extenuating circumstances, or other leave provisions. 

Each of the three FRACGP examination segments (AKT, KFP and OSCE) must be passed within the prescribed six examination cycles. No extension to the number of examination cycles is allowed.

3. Background

3.1 Objective

This policy outlines the requirements and restrictions surrounding the completion of FRACGP examinations.

3.2 Scope

This policy applies to all candidates attempting FRACGP examinations as from 1 January 2019.

4. Definitions

For the purposes of this policy:

  1. Candidate means a medical practitioner on a pathway to Fellowship of the RACGP.
  2. Eligibility date means the date on which the Candidate has completed all requirements for exam eligibility as outlined in the Exam Eligibility Policy relevant to their pathway.
  3. Examinations means individually and collectively (as appropriate) the Applied Knowledge Test (AKT), Key Feature Problem (KFP) and Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE), and Exams bears the corresponding meaning.
  4. Extenuating Circumstances mean circumstances which were unforeseen and outside a candidate's control when their period of exam candidacy commenced, including:
    1. ill-health (other than minor illnesses) with valid certificates;
    2. carer’s leave with valid certificates;
    3. bereavement;
    4. acute personal/emotional circumstances;
    5. hospitalisation;
    6. illness of an immediate family member;
    7. Parental leave as permitted under the NES
    8. Australian Defence Force deployment leave; or
    9. other circumstances involving significant changes to a participant’s personal circumstances.
  5. Suspension of candidacy means a six-month period, granted upon request to any candidate, during which the candidate does not enrol in examinations.
  6. Period of candidacy means the three-year period during which candidates may enrol in Fellowship examinations.

5. General principles

5.1 Exam attempts

  1. An exam cycle consists of the three Fellowship examinations. Candidates may enrol in a maximum of six exam cycles in total.
  2. Candidates must complete all exams within three years:
    1. for Practice Experience Program or Specialist Recognition Program candidates, the eligibility date, or
    2. for Vocational Training Pathway (AGPT, RVTS) or General Practice Experience Pathway candidates, the date of the first exam attempt
    3. The period of candidacy may be extended by approved suspensions or leave
  3. Any Fellowship examination passed within the three-year period from eligibility/first attempt remains valid for the duration of period of candidacy.
  4. Candidates who fail to pass all examination segments, either within the six exam cycles or within the maximum period of candidacy are ineligible for RACGP Fellowship.

5.2 Suspension of exam candidacy

  1. One six-month suspension of candidacy is available upon request to the RACGP. This suspension may be undertaken at any time during the candidacy and is at the discretion of the candidate.
  2. The RACGP may permit a further suspension period in Extenuating Circumstances.
  3. Candidates may not enrol in exams during suspensions.

6. Transitional arrangements

6.1 Existing pass results will remain valid in accord with the exam candidate handbook that was in place at the time of the first pass. If the exam pass expires before completion of all Fellowship exams within the three-year period of candidacy post-2019.1, the candidate will be required to resit and pass an expired Fellowship exam in the remainder of the period of candidacy.

6.2 Examination failures obtained before 1 January 2019 will not count towards the total number of exam attempts permitted under this policy.

7. Related policies, documents and legislation

All policies and procedures related to the Fellowship exams are available here.

8. Administrative procedures

8.1 Access to published policy

This policy will be available via the RACGP website as detailed in clause 7.

8.2 Promulgation of published policy

Relevant staff members, internal and external stakeholders including international medical colleges, and members of the RACGP still progressing towards Fellowship will be provided communications explaining the function and role of this policy. 

8.3 Review of this policy

This policy will have a review cycle of three years.


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Related guidance document

Fellowship Exam Attempts Policy FAQs