Fellowship Exam Attempts

Please note

This policy is currently under review. Until we publish the new policy, this version remains valid and applicable.

Important Notice:

  • All exam candidates who are eligible to sit the Clinical Examination (ie the RCE or CCE) in 2020 or 2021 will automatically be granted an additional exam semester;
  • All exam candidates who were affected by the cancellation of the 2020.2 AKT and KFP (ie who had a valid enrolment for either or both of those exams as of 9am AEDT Friday 9 October 2020) will automatically be granted an additional exam semester;
  • All exam candidates who meet both of the above will automatically be granted a total of two additional exam semesters.

For further information, please contact educationpolicy@racgp.org.au.

1. Fellowship Exam Attempts Policy

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 Fellowship examinations in up to six semesters over a maximum period of three years, with the addition of an automatic 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 Clinical Examination) must be passed within the prescribed six examination semesters.

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. Candidacy means the three-year period during which candidates may enrol in Fellowship examinations.
  2. Candidate means a medical practitioner eligible to sit RACGP Fellowship Examinations.
  3. 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 National Employment Standards;
    8. Australian Defence Force deployment leave; or
    9. other circumstances involving significant changes to a participant’s personal circumstances.
  4. Participant means a medical practitioner on a pathway to Fellowship of the RACGP.
  5. RACGP-approved program includes the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) Program, the Remote Vocational Training Scheme (RVTS), and the Practice Experience Program (PEP).
  6. RACGP Fellowship Examinations includes:
    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).
  7. Semester means a six-month period of time during which all three exams are delivered.
  8. Suspension of candidacy means a six-month period, granted upon request to any candidate, during which the candidate does not attempt examinations.

5. General principles

5.1 Exam attempts

  1. Candidates may enrol in a maximum of six exam semesters in total.
  2. Candidates must complete all exams within three years of the commencement of their candidacy notwithstanding approved suspensions or leave.
  3. Candidacy commences with a candidate's first enrolment in an exam held after 1 January 2019.
  4. The period of candidacy may be extended by approved suspensions or leave.
  5. Any Fellowship examination passed during the candidacy remains valid for the duration of exam candidacy.
  6. Candidates who do not pass all three exam segments by the end of their candidacy  are ineligible for RACGP Fellowship.
  7. The RACGP will record the start and end dates of each candidate’s candidacy, and make this date available to the candidate through the RACGP website.

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 period of candidacy and is at the discretion of the candidate.
  2. Active participants in an RACGP-approved program will have their candidacy suspended until they have met the exam eligibility requirements of that program.
  3. The RACGP may permit further suspension periods in Extenuating Circumstances.
  4. Candidates may not enrol or remain enrolled in exams which fall during suspensions.

6. Transitional arrangements

6.1 Existing examination 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 within the three year period of candidacy post-2019.1, the candidate will have the remainder of the period of candidacy to successfully complete all exams.

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