1. Fellowship Pathways Appeals Policy
1.1 Policy number: CO-E-001.0
1.2 Category: Education
1.3 Approval date: June 2019
1.4 Revision due date: June 2022
1.5 Unit responsible: Education Services
2. Policy declaration
Interested parties who contend an incorrect decision has been made by the RACGP may appeal that decision.
An appeal may be made on one or both of the grounds detailed in clause 5.2.2 of this policy. All information provided to the original decision maker prior to the original decision will be considered.
As a qualifying body under the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Victoria) and other state and Commonwealth equivalents, the RACGP makes its decisions based on facts and merit, free from unlawful discrimination.
3.1.1 The objectives of this policy are to describe:
- how appeals will be handled by the RACGP; and
- the process for appealing a decision.
3.1.2 This policy describes the appeals mechanism used to ensure RACGP decisions are:
- consistent – that due process was followed in reaching decisions, and in reconsidering those decisions, in compliance with RACGP policies; and
- valid – that proper consideration was given to information available or tendered in relation to decisions or reconsiderations.
This policy applies to RACGP members who contend an incorrect decision has been made by the RACGP.
3.3 Matters out of scope of this policy
This policy does not apply to:
- matters connected to entry into the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program;
- clinical and/or performance related matters connected to progression through or withdrawal from the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program;
- matters covered by contractual arrangement, otherwise covered by dispute resolution processes;
- decisions other than those prescribed in clause 5.3 of this policy;
- decisions made under this policy.
- activities or decisions made under or in response to a direction by a government or regulatory authority; or
- mere implementation of policy.
For the purposes of this policy:
a. Appeals Committee means the committee convened under clause 7.4 of this policy.
b. RACGP Examinations includes the following assessments:
- Applied Knowledge Test (AKT)
- Key Feature Problem (KFP)
- Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)
- Recorded Consultations (RC).
c. Member has the meaning given in the RACGP Constitution, and includes Affiliates, Associates, Registrar Associates, Members and Fellows.
5. General principles
5.1 There is a two-step appeals mechanism under this policy:
- Reconsideration of the original decision; and
- Appeal to the Appeals Committee.
Applications for appeal will not be accepted unless all steps in the reconsideration process have been completed.
5.2 Grounds for the application
5.2.1 Applicants have the onus of proof to establish the ground(s) for their application.
5.2.2 An application may be made on one or both of the following grounds:
- The original decision was inconsistent with RACGP policies; and/or
- The provided information was not appropriately considered at the time of the original decision
5.3 Decisions that may be appealed
The following decisions may be appealed under this policy:
- Decisions connected to the pursuit of Fellowship, including:
- Pathway assessments*:
- decisions made under the Educational Misconduct Policy;
- decisions made under the RACGP Examinations Special Consideration Policy.
- Quality Improvement and Continuing Professional Development (QI&CPD) decisions in relation to individual participants. This does not apply to Accredited Activity Providers of QI&CPD, which are governed by a contractual framework;
- Decisions made in relation to the accreditation of Regional Training Organisations; and
- Decisions made in relation to the implementation and interpretation of the RACGP Standards for General Practice Training.
*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 steps in the examination marking quality assurance process were correctly executed. This investigation does not extend to a remarking of an examination paper or an assessment performance.
6. Reconsideration of the original decision
6.1 RACGP members may apply to the RACGP in writing to have a decision reconsidered, using the Application for Reconsideration Form. The process for initiating an application for reconsideration is detailed in the Fellowship Pathways Appeals Policy Guidance Document.
6.2 An application for reconsideration must be submitted to the RACGP within ten national office business days of the applicant being notified of the decision.
6.3 If grounds are found, the RACGP will send the application to the original decision makers for reconsideration, and will notify the applicant of the subsequent decision.
7. Appeal to the Appeals Committee
7.1 RACGP members may apply to the RACGP in writing to appeal, using the Application for Appeal Form.
7.2 An application for appeal must be submitted to the RACGP within 20 national office business days of receiving the notification of the outcome of a reconsideration.
7.3 If grounds are found, the RACGP will refer the application to an Appeals Committee for final determination.
7.4 Appeals Committee
7.4.1 The Appeals Committee will be convened by the CEO (or delegate). The composition of the Appeals Committee will be specific to the matter being appealed and will comprise the following members:
- "Chair" – a Fellow who is a member of RACGP Board;
- one Fellow of the RACGP familiar with the general operations of the RACGP related to the decision;
- one RACGP representative familiar with the general operations of the RACGP related to the decision; and
- one independent person who is not a member of the RACGP.
7.4.2 The RACGP is committed to avoiding any conflicts of interest in the consideration of appeals. The Appeals Committee will not include any individual who was involved in the original decision, or the reconsideration of the decision. The RACGP's Conflict of Interest Policy is available here.
7.4.3 The Appeals Committee may, at its discretion, hear from other persons whose experience or knowledge is pertinent to the decision.
7.5 Decisions of the Appeals Committee
7.5.1 Upon considering all submissions, the Appeals Committee may confirm, amend or overturn the original decision, in whole or in part.
7.5.2 The Appeals Committee will issue a written decision, with reasons for the decision, within 20 business days after the decision is made.
7.5.3 The proceedings of the Appeals Committee will be recorded in writing as minutes.
7.5.4 The decision of the Appeals Committee will be final. No further correspondence will be entered into.
8. Related policies, documents and legislation
All related policies and guidance are available on our policy page.
9. Administrative procedures
9.1 Access to published policy
This policy will be available via the RACGP website.
9.2 Promulgation of published policy
Relevant staff members will be provided communications explaining the function and role of this policy.
9.3 Review of this policy
This policy will have a review cycle of three years.