1. General Practice Experience Pathway – Leave and Extensions Policy
1.1 Policy number: PO-E-0015.0
1.2 Category: Education
1.3 Approval date: May 2016
1.4 Revision due date: May 2019
1.5 Unit responsible: Education Services
2. Policy declaration
In extenuating and unforeseen circumstances or if granted legislative leave by their employer, Candidates may apply for leave from the General Practice Experience Pathway Education Program (GPE Program). Candidates may also apply for an extension to their GPE Program.
When Candidates fail to maintain RACGP accepted employment, or have changes to their Australian medical registration, a period of administrative leave from the GPE Program may be applied.
This policy is authorised by the CEO.
This policy aims to explain the circumstances in which leave and extensions will be granted, and the conditions of each.
This policy applies to:
- transition General Practice Experience Pathway Candidates from 30 May 2016. Transition refers to the staged introduction of the new General Practice Experience Pathway requirements to a accepted candidates between 30 May 2016 and 29 May 2018.
- all General Practice Experience Pathway Candidates from 30 May 2018.
For the purposes of this policy:
- Approved leave means a period of leave approved by the RACGP pursuant to this policy.
- Candidate means a medical practitioner enrolled in the new GPE Pathway.
- Extenuating and unforeseen circumstances are considered on a case by case basis, but requires circumstances which were unforeseen,outside the Candidate's control and which can be shown to have a direct and significant impact on the Candidate's ability to complete the GPE Program requirements.
- Legislative leave includes parental, sick and carers leave granted pursuant to the Candidate's workplace entitlements under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).
- Full time general practice experience comprises a 38-hour minimum working week, over a minimum of four days per week, of which a minimum of 27 hours must be in face-to-face, rostered, patient consultation time undertaking general practice activities. Work periods of less than three consecutive hours, or of less than one month in any one practice, will not be considered. Hours worked beyond this definition of full time will not be considered.
- Part time general practice experience is calculated pro-rata against the definition of full time general practice experience. Part time general practice must comprise a 14.5-hour minimum working week, over a minimum of two days per week, of which a minimum of 10.5 hours must be in face-to-face, rostered, patient consultation time undertaking general practice activities. Work periods of less than three consecutive hours, or of less than one month in any one practice, will not be considered.
- RACGP accepted employment means employment that meets the requirements of clauses 5.2b or 5.2c of the General Practice Experience Pathway – Requirements for Fellowship Policy (as appropriate).
5. General principles
5.1 Total periods of leave and extension
Despite anything else in this policy:
5.1.1 the maximum aggregate leave duration Candidates may be granted is 12 calendar months, and
5.1.2 the maximum GPE Program extension that may be granted is six calendar months.
5.2 Legislative leave and leave for extenuating and unforeseen circumstances
5.2.1 Candiates who are granted legislative leave by their employer or experience extenuating and unforeseen circumstances may apply for leave from the GPE Program. The leave application process is detailed in RACGP’s Applying for Leave and Extensions guidance document.
5.2.2 Applications for leave may be made at any time during a Candidate’s participation in the GPE Program.
5.2.3 Subject to clause 5.1, Candidates may apply for leave for durations of between one and 12 calendar months from the GPE Program. Leave will not be granted for periods of less than one calendar month, nor where the total aggregate leave duration exceeds the clause 5.1 maximums.
5.2.4 Leave for extenuating and unforeseen circumstances will only be granted when a Candidate has demonstrated adequate progression in the GPE Program at the date of application for leave.
5.3 Administrative leave
5.3.1 Candidates who leave their RACGP accepted employment, who are no longer authorised to work or stay in Australia or whose Australian medical registration changes (in any way whatsoever), must notify the RACGP of such within 10 business days of the event’s occurrence.
5.3.2 The RACGP may, on application, place the Candidate on a period of up to three months administrative leave to satisfy their employment requirements. The administrative leave application process is detailed in RACGP’s Applying for Leave and Extensions guidance document.
5.4 Leave outcomes
5.4.1 Any leave approval is at the RACGP's discretion.
5.4.2 During periods of approved leave a Candidate's GPE Program requirements are suspended.
5.4.3 Candidates may only apply to extend their period of leave prior to the end of the approved leave.
5.4.4 Candidates who are unable to resume participation in the GPE Program, or unable to satisfy the pathway employment requirements, at the end of their approved leave will be terminated from the GPE Pathway. Candidates may apply for re-entry into the GPE Pathway at a later date.
5.5 Returning from leave
5.5.1 Candidates may apply for early return from approved leave if:
- they return from legislative leave earlier than planned,
- the extenuating and unforeseen circumstances resolve, or
- those issues requiring administrative leave resolve.
5.5.2 Any early return from approved leave is at the RACGP’s discretion.
5.5.3 Approval to return to the GPE Program from administrative leave will be subject to the RACGP’s assessment of whether the Candidate can now satisfy the pathway employment requirements.
5.5.4 Candidates returning from leave must have their learning program reviewed by the RACGP. This review is subject to a review fee set on a full cost recovery basis which may be amended from time to time. For further details see RACGP’s Applying for Leave and Extensions guidance document.
5.6 GPE Program extensions
5.6.1 On application, Candidates may be granted one extension of six calendar months to complete the GPE Program. The decision to grant an extension is the RACGP’s determination.
5.6.2 The extension application process is detailed in RACGP's Applying for Leave and Extensions guidance document.
5.6.3 Candidates who complete all GPE Program requirements may apply to have their GPE Program completion assessed to be declared eligible to undertake the RACGP Examinations.
5.6.4 If a Candidate granted an extension has not met the GPE Program requirements at the conclusion of the extension period, they will be terminated from the GPE Pathway. Candidates may apply for re-entry into the GPE Pathway.
5.7 RACGP membership
5.7.1 Candidates may suspend RACGP membership during approved leave of three months or greater, on provision of appropriate supporting evidence. During RACGP membership suspension, access to all RACGP member benefits will similarly be suspended. For further details see RACGP’s Applying for Leave and Extensions guidance document.
6. Related policies, documents and legislation
All policies and guidance documents related to the Fellowship pathways are available at Fellowship Pathways Policy Framework.
7. Administrative procedures
7.1 Access to published policy
This policy will be available via the RACGP website as detailed in clause 6.
7.2 Promulgation of published policy
Relevant staff members will be provided communications explaining the function and role of this policy.
7.3 Review of this policy
This policy will have a review cycle of three years.