General Practice Experience (Practice Eligible) (GPE) Pathway Handbook


Education Registrars Fellowship Policy framework Policies General Practice Experience (Practice Eligible) (GPE) Pathway Handbook

Important changes

Note: Transitional arrangements will shortly be in place to facilitate eventual full implementation of Clause 3.2 – Expiry of Eligibility Clause. This clause came into effect in March 2016 and steps are now being taken to ensure that all candidates are compliant by 2018.2. Under these transitional arrangements:

  1. all outcomes dated prior to 28 February 2013 will expire ii. outcomes dated between 1 March 2013 and 31 December 2014 will be honoured for thepurposes of an updated assessment of General Practice Experience, and new experience added, if a complete application is submitted by 31 December 2017
  1. outcomes dated from 1 January 2015 are considered valid for the three years from the date of the outcome letter as per the new policy
  2. eligibility for 2018.2 exams is dependent on a valid experience outcome.

From 1 January 2018 onwards, audits will be undertaken following each enrolment period and candidates with experience outcomes that have expired or will soon expire will be informed of the requirement to apply for new assessments.

1. General Practice Experience (Practice Eligible) (GPE) Pathway Handbook

This handbook outlines the experience, education and exam requirements of the General Practice Experience (Practice Eligible) (GPE) Pathway to Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (FRACGP).

2. Requirements of the GPE pathway

In order to obtain FRACGP via the GPE pathway, candidates are required to:

  1. Be assessed as eligible to enter the pathway by holding a valid Assessment of General Practice Experience outcome of at least one month as assessed under the Assessment of General Practice Experience Policy.
  2. Hold current Australian medical registration and promptly disclose all details of any restrictions on or changes to their medical registration and regulatory authority activity, whether in Australia or otherwise, that:
    1. Has led or may lead to a restriction on practice; or
    2. Has led to an adverse finding for the medical practitioner, or forms part of an ongoing investigation. This is an ongoing requirement for candidates on the pathway. Failure to disclose the above will be handled as per the Educational Misconduct Policy.
  3. Demonstrate eligibility for the Fellowship exams by either:
    1. Having a formal assessment by the RACGP Assessors of their experience working in general practice. See 3.1 “General Practice Experience” below for further information. 
    2. Holding Australian Medical registration since January 2010 and one of the international general practice qualifications as per Section 3.3 “General Practice Experience with Qualifications” below.
  4. Be assessed as competent to enter into unsupervised general practice anywhere in Australia by passing the Fellowship exams; and
  5. Have at least five years of general practice experience and seven years post-graduate experience, including at least one year of comprehensive Australian general practice at time of applying for

Fellowship. Comprehensive Australian general practice is defined in the Assessment of General Practice Experience Policy.

Candidates must be a financial RACGP member from the time of joining the General Practice Experience (Practice Eligible) Pathway and throughout their candidature. This requirement applies to all Candidates from 1 January 2016.

All candidates applying for Fellowship must also:

  1. hold medical registration and be listed on the AHPRA website ahpra.gov.au; and
  2. be current financial members of the RACGP.

3. Eligibility for Fellowship Exams

3.1 General Practice Experience

Most applicants on the GPE pathway must have their working time (or experience) in general practice (both overseas and in Australia) assessed.

The definition of general practice used by the RACGP is available at here. For the current policy applied by the RACGP Assessors to assess applications, please see the Assessment of General Practice Experience Policy.

3.1.1 Application process

The process for applying for a general practice experience assessment is detailed in RACGP’s Applying for a General Practice Experience Assessment Guidance Document.

3.1.2 Eligibility for enrolment in the Fellowship exams

To sit the Fellowship exams, applicants must have their GP experience assessed as per the Assessment of General Practice Experience Policy. Applicants require:

Four years’ full time (or part time equivalent) in general practice over the last ten years which must include:

a. One year’s full time equivalent completed in the last four years; and

b. One year in Australian general practice. Of this at least six months’ full time equivalent must be in comprehensive Australian general practice.

If an applicant is assessed as not yet meeting these requirements, they will need to submit another application after they have worked the required outstanding time in general practice. 

The GP experience assessment outcome must be valid and the time requirements met at the time of enrolment. 

3.2 Expiry of Eligibility 

Candidates who gain (or have gained) eligibility under the general practice experience pathway will be eligible to enrol in the Fellowship exams for as long as they have a valid general practice experience assessment outcome, as defined in the Assessment of General Practice Experience Policy.

3.3 General Practice Experience with Qualifications

Applicants who have one of the recognised General Practice or Family Medicine qualifications and received Australian Medical Registration on or before 31 January 2010 may be eligible to enrol in the Fellowship exams without having their time assessed. Applicants on this pathway must be able to provide:

1. A certified copy of your qualification, officially translated into English where necessary; and

2. Evidence that Australian medical registration was issued on or before 31 January 2010; and

Either:

3. Receipt from the Australian Medical Council (AMC) verifying that you have applied for Educational Commission for 4. Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) Electronic Portfolio of

International Credentials (EPIC) verification of your qualification; or ii. An outcome letter of EPIC verification of your qualification.

4. Fellowship Exams

Candidates on the GPE pathway may undertake the Fellowship exams, comprising the:

  • Applied Knowledge Test (AKT) – a multi-choice test conducted online
  • Key feature Problem (KFP) - a multi-choice and short answer test conducted online
  • Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE) – a series of 14 clinical cases conducted with examiners and role players.

All candidates must be listed on the AHPRA website throughout the examination process. Candidates who lose their medical registration must inform the RACGP and withdraw from any exams. Enrolling or presenting for any exams without current Australian medical registration will be considered academic misconduct under as per the Educational Misconduct Policy.

5. Applying for Fellowship 

Candidates must apply for Fellowship within three years of successful completion of the three exams, or within one year of completion of all pathway requirements, whichever is the lesser.

Candidates who complete the AKT, KFP and OSCE can access a Fellowship application form through the results screen on the RACGP website.

5.1 Requirements for Fellowship

Candidates on the GPE Pathway must have completed five years in general practice, of which one must be in Australian general practice.

1. If a candidate was assessed as not having either five years’ general practice experience in their general practice experience assessment, they will be required to provide a letter from their employer confirming they have worked in general practice for the required time.

2. If a candidate was assessed as not having seven years post graduate experience, they will be required to provide a current curriculum vitae (CV) or resume illustrating they have worked for the required time.

All candidates applying for Fellowship must also:

a. hold medical registration and be listed on the AHPRA website ahpra.gov.au; and

b. be current financial members of the RACGP.