Practice Experience Program - Entry for participants starting in 2020

1. Practice Experience Program Entry Policy

1.1 Policy number: CO-E-0044.0

1.2 Category: Education

1.3 Approval date: September 2019

1.4 Revision due date: September 2020

1.5 Unit responsible: Education Services

2. Policy declaration

The RACGP Practice Experience Program – Standard Stream (PEP Standard) has been developed to provide non-vocationally recognised doctors with a route to Fellowship grounded in individualised learning and workplace based assessment.

Prospective applicants must meet the requirements outlined in this policy in order to be accepted into the PEP Standard. There are four intakes per year. If an application is not completed within the prescribed timelines, the partial application may be resumed in the following intake.

3. Objective and scope

3.1 Objective

The aim of this policy is to describe the process by which an applicant may be accepted into the PEP Standard, and outlines eligibility requirements, assessment of core skills, and the development of individual program requirements.

3.2 Scope

This policy applies to all prospective applicants seeking to enter the PEP Standard.

4. Definitions

For the purposes of this policy:

  1. ACRRM means the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine.
  2. AHPRA means the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.
  3. AGPT means Australian General Practice Training.
  4. AMDS means Approved Medical Deputising Service.
  5. Applicant means a medical practitioner who is applying for entry into the Practice Experience Program.
  6. Australian Government funded 3GA programs include the AGPT, TO, Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) Independent Pathway, the Rural Locum Relief Program (RLRP), the Special Approved Placements Program (SAPP) and the Temporary Resident Other Medical Practitioners Program (TROMPs).
  7. CAAKT means the Candidate Assessment and Applied Knowledge Test.
  8. Extended skills training is a six-month term undertaken for the purpose of extending the depth and breadth of the Registrar's skill base is areas relevant to primary medical care.
  9. Fellowship Support Program is an Australian Government initiative under which the RACGP’s Practice Experience Program and ACRRM’s Independent Pathway are funded.
  10. GPT1-3 means the General Practice Training rotations in accredited comprehensive Australian general practices.
  11. Initial Core Skills Analysis (ICSA)refers to a series of self-assessment tools used to help determine an applicant’s targeted learning needs, learning units and program duration, which are then codified in the Individual Program Requirements (IPR).
  12. Individual Program Requirements (IPR) refers to the process that, informed by the ICSA, including qualifications and prior general practice experience, brings together all elements of a participant’s core skills, specific learning needs and areas for additional professional development during the participant’s time on the PEP. It incorporates learning units, assessment activities and program duration.
  13. Participant means a medical practitioner who has been accepted into the PEP Standard, and who has signed a Program Agreement with the RACGP.
  14. 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 will not be considered.
  15. PEP EA means the Practice Experience Program Entry Assessment. It comprises clinical applied knowledge questions and Situational Judgement Test (SJT) questions.
  16. PEP ME means Practice Experience Program Medical Educator.
  17. RIDE means Registrars Information Data Exchange.
  18. TO means Training Organisation.

5. Eligibility

5.1 Medical registration

Applicants must:

  1. Appear on the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) Register of Practitioners as a medical practitioner by the date of commencement of the first term of PEP Standard; and
  2. Hold registration under the general, limited or provisional registration categories; and
  3. Hold registration without any registration conditions, undertakings, or notations that limit scope of practice as determined by PEP Medical Educators (PEP MEs), by the date of commencement of the first term of PEP Standard.

5.2 Job and provider number

  1. Applicants must have a job or an offer of a job which:
    1. Meets minimum part time requirements; and
    2. Demonstrates a contractual arrangement to provide medical services for at least six months, in the same practice, from the commencement of the first term of PEP Standard; and
    3. Is in an approved placement as determined by the RACGP.
  2. Applicants who wish to remain in an existing job may do so subject to provider number requirements as determined by the RACGP.

5.3 Previous participation in other RACGP programs and candidature on Fellowship pathways will be taken into account when considering program applications. Participants who have previously received Australian Government funding through the Fellowship Support Program will not be eligible for a funded position on PEP Standard.

5.4 Following RACGP determination that the eligibility criteria have been met, applicants will progress to the Initial Core Skills Analysis (ICSA) to determine program education requirements, as outlined in Clause 7.

5.5 Applicants who do not meet the eligibility criteria will be permitted to apply for future intakes.

5.6 Applicants who are found eligible but are not offered a place in the PEP may be subject to additional eligibility checks should they wish to apply again in the future.

6. PEP Entry Assessment

6.1 All applicants, other than those exempted under clause 6.6, must pass the PEPEA before entering the PEP Standard.

6.2 At the RACGP’s discretion, applicants who have not yet met eligibility requirements may be permitted to sit the PEPEA. Successful PEPEA candidates must meet eligibility requirements prior to commencement in the PEP.

6.3 The outcome of the PEPEA is valid for 12 months. If applicants do not enter PEP Standard within this time, they must pass the PEPEA again.

6.4 Applicants who do not pass the PEPEA will be permitted future attempts.

6.5 Applicants may not undertake consecutive PEPEA attempts.

6.6 PEPEA Exemptions

  1. To be exempt from the PEPEA, an applicant must be either:
    1. A current TO or AGPT registrar who has completed all training terms and has exhausted their training time;
    2. A previous TO or AGPT registrar who has completed all training terms and was withdrawn within the three years of the expected start date in PEP.
  2. The applicant must provide evidence that they have completed all training terms:
    1. AGPT registrars must provide a Registrar Profile Report (RIDE transcript) confirming completion of GPT1, GPT2, GPT3 and Extended Skills terms (or ACRRM equivalent of 24 months’ FTE of Primary Rural and Remote Training (PRRT)). If a Registrar Profile Report cannot be provided, an exemption from the PEPEA will not be granted.
    2. TO registrars must provide an official letter from TO (on TO letterhead) confirming completion of all training terms. If an official letter cannot be provided, an exemption from the PEPEA will not be granted.

7. Core skills and program requirements

7.1 After passing the PEPEA, applicants must undertake the Initial Core Skills Analysis (ICSA). Those exempted from the PEPEA under clause 6.6 must undertake the ICSA.

7.2 Applicants’ general practice experience, as evidenced by information submitted in the application, and ICSA outcome inform the development of the Individual Program Requirements (IPR). The IPR and GPE assessment outcome together determine the learning units, assessment activities and program duration that will be required of the applicant following entry to the PEP Standard.

7.3 Applicants agree to the IPR via signature of the Program Agreement.

8. Program entry

8.1 To gain entry to the PEP Standard, applicants must meet the following requirements. Applicants who are not able to meet these requirements will not be admitted into the PEP:

  1. Provide evidence of having completed a Basic Life Support (BLS) course within the twelve months prior to applying for entry into the PEP Standard. The requirements are detailed in RACGP’s Basic and Advanced Life Support Guidance Document;
  2. Pass the PEPEA
  3. Complete the ICSA;
  4. Be a financial member of the RACGP at the point of commencing in the first term of PEP Standard, and for the duration of the Program; and
  5. Sign the Program Agreement and pay their first term’s invoice.

8.2 Participants can only be enrolled in one RACGP program at a time.  A participant seeking to apply to a different Fellowship program must withdraw from the PEP Standard following acceptance into a new program. Participants are required to have knowledge and understanding of the requirements of the Fellowship pathway in which they are enrolled.

8.3 Applicants who have previously been enrolled in and subsequently withdrawn from other Australian Government funded 3GA programs, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, may apply for entry to the PEP Standard. However:

  1. Acceptance into the PEP Standard is at the RACGP’s absolute discretion, subject to the funding restrictions of clause 5.3;
  2. Applicants are required to disclose their reasons for withdrawal from their previous program;
  3. The RACGP reserves the right to request further information from the relevant program or organisation as to an applicant’s prior withdrawal;
  4. Failure to disclose a prior withdrawal will be handled as per the Educational Misconduct Policy.

8.4 Prior exam results

  1. All prior FRACGP examination results on other RACGP pathways will be retained upon entry to PEP, subject to current RACGP examination policy as detailed in the Fellowship Exam Attempts Policy.
  2. The timeframe for expiry of existing exam results will be suspended for the duration of participation in the educational component of PEP Standard.  Once the educational component of PEP Standard is completed, or when the candidate becomes eligible to recommence exam attempts (whichever is the sooner), the timeframe for expiry of exam results will recommence as detailed in the Fellowship Exam Attempts Policy.

9. Related policies, documents and legislation

All policies and guidance documents related to the Practice Experience Program are available on our policy page

10. Administrative procedures

10.1 Access to published policy 

This policy will be available via the RACGP website as detailed in clause 9.

10.2 Promulgation of published policy

Relevant staff members will be provided communications explaining the function and role of this policy.

10.3 Review of this policy 

This policy will have a review cycle of one year.