Practice Experience Program Progression

1. Practice Experience Program Progression Policy

1.1 Policy number: CO-E-0047.0

1.2 Category: Education

1.3 Approval date: September 2019

1.4 Revision due date: September 2019

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.

Participants of the PEP Standard must meet the progression requirements outlined in this policy.

3. Objective and scope

3.1 Objectives

The objective of this policy is to outline participants’ learning program and assessment requirements while in the PEP Standard.

3.2 Scope

This policy applies to all participants in the PEP Standard.

4. Definitions

For the purposes of this policy:

  1. AHPRA means Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.
  2. AMDS means Approved Medical Deputising Service.
  3. Assessor means a medical educator employed by the participant’s RTO with skills and experience in evaluating general practice competencies.
  4. Clinical break means a period of up to three months during which the participant may continue educational program components while not working clinically.
  5. Enforced leave will be applied to a maximum of six months in the event that a participant is unable to participate in the program due to cessation of medical registration or for up to three months in the event of failure to find suitable employment following a clinical break.
  6. 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 current competence, 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.
  7. MBA means Medical Board of Australia.
  8. ME means Medical Educator.
  9. Notifiable conduct has the meaning given in the Medical Board of Australia Guidelines for Mandatory Notifications.
  10. Participant means a medical practitioner enrolled in the PEP Standard.
  11. Progression means the process by which a participant advances through the PEP, by progressively meeting the educational, administrative and assessment requirements of the PEP as outlined in the participant’s individual Program Agreement.
  12. Remediation means intervention addressing clinical skills deficiencies. The intervention may include, but is not limited to: revision of the learning plan; tutorial time with a nominated ME to address knowledge deficits; case based discussion; direct observation of clinical skills; review of videorecorded consultations.
  13. TO means Training Organisation.
  14. WBA means workplace-based assessment.

5. General principles

5.1 Participants are expected to maintain continuous progression in line with the requirements of the Program Agreement and the Satisfactory Completion Framework – Education. Continued access to a provider number under the PEP Standard is contingent upon the participant meeting the terms of the Satisfactory Completion Framework – Education as determined by the RACGP.

5.2 Progress is monitored by the Training Organisation (TO), and reports on progress are provided to the RACGP.

5.3 Participants are responsible for ensuring that they are able to meet the requirements outlined in this policy.

5.4 Progression will be monitored with specific reference to:

  1. Learning unit and associated assessment activities completed to the expected standard;
  2. Workplace-based assessment (WBA) participation, subject to clause 6.3, and progress towards the expected standard;
  3. Evidence of self-reflection and learning planning;
  4. Medical educator (ME) and TO reports.

6. Educational requirements for progression

6.1 Participants are required to complete the learning units and unit assessment activities as allocated in the participant’s Individual Program Requirements (IPR). The participant must complete the self-reflection and learning plan activities of each learning unit in order for that unit to be considered completed.

6.2 Participants are required to fully participate in all workplace-based assessment (WBA) activities, including ME, peer and patient assessments. Reflection on feedback and learning planning forms part of the WBA.

6.3 Participants are expected to satisfactorily complete one WBA per term in practice for the duration of their program. 

6.4 If the participant’s progress is assessed as insufficient by the TO, remediation may be recommended. For more information, see the Practice Experience Program Remediation Policy. If remediation is undertaken, progress as required by the remediation program will be assessed.

7. Clinical requirements for progression

7.1 Employment and provider numbers

  1. Participants are responsible for maintaining suitable employment as a GP while undertaking the PEP, aligned with provider number eligibility requirements as outlined in the Practice Experience Program Guide for Participants.
  2. Continued access to a provider number under the PEP is contingent upon the participant maintaining suitable employment.
  3. In the event that a participant’s employment circumstances change, they must inform the RACGP within 10 business days of notification of the change via the Change in Circumstance Form and they will have three months to secure new suitable employment. During this time they may:
    1. Take a clinical break, as per clause 7.2; or
    2. Request leave from the Program, as per the Practice Experience Program Leave and Extensions Policy;
  4. When new employment has been secured, the participant must submit employment details to the RACGP for the purposes of assessing provider number eligibility. Depending on the location of new employment, the participant may be required to submit a request for TO transfer, as per the Practice Experience Program Transfer Policy.

7.2 Clinical breaks

  1. Participants are expected to complete clinical and educational components of the program concurrently. If a participant is unable to fulfil the clinical requirements for any reason other than loss of medical registration, they may:
    1. Request leave in line with the Practice Experience Program Leave and Extensions Policy;
    2. Continue to undertake educational components as a clinical break for up to three months. WBAs will be paused during the clinical break and resumed on the participant’s return to work.
  2. If at the end of three months’ clinical break the participant is unable to resume clinical work, they will be placed on enforced leave for up to three months, as per the Practice Experience Program Leave and Extensions Policy;

8. Notifiable conduct

Assessors who undertake the WBA are bound by the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) Guidelines for Mandatory Notifications. As such, assessors of PEP WBAs may be required to report notifiable conduct to AHPRA.

9. Related policies, documents and legislation

All policies and guidance documents related to the Practice Experience Program are available at the 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.


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