1. RACGP Reconsiderations and Appeals Policy
1.1 Policy number: CO-E-001.0
1.2 Category: Education
1.3 Approval date: May 2020
1.4 Revision due date: May 2023
1.5 Unit responsible: Education Services
2. Policy declaration
An RACGP member who contends an incorrect decision has been made by the RACGP may appeal that decision in line with this policy.
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 The policy describes the appeals mechanism used to ensure RACGP decisions are:
- consistent – that due process was followed in reaching decisions, in compliance with RACGP policies; and
- valid – that proper consideration was given to information available or tendered in relation to decisions.
This policy applies to RACGP members who are:
- applying for entry into a pathway to Fellowship; or
- enrolled in a pathway to Fellowship
who contend that the RACGP has made an incorrect decision in relation to their application for entry into a pathway to Fellowship, or their enrolment in or progression through a pathway to Fellowship.
For the purpose of this policy:
- AGPT Program means the Australian General Practice Training Program.
- Appeals Committee means the committee convened under clause 7.3.1 of this policy.
- Applicant means an RACGP member who is applying for reconsideration or appeal under this policy.
- Clinical decision has the same definition as in the Department of Health’s AGPT Appeals Policy 2020, and means a decision relating to a registrar’s clinical practice or competence.
- Member has the meaning given in the RACGP Constitution, and includes Affiliates, Associates, Registrar Associates, Members and Fellows.
- Non-clinical decision has the same definition as in the Department of Health’s AGPT Appeals Policy 2020, and means a decision about a registrar’s participation in the AGPT Program that is not a clinical decision.
- Original decision means the primary decision made by the RACGP which the applicant contends has been made incorrectly.
- Original decision maker means the RACGP body that had made the original decision.
- RACGP Assessments and Examinations includes the following:
- Applied Knowledge Test (AKT)
- Key Feature Problem (KFP)
- Clinical Examination, which depending on the time of sitting, is the Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE), Remote Clinical Exam (RCE) or the Clinical Competency Exam (CCE)
- Candidate Assessment and Applied Knowledge Test (CAAKT)
- Practice Experience Program Entry Assessment (PEPEA)
- Workplace-based Assessment (WBA)
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 Decisions that may be appealed
5.2.1 In the instance of an application for reconsideration or appeal related to a result in an RACGP Assessment or Examination, an investigation will be undertaken to ensure all exam marking and quality assurance steps were correctly executed. This investigation does not extend to a remarking of an examination paper or reassessment of exam performance.
5.2.2 In relation to the WBA, only RACGP concordance decisions regarding the participant’s eligibility for Fellowship are appealable. Assessments made by individual assessors that form part of the overall assessment are not appealable.
5.3 Decisions that are out of scope of this policy
Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) registrars who contend that a clinical or non-clinical decision made by their Regional Training Organisation (RTO) and/or the RACGP was made incorrectly may apply for appeal in line with the RACGP Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) Program Appeals Policy.
6. Reconsideration of the original decision
6.1 An applicant may apply to the RACGP in writing to have a decision reconsidered, using the Application for Reconsideration Form. The process of applying for reconsideration and the required grounds for the application are outlined in the RACGP Reconsiderations and Appeals 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 original 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. The original decision makers may confirm, amend or overturn the original decision.
7. Appeal to the Appeal Committee
7.1 An applicant may apply to the RACGP in writing to appeal, using the Application for Appeal Form. The process of applying for appeal and the required grounds for the application are outlined in the RACGP Reconsiderations and Appeals Guidance Document.
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 Appeals Committee
7.3.1 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 the RACGP Board or an RACGP Faculty Council;
- 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.
The Appeals Committee may include additional members, if deemed appropriate by the CEO (or delegate).
7.3.2 The Appeals Committee decides each appeal on its merits, and subject to the rules of natural justice and procedural fairness, may inform itself of any matter and in such a manner as it thinks fit.
7.3.3 The Appeals Committee may in its unfettered discretion afford the applicant the opportunity of making a verbal submission, and must do so if it accepts a verbal submission from another party.
7.4 Decisions of the Appeals Committee
7.4.1 Upon considering all submissions, the Appeals Committee may confirm, amend or overturn the original decision.
7.4.2 The Appeals Committee will notify the applicant of the appeal outcome within ten national office business days.
7.4.3 The decision of the Appeals Committee will be final, and the applicant is unable to further appeal the outcome.
8. Related policies, documents and legislation
All related policies are available here.
All related guidance documents are available here.
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.