1. Specialist Recognition Program Exam Eligibility Policy
1.1 Policy number: CO-E-0039.0
1.2 Category: Education
1.3 Approval date: May 2018
1.4 Revision due date: May 2021
1.5 Unit responsible: Education Services
2. Policy declaration
Partially Comparable participants enrolled in the Specialist Recognition Program must meet the requirements detailed in this policy to be eligible to undertake the examinations.
3. Objectives and scope
This policy aims to describe the examination eligibility requirements for Partially Comparable participants enrolled in the Specialist Recognition Program.
- This policy applies to Partially Comparable SIMGs wishing to pursue Fellowship of the RACGP via the Specialist Recognition Program (SRP).
- This policy and associated policies will supersede the existing Specialist Pathway Program (SPP) policies as from 3 September 2018 and Comparability Assessments will be conducted from this time. Participants enrolled in the existing SPP before 31 August 2018 will continue their candidacy under the policies of the SPP.
For the purposes of this policy:
- Applicant means a medical practitioner who is applying for entry onto the Specialist Recognition Program.
- Acceptance of application is the date on which the SRP application is accepted is the date that all necessary documents are received by the RACGP.
- Comparable/comparability means the extent to which an SIMG’s recency, continuity of practice, continual professional development, assessment, training, qualifications and clinical experience is assessed as equivalent to an Australian-trained specialist general practitioner at the point of Fellowship.
- Partially Comparable means applicants assessed as suitable to undertake a defined scope of practice in a supervised capacity and reach comparability within 24 months’ full time equivalent of practice.
- 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.
- Medical educators are responsible for: providing general guidance and support to the participant, and making recommendations regarding progression and exam readiness.
- MSF means multi source feedback and consists of two components – a colleague feedback assessment tool and a self assessment tool; (collectively known as Colleague Feedback Evaluation Tool (CFET) and a patient assessment tool (Doctors’ Interpersonal Skills Questionnaire or DISQ))
- SIMG means Specialist International Medical Graduate.
- Participant means as a medical practitioner, assessed as Partially Comparable, who is enrolled in the Specialist Recognition Program.
- Specialist Pathway Program (SPP) means the SPP referred to throughout this and associated policies and documentation. This is the pathway superseded by the Specialist Recognition Program on 3 September 2018, and which categorised SIMGs as Category 1, 2 or 3.
- Specialist Recognition Program (SRP) means the Specialist Recognition Program referred to throughout this and associated policies and documentation. This program superseded the SPP on 3 September 2018, and which assesses SIMGs as Substantially, Partially or Not Comparable.
- Supervision/supervised practice means principles of supervision and supervised practice will be based upon the prescribed Medical Board of Australia Guidelines – Supervised Practice of International Medical Graduates.
- WBA means Work Place Based Assessment. It provides a framework for evaluating a doctor's performance and progress in those areas of practice best assessed in the context of the workplace. The aim is to support development, providing feedback on progress and identifying areas of difficulty. The emphasis is on assessment for learning and no assessments lead to pass/fail decisions. The WBA may include MSF, self-reflection tasks and supervisor reports.
5. Eligibility Requirements
5.1 Education and assessment requirements
To be eligible to undertake the examinations, participants must, within six months of commencing work:
- Satisfactorily complete a workplace based assessment (WBA), including completion of an RACGP approved Multi Source Feedback (MSF) report.
- Provide supervisor reports to the RACGP.
5.2 Administrative requirements
To be eligible to undertake the examinations, participants must,
- Hold current Australian medical registration and have promptly disclosed all details of any:
- restrictions on or changes to their medical registration; and
- regulatory authority activity, whether in Australia or otherwise, that:
Participants with restrictions on their medical registration or any other regulatory activity may not be eligible for exams. Failure to disclose 5.2.a.i or 5.2.a.ii will be handled as per the Educational Misconduct Policy.
- has led or may lead to a restriction on practice; or
- has led to an adverse finding for the medical practitioner, or forms part of an ongoing investigation.
- Be a financial RACGP member from the time of joining the SRP and throughout their candidature.
- Have completed a minimum of six months’ full time equivalent clinical experience in an approved comprehensive Australian general practice by the date of the exam. Participants may enrol in exams before completing six months in practice, provided that this requirement is completed by the time the exams are undertaken.
6. Change in eligibility status
If at any time a Candidate becomes ineligible for an examination, for whatever reason, after enrolment in that examination, then they must inform the RACGP and withdraw. Failure to do this will be handled as per the Educational Misconduct Policy.
7. Related policies, documents and legislation
All policies and guidance documents related to the Specialist Recognition Program are available on our policy page.
8. Administrative procedures
8.1 Access to published policy
This policy will be available via the RACGP website.
8.2 Promulgation of published policy
Relevant staff members, internal and external stakeholders including international medical colleges, existing SRP and SPP participants, and prospective Specialist Recognition Pathway applicants will be provided communications explaining the function and role of this policy.
8.3 Review of this policy
This policy will have a review cycle of three years.