AGPT practice and supervisor handbook

For practices

Your role in hosting a registrar

Last revised: 27 Mar 2024

Your role in hosting a registrar

The role of the practice manager

As a practice manager, you’re a valuable member of the supervision team, helping to ensure the registrar’s training placement goes smoothly. You’ll often be the first person they’ll contact for assistance with a range of queries and you will be our first point of contact regarding training practice issues.

You can support your registrar by:

  • providing an orientation to the practice and practice team
  • helping them understand their employment contract
  • ensuring they know who to go to for the different aspects of their role
  • providing information on the practice and practice systems
  • helping them understand the Medicare Benefits Schedule
  • managing their rostering
  • helping them improve their technology skills
  • giving advice on administrative tasks
  • sharing knowledge of local services and the community they will be serving
  • helping to resolve issues and problems that may arise
  • acting as a conduit to their supervisors to ensure wrap-around support is in place throughout the placement
  • advising them on interpersonal skills, such as dealing with confrontation and conflict resolution
  • being aware of their training and study requirements, including when they have allocated teaching time with their supervisor and when they’re scheduled to sit an exam, and facilitating the scheduling of their external clinical teaching visits.

You also have an important role in providing feedback.

You’ll receive feedback about the registrar from their patients and other practice staff and practitioners. This feedback is valuable in helping the registrar develop their skills, but it does need to be given sensitively and in the context of your relationship with your registrar. The feedback you receive from others about the registrar should also be shared with the relevant members of the supervision team, as appropriate. At the beginning of the training term, discuss the process for two-way feedback with the registrar and their supervisor and consider scheduling regular opportunities for this to occur. Many problems are avoided when there are frequent opportunities for communication.

If you’re new to being the practice manager of an accredited practice, the local RACGP program team and your regional practice manager liaison officer will orientate you to the program and provide ongoing support. GPSA can also provide valuable support.

The role of the supervisory team

Supervisors are integral to the apprenticeship model of general practice training. As a supervisor and an experienced GP, you’re a professional role model for your registrar, helping to lay the foundation for lifelong learning, professionalism and high-quality patient care. You’ll provide advice and support, one-on-one teaching, supervision, feedback and assessment.

The supervisory team consists of a nominated accredited supervisor for each registrar, known as the designated supervisor who has overall responsibility for the registrar in the practice and is our first contact for educational issues with the registrar. Other accredited supervisors can contribute to the teaching, supervision and assessment of a registrar. Later in GP training, specialist GPs who have not been formally accredited as a supervisor are permitted to provide limited assistance with supervision. Other professionals may also help registrars learn clinical skills and improve their local knowledge, and support them professionally, including:

  • allied health practitioners
  • practice nurses
  • cultural educators and mentors
  • practice administrative staff.

You’ll find more detailed information about the role of supervisors in A supervisor's core tasks.

The role of other practice staff

Practice staff play an important role in ensuring the success of a registrar’s placement. Whether you’re a receptionist, practice nurse or allied health practitioner, you have experience that can benefit the registrar and help them learn about the essential features of general practice. You can help with:

  • orientation
  • explaining practice processes
  • sharing local knowledge
  • sharing your particular expert knowledge (eg immunisation schedules).

You may be asked to contribute to a registrar’s supervision within your scope of practice. The designated supervisor will oversee your participation in supervision and document it in the supervision and teaching plan. 

In Aboriginal Medical Services, a cultural mentor should be engaged to guide, teach and support the registrar.