Policy update notice – Changes to GPE Assessment


18 May 2018

The RACGP wishes to inform candidates on the General Practice Experience Pathway and prospective applicants of recent and upcoming changes to the way in which general practice experience is assessed under the Assessment of General Practice Experience Policy.

The details of the changes can be found in the following tables.

Clarification of GPE assessment of after-hours services

Change

Rationale

Implications

General practitioners working in predominantly clinic-based after-hours positions will have their experience assessed as 75% comparable to Australian general practice.

After-hours home visiting medical deputising services will continue to be assessed as 50% comparable.

General practitioner working in clinic-based after-hours roles are considered to meet, to a substantial degree, the criteria for fully comprehensive Australian general practice, as outlined in clause 4b of the Assessment of General Practice Experience Policy.

If applicants are working in after-hours clinic-based roles and believe their position/s meet the criteria for comprehensive general practice, they can submit an application for an exception to the 75% after hours rating. This application for exemption is in addition to the usual documentation. If approved, the experience may be assessed at 100%.

This change articulates the nature and requirements of different after-hours services.

For the purposes of assessment of general practice experience, with respect to equivalence of time required for RACGP Fellowship, medical deputising work does not meet the criteria for comprehensive general practice.

However, the RACGP is cognisant that meeting the requirements of the RACGP definition of comprehensive general practice is possible in an after-hours clinic setting. The exception application process, allowing doctors working in some after-hours roles to be assessed as 100% comparable, ensures that doctors working in such roles receive fair, appropriate and consistent assessments. 

General practitioners working in predominantly home visit after- hours medical deputising roles will continue to be assessed at 50% equivalency.

Some after-hours experience may meet the criteria to be assessed as 100% comparable, if sufficient additional evidence is provided. This evidence will need to show that your experience substantially meets the criteria for comprehensive general practice, such as providing (via an application form)

  • specific evidence describing your practice and/or a patient log
  • evidence of type of provider number


To be implemented from 1 December 2018

Update to recency requirements

Change

Rationale

Implications

Currently, applicants wishing to undertake exams on the GPE Pathway are required to have four years’ full time or equivalent experience in general practice in the last ten years, of which on year must have been completed in the last four years, and one year in Australian general practice, of which six months must be in comprehensive Australian general practice.

As from 1 December 2018, the new requirements will be:

Four years’ full time (or part time equivalent) in general practice over the last ten years which must include:

  1. One year’s full time equivalent completed in the last four years; and
  2. One year in Australian general practice. Of this at least six months’ full time equivalent must be in comprehensive Australian general practice undertaken in the last four years.

*experience undertaken more than ten years ago is not considered as part of the general practice experience assessment.

This change has been made due to the importance of maintaining recent, relevant general practice experience in a constantly changing and evolving field. Experience undertaken more than ten years ago is not considered to meet this threshold due to the nature of skills and knowledge atrophy.

Further, it is considered that recency of comprehensive Australian general practice is highly beneficial to candidates undertaking Fellowship exams.

The RACGP also wishes to clarify that experience older than ten years will not be taken into consideration when assessing general practice experience, as per the policy.

Valid existing GPE assessment outcomes will not be reassessed. Outcomes will remain valid, allowing candidates to enrol in exams, for the usual period of three years from the date of the outcome letter.

Complete applications submitted before 30 November 2018 will be assessed under the old policy.

From 1 December 2018, new assessments will be assessed under the new policy. This includes initial assessments, resubmitted assessments that have expired, and top-up assessments. It will not be applied retrospectively to already completed valid outcomes.


Where can I view the documents?

Once published, the updated policy can be accessed via the Fellowship Pathways Policy Framework.


Enquiries

Policy coordinator

 rebecca.mackinnon@racgp.org.au