Policy update notice: GPiT Membership and Vocational Training Pathway Requirements for Fellowship, Exam Eligibility and Remediation policies – 11 October 2021


11 October 2021

Notice of RACGP policy update

This notice is to advise that the RACGP has reviewed its policies and guidance on GP in Training (GPiT) membership and Vocational Training Pathway specific requirements for Fellowship, exam eligibility and remediation.

The new Basic Life Support and Advanced Life Support Guidance Document, GPiT Membership Guidance Document, Mandatory Hospital Term Requirements Guidance Document, Registrar Remediation Policy, Registrar Remediation Guidance Document, Vocational Training Pathway – Exam Eligibility Policy, and Vocational Training Pathway – Requirements for Fellowship Policy replace the previous versions and will come into effect on 11 October 2021.

All documents have been reviewed to clarify the RACGP’s position on several matters. These changes are summarised in the table below.

Change

Rationale

Implications

The RACGP has reviewed clause 3.7 of the Vocational Training Pathway – Requirements for Fellowship Policy to clarify that the RACGP may deem a participant unsuitable for Fellowship of the RACGP if they have restrictions, conditions, suspensions and/or undertakings on their medical registration that prevent them from undertaking unsupervised general practice.

We have also updated clause 3.5.iv.a to clarify that extended skills posts need to meet the full time or part time requirements and do not necessarily have to be undertaken concurrently.

The policy has also been reviewed by the RACGP legal team and for a general nomenclature update.

Fellowship of the RACGP is a specialist general practice qualification accredited by the Australian Medical Council. At the point of applying for Fellowship an applicant needs to demonstrate readiness to practice unsupervised as a specialist in accordance with the Standards of General Practice (5th Edition). There are some instances where restrictions, conditions, suspensions and/or undertakings on medical registration are not compatible with unsupervised practice.

Therefore, the RACGP reserves the right to withhold awarding an applicant Fellowship if the RACGP reasonably considers the applicant has restrictions, conditions and/or undertakings on their current medical registration that prevent them from undertaking unsupervised general practice.

The RACGP has made its stance on restrictions, conditions, suspensions and/or undertakings on medical registrations and their implications on attaining Fellowship clear for all future applications.

It is now clear to all stakeholders that extended skills post can be held consecutively or concurrently as long as they meet the full time or part time requirements in clause 3.5.iv.c of the policy.

The RACGP has reviewed the Paediatric Term Requirements Guidance Document and replaced this with the Mandatory Hospital Term Requirements Guidance Document to provide further information and guidance on all required hospital disciplines and competencies a doctor must achieve during their time in hospital training prior to commencing General Practice terms on the AGPT program.

Previously, the RACGP only provided guidance on Paediatric term requirements. Therefore, both internal and external stakeholders requested further clarification on the other required hospital disciplines, including medicine, surgery and emergency medicine.

There are no implications as the guidance document provides information on what was already the case.

The RACGP has reviewed the Basic Life Support and Advanced Life Support Guidance Document to broaden the accepted basic life support (BLS) courses to include meeting the Australian and New Zealand Committee on Resuscitation Council (ANZCOR) or United Kingdom Resuscitation Council (RCUK) guidelines and being undertaken in an Australian Medical Council (AMC) accredited hospital.

There are several reasons for this update. First, including both ANZCOR and RCUK guidelines aligns BLS requirements with those of advanced life support (ALS). This change also alleviates challenges faced by Practice Experience Program – Specialist Stream (PEP – SP) participants who hold overseas qualifications meeting these guidelines but did not meet the previous Australian Resuscitation Council (ARC).

Allowing courses delivered in an AMC accredited hospital also alleviates the barrier faced by AGPT registrars who had to seek external BLS courses in addition to their hospital training.

The implications of these changes provide more options for all GPiT to undertake accepted BLS courses, therefore advantaging them.

In particular, PEP – SP participants will be able to commence work within Australia upon arrival having completed an accepted BLS course overseas in the 12 months prior to commencing in Australian general practice rather than having to complete the course within Australia upon arrival.

Further, AGPT registrars are able to complete their BLS course within their hospital training rather than seeking additional external training.

The RACGP has reviewed the Registrar Remediation Policy, Registrar Remediation Guidance Document, and Vocational Training Pathway - Exam Eligibility Policy to clarify registrars undertaking a remediation term are not eligible to sit Fellowship exams.

We have also clarified it is the National Clinical Lead - Educational Enhancement and Remediation signs off on a remediation term in consultation with the relevant Training Organisation in clause 7.3 of the Registrar Remediation Guidance Document.

Finally, in clause 3.1 of the Vocational Training Pathway - Exam Eligibility Policy, we have clarified all registrars must declare any restrictions, conditions, suspensions and/or undertaking on their medical registration prior to sitting exams.

All policies have also been reviewed for general nomenclature updates.

Previously, we did not state in any of our policies or guidance documents that registrars undertaking a remediation term could not sit Fellowship exams, despite this always being the case.

Previously, it was unclear whether the Training Organisation or the RACGP signed off on remediation terms.

Clause 3.1 of the Vocational Training Pathway - Exam Eligibility Policy now aligns with all RACGP exam eligibility policies.

There are no implications as these changes clarify what was already the case.

The RACGP has developed a GPiT Membership Guidance Document(replacing the Registrar Membership Policy and Registrar Membership Guidance Document) to create one document that applies to all RACGP Approved Programs.

The RACGP has added Category 3 leave (ADF) to the leave categories under which an AGPT Registrar can suspend their membership.

All our Requirements for Fellowship Policies and various other training policies across all three pathways to Fellowship refer to the need for GPiT to hold financial membership from the time they commence on their training program. Therefore, we have taken the opportunity to expand the Registrar Membership Guidance Document to include all GPiT, while reducing the number of policies by removing the Registrar Membership Policy.

Direction for all GPiT around RACGP membership is now clearer. There are no operational implications.

When will the policies come into effect?

The policy and guidance will come into effect on 11 October 2021

Where can I view the documents?

The updated policies and guidance documents can be accessed via the following links:

All policies can be accessed via the Fellowship Pathways Policy Framework.

What if I have questions?

If you have any enquiries relating to the updated policy, please contact educationpolicy@racgp.org.au.

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