Policy update notice: PEP Extenuating and Unforeseen Circumstances Guidance Document – 16 November 2021


16 November 2021

Notice of RACGP policy update

This notice is to advise that the RACGP has updated the Practice Experience Program – Extenuating and Unforeseen Circumstances Guidance Document. The guidance document has been updated to cover prospective and current participants of the Practice Experience Program (PEP) - Standard and the Practice Experience Program (PEP) - Specialist.

The updates to the Practice Experience Program Extenuating and Unforeseen Circumstances Guidance Document come into immediate effect superseding the previous versions as of today, Monday 15 November, 2021.

What has changed?

Change

Rationale

Implications

We have updated this document to include relevant references to PEP - Specialist stream participants.

This guidance is applicable for the PEP - Standard and PEP - Specialist streams.

Participants are clear that this guidance is applicable for those in the PEP - Standard and PEP - Specialist streams.

Prospective participants have now been included in the guidance document allowing them to apply for recognition of extenuating and unforeseen circumstances.

The RACGP recognises that prospective participants may be affected by extenuating and unforeseen circumstances that prevent them from completing the necessary requirements for entry into the program.

Prospective participants are now covered under this guidance document and are clear on the requirements for their application.

We have reviewed and updated clause 3.3i - ii relating to the phases of a program that a participant can apply for leave or extension.

Participants can no longer apply for leave or extensions during the exam candidacy phase of their program. Once exam candidacy has commenced participants must refer to the Fellowship Exam Attempts Policy for information about exam candidacy suspension.

We have clarified that participant can apply for leave and extensions during the post educational phase of the program.

The Fellowship Exam Attempts Policy comes into effect once a participant commences their exam candidacy therefore this guidance document does not cover applications for extenuating and unforeseen circumstances beyond the Post Education phase of the program.

Previously, it was not stated that participants could apply for leave and extensions during the post educational phase of the program. This update has been made to be more explicit.

Candidates are clear that they can apply for leave or extension in the educational and post education phases of the program, but can no longer apply for leave or extension once exam candidacy has commenced and they must refer to the Fellowship Exam Attempts Policy for information about exam candidacy suspension.

Introduction of clause 3.4.v that states applications will not be accepted if they are made more than 6 calendar months after circumstances have arisen or are supported by evidence that is dated more than 6 calendar months prior to the application.

The RACGP continues to encourage participants to submit their applications within one calendar month, where possible, so impacts on a participants journey to Fellowship can be assessed as soon as possible.

However, the RACGP now requires participants to make their applications no later than six calendar months after the extenuating and unforeseen circumstances to allow the RACGP to assess the fulfilment of program requirements and ongoing access to a provider number.

Applications made more than 6 calendar months after circumstances have arisen will not be accepted.

Participants are clear that where practicable they should continue to apply for recognition of extenuating and unforeseen circumstances within one month of the circumstances arising.

Participants are now clear that applications will not be accepted if they are received by the RACGP more than 6 calendar months after the extenuating and unforeseen circumstances have arisen.

We have updated details in clause 3.4 relating to access to the Change in Circumstances form and emailing the application.

This previous clause did not accurately reflect the current process for accessing and making an application.

The process for accessing the Change in Circumstances form and making an application is now clear.

We have reviewed the guidance document for consistency across our whole Fellowship Pathway Policy framework and made nomenclature changes throughout.

We are reviewing all guidance documents on a rolling basis to ensure there is clear alignment across the Fellowship Pathways Policy Framework, supporting our GPiT, Training Providers and staff to navigate and apply policies.

This guidance document now aligns with Policies and Guidance Documents in the Fellowship Pathway Policy framework.

When do the changes take place?

The changes to the guidance document take place immediately.

Where can I view the documents? 

The updated Practice Experience Program – Extenuating and Unforeseen Circumstances Guidance Document.

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 policies, please contact educationpolicy@racgp.org.au

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