Policy update notice: Reconsiderations and Appeals policy – 18 May 2020

18 May 2020

Notice of RACGP policy update

This notice is to advise that the RACGP has updated its policy on reconsiderations and appeals, following feedback from internal and external stakeholders. The new RACGP Reconsiderations and Appeals Policy comes into immediate effect, superseding the Fellowship Pathways Appeals Policy as of today, 18 May 2020.

What has changed?

There have been a number of changes to the policy besides the change in title. Please see the below table:




The scope of the policy has been broadened to cover all RACGP decisions besides those relating to clinical and non-clinical decisions made by RTOs and the RACGP in the delivery of the AGPT program, which are covered by the RACGP Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) Program Appeals Policy.

In the interest of procedural fairness and ensuring due process, the RACGP has determined that all decisions made by the RACGP are appealable. 

Decisions that were previously out of scope of the policy, including mere implementation of policy, and decisions regarding the CAAKT, PEPEA and the WBA are now appealable under the policy.

The second step of the appeals process has been updated. Previously, following an unsuccessful reconsideration request an applicant must show grounds for appeal before their request can be put before an Appeals Committee.

The RACGP considered that members should be able to appeal decisions to a committee without first having to show grounds; the Appeals Committee will determine whether the applicant has grounds for appeal. Appeal to a committee should always be available to members where all other options have been exhausted.

Following an unfavourable reconsideration outcome, RACGP members may apply for appeal directly to an Appeals Committee.

An applicant must still apply for reconsideration and receive an outcome of their reconsideration request before they may apply for appeal.

The cost structure for the reconsideration and appeal processes has been updated, as outlined in the RACGP Reconsiderations and Appeals Guidance Document.

Reconsideration applications will now attract a $300 upfront fee and appeal applications will now attract a $5,000 upfront fee. These fees will be retained by the RACGP unless the original decision is amended or overturned, in which case the applicant will be refunded the full fee.

Previously, the RACGP enforced a $1,000 upfront fee for reconsiderations and $4,000 upfront fee for appeals. These were then partially or fully refunded to the applicant depending on the outcome of the application.

The RACGP considered that the $1,000 upfront fee may dissuade applicants with legitimate grounds from taking action under the policy. Cost should not be a barrier to due process.

Whilst the cost to the RACGP in investigating a reconsideration request is substantially higher than $300 in many cases, the RACGP has considered it appropriate to bear any cost above the $300 initial contribution from the applicant.

The increased appeal fee from $4,000 to $5,000 has been made because $5,000 better reflects the actual cost to the RACGP in running an appeal with at least four committee members and other staff.

The upfront cost for applying for reconsideration has been significantly decreased.

An applicant will not be refunded their application fee unless the original decision is amended or overturned.

When do the changes take place?

The changes to policy take place immediately.

Where can I view the documents?

The new policy can be accessed here. The new guidance document can be accessed here.

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 julieanne.pho@racgp.org.au.