General practice tool kit

Your practice premises

Furniture and equipment

Last revised: 24 Oct 2019

Furnishing and equipping your practice

What furniture, equipment and other things will you need for your practice. See below for further information.

  • Desks should be between 750 mm x 1500 mm and 900 mm x 1800 mm in size.
  • Desk heights should be between 680 mm – 720 mm.
  • Choose desks with rounded corners, as sharp corners can be hazardous.
  • Consider having desks that convert to, or can accommodate, standing desks.
  • Using monitor stands can give you more desk space.
  • Purchase good quality office chairs for staff to promote good musculoskeletal health and avoid fatigue.
  • Purchase chairs that have controls so staff can adjust the height and backrest.
  • Each consultation room should have room for 2-3 patient chairs.
  • A stool can be useful if patients need to have a foot examination. The GP can also sit on it while examining a patient.
  • Accommodate the needs of people who have a disability, or are elderly or overweight (consider having a bariatric chair in each room, and more than one in your waiting area)
  • In each room, have at least one chair with arm rests.

To be accredited against the RACGP Standards for General Practices, your practice must have at least one height-adjustable bed.

RACGP Standards

GP5.2 C Our practice has one or more height-adjustable beds.

View the standards >

Your practice will need dedicated refrigeration for vaccines. Vaccines can become less effective or be destroyed if they are not kept within an optimal temperature range or are exposed to direct ultraviolet (UV) light, so you will need a process for managing temperature-controlled storage and distribution, known as a cold chain.

RACGP Standards

Criterion GP6.1 – Maintaining vaccine potency

GP6.1 A Our practice has at least one team member who has primary responsibility for cold chain management in the practice.

GP6.1 B The team member who has primary responsibility for cold chain management ensures that the process used complies with the current edition of the National vaccine storage guidelines: Strive for 5.

GP6.1 C The team member who has primary responsibility for cold chain management reviews the following processes to ensure potency of our vaccine stock:

  • Ordering and stock rotation protocols
  • Maintenance of equipment
  • Annual audit of our vaccine storage procedures
  • Continuity of the cold chain, including the handover process between designated members of the practice team
  • Accuracy of our digital vaccine refrigerator thermometer

GP6.1 D Our practice has a written, practice-specific policy that outlines our cold chain processes.

View the standards >

Most practices purchase the following printed material before opening:

  • personalised stationery (eg letterhead, business cards)
  • brochures and fact sheets
  • policies to display (eg in reception and waiting areas)
  • appointment cards
  • computer prescription paper and personalised prescription pads (available from the Department of Human Services)

RACGP Standards

C1.1 A Our patients can access up-to-date information about the practice.

At a minimum, this information contains:

  • our practice’s address and telephone numbers
  • our consulting hours and details of arrangements for care outside normal opening hours
  • our practice’s billing principles
  • a list of our practitioners
  • our practice’s communication policy, including when and how we receive and return telephone calls and electronic communications
  • our practice’s policy for managing patient health information (or its principles and how full details can be obtained from the practice)
  • how to provide feedback or make a complaint to the practice
  • details on the range of services we provide. 

C6.3 D Only authorised team members can access our patient health records, prescription pads, and other official documents.

View the standards >

Tip - Asset register

An asset register is a record of all assets purchased for the practice (eg furniture, technology, clinical equipment). Keep your asset register up to date, so you can use it to help you monitor and control your expenditure, as well as plan your future needs.

To ensure your asset register is properly maintained and monitored, assign this responsibility to a staff member, and give them sufficient time to do this properly.

This event attracts CPD points and can be self recorded

Did you know you can now log your CPD with a click of a button?

Create Quick log