PEP Specialist Stream for GPs – What you need to know

6 min | News
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Alex Graham

September 2, 2019

Specialist Recognition Program changing to Practice Experience Pathway

Doctor GP consulting patient | Wavelength medical recruitmentThe new Practice Experience Pathway (PEP) Specialist Stream is now open!

From 1st of September, the Practice Experience Pathway (PEP) Specialist Stream has replaced the Specialist Recognition Program (SRP).

Here’s our rundown on the PEP:

What’s changing?

  • FAEG: The PEP is removing the up-front award of Fellowship ad eundem gradum (FAEG). Substantially comparable GPs are no longer granted immediate recognition as a specialist and are required to undertake a period of practice under peer review. They apply for limited or provisional registration with AHPRA whilst working towards Fellowship.

    You apply for provisional registration if you hold a competent authority qualification, or otherwise for limited registration.
  • Work location: To enter the PEP, you must have accepted a job offer for a position located in a Modifided Monash Model (MMM) 1-7 (PEP Priority GP catchment area) for substantially comparable applicants, or in a MMM 2-7 for partially comparable applicants.

The good news:

PEP applicants qualify for a provider number with access to the full Medicare rebate (A1). This means you bill the same as a vocationally recognised GP whilst working towards FRACGP.

Here’s what the process looks like:

  1. You apply for EPIC verification of your primary and specialist qualifications;

  2. If you do not hold an eligible GP qualification: you apply to have your curriculum assessed by the RACGP (10 weeks) - those who hold an eligible qualification apply straight for comparability assessment;

  3. You apply for comparability assessment (10 weeks); (N.B. An accepted job offer is not required for comparability assessment purposes, so you may commence the process before securing a position);

  4. You receive your outcome: either not comparable, partially or substantially comparable;

  5. If you are assessed as partially or substantially comparable: you return a signed Program Agreement to the RACGP and complete the requirements for official entry into the Program; You apply for provisional or limited registration with AHPRA. You apply for provisional registration if you hold a competent authority qualification; or otherwise for limited registration;

  6. On arrival in Australia, you finalise your AHPRA registration in person at an AHPRA office and apply for Medicare provider and prescriber numbers; 

  7. You start work under peer review/supervision within 6 calendar months of signing the Program Agreement and work towards meeting the requirements for FRACGP.

Requirements for Fellowship:

  • Substantially comparable applicants take full responsibility for all patients with limited oversight of their practice by a supervisor (peer review). Applicants are awarded Fellowship when all program requirements have been met, including successful completion of the workplace-based assessment within 3-6 months from commencing employment and at least 6 months’ full time equivalent (FTE) experience in comprehensive Australian general practice. They are required to achieve FRACGP within 12 calendar months if working full time (or 24 months if working part-time).

  • Partially comparable applicants have been assessed as suitable to undertake a defined scope of practice in a supervised capacity. Applicants are awarded Fellowship when all program requirements have been met, including successful completion of the workplace-based assessment within 3-6 months from commencing employment at least 6 months’ FTE experience in comprehensive Australian general practice under supervision. In addition, partially comparable applicants must pass the RACGP’s Applied Knowledge Test (AKT), Key Feature Problem (KFP) and Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) within 24 months’ FTE of the date of program commencement. They are required to achieve FRACGP within 24 calendar months if working full time (or 48 months if working part-time).

Workplace-based assessment (WBA):

The workplace-based assessment (WBA) provides a framework for evaluating a doctor’s performance and progress in those areas of practice best assessed in the context of the workplace. The aim is to support professional development and transition to Australian general practice. It also enables participants to receive feedback on their progress towards Fellowship.

The WBA consists of the following components:

  1. Online core learning units and reflective activity;

  2. Colleague and patient feedback using a Colleague Feedback Evaluation Tool (CFET) and Doctors’ Interpersonal Skills Questionnaire (DISQ), collectively known as multisource feedback (MSF).

  3. A clinical assessment visit which will involve a medical educator observing you in practice during four consultations (direct observation) and a clinical case analysis. The clinical cases analysis involves the assessor selecting patients seen by you in the preceding week with oral questioning about aspects of the case. You will be provided with feedback on your performance.

  4. Supervisor reports are a requirement by the Medical Board of Australia and must be submitted to the RACGP at 3, 12 and 24 months (as applicable).

All components of the WBA must be successfully completed between three and six months of commencing FTE work in Australia.

Where you can work:

Partially comparable applicants must work in Modified Monash Model (MMM) 2-7 location.

Substantially comparable applicants may work in a MMM1 under the condition it is in a ‘PEP Priority GP catchment area’ (this appears to be a new sub-classification on which no information is available as of 1 September 2019).

As an overseas-trained doctor, you normally also need to work in a Distribution Priority Area (DPA) in order to access Medicare benefits. You can check the MMM classification and DPA status of a location on the Health Workforce Locator.

If you require a subclass 482 visa, the location must also be eligible for a Health Workforce Certificate (HWC). We will assist with applying for this as required.

Permanent Residency:

In order to apply for PR, you must have either general or specialist registration with AHPRA. This means you will need to wait until you obtain your FRACGP and specialist registration to apply for PR. We have in-house registered migration agents who can advise on eligibility and available PR options.

How can we help?

We have a dedicated regulatory and migration team who can guide you through each and every step of the Practice Experience Pathway Specialist Stream, and any other registration or visa processes. Contact our Regulatory and Migration team today!

Search our General Practice job opportunities or contact our GP team for a confidential discussion today!

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