ACRRM VS RACGP FELLOWSHIP

This is a FAQ BLOG and you can refer to our Pathways to GP Fellowship in Australia blog here.

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Date Updated: 2024-04-21

ACRRM VS RACGP Fellowship

In Australia, there are 2 options to become a Specialist General Practitioner; you can complete your Fellowship with ACRRM or RACGP and will be recognised as a Specialist with AHPRA with either Fellowship. 

ACRRM Fellowship

ACRRM Fellowship is suitable for rural and urban GPs; however, it has been designed to prepare GPs to work in a rural or remote context, specifically a Rural Generalist career. 

To be eligible to complete an ACRRM Fellowship, you will need to be enrolled in one of the following ACRRM Training Programs:

Once you’re in the program, you will need to complete the training, education, and assessment requirements. Please note that you can apply for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) during your orientation into the training program. The maximum amount of RPL for ACRRM programs is 2 years.

Training

ACRRM Fellowship is a 4-year program, so you will need to finish 3 years in Core Generalist Training (CGT) and 1 year in Advanced Specialised Training (AST). 

This means that you will work in a MM 4 – 7 area for at least 12 months, and you will also be required to practise in a MM 2 – 7 location for the duration of your Fellowship program.

CGT enables you to have general skills and knowledge in primary, secondary and emergency care in a rural and remote context which includes:

  • Paediatrics
  • Obstetrics
  • Anaesthetics
  • 6 months in primary care
  • 3 months in secondary care
  • 3 months in emergency care, and 
  • 12 months in rural or remote practice (MMM 4-7).

Additionally, through AST in the ACRRM pathway, you can refine your skills and knowledge specifically to 1 discipline and you will work in a specialised rural area that needs the chosen discipline. The 12 disciplines that you can choose from are:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health
  • Academic Practice
  • Adult Internal Medicine
  • Anaesthetics
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Mental Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Paediatrics
  • Palliative Care
  • Population Health
  • Remote Medicine
  • Surgery

Education

Throughout the 4-year program, you will need to accomplish the following education requirements:

  • Primary care orientation
  • Cultural awareness training
  • ACRRM Fellowship Education Program
    • A minimum of 4 ACRRM Online Modules approved for training
    • Virtual national education workshop (3 days) provided by ACRRM
    • Face to face national education workshop (2 days)
  • Required emergency medicine courses
    • Rural Emergency Skills Training (REST)
    • ACRRM approved one Tier 1 course or two Tier 2 courses

Assessment 

All GPs training towards Fellowship with ACRRM must complete the following assessments:

  • 6 Monthly Supervisor Reports 
  • 9 Formative Mini Clinical Evaluation Exercise (mini-CEX)
  • Multiple-Source Feedback (MSF) 
  • Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) 
  • Case Based Discussion (CBD)
  • Structured Assessment using Multiple Patient Scenarios (StAMPS)
  • Procedural Skill Logbook

Once these assessments have successfully been completed as part of AGPT, ACRRM Independent Pathway, ACRRM RGTS, or RVTS, you will be awarded a Fellowship with ACRRM.

RACGP Fellowship

Fellowship with RACGP is a specialist general practice qualification that is suitable for GPs throughout Australia, including urban, rural and remote areas.

RACGP has the following pathways available to proceed to Fellowship:

For the General Practice Experience Pathway, you will be eligible to sit for the RACGP Fellowship Exams once you have 4 years of GP experience assessed by RACGP if you are not on AGPT or RVTS.

You can apply for Fellowship once you have finished the training, professional & ethical, administrative, and assessment requirements.

Training

The training program requirements include both education and experience, and the qualifications differ for each program as stated below:

  • AGPT
    • Complete education and training requirements stated in your training plan.
    • Complete 2 years (FTE) of program time including all of GPT1 and 2 by the date of the AKT
    • Must train at MM 2 – 7 aside from those with AGPT Rural Pathway exemptions

  • RVTS
    • Complete 3 years full-time education requirements + optional additional year to complete FRACGP-RG
    • Complete workplace-based assessment requirements
    • Must train at MM 4 – 7 for Remote Stream, and MM 2-7 for AMS Stream
    • Note: You must complete 12 months of RVTS training first before taking any RACGP Fellowship exams

  • FSP
    • Complete 2 years of FSP education component by the date of AKT 
    • Complete workplace-based assessment requirements
    • Must train at MM 2 – 7
    • A valid GPE assessment of 1 year (FTE) of comprehensive Australian general practice experience in the last 4 years

Professional and ethical requirements

You can be suitable for Fellowship of the RACGP if you meet the Fellowship Policy and you don’t have any conditions with your AHPRA medical registration.

Administrative requirements

For the duration of the whole program, you should have AHPRA medical registration and be a current financial RACGP member until you gain Fellowship status or end candidacy (3 year period).

Assessment

To achieve Fellowship with RACGP, you will need to pass the following exams:

  • Applied Knowledge Test (AKT)
  • Key Feature Problem (KFP)
  • Clinical Competency Exam (CCE) 

Please note, as of January 2022 RACGP will require anyone wanting to achieve Fellowship with RACGP to be enrolled in an accredited training program, such as AGPT, RVTS or FSP (previously the PEP).

Which College Should I Complete My Fellowship with?

This is entirely up to you, but we made some points about each program required to sit for either ACRRM or RACGP Fellowship below. We hope that it may help you to determine what you would prefer to do and which program or college to go for!

Location 

Majority of the ACRRM and RACGP Fellowship programs require you to work in a rural or remote area (MM 2 – 7) with some exemptions to extenuating circumstances for AGPT and FSP that may allow you to work in a MM1 location.

Fees

AGPT, RVTS, and RGTS are commonwealth-funded programs, but you will still need to pay for the application, membership, and exam fees, if there are any.

FSP and IP are both self-funded training programs.

  • FSP
    • Y1: $10,000 AUD per term
    • Y2: $6,000 AUD per term
    • RACGP Membership Fee: $573 AUD per year
  • IP
    • Application Fee: $700 AUD once
    • Enrolment Fee: $495 AUD once
    • Education Program Fee: $24,950 AUD (covers the first 12 months)
    • ACRRM Membership Fee: $430 AUD annually
    • Training Support: $1,995 AUD annually

Aside from the program fees, here are the exam fees for ACRRM and RACGP:

  • ACRRM
    • CBD: $2,125
    • MCQ: $1,795
    • StAMPS: $3,595
    • Projects: $3,310
  • RACGP
    • AKT: $2,555
    • KFP: $2,555
    • CCE: $5,225

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) 

All ACRRM Fellowship Programs (AGPT, RVTS, RGTS, & IP) have a maximum RPL of 2 years. 

For RACGP Fellowship Programs, AGPT allows RPLE for up to 52 weeks (FTE) of hospital experience, and RVTS have a maximum of 52 weeks FTE. However, FSP will not be offering RPL anymore starting from the 2024.2 intake unless you have voluntarily withdrawn from the AGPT or RVTS program.

Program Duration

IP and RGTS both have a 4 year program duration while AGPT and RVTS both take around 3-4 years. On the other hand, FSP only has 2 years program time.

Program Structure

AGPT includes 12 months of accredited hospital training, 18 months of general practice training, 6 months extended skills training. This will allow you to do practical training in a work environment — you will work hands-on with other professionals in hospitals and medical practices, and have access to various training opportunities, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health training, advanced skills training and academic posts.

RVTS is designed to help doctors understand how remote medicine is different and how to manage working in rural locations. You will learn essential clinical knowledge and skills, the nature of remote communities, public health, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, management skills and professional networks, self-care, and advanced skills training. You will also be educated through live weekly webinars, face-to-face workshops, clinical teaching visits, and remote supervision.

RGTS is a program that is fully structured and delivered in both an online and face-to-face environment. You will have the guidance of FACRRM medical educators and experienced rural GPs. Since it has a large self-guided learning experience, you can also tailor your training to meet the Fellowship requirements.

IP is specifically designed to help GPs to have the clinical knowledge and skills to practise rurally through a flexible learning experience. You will have the opportunity to work directly with ACRRM staff and educators to create a training plan personalised for you. You will also get to pick where you want to work, providing it is within a MMM 2 – 7, and has a mentor that meets the referees requirements. 

FSP offers a 24-month educational component where you will have self-directed learning, in-practice learning, educational resources (curriculum-mapped online modules, small group learning, and optional workshops) and workplace-based assessments (WBAs) for feedback and progress monitoring. You will also be supported by your medical educator, GP supervisor, and program.

We hope we were able to help you clear your thoughts, but don’t worry as the decision is yours to make!

We Can Help You

Here at People Medical Consulting, we have a passion for guiding medical practitioners through their career pathways to Australia. We have extensive experience in assisting medical facilities in recruiting doctors from local and overseas who will best suit their requirements.

We provide Document Assistance for those requiring support for their PESCI with IME, ACRRM or RACGP, registration and all other mandatory AHPRA requirements, fellowship program related forms and letters, application for Medicare provider and prescriber numbers, application for 19AB or 19AA exemptions and preparation of employment documents.

If you want to talk to someone about your pathway or practice management—book a consultation with us below, or if you need Recruitment or Document Assistance, contact us at help@peoplemedical.com.au or click the buttons below. We’d be glad to help you!

Information from this blog has been taken directly from:

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