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When applying for the PEP specialist stream, the first step is completing their comparability assessment. If found substantially comparable, you will have a smoother journey to getting registered as a GP in Australia. However, if you are categorised as partially comparable or not comparable, then things will be more difficult, so it is important to get your comparability assessment right.

The comparability assessment looks at a lot of factors including which country you received your qualifications in. The part that a lot of GPs fail without realising is the recency of practice standard.

What is the recency policy?

Applicants for the Comparability Assessment need to show that they have completing the following amounts of work:

  • 12 months Full Time Equivalent (FTE) work in the past 4 years


  • At least 4 weeks FTE work in the past 12 months

However, it’s not entirely that simple

The RACGP is clear in stating that Recency is in relation to clinical practice, not continuity of employment. There are a lot of things that may not be counted.

The policy stipulates that it must be comprehensive general practice work. If you have been working in a practice and specialising in a certain area, then that may not be counted or only a certain percentage of your time in that role may be counted towards your overall amount. We have seen many GPs penalised for taking on extra responsibilities and specialising in areas, even though they are still working as a GP. Hospital work (with the exception of any GP training posts) are not accepted towards your recency assessment)

You may also be penalised for working part time or across different clinics. For example, less than 14.5 hours per week, then that work may not be counted at all. Likewise, if you have worked for less than one month at a particular clinic will not be counted. This can often be difficult for those who do a lot of locum work. However, if you worked 10 hours at one clinic and 10 hours at another, then this may be counted. As you can see, it all gets a bit complicated.

If you are unsure whether you will meet the recency standard, please get in touch with Alecto at [email protected]

Whilst we can never guarantee an outcome, we can give you an indication on whether you could pass or if you need to do a few more hours before you apply.