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When it comes to the complex process of recruiting overseas-trained doctors, GP practice owners often find themselves navigating through confusing variables…

These variables as things such as supervision levels, MMM ratings and DPA areas, and specialized programs like FSP (a self-funded education and training program designed to replace the PEP Standard Stream) and PEP Specialist Streams.

As a recruitment and consulting agency, Alecto is constantly helping to point practices in the right direction in how to approach GP’s on these programs and their varying supervision levels. In this blog, we’re homing in on the importance of specifics programs and what they mean for GP recruitment in your practice.

FSP and PEP Specialist Streams: What Are They?

FSP (Fellowship Support Program) and PEP Specialist (Practice Experience Pathway) Stream are two prominent programs that cater to doctors looking to attain Fellowship with the RACGP. The FSP program is intended for doctors who aim to complete their Fellowship through the General Practice Experience (GPE) Pathway and is not specifically targeted at internationally-trained or Non-VR doctors as previously mentioned.

On the other hand, the PEP Specialist Stream is tailored for doctors who already have specialist qualifications and are recognised as Substantially comparable to Australian-trained GPs. This program offers a more streamlined pathway to Fellowship. The PEP Specialist Stream generally requires less stringent supervision and provides candidates with greater flexibility in terms of practice locations, making it a suitable choice for doctors with a higher level of experience.

Supervision Levels and Their Impact on FSP and PEP Specialist Recruitment

Supervision levels depend on a doctor’s pathway and comparability.

Doctors under the PEP Specialist Program with “Substantial Comparability” usually require Level 3 supervision and those deemed ‘Partially Comparable’ usually require either Level 3 or Level 2 Supervision.

Those GPs eligible for the FSP will also be required to have passed Level 1 Supervision and be on a minimum of Level 2 supervision to be eligible for the program.

The different levels of supervision require varying commitments from practice supervisors, and understanding this is crucial. For Level 1 supervision, the practice must allocate a supervisor who is physically present at all times while the doctor is seeing patients, ensuring immediate assistance and guidance. This level of supervision can be labor-intensive for the supervising physician and may necessitate changes to their own clinical schedule.

For Level 2 and Level 3 supervision, the supervisory requirements are less stringent; the supervisor may not need to be physically present at all times but must be easily contactable for consults. This offers more flexibility but still mandates regular meetings and case discussions to monitor the doctor’s progress. These varied commitments should be carefully considered by practices, as they not only impact the workflow but also influence the overall resource allocation within the practice.

MM Rating and DPA Considerations in FSP and PEP Specialist Programs

When it comes to the FSP, candidates must be employed or have a job offer in a practice in an MM 2-7 location at the time of application. Understanding the specifics of MM ratings and DPA locations in relation to FSP is critical for recruiting doctors under this program.

Doctors on FSP need to be in a DPA location but as mentioned above it must be at least an MM2. There are many MM1 rated locations that are now deemed DPA but unfortunately these areas do not qualify as suitable for doctors on FSP. On the other hand, the PEP Specialist Stream is tailored for VR doctors who usually require less stringent supervision, have a broader range of options and can work in DPA locations that are rated MM1 if deemed ‘substantially comparable’.

It can be challenging for practices to navigate the pathways and location requirements for overseas-trained doctors, at Alecto we want to help unpack these intricacies and do whatever we can to smooth the process for our clients and GP doctor candidates. If you are a practice looking to recruit overseas doctors please contact our recruitment team and for more information please see the links below.

For more relevant information on our Alecto website, check out this blog:

For information on FSP visit this page:

For information on PEP Specialist visit this page: