RACGP changes for IMGs: (PEP) Specialist Stream – A simple guide

16 September 2019 | Australian GPs, Clinic Owners and Practice Managers, UK/Ireland GPs | 3 minutes read

RACGP changes for IMGs: (PEP) Specialist Stream – A simple guide

The new Practice Experience Pathway (PEP) Specialist Stream has come into effect on September 1, 2019 and replaces the Specialist Recognition Program. The previous program was used by many GPs moving from the UK to work in Australia. The following advice was written at the commencement of the program, please check with an Alecto Consultant for the most up to date advice.

 What is PEP?

The Practice Experience Program (PEP) Specialist Stream provides a pathway for international medical graduates (IMGS) with overseas specialist qualifications to gain Fellowship with the RACGP (FRACGP).

The PEP has two streams, the standard and specialist streams. More info on the two different streams can be found here.

Supported by the Australian Government’s Stronger Rural Health Strategy, PEP is the new specialist general practitioner training and self-directed education program for SIMGs to attain Fellowship with the RACGP.

What are the main changes?

  • Overseas-trained GPs who are assessed as Substantially Comparable will be eligible to work in DPA locations.
  • To ensure that SIMGs are practicing at the level of Australian specialists, the RACGP no longer awards instant Fellowship ad eudum gradum to SIMGs but will instead require them to undergo a more comprehensive assessment and a period of practice under peer review. SIMGs must apply for limited or provisional registration with AHPRA whilst working towards Fellowship.
  • To enter the PEP Specialist Stream pathway, SIMGs are required to take a comparability assessment. The assessment decides whether you are Substantially Comparable, Partially Comparable or Not Comparable.

What factors are considered in the comparability assessment?

The information we have at hand indicates that RACGP will examine the following factors:

  • Your Specialist qualifications
  • Where and how you obtained your specialist qualifications
  • What examinations you completed for specialist qualification
  • Other qualifications
  • Recency and continuity of practice
  • Your experience in general practice
  • Participation in professional development

The pathway opens to new countries

Another positive outcome from the recent changes is that certification from more countries than ever have been assessed as substantially comparable.

A full list can be found on the RACGP’s website here

How long does it take to gain Fellowship with RACGP?

The time required to gain Fellowship with RACGP depends on the outcome of your comparability assessment:

  • Applicants deemed Substantially Comparable will be required to complete 6 months of full-time practice within 2 years.
  • Applicants deemed Partially Comparable will be required to complete 1 year of full-time practice within 4 years as well as pass the Fellowship exams.

What’s does the new pathway to Fellowship look like?

The pathway depends on whether you are deemed Substantially Comparable or Partially Comparable. Below is a chart from the RACGP website that outlines the two different pathways.

PEP Specialist Stream Fact Sheet Flowchart
IMG Source: RACGP Website

If you have any questions in relation to your future recruitment requirements please contact us at info@alecto.com.au.

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