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The RACGP supports all types of general practitioners, including medical students, those undergoing training, and experienced GPs. They achieve this by creating resources and guidelines that enable practitioners to deliver exceptional healthcare and effectively address any issues that may arise in their practice.

For example, the RACGP launched the Practice Experience Program (PEP) in January 2019 to support non-vocationally registered (non-VR) practitioners in their journey towards RACGP Fellowship.

The RACGP PEP programs within the 3GA falls under Section 19AA of the Health Insurance Act. This program allows international medical graduates (IMGs) to charge Medicare for their services, even if they haven’t achieved fellowship status with RACGP or ACRRM.

What is PEP

The PEP program is a program that offers education and support to doctors who are pursuing fellowships in regional, rural, and remote Australia in a self-directed manner.

The Fellowship Support Program (FSP) is funded by the Australian Government’s (Department of Health) Stronger Rural Health Strategy. It is specifically intended to assist doctors not vocationally registered and based on Modified Monash Model (MMM) areas 2 to 7. 

Benefits of the PEP

  • A personalised program will be created for you with an online learning package. The program will focus on the most relevant units for you based on your experience as a doctor.
  • We offer a support network that includes a GP mentor with specialised knowledge, workplace visits at scheduled intervals, and continued feedback.
  • With a PEP provider number and full A1 Medicare rebates, you can receive the same benefits as a Specialist GP while participating in the PEP program. This means you can access A1 Medicare rebates.
  • The PEP program in Australia offers ongoing mentor support and online learning units to enhance your skills in general practice and build professional confidence as you prepare for the RACGP Fellowship exams.
  • By receiving guidance and input from GP mentors and access to online learning materials that complement their existing skills and knowledge, doctors can confidently deliver top-notch healthcare. This reflects best practice standards.
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What Is the Duration of the Program?

The program can last anywhere from 12 to 30 months, equivalent to two to five six-month terms. The duration is determined on a case-by-case basis, so participants can concentrate on addressing their specific learning needs, enhancing their skills, and concentrating on the aspects of Australian general practice that are most relevant to them depending on their prior experience and skill.

Non-VR GP Changes

Starting January 2022, non-VR doctors without a specialist qualification must complete an approved program before they can take the RACGP fellowship examinations if they wish to work in Australia. This is a new rule implemented by the Australian Government.

How to Apply for PEP

To apply for a PEP, you must have your RACGP ID. If you don’t have one, register and create a special user ID before starting the application process. Overall, the PEP application process is straightforward.

To become a fellow through the RACGP PEP application, you need to follow these basic steps:

  • Application for Comparability Assessment: The assessment of a comparability outcome results in classification as substantially comparable, partially comparable, or not comparable. 
  • Application for the Approval of Job Offer: The RACGP evaluates the location and field of practice of job offers in Australia for applicants. Only after the approval of a job offer can candidates submit an AHPRA medical registration application.
  • Application for the Right to Work: You can enter your visa information and fill out a form to request a RACGP provider number. 

It can be intimidating if you are new to the PEP specialist application process.

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Final Takeaway

The PEP is an educational program accredited by the Australian Medical Council (AMC) for general practitioners. Additionally, it is backed by the Australian Government’s Stronger Rural Health Strategy.

If you are a doctor from overseas with a specialisation in general practice, you need to submit a comparability assessment application to see if you meet the requirements for the PEP Specialist Stream. To support your application, you must provide documents verifying your qualifications.

To better prepare your documents, it is recommended that you visit the RACGP website and read their online guide that explains everything before submitting your application.