A message from GPRA CEO Dr Andrew Gosbell.
GPRA has continued to strongly advocate to the RACGP on behalf of GP trainees on a range of issues in relation to the written exams.
Extending leniency to enable the affected exam candidates to undertake the Remote Clinical Exam (RCE) in March 2021 or the Clinical Competency Exam (CCE) in 2021 without the usual prerequisite pass in the written exam.
The RACGP has advised that they are “looking into the process that would be required to enable candidates to sit the RCE in March without knowing the outcome of the AKT and KFP exams. This will require both internal processes and external approvals for this to occur.”
In commissioning an external, independent investigation of the incident, the RACGP fully commit to this forensic review as open, independent, and informed by the trainee experience, including independent input from GPRA.
The RACGP Board has agreed to an external investigation of what occurred with the KFP and AKT cancellations. The Faculty of GPs in Training will have input to the terms of reference for the investigation. GPRA will be interviewed by the external investigator.
That decisions on the rescheduling of the AKT and KFP be made as quickly as possible.
The RACGP “are very mindful of the importance of providing certainty to the candidates affected by cancellation of the KFP and AKT and the impact that those cancellations had on them. We provided candidates with the new dates of 4th & 5th December.”
The College have further advised that the rescheduled AKT and KFP will be delivered as a paper-based assessment, to minimise the possibility of further technical failures, and they are also working to ensure strong contingency plans are in place for these assessments.
There have been some questions from GP trainees regarding the paper-based format. GPRA is listening to your feedback, so if you have concerns about the paper-based exam, please contact GPRA at firstname.lastname@example.org
Appropriate consideration/compensation be given to candidates who have now exhausted all their annual leave to undertake study for and attendance at the cancelled written exams.
The RACGP acknowledged that matters raised by GPRA regarding leave, study and exam attendance are important ones and they are looking at what practical measures may be able to be offered. They will provide more information on these questions, but they are unable to do so at this stage. GPRA understand that the college is also consulting with their insurer in relation to this matter.**
** GPRA is acutely aware that there is only 5 weeks until the rescheduled written exams and will continue to urgently follow up with the College for a more definitive response to this matter, as soon as possible.
Special consideration of the circumstances of doctors on the PEP and other pathways, especially those with visa restrictions linked to their completion of fellowship requirements.
The RACGP has proactively sent a letter to Home Affairs regarding the cancellation of the AKT and KFP exams, supporting the need to extend affected candidates’ visas.
We are aware that the Government have advised that such visa extensions will be granted under their endorsed events (COVID19 pandemic event).
In addition, the RACGP has advised GPRA that “every exam candidate will be receiving a phone call from a membership services team member to talk to them about their exam experience and see what support they need on a personal level”.
An update on the Remote Clinical Exam (RCE)
GPRA congratulates all GP trainees who completed the RCE. We wish you all the best as you await your results.
GPRA note that the RACGP has taken onboard initial trainee feedback and were much more communicative and prompt regarding any on-the-day technical issues during the RCE. While there were no major incidents last weekend, a number of members contacted GPRA for support, advice, and advocacy. Particular concerns have been in regard to the associated costs and transparency of the RCE.
A number of our members have also approached GPRA with questions about the additional cost ($1,095) being charged by the College to those candidates required to sit the day-4 cases in the Remote Clinical Exam.
Candidates have paid for what they believed was an all-inclusive clinical exam but the terms now seem to have a requirement for an extra day, for some candidates, with an additional cost.
GPRA will be following up with the College on this matter, requesting that they reconsider this fee and also publish a transparent financial report about the cost to run the RCE.