Following on from a busy 2017, here’s a glimpse of some of the big issues GPRA will be tackling for GP registrars in 2018.
The current NTCER, effective from commencement of 2017 GP training year, is due for renegotiation in 2018.
Enquiries received and concerns raised by registrars and training practices have highlighted some issues with the current document.
This feedback from GPRA members, along with data from the 2017 Benchmarking Survey, will help inform our approach to the negotiations in 2018.
However, it is clear that issues of interpretation and compliance in relation to some of the conditions in the NTCER need review and reconsideration to ensure that they are fair and reasonable for the registrar as well as the training practice.
GP Training Program transition to RACGP and ACCRM
In 2018, GPRA will continue to engage with Government, the Department of Health and the medical colleges to address the concerns of registrars arising from the recently announced Federal Government decision to transition overall responsibility for training to the general practice medical colleges (RACGP and ACRRM).
While GPRA acknowledges the potential benefits, the decision has raised a number of questions and issues, including:
- What does this change mean for registrars? Will they need to prepare and apply for general practice training in a different way? Will the training regime change? Will job security and conditions of employment be affected?
- Who will support registrars when the medical colleges run the training program, accreditation and the examinations?
- What protections will be in place to ensure registrars are not disadvantaged in the transition phase? How will the quality of training be maintained during the transition and early years of this process?
- What does this mean for RTOs and local coordination of GP training beyond transition period?
- Are funding cuts driving these changes? Will this lead to an increase in training costs and further financial burden on registrars?
Ultimately, GPRA is seeking to be actively involved in transition arrangements, and the long-term GP training environment, as an independent entity that is able to protect checks and measures that ensures the system works for the doctors in training. We aim to assist with ensuring the success of the new arrangements.
AGPT Policies Review
GPRA is participating in the AGPT Program Policy Review Reference Group in 2018.
The Department of Health has commenced a review of the AGPT Program Policies to ensure that these policies support RTOs to in managing GP training and assist GP registrars in progressing through their training. GPRA will provide feedback on key issues and propose amendments to policies, in particular advocating for increasing flexibility in relation to training time caps, program leave and extensions.