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GP fellowships

Our training helps you achieve GP fellowship

GP fellowships (featured image)

We will guide you throughout your training so that you’re on the right path to achieving registration to practise independently as a GP.

Find out the differences between the three fellowships offered by the two GP colleges.

I really yearned to be able to develop long-term relationships with patients and help and guide them through the whole life cycle. I believe this is something truly unique to the general practice model. It enables the practitioner to treat the person, not just the condition. You have a chance to really make a difference.

Krystyna de Lange, GPTQ Registrar and Registrar Liaison Officer

What is a fellowship?

A GP fellowship is a formal recognition of your qualification and provides you with the registration required to practise as a GP in Australia. There are three fellowships available in Australia offered by the two GP colleges, The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM).

RACGP offers two fellowships:

  1. Fellowship of The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (FRACGP). This qualification takes three-year’s full-time equivalent to complete and is available to registrars on both the General Pathway and Rural Pathway.
  2. Fellowship in Advanced Rural General Practice (FARGP). This is an additional qualification available to all registrars and is completed alongside FRACGP. The FARGP is a year of advanced skills training as part of the four year program.

ACRRM offers one fellowship:

  1. Fellowship of Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (FACRRM). This is a four-year full-time equivalent qualification available to registrars on the Rural Pathway.

All three fellowships lead to general practitioner registration and the ability to work independently as a GP anywhere in Australia. The fellowships are accredited by the Australian Medical Council and ensure GPs provide safe, specialised, high-quality care.

How do you get a fellowship?

The usual steps for achieving Fellowship with RACGP or ACRRM are:

  1. Successful completion of the AGPT program.
  2. Meeting the training requirements of the relevant college. This includes completing prerequisite training before you start your GP placements. You need to meet the paediatric requirement and complete certain mandatory hospital rotations, which are different for each college. We will guide you on meeting the training requirements.
  3. Successful completion of the exams and assessments administered by the colleges.

We deliver the AGPT program, which is the most common path to completing a fellowship. However, both colleges offer other pathways for achieving Fellowship aimed at doctors who are either located in very remote locations or are already highly experienced GPs. We do not support these other pathways to Fellowship, but mention them briefly in our training options. See the college websites for further details of these alternative pathways.

Which college should you complete your fellowship with?

Registrars on the General Pathway have the option of completing RACGP’s standard three-year fellowship or may elect advanced rural training to achieve an additional RACGP fellowship: Fellowship of Advanced Rural General Practice. Registrars on the Rural Pathway have the option of completing their fellowships with either RACGP or ACRRM, or both. Rural Pathway registrars are not obliged to complete a rural fellowship, so may choose a three-year FRACGP without the additional rural training offered by the four-year fellowships.

Our training complies with both college requirements. Rural Pathway registrars can complete a fellowship at ACRRM, RACGP or both colleges. However, the criteria and curriculum differs for each college, so you will need to meet both sets of requirements to qualify for fellowships with both colleges. Once you’re enrolled in training, we will discuss your options and guide you towards achieving your fellowship goals.

Here are some considerations to take into account if considering completing fellowships with both colleges:

  • You will need to comply with the requirements of both colleges.
  • You will need to complete assessments and exams for both colleges.
  • There are expenses that the colleges charge to complete a fellowship, such as exam fees, application fees and annual membership fees.

Explainer: What is a GP fellowship?

GP fellowship options

Qualification College Duration Mandatory hospital rotations (in addition to meeting the paediatric requirement) Candidates Available via GPTQ
Fellowship of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (FACRRM) ACRRM Four years Medicine
Emergency
Surgery
Obstetrics and gynaecology
Anaesthetics
Rural Pathway registrars Yes
Fellowship of The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (FRACGP) RACGP Three years Medicine
Emergency
Surgery
Three others in areas relevant to general practice
All registrars Yes
Fellowship in Advanced Rural General Practice (FARGP + FRACGP) RACGP Four years As above for FRACGP Registrars on either the General or Rural Pathway who live and work in rural and remote Australia Yes

Qualification: Fellowship of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (FACRRM)

College

ACRRM

Duration

Four years

Mandatory hospital rotations
  • Medicine
  • Emergency
  • Surgery
  • Paediatrics
  • Obstetrics and gynaecology
  • Anaesthetics
Candidates

Rural Pathway registrars

Available via GPTQ

Yes

Qualification: Fellowship of The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (FRACGP)

College

RACGP

Duration

Three years

Mandatory hospital rotations
  • Medicine
  • Emergency
  • Surgery
  • Paediatrics
  • Three others in areas relevant to general practice
Candidates

All registrars

Available via GPTQ

Yes

Qualification: Fellowship in Advanced Rural General Practice (FARGP + FRACGP)

College

RACGP

Duration

Four years

Mandatory hospital rotations

As above for FRACGP

Candidates

Registrars on either the General or Rural Pathway who live and work in rural and remote Australia

Available via GPTQ

Yes