The Australian General Practice Training Program
The Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) Program trains doctors to become GPs. It provides full-time, on-the-job training for Australian and overseas-trained doctors who want to specialise in general practice.
Each year the program offers 1,500 training places in cities and regional, rural and remote areas of Australia.
Doctors on the AGPT Program train towards achieving either a:
- Fellowship of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (FACRRM)
- Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (FRACGP)
- FRACGP and Fellowship of Advanced Rural General Practice (FRACGP + FARGP).
Once you have gained one of these fellowships, you can register with the Medical Board of Australia and work as a GP anywhere in Australia.
Who can apply
You can apply for the AGPT Program if you are:
- an Australian or New Zealand medical graduate, with Australian or New Zealand citizenship or Australian permanent residency
- an international medical graduate (IMG) who meets certain conditions
- an overseas graduate of an Australian-accredited medical school
- an Australian Defence Force doctor
You will also need to have achieved general AHPRA registration at the time of commencement of training.
There are some restrictions on who can access the AGPT Program. Find out whether you are eligible.
Two doctors can apply for GP training together to ensure they are placed in the same location. Like individual doctors, joint applicants apply for GP training via the college where they wish to complete their fellowships. The application process for joint applicants is a similar process to applying as an individual applicant, with a few caveats. Joint applicants are judged on the lowest scoring applicant. If you and another doctor are interested in training with GPTQ together, get in touch to discuss your options. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Australian Defence Force Doctors
We have a proud history of training registrars who are also full-time members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF). GPTQ’s training footprint has an Army base and an Air Force base, and as such we have ADF doctors joining our training program each year.
ADF doctors are generally supernumerary to an RTO’s allocated number of training places and would apply to the AGPT program as any other applicants.
GP Registrars who are in the ADF follow the general pathway and combine their defence training with our delivery of the AGPT Program. We have in-built flexibility and support mechanisms to ensure these registrars can successfully pursue their GP fellowship while also meeting all ADF obligations.
International Medical Graduate eligibility
International medical graduates (IMGs)—who may also be referred to as Overseas Trained Doctors (OTDs)—are able to work in regional, rural and remote areas of Australia without additional training, if they meet certain requirements.
If you are an IMG, find out if you meet the requirements to work in Australia and what you need to do before you can start working here as a doctor.
Foreign Graduates of Accredited Medical Schools (FGAMS) are Australian or New Zealand medical graduates who were not Australian or New Zealand citizens nor permanent residents at the time of beginning their medical degree.
IMGs are subject to a 10 year moratorium
Following medical registration in Australia IMGs, OTDs and FGAMS must, under Australian Government policy, practise in an area where there is a shortage of doctors for a minimum of 10 years. This ruling also restricts access to Medicare rebates for those doctors. The moratorium may be reduced depending on how rural and remote the area is where the doctor practises.
You can read more detail on the moratorium, which is outlined in section 19AB of the Health Insurance Act 1973, here.
The moratorium and AGPT training
Doctors subject to the moratorium can only train on the rural pathway, with some caveats:
- overseas trained doctors on a temporary visa are ineligible for the AGPT program.
- foreign graduates of accredited medical schools on a temporary visa may be eligible for the AGPT program but will need to request a letter of support from an RTO willing to support their application.
GP fellowship programs for IMGs
Both the ACRRM and RACGP Fellowship programs recognise the work IMGs have done outside of Australia and offer tailored pathways for training and accreditation to work in general practice here. These programs are also suited to IMGs who are ineligible for AGPT.
IMGs who have specialist qualifications in general practice or family medicine can apply for assessment by ACRRM for their Specialist Pathway.
IMGs with a specialist qualification may be eligible for the RACGP Practice Experience Program Specialist Stream.
IMGs without a recognised specialist qualification can apply to RACGP through the Practice Experience Program Standard Stream or the ACRRM Independent Pathway.
The AGPT Program is funded entirely by the Australian Government, so training to become a GP does not require co-payments from GP registrars. In fact, as a GP registrar you are entitled to attractive pay and benefits and incentives for certain aspects of your training.
GP registrars receive pay for the work they do at training practices throughout their AGPT experience. As you move through the various stages of training, your salary will increase. The National Terms and Conditions for the Employment of Registrars (NTCER) sets out the agreed rates of pay for GP registrars at each stage of training.
Alternatively, you may negotiate with your employer to be paid based on a percentage payment for work undertaken. This can be calculated according to either billings made or receipts received. The method of calculation and the rate—which must be at least 44.79% —must be agreed between you and your employer.
You may be able to move between the basic pay and the percentage payment structures during your employment. In all instances, as a GP registrar you will also be entitled to employer contributions to superannuation at the rate of 9.5%.
Conditions of employment
The National Terms and Conditions for the Employment of Registrars (NTCER) stipulates working conditions for GP registrars. You are, for instance, entitled to four
weeks of paid annual leave for each year of service with an employer. You are also entitled to certain amounts of paid personal and compassionate leave. The NTCER sets out requirements and limitations on hours, parental leave, overtime and many other working conditions.
You can find out more about pay and conditions for GP registrars from the two organisations that negotiate NTCER with the government: General Practice Registrars Australia (GPRA) and General Practice Supervisors Australia (GPSA).
GP registrars who undertake training placements in rural and remote locations may be eligible for payments under the General Practice Rural Incentives Program (GPRIP). These incentives are paid according to the Australian Statistical Geographical Standard Remoteness Area (ASGS-RA) location and the length of time in a rural location.
Find out more about financial incentives for rural training placements here.