How to apply for GP training
We aim to make the application process as simple as possible.
Interested in joining our GP training program? Your initial application is made to the college where you intend to complete your fellowship. You need to follow their selection process and may be shortlisted for training with your preferred registered training organisation (RTO).
I remember being so inspired by the presenters at my GPTQ orientation. They showed so much commitment and passion for general practice. I walked away knowing I had made the right career move without having even seen a patient yet.Krystyna de Lange, GPTQ Registrar and Registrar Liaison Officer
The application process is managed from the outset by the GP colleges, RACGP and ACRRM. Applicants need to decide which fellowship to pursue and apply directly to the relevant college. Selection into the program, for either the RACGP or ACRRM fellowships, is merit-based and competitive. The application and selection process seeks to identify doctors best suited for careers in general practice.
Step 1: Complete an online application
Online applications for the 2020 intake open on 25 March 2019 and close on 29 April 2019. Here’s how the application process works.
The applications are different for each college. They both ask for:
- Details of two referees who can comment on your skills, experience and suitability for general practice. This might be a GP or medical superintendent, for example. ACRRM asks your referees to complete an online response and allocates points based on the answers.
- Supporting documents, including evidence of your eligibility such as certified copies of your residency status and general medical registration.
- Your preferences for training pathways and training providers. You can make up to four selections. Picking GPTQ, for example, on both the General Pathway and the Rural Pathway equates to two selections.
Visit the college websites for more details and links to their online applications:
- RACGP application and selection process for AGPT training
- ACRRM application and selection process for AGPT training
Step 2: AGPT eligibility check
The Department of Health will conduct an eligibility check and notify you and the colleges of the outcome by 4 June 2019.
Step 3: Pay your fees for the selection process
As with most specialties, there is an application fee for the selection process. This is payable once you know you’re eligible.
The 2020 fees are $770 for ACRRM and $725 for RACGP.
Step 4: Follow the GP College selection process
At this point, you will follow the selection process for the college/s you have nominated. This is outlined on their websites:
Both colleges have flowcharts describing the process, FAQs and hotlines for specific questions. GPTQ is holding information sessions in March – April, where you can find out more about the process.
Applicants are required to complete a written submission to ACRRM as part of their online application, addressing the five selection criteria. On the other hand, RACGP requires candidates to participate in a multiple-choice-questions styled Candidate Assessment and Applied Knowledge Test (CAAKT). Each college then draws up a shortlist of candidates who will undergo an interview round. Applicants are likely to be assessed on their communication and interpersonal skills, clinical reasoning, analytical and problem-solving skills, organisational and management skills, motivation, and personal and professional attributes.
GPTQ participates in the selection process for relevant candidates, choosing registrars from a shortlist provided by the colleges. We will take into account a range of factors when selecting GP registrars which may include your assessment results and application details, as well as suitability and willingness to work in rural communities.
Tips for applicants
Check out our blog post to get our insights into the application and selection process:
GPTQ enquiries can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07 3552 8100.
RACGP enquiries can be emailed to email@example.com or call 1800 472 247.
The AGPT / Department of Health may also be contacted on 1800 DR AGPT (1800 37 2478) during work hours on weekdays or by email at AGPTeligibility@health.gov.au.
Five facts you should know about applying for GP training
- You can apply for GP training as early as your intern year, which means you can start training as soon as you achieve general registration.
- You can complete some mandatory hospital requirements as prerequisite GP training in your first year of training. You may spend your PGY2 (or later years) in a hospital to gain the required experience. You will receive recognition of prior learning (post general registration hospital time) towards your GP training.
- Once you have been offered a training place with a college, you must complete your training towards your GP fellowship with that college. You cannot change to the training program of the other general practice college during your training.
- RACGP has an online test (CAAKT) that must be undertaken. If you are unavailable to attend one of the nominated testing locations on that day, you will be asked to reapply for the next intake.
- There is an additional process for GP training applicants who are on temporary 457 / 482 resident visas. They would need to provide letters of support from each RTO they put down as their preference on the AGPT application form.
Frequently asked questions
Can I accept a place on the AGPT program and then defer it for a year or start my training on leave?
Generally, no; deferring the start of your training is not permitted. However, if there are exceptional circumstances or your need is in line with legislated requirements of maternity, paternity or parental leave, you can apply to your regional training organisation (RTO) for a deferral. Visit the AGPT website for more information. Find out more about the AGPT Program Leave policy on their website.
I am an intern this year. Can I apply for the AGPT program?
Yes, you can apply in your intern year to start GP training the following year. Both the ACRRM and RACGP require a minimum of 12 months’ post-intern hospital training in an accredited hospital post to meet their criteria for training and assessment. If you have only completed your intern year, your first placement within the AGPT program after enrolment will be in a hospital placement doing prerequisite training. The only exception would be an applicant with a 457 temporary visa, where other conditions apply.
What if I miss my RACGP Candidate Assessment Applied Knowledge Test (CAAKT)?
The CAAKTs are conducted on a single date for each selection round / intake. If you miss your CAAKT, you would need to reapply with the RACGP for the following intake.
What is the selection process for the AGPT program?
After you apply for GP training, selections are carried out by the respective GP colleges and differ in process. Both colleges have a written component followed by interviews for shortlisted candidates. For details on these processes, please refer to the respective college websites:
RACGP selection process
ACRRM selection process
I am an intern this year and I want to apply for GP Training for next year. Am I required to undertake another year in hospital?
Yes, your PGY2 (JHO) year will be considered your mandatory hospital year of GP training, completing your Core Clinical Training and/or Hospital term to count towards ACRRM and/or RACGP Fellowship.
I am looking at two different regions e.g. rural SE QLD vs NE NSW. How would these compare? What are the differences? How do I decide which regional training organisation (RTO) to apply for?
It is your responsibility to research and investigate each RTO that you are considering. Information on the 9 RTOs can be found on the AGPT website. One thing to note here is that the AGPT program administered in different regions by different RTOs would still meet the standards of the two colleges ACRRM and RACGP.
Is there a second intake of GP registrars within a single year?
In some years, there may be a second intake of GP registrars into the training program. In the past, there have been occasions when a second intake has occurred in certain regions that did not fill all allocated GP training places in the first intake. The decision on whether a second intake will occur is made by the Department of Health and the Colleges.
I want to apply to GPTQ, but I have signed a contract with a hospital outside GPTQ’s training region. What do I do?
If you already hold a signed contract with a hospital in another training region at the time of being offered and accepting a training place with GPTQ, you must disclose this to GPTQ when you accept the offer. You must also commit in writing to relocate to GPTQ’s training region on completion of your contract. If approved, you will commence your AGPT training in a hospital training term outside of the GPTQ region. A transfer is not required to complete this hospital training in our region.
If approved, you will then be considered as an active GPTQ registrar for your first year of training, even though you are located outside of the GPTQ region. If you are unable or unwilling to move to the GPTQ region the following year, you will not be granted a transfer and your training place with GPTQ will be withdrawn.
How do I decide which RTO to apply for?
Each regional training organisation (RTO) has unique characteristics. It’s important you research to find one which fits career goals and needs. Some of the things to consider when researching RTOs include:
- Training region
- Accredited training practices, training hospitals
- GP educators
- The placement process
- The training support the RTO offers
- Part-time study options
- Available training pathways – General Pathway or Rural Pathway
- Specialised training opportunities
- Advanced rural skills posts
- Exam support
- Indigenous health training opportunities
- Academic posts
- Testimonials from current and former registrars
How do I pick a training region for my GP training?
The AGPT program is delivered by a national network of regional training organisations (RTOs) such as GPTQ, in distinct geographic training regions. Each training region and its RTO has unique characteristics, including different clinical opportunities. You will need to research the regions to find one which fits with your personal and professional commitments, career goals and needs.
All RTOs meet the standards of AGPT training for GP fellowship of the two colleges – ACRRM and RACGP. There are some differences between RTOs in the way they deliver the training program.
Does GPTQ provide letters of support for 457 visa holders to lodge their AGPT program application?
Unfortunately, GPTQ will not offer letters of support for the 2021 AGPT intake. Please contact the AGPT to find out which other RTOs would support applications from 457-visa holders.
Is there a fee for the 2021 AGPT application process and when is it due?
Yes, there is a fee payable upon confirmation of your eligibility by the Department of Health.
RACGP selection process fee: $725.00 AUD
ACRRM selection process fee: $700.00 AUD
This fee goes towards covering the cost of the selection process and is due at the time you are deemed eligible by the Department fo Health.
What’s the application process for the AGPT program?
When can I apply for general practice training?
Applicants who possess Australian or New Zealand citizenship or Australian permanent residency by the close of applications can apply for GP training at any time. These applicants can apply as early as their intern year in an Australian hospital. Foreign graduates of Australian medical schools (FGAMS) on a 457 or 482 visa will need to obtain a letter of support from your preferred Regional Training Organisation (RTO). Overseas trained doctors (OTDs) on a 457 / 482 visa are ineligible to apply to the program.
Please refer to the AGPT website for details.
How do I apply for the AGPT program?
To apply for the AGPT program you will need to complete an online application form on the respective college website and meet the eligibility criteria. The Department of Health will assess your eligibility for GP training.
You will also need to provide supporting documents to verify your previous education and training, select up to four preferred training regions (RTOs) in which you would like to undertake your training, and choose which college fellowship you wish to pursue (FACRRM or FRACGP). You will also choose whether to complete your training via the Rural Pathway or the General Pathway.