Recognition of prior learning
How do I get recognition of prior learning?
You may be able to shorten the length of your GP training if you can supply evidence of past experience, training and assessments.
Recognition of prior learning is awarded by the college where you’re completing your GP fellowship. Gaining recognition of prior learning requires demonstrating that you have covered areas of the normal training program for your fellowship. We submit the application on your behalf and guide you through each step.
I chose general practice because I really wanted to do everything. For me, particularly in rural general practice, you look after people from the cradle to the grave. I could deliver babies, I could look after pregnant mums, I could give anaesthetics and provide some operations for the community.Dr Ewen McPhee, GP and Medical Educator at GPTQ
Recognition from RACGP
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) considers recognition of prior learning for training posts completed in a hospital or clinic in Australia or New Zealand.
RACGP may grant recognition for:
- One year of hospital rotations following postgraduate year 1 (PGY1) or intern year
- Six months extended skills training
- Combined hospital rotations and extended skills posts up to a maximum of one year
Your application requires a portfolio, which includes evidence of your activities and assessments, a CV and referees. Contact us for details and guidance on your portfolio.
Recognition from ACRRM
The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) considers recognition of prior learning for other medical qualifications or clinical experience, including overseas work. You may qualify if you have undertaken up to 12 months of core clinical training, including work in a hospital or advanced specialised training.
You can also apply for recognition of up to one year of primary rural and remote training. This includes work in:
- An Aboriginal health service
- The Royal Flying Doctor Service
- A small rural hospital
You will need to provide various forms of evidence to ACRRM to support your RPL application. This will include verification of your previous experience and performance. You can find out more in the ACRRM Fellowship Training Handbook (See page 20). You can also contact us for further details and guidance about submitting your RPL application.
How GPTQ can help you secure recognition of prior learning
We can assist with your application to ensure that it’s complete and presented correctly. We will:
- Review your application
- Check the supporting documents
- Provide a recommendation
- Submit your application
The application for each college is slightly different, and if you are completing your fellowship at both colleges, you must complete two separate applications. When RACGP or ACRRM has assessed your application, they will confirm to us in writing whether it has been approved. We can then advise you on the next steps to take. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Watch our explainer on recognition of prior learning
Frequently asked questions
What is RPL?
RPL stands for recognition of prior learning.
If you have completed hospital training time in a particular medical specialty before starting your AGPT program, that time may count towards the fulfilment of your paediatric requirement and mandatory rotations for your AGPT training. Refer to our explainer video above to further understand RPL.
Who approves applications for RPL?
You apply for RPL through your RTO, although it will be assessed by the Censor at the college that you choose to seek fellowship with – the ACRRM or RACGP.
When can I apply for RPL?
You can apply for RPL at any time during your AGPT program. However, if you are seeking fellowship of one of the colleges – the ACRRM and RACGP – you must apply for RPL no later than three months before the enrolment date to sit that college’s assessment examinations. As such, GPTQ recommends that you submit your application for RPL within your first year of full-time (or
equivalent) year of training.
Can I include leave in my RPL application?
Yes. You can include up to five weeks of annual leave with a 52 week period in your application for recognition of prior learning (RPL). You may also be able to include one week of study leave in your application for RPL, provided you have supporting documentation.
Which terms may be considered in an RPL application?
It is recommended that you apply for recognition of prior learning (RPL) for your most recent terms. It is likely it will be easier to obtain documentation to support your application. These terms should be post-intern and post-unconditional general registration. You can apply for a maximum of 26 weeks of RPL in any one medical discipline and a total of 52 weeks overall.
Why is an RPL process required?
A recognition of prior learning (RPL) process is required because RPL is not an automatically conferred. Each application for RPL is assessed by the senior medical educator of the registrar’s regional training
organisation (RTO). It is up to the registrar to demonstrate that the prior learning is relevant and equivalent to training required for the AGPT program. They must also provide evidence to support their application.
Can hospital training be included as RPL?
Hospital training may count towards RPL if completed after your intern year. You must complete a minimum of 12 months of post-intern hospital training in accredited Australian or New Zealand hospital for your AGPT program. Both colleges – the ACRRM and RACGP also have prerequisite training requirements, such as general medicine, surgery and emergency medicine.
If you have post-general registration experience in a hospital setting prior to starting your AGPT program, that time may count towards fulfilment of the mandatory rotations in that specialty for your AGPT training.
Find out more about mandatory hospital rotations.
Who needs to submit an RPL application?
All GP registrars who do not intend to complete 52 weeks of hospital training (generally with a maximum of 26 weeks in any one discipline) while enrolled in the AGPT program will need to submit a recognition of prior learning (RPL) application. It is recommended that you first discuss your RPL application with your medical educator at your regional training organisation (RTO).
Can I use my internship hospital experience to count towards RPL?
No. RPL can only be claimed for post intern and post general registration hospital time.