The AGPT program selection process is jointly led by the ACRRM and the RACGP, and each college runs its own merit-based process to select applicants for their program. The Department of Health is responsible for assessing your eligibility for the AGPT Program.
The following tips will help get you on the right path to becoming a GP.
1. Choose your College and Fellowship
The first thing you need to decide is which college and fellowship to pursue, as you’ll be applying directly to the college of your choice. Selection into the program, for either the RACGP or ACRRM fellowships, is merit-based and competitive. These colleges differ in the fellowships and training opportunities they offer, so it is best to read up on both before you apply.
2. Decide which pathway to take
There are two pathways to choose from, and GPTQ can train you on both.
The General Pathway is highly popular and therefore highly competitive. It allows you to train anywhere within our region, including metropolitan practices in Brisbane, Ipswich or the Gold Coast.
The Rural Pathway is for registrars who are interested in both a rural lifestyle and rural and remote medicine. It provides training and experience in general practice medicine across regional, rural and remote locations.
You can complete any fellowship on the Rural Pathway and, once trained, you can practice anywhere in Australia.
3. Research training providers, locations and practices
The Department of Health has contracted nine regional training organisations (RTOs), across 11 training regions throughout Australia, to deliver GP training. Each RTO is responsible for training delivered within its geographical region.
Each RTO delivers the same educational program to curriculum and standards set by the Colleges. However, the way it is delivered may differ for each RTO. For example, at GPTQ, we provide small group training led by a medical educator. (Check out our GP educators here.)
When making your decision, consider where you want to train and the different ways each RTO delivers its training.
You can choose up to four RTOs in your preferences for training providers. If you choose GPTQ (SE QLD) for both the Rural Pathway and General Pathway, that equals two preferences.
4. Pay the application fee
As with most specialties, there is an application fee. This is payable once the Department of Health assesses your eligibility and you move through to the selection process.
The fees for eligible applicants in 2019 are $700 for ACRRM and $725 for RACGP payable to the respective College upon confirmation of eligibility by the Department of Health.
5. Organise your references
Both ACRRM and RACGP will ask you for the 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 has a rigorous referee checking system that allocates points to applicants based on referees’ responses. ACRRM asks your referees to complete an online response which takes about an hour.
You should choose your referees carefully and brief them on the process and expectations thoroughly beforehand. They need to be aware of what is required of them, including the time it will take to fill in any forms or participate in interviews.
6. Respond to ACRRM’s selection criteria (if applying for ACRRM)
There are three key steps in the application process for ACRRM: completion of the eligibility process, submission of a written application to the College by 15 June 2018, and participation at face-to-face multiple mini interviews (MMIs) between Friday 13th and Sunday 22 July 2018 in your region of first preference.
ACRRM’s selection criteria for registrars training under the AGPT program includes demonstrating: a commitment to a career as a GP in rural or remote Australia; the capacity and motivation to acquire the abilities, skills and knowledge to practice as a rural GP; a connection with rural communities; a commitment to meeting the needs of rural and remote communities; and the personal attributes for a career in rural or remote practice.
7. Prepare for the RACGP online exam (CAAKT) if you’re applying for RACGP
There are two main phases in RACGP’s selection process. The first is the Candidate Assessment Applied Knowledge Test (CAAKT) and the second is attending an interview process (MMI). The CAAKT is a 2.5 hour online test (held 29-30 June 2018) and your score will determine your ranking. You must obtain a minimum score to proceed further to interview, offer and acceptance stages.
8. Think about your Plan B if you don’t get your first preference
If you’re not offered your first College or RTO preference, you will need to think about your next steps. GPTQ can help you plan and think about your options and will assist you with useful resources including our FAQs, explainer videos and GP interviews.
The RACGP provides answers to a list of frequently asked questions about their application process in their 2019 AGPT Selection Guide. ACRRM also provide frequently asked questions on their process. Both Colleges are also holding webinars to help applicants understand the process.
The RACGP will also offer you an opportunity to change your nominated (four) preferences after the CAAKT scores are announced. To explain how the process works, they are conducting a webinar as well. Please visit the RACGP website to find out more.
9. You’ve been offered a place! Now what?
Both Colleges will make you a written offer via email following successful completion of the selection process. You then have seven days to accept the offer in writing. Please monitor your emails including the junk folder so as not to miss out.
10. Keep an eye on key dates
Application closing dates, and other key dates for GP training, like most medical training, are not flexible. If you miss any of these dates, you will need to wait until the next intake to reapply.
The application process closes at 10 AM AEST on 30 April 2018.
You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 07 3552 8100.
RACGP enquiries can be emailed to email@example.com or phone: 1800 472 247.
ACRRM enquiries can be emailed to AGPT@acrrm.org.au or phone: 1800 223 226.
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.