Statement on Selection and Recruitment

Date published:
06 Aug 2020

Dear members,

We would like to affirm our position on maintaining the highest possible standards of behaviour and ethics during recruitment and selection to physician training positions.

While recruitment is not managed by the College, we still expect all Fellows, trainees and potential trainees to be treated with fairness, dignity, and respect and adhere to our Selection into Training Policy.

Survey on trainee selection experiences

Last year we received over 500 responses to an anonymous survey asking our trainees about their selection experiences.

The good news is most of the responses were positive.

There were some however that concerned us. These included:

  • difficult or non-transparent application processes
  • organising pre-interviews for some candidates or not widely promoting details of pre-interview information sessions
  • interview and selection panels that were not representative
  • asking inappropriate questions during the selection process, including questions about family planning or leave

Again, we reiterate that we expect all Fellows, trainees and potential trainees to be treated with fairness, dignity, and respect.

The 2019 Pulse Survey Report: Trainee Selection Experience (PDF) is now available and we encourage you to read through this.

Unacceptable conduct

The Fair Work Ombudsman defines 'unlawful workplace discrimination' as occurring when an employer takes adverse action against a person who is an employee or prospective employee because of the following attributes of the person:

  • race
  • colour
  • sex
  • sexual orientation
  • age
  • physical or mental disability
  • marital status
  • family or carer’s responsibilities
  • pregnancy
  • religion
  • political opinion
  • national extraction
  • social origin

Questions on any of these topics may be problematic unless you can show a direct link between the question and the person’s ability to perform the tasks required of them.

Asking inappropriate questions during interviews or pre-interviews or behaving in an unprofessional or inappropriate way through the selection or recruitment process is not acceptable to the RACP. This conduct can be unlawful and also contravenes the standards of member conduct required under the RACP Code of Conduct.

Information on fair selection and recruitment

Our Guidelines for Training Providers on Local Selection for Training (PDF) outline how principles of the RACP Selection into Training Policy can be applied in practice to the local selection of physician trainees.

We have recently updated some of our selection resources and shared them with those involved in local selection. Please use these and encourage your colleagues to use them too.

Most importantly, if you see or hear of unfair or discriminatory recruitment practices at your place of employment, we encourage you to speak to your Human Resources Department.

Together we can create a fair and respectful process for all involved.

Professor John Wilson AM
RACP President
Dr Davina Buntsma
Chair, College Trainees' Committee

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