Changes to requirements

The College Education Committee (CEC) decided on a range of interim measures for training and accreditation as a result of the impacts of COVID-19.

Changes to requirements were first published in April 2020 and then reviewed in October 2020. Additional changes may be added over time, following CEC approval.

The requirements will be reviewed again in March/April 2021.

Decisions are made after reviewing recommendations of the COVID-19 Training and Accreditation Advisory Group and the results of a trainee survey on COVID-19 (PDF).

All decisions have been made in accordance with our education and training principles to try and minimise the disruptions to settings and to progression through training.


  1. The College considers training during the COVID-19 pandemic a valuable training experience for all our trainees. The College is starting from a position of wanting to make as much training count towards training programs as it can, whilst still ensuring specialty program requirements are met.

  2. Trainees who started training in 2020 or earlier have been granted a 12-month extension to their time limit to complete their current training program (as registered in 2020) only.

  3. The deadlines for submission of registrations, certifications, approvals, Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) applications and mid-year progress reports have been extended for 2020 only. See the new deadlines.

    2021 due dates will be published on this website. In Australia, dates are likely to revert back to pre-COVID dates, with flexibility as required for individual trainees. New dates for Aotearoa New Zealand will be developed to align with their new clinical year dates.

  4. Trainees will be allowed to take up to 14 days COVID-19 leave per clinical year, for quarantine or sickness without it affecting their training time or RACP leave allowance, in 2020 and 2021 only. Any leave beyond this will be assessed at the end of the year and a decision made based on supervisor feedback.

    Trainees will need to provide evidence to support the leave from their employer, GP or other appropriate medical practitioner.

    More information on absences from training is available in the Progression Through Training Policy (PDF).

  5. For the 2020 clinical year, Advanced Training supervisors will be able to recommend progression to Fellowship for final-year trainees who haven’t completed all their training time due to COVID-19 redeployment. Recommended trainees are to have substantially met the program outcomes and expected standard for Fellowship. The final decision is the responsibility of the relevant Training Committee.

  6. Trainees are currently expected to satisfactorily complete the 2021 training program requirements as published in the specialty handbooks, including research projects.

    For the 2020 clinical year, Training Committees have determined possible waivers for these program requirements should a trainee be unable to start or complete them::
    • presenting at a conference or event
    • overseas placement
    • Advanced Training Research Project (see additional guidance)
    • research placement
    Review your Advanced Training handbook to see what applies to you and your program.

    If a trainee is in their final year of training in 2020, they can progress to Fellowship without having to fulfill these requirements in subsequent years. The relevant Training Committee will advise trainees if they’re required to undertake an alternative assessment instead of the program requirement.

    Other trainees have an additional 12 months to meet the requirements.

2020 Advanced Training Research Project additional guidance

Advanced Training Committees/Faculty Education Committees will consider the overall progress of final year trainees, including supervisor sign-off for 2020. It is preferable that all training requirements are completed, if possible.

If a final year trainee is not able to complete their research project and wants to have this requirement waived, they must submit a request to their Training Committee/Faculty Assessment Committee outlining the reasons why they are unable to complete it. This request must be endorsed by their project/research supervisor. The Training Committee/Faculty Assessment Committee will consider and may decide that an alternative assessment is required to progress to Fellowship, such as the submission of the partially completed research project, narrative/literature reviews and/or presentation.

Reasons for seeking a waiver may (but not exclusively) include:

  • Trainee being diverted to COVID-19 clinical practice which does not allow data collection or other research activities to take place
  • COVID-19 has stopped the research work from being able to happen (for example, no or limited access to patients, can no longer collect the data)
  • Trainee working extreme hours to support the pandemic which does not allow time to undertake the research activities or write the study up
  • Trainee has had to interrupt training due to being affected by the pandemic or otherwise unable to work.

Advanced Trainees who are not in their final year of training in 2020 will be expected to comply with the usual research project requirements by the time they complete their Advanced Training.


  1. Accreditation may be undertaken virtually in discussion with training settings, where physical visits are not possible. In particular, this may apply where conditions are in place, or concerns are raised, to ensure quality of training and safety of trainees.

  2. Any settings identified as at risk during the COVID-19 pandemic period will be required to provide progress reports with mitigation strategies to counter risks identified.

As of March 2021, travel within Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand — intrastate, interstate and trans-Tasman — remains uncertain with travel restrictions and/or border closures dependent on the current level of COVID-19 cases.

  • In 2021, physical site accreditation visits may be undertaken in consultation with a training setting and the accreditors.
  • The training setting must be willing and able to safely accommodate the visit.
  • Accreditors must be willing to undertake the visit and travel:
    • Accreditors wishing to travel interstate for on-site visits, must understand the risk of unpredictable changes to border restrictions, closures and/or quarantining requirements, including any personal financial impact.
    • All accreditors must adhere to current COVID-19 health guidelines and travel restrictions in place for the respective locality, state or territory.
  • If interstate accreditors are not able or willing to travel, the Committee may want to consider one or both local accreditors physically at the site or/and an interstate accreditor attending via video conference.
  • Where a physical visit is not possible, a virtual visit should be undertaken.

2021 deadlines

Basic Training

See the Basic Training handbooks for application, assessment and report dates. You'll also find Progress or Supervisor's Report and Rotation Amendment forms.

Advanced Training

For Advanced Training, see the dates below and your Advanced Training handbook.

Australia applications
Commence training at the beginning of the year
15 February 2021
Commence training mid-year 31 August 2021
Aotearoa New Zealand applications
May to August rotations
30 April 2021
Commence training mid-year 30 June 2021
Commence training in February for 2022 training year
15 December 2021
Assessments and reports Australia Aotearoa New Zealand
Annual Supervisor's Report 31 January 2021 15 December 2021
PREP assessments 31 January 2021 15 December 2021
Mid-year Supervisor's Report 15 July 2021 30 June 2021

Recognition of Prior Learning applications

Submit your Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) application as soon as possible.

The 2020 application deadline was 20 December 2020 for all Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand trainees.

New trainees in 2021 must adhere to the due dates in the Recognition of Prior Learning Policy (PDF).

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