Changes to requirements

The College Education Committee (CEC) has a range of interim measures for training and accreditation in response to the impacts of COVID-19.

Changes to requirements were first published in April 2020 and have been annually reviewed since. Additional changes are added over time, following CEC approval.

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

As COVID-19 continues to affect states differently in since 2021, Training Committees continue to provide flexibility for trainees based on individual circumstances and impacts to progression through training.

Trainees unable to complete training program requirements due to COVID-19 should advise their Training Committee as soon as possible. For more information, see the Basic Training handbooks or Advanced Training handbooks.

Training

Training Committees use these guidelines to provide flexibility for trainees and training settings.

  1. The College considers training during the COVID-19 pandemic a valuable training experience for all our trainees. The College wants to make as much training count towards training programs as it can, while specialty program requirements are met.

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

  3. Training Committees will continue to consider flexibility for due dates as needed.

  4. Trainees can take up to 14 days of COVID-19 leave per clinical year. COVID-19 leave covers quarantine or sickness without it affecting their training time or RACP leave allowance while the pandemic is being managed (currently from 2020–2023). Any leave beyond the 14 days is assessed at the end of the year and a decision is made based on supervisor feedback.

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

    Find out more about absences from training in the Progression Through Training Policy (PDF).

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

    Training Committees will continue to use the 2020 interim changes to training requirements as a guide to provide flexibility for individual trainees who may have impacts to their progression due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Accreditation

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.

  • Physical site accreditation visits will 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.
    • If interstate accreditors are not able or willing to travel, the Committee may consider one or both local accreditors physically at the site or/and an interstate accreditor attending via video conference.
  • A virtual visit will be undertaken where a physical visit is not possible.
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