Provisional Advanced Training

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Divisional Clinical Examination (DCE) is postponed until later in 2020. A provisional Advanced Training (pAT) progression pathway is available to help you continue your training.


Eligibility requirements

If you were planning to sit the 2020 DCE, you can apply for Provisional Advanced Training (pAT) for either later in 2020 or in early 2021 if you:

  • completed all other Basic Training (BT) requirements, including passing the Divisional Written Examination AND
  • secured an AT position that starts after the date you would have sat the clinical exam in 2020 (this position must be in an accredited AT setting, approved by the relevant AT Committee) AND
  • plan to sit the rescheduled 2020 DCE in late 2020/early 2021

For Basic Trainees currently on the Training Support Pathway:

  • all of the above conditions must be met AND
  • your current supervising committee must recommend advancing to provisional AT

pAT pathways

If you were eligible to sit the DCE this year, you can either go into pAT or stay in BT. Use the graphic below to find out more about your options (click to expand).

Application considerations

Discuss the following with your DPE or supervisor before deciding whether pAT is the right pathway for you:

  • Health and wellbeing
    Advanced Training (AT) can be stressful, so starting it while also preparing for exams might impact your day-to-day life, work and training.

    Another option is to continue in Basic Training (BT) in 2021, sit the rescheduled DCE and then apply for AT. This could help lower stress and allow you to concentrate on preparing for the DCE in a more supportive environment. Then you could begin AT with fewer distractions.

  • Preparation and support
    We’re working with Health Departments and DPEs to provide pATs with access to support and resources for preparing for the DCE and for this support to continue if your exam outcome is unsuccessful in 2021. New online exam preparation resources are also under development.

    We cannot guarantee all pATs will have access to the preparation program they may have expected as a Basic Trainee. You need to consider how you would practice long and short cases and your access to education and training events and study time may not be ideal.

  • Exam attempts
    If you're coming up to your last attempt at the DCE and wish to apply for pAT, carefully consider the implications of preparing for your final attempt and entering into AT at the same time.

    All current trainees have been granted a 12-month extension to complete their current training program.

  • Recruitment implications
    Recruitment and selection into AT positions are undertaken by Health Departments and local networks, with limited involvement from the College.

    We’re advising recruitment panels not to discriminate against candidates who haven’t been able to sit the DCE due to the postponement. However, local selection panels will make their own selection decisions as usual.

    pATs who don’t pass the DCE in late 2020/early 2021 will have gathered useful experience which may be a point of difference between them and other trainees during future recruitment rounds once they have passed the DCE. However, Recognition of Prior Learning will not be granted for the time previously spent in pAT in this case.

  • Employment implications of not passing the DCE
    If your attempt at passing the Clinical Exam at its first scheduled offering in late 2020/early 2021 is unsuccessful, any training provisionally approved as 'conditional upon passing the Clinical Examination' won’t be accepted as AT.

    You'll be classified as a Continuation Basic Trainee (per the Progression Through Training Policy). The implications on your employment will be determined by your employer and differ by jurisdiction, network or training setting. For example, you may be able to continue in the same role but in an unaccredited position. Discuss this with your employer before accepting a position.

  • Length of training
    We anticipate that pAT will enable progression in training on similar timelines as if the DCE had not been postponed.

    If you pass the DCE at its first scheduled offering in late 2020/early 2021, you’ll continue on in AT. If you fail the DCE, you’ll be able to re-sit later in 2021.


The pAT process expires after delivery of all DCEs in 2021. This is subject to how the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand.

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