Part-time and variations in training

Part-time training

A trainee is training part-time if they are completing less than 1.0 full-time equivalent (FTE) of a normal working week.

Part-time training should provide the same experience, education and supervision as a full-time program, with an emphasis on gaining the same level of skills, knowledge and professional attributes.

As with full-time training, proposals for part-time training arrangements are considered for approval by the relevant training committee. When considering these proposals, the committee will determine whether the proposed training plan meets the outlined learning objectives and will not reject the proposal based primarily upon the size of the FTE fraction proposed.

Part-time trainees are required to complete the same number of work-based learning and assessment tools pro-rated to the amount of training that they've been approved for. 

For example, a trainee approved for 6 months of training in one training year is required to complete half the work-based learning and assessment tools specified for that training year. Submission of supervisor reports are not pro-rated for part-time trainees. These continue to be required as specified in training handbooks to ensure part-time trainees receive regular formal feedback on their progress.

Part-time training must be undertaken for a minimum period of 1 continuous month, although it can be undertaken in different models as offered by the training provider, as long as educational requirements are met. For example, part-time training may consist of set days per week, variable days, longer blocks of time worked/time off (such as “month-on, month-off” arrangements) or combinations thereof.

While the RACP actively encourages training providers to offer trainees flexible training opportunities, the decision whether to accommodate specific requests by individuals for flexible working arrangements rests with the employer.

Switching to part-time training

When you apply to start or re-register for your training, you can select to be part-time (less than 1.0 FTE and a minimum of 0.2 FTE).

Basic Trainees must complete and submit the Basic Training Rotation Amendment Form (DOC).

Advanced Trainees must submit a new Application for Prospective Approval form. Visit your Advanced Training Program handbook for information on applying or re-registering for your particular specialty.

Prospective changes to approval of training

Trainees should inform the relevant committee as soon as possible if information outlined in their applications changes. Some changes may require a revision of the approval decision and may affect the certification of training.

Changes to applications which require prospective approval may include changes to supervision, sites, dates of rotations and flexible training arrangements.

Dual training

Dual training is where trainees complete more than one Divisional Advanced Training Program at a time. Trainees must satisfy the training requirements of both supervising committees. Once a trainee has completed the requirements of one specialty training program, they are awarded Fellowship (FRACP). For the remainder of their second specialty training they are considered a post-FRACP trainee.

Trainees undertaking dual training should apply for prospective approval of their Advanced Training Program by completing one application form that is submitted to the committee overseeing the specialty of most relevance to the rotation. Both committees will approve and certify training rotations according to their respective training curricula and program requirements. See the Time Limits section below for details regarding how dual training impacts time limits to complete training.

In order to fulfil the minimum requirements of both supervising committees, trainees undertaking dual training must complete the greater number of teaching and learning and formative assessment tools required by each overseeing committee. For example, if one program requires trainees to complete two Learning Needs Analyses per year and the other program requires trainees to complete one Learning Needs Analysis per year, the dual trainee must complete two Learning Needs Analyses per year. Completed tools are not allocated to a particular training program, therefore completed tools count towards the requirements of both programs. If the trainee is undertaking training rotations which count towards only one training program, they must complete the minimum requirements of that program only.

Trainees considering undertaking dual training should contact the Education Officers for both programs before beginning dual training.

Joint training

A joint training program is a single, cohesive Advanced Training Program that results in the trainee being awarded more than one Fellowship. Joint training programs are Division Advanced Training Programs that are usually conducted in conjunction with other postgraduate medical colleges. Joint training programs offer significantly reduced overall training time when compared with the time it would take to achieve both Fellowships separately.

Conjoint training

Conjoint training involves a trainee undertaking two separate programs independently, each leading to the award of a different Fellowship. This may refer to training conjointly in two College programs (e.g., Divisional training in Geriatric Medicine and Faculty training in Rehabilitation Medicine), or training conjointly in a College program and a program run by another organisation (e.g., training in Addiction Medicine with the College and training in Addiction Psychiatry with the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists).

Conjoint trainees are required to complete the administrative processes and program requirements for each of the programs they are undertaking. See the Time Limits section below for details regarding how conjoint training impacts time limits to complete training.

Time limits to complete training for dual and conjoint trainees

Trainees undertaking any RACP program must abide by the time limit to complete the training program as outlined in the Progression Through Training Policy. In dual or conjoint training arrangements, time limits for each program are managed as program-specific time limits, rather than as a single combined time limit. Dual or conjoint training arrangements have varying degrees of compatibility. To recognise this, a minimum of one extra year is added to a trainee’s time limit to complete training in each program.

Trainees can also apply for further extensions in consideration of periods where training in one program inhibits training in the other. Section 4.2.4 of the Progression through Training Policy provides detail regarding these provisions. For example, a trainee undertaking General Paediatrics Advanced Training would ordinarily have 8 years to complete the program, so if they started in training in February 2021, they would need to complete the program by February 2029. If the trainee commenced dual training with Community Child Health in February 2022, they would have an additional year added to the time limit to complete training in each program, meaning that:

  • General Paediatrics would need to be completed in 9 years, i.e., by February 2030
  • Community Child Health would need to completed in 9 years, i.e., by February 2031

If required, the trainee could apply for a further extension to the time limit to complete the General Paediatrics program, for example, by providing evidence that 18-months of the rotations required by the General Paediatrics program were not approved for the Community Child Health program. As 12 months of the 18 months was already recognised through the initial extension, a further 6-months would be added to the trainee’s time limit to complete the Community Child Health program.

Additionally, the trainee can exclude parental and medical leave from accruing towards their time limit to complete training as outlined in the Flexible Training and Progression through Training policies.

Post-Fellowship training

Post-Fellowship training is available to College Fellows who wish to complete a program of Advanced Training in another specialty.

Such training is prospectively approved, supervised and involves the same requirements as the pre-Fellowship training program, unless otherwise stated below. Post-Fellowship trainees will be supervised by the same overseeing committee as pre-Fellowship trainees in that program, and are subject to the requirements of the College’s education policies, including Flexible Training and Progression through Training

Post-Fellowship training may be permitted, at the discretion of the overseeing committee, to occur in expanded settings such as while occupying a consultant position. It is the responsibility of the post-Fellowship trainee to demonstrate that the position, teaching and learning opportunities (including such considerations as clinical case mix) and supervision arrangements are acceptable to the overseeing committee.

Prior learning may be recognised toward program requirements, dependent on the relevance of pre-Fellowship training and subsequent experience as per the Recognition of Prior Learning policy

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