Stage 1

Support starts first at a local level, with additional support offered through your supervisor. If you are experiencing difficulty during your training program, you should contact your supervisor in the first instance. If you do not feel comfortable talking to your supervisor about the difficulty, you can approach your Director of Physician Education (DPE), another senior Fellow, or contact the Training Support Unit at the College to seek advice.

In some cases, it may be your supervisor who notices that you are having trouble, and they might suggest that you work together to manage the situation. At this point, you and your supervisor can use the College 'Improving Performance Action Plan' (IPAP), which you will work through together, to set learning objectives and activities.

The College is not notified at this stage and if you apply yourself to working through the IPAP over the designated period of time (usually six months), achieve your learning objectives and return to meeting the expected levels of performance for training, you will return to the standard training pathway and requirements. There is no need to advise the College, or future supervisors that you have been on the pathway, unless you encounter further difficulties in the future.

Information for trainees (Basic Training)

Information for trainees (Advanced Training)

Improving Performance Action Plan (IPAP)

Download the Improving Performance Action Plan (IPAP).

The IPAP provides the framework to help you and your supervisor outline:

  • learning strategies to be implemented to improve performance in areas where your performance is below the expected standard
  • expected outcomes from these actions and strategies
  • dates on which you and your supervisor will meet to review your progress

Your supervisor may ask you to bring along documentation from previous training rotations, supervisor reports and any other documentation relevant to your progress which will help to put together the IPAP.

The timeframe for an IPAP is usually six months.

IPAP review

At the end of the agreed timeframe, supervisors will provide feedback on your progress, against the IPAP. This can be recorded in the IPAP Review section of the IPAP template. This section summarises your supervisor's feedback on your progress implementing the agreed actions in your IPAP, your current performance against expected standards and recommendations to improve performance if you have not yet reached the expected standard.

At this stage your supervisor will recommend that you either:

  • exit from the Training Support Pathway if remediation has been successful and your performance is at the expected level, or
  • work together to develop a new IPAP to continue remediation for a further period of time (and progress to Stage 2 of the Training Support Pathway if you have completed a Stage 1 IPAP and not yet reached the expected standard)
Record of meetings

If there is a need to hold additional meetings, a record can be completed using the Record of Meeting template.

Three-monthly assessment reports

When you are on Stage 2 or 3 of the Training Support Pathway, you are required to submit three-monthly supervisor assessment reports to assist the Training Support Unit and relevant training committee with monitoring progress.

These reports ensure that you have clarity regarding your progress and performance against expected standards at regular intervals.

Basic Trainees on the pathway should use the Ward Consultant's Report template to complete these. Advanced Trainees on the pathway should use the Final Supervisor's Report template for their training program.

Stage 2

If your training difficulties are not resolved at the end of a period of local support, your supervisor will notify the College, by submitting their supervisor assessment report at the end of the training period.

The Training Support Unit at the College will then get in touch to arrange additional support. This will include letting your supervisors know how they can support you, and is designed to ensure that you have access to regular feedback on your training performance and that you have well structured, achievable learning objectives to enable you to reach the expected standard.

During Stage 2 Training Support, you will need to submit an IPAP, and three-monthly reports& to the Training Support Unit, so they can assist the relevant training committee to monitor your performance.

Stage 3

At the completion of Stage 2 Support, the relevant training committee will assess all the submitted information and either decide to continue monitoring your performance with another period of Stage 2 support, or, if there are still significant difficulties, then Stage 3, a Comprehensive Review of Training (CRT), is implemented. There are two possible outcomes of this:

  • Involuntary discontinuation of training
  • OR

  • Training continues with conditions – if the conditions are subsequently not met then training will be involuntarily discontinued without conducting another CRT.

Trainee Support Documents

College Trainees in Difficulty Policy and Support Pathway

Training Support Process Document

Training Support Pathway Diagram

Support Helpline

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians Support Program is a professional and confidential counselling service, available to all RACP Fellows and trainees, 24 hours, seven days per week.

The program provides members with access to confidential counselling, coaching and support for workplace and personal issues.

Difficulties with Colleagues

Deciding what to do to resolve a difficulty with a colleague can be difficult, especially if they are in a more senior position. The Decision Tree may help as you consider your options.

Learning Resources

Peer reviewed resources to support your learning are available. The eLearning portal, Curated Collections and Pomegranate Podcast pages provide resources of interest to many specialties.


What is a Trainee in Difficulty?
A trainee in difficulty is a trainee who is not making the expected progress in training, performing in line with expected standards, or who is experiencing health or physical difficulties that are impeding their progress and therefore needs extra support in order to maintain their capability to undertake RACP training.  A trainee who exhibits notifiable conduct is not considered a trainee in difficulty; these matters need to be referred to AHPRA .
If I am on the Training Support Pathway, what are my responsibilities?
You will need to have a thorough understanding of the policy and process, your responsibilities as an adult learner, an ability to manage your professional development and willingness to meet College requirements.
While you are on the Training Support Pathway, you will need to complete and submit Improving Performance Action Plans, Meeting Records and any additional documents including additional assessments as required.
Will being identified as a Trainee in Difficulty put a 'black mark' against my name?
No, the aim of the Pathway and Policy is to provide a clear support structure to help you progress through training. If you work hard to remediate the issues raised and document this process you will have a greater chance of reaching the expected standard of training, and returning to the standard training pathway.
My supervisor is suggesting that I meet to discuss going on the Training Support Pathway, what should I do?
If your supervisor has requested a meeting with you, this is a great opportunity to gain clarity and identify areas for development. You could prepare for a meeting with your supervisor by doing the following:
  • Collate your previous supervisor reports to take to the meeting so you can compare previous feedback to your current supervisor's assessment of your training performance.
  • Be open to constructive criticism and explore any ideas where you feel there is a need for additional support and development.
  • Use the feedback you receive to develop an Improving Performance Action Plan (IPAP). Setting learning objectives and working through this Plan over a period of time will allow you to demonstrate improvement and be clear about expectations in the lead up to your following assessment/review of the IPAP.
What happens if I am having trouble passing my exams?

Trainees invest a great deal of time and effort preparing for examinations. Contact the Training Support Unit if you are having repeated failed attempts at examinations. The Unit have compiled some useful suggestions for trainees and can assist to put some additional support in place for you with your supervisor. If you have exhausted all your exam attempts, you will be ineligible to continue in training and be exited as per the Progression through Training Policy.

I have not made the required progress on Stage 2 of the Pathway and have been notified that the training committee will be undertaking a Comprehensive Review of Training (CRT). What happens next?

The relevant training committee will collate input from current and previous supervisors, Supervisors' Reports and other documentation. This information will be complied in a Comprehensive Review of Training Book, and sent to you for your consideration.

Once you have reviewed the material you will have the opportunity to provide a written statement and any other additional material you feel needs inclusion.

The CRT Book and your statement and submitted material will then be considered by the committee at the CRT meeting. You will be notified in writing of the decision made.

There are two possible outcomes:

  • Involuntary discontinuation of training, or
  • Training continues with conditions – if the conditions of your CRT are subsequently not met then training will be involuntary discontinued without conducting another CRT.
How long will the CRT process take?

In most cases the process will be complete within 12 – 16 weeks.

Can I continue training while the CRT process takes place?

Yes, you can continue training providing you have had your training approved and adhere to all training requirements for this period of training to be eligible for certification. The training committee will defer their consideration of any further approval of training until after the CRT.

If the outcome of the CRT is that you are discontinued from training, then the current training will not be certified (no training fee will be raised for this period). If the outcome of the CRT is that you may continue in training, then the training committee will make a certification decision about the training undertaken while the CRT took place and can also approve the next rotation.

You can also interrupt your training while the CRT process takes place by completing the appropriate Application for Interruption of Training.

What if I am undertaking dual training?

If you are undertaking dual training, both training committees will be involved in the CRT. Each committee will make a decision about your capability to continue in each of the respective training pathways. In these cases it may be possible for training to be discontinued in one training program but to continue with/or without conditions in another.

What if I disagree with the outcome of the Comprehensive Review of Training?

You will have 28 days from the date of the CRT Decision letter to apply for reconsideration, a review or appeal the decision.

Close overlay