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.
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.
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.
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
- 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
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.
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.