Information for GP Synergy GP registrars, PEP participants, GP supervisors, practice staff, clinical teaching visitors and other stakeholders.
The situation is changing constantly, and these documents will be reviewed regularly and updated as appropriate.
GP Synergy acknowledges the impacts of the evolving COVID-19 pandemic on registrars, participants, supervisors and practices. The training environment is changing rapidly. These FAQs are designed to provide you with information to navigate some of the uncertainty and are updated regularly.
Important: If you are a registrar, participant, supervisor or practice manager with an accredited GP Synergy training practice and you are concerned that you may have contracted COVID-19, please seek medical advice and when you are able, please advise GP Synergy on 1300 477 963.
These FAQs contains information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on education and training for the following:
- Registrars – Doctors training within the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program
- Supervisors – Doctors accredited as Supervisors with GP Synergy, for AGPT program
- Practices – Accredited training practices with GP Synergy
- Participants – Doctors working in General Practice who are supported in the RACGP Practice Experience Program (PEP)
- External Teaching Visitors – GPs providing CTVs for registrars and work-based assessors for PEP participants
This document is written with advice from RACGP/ACRRM and the Department of Health.
Summary of updates: 23 July 2020
- A reminder to update GP Synergy with any changes to practice hours
- A reminder to please complete all outstanding training requirements for the term including completing practice logs and an assessment of the placement
- Process for ME review on impact of COVID19 on training time information included
- An update on the ACRRM and RACGP assessments
- An update on training requirements including ReCEnT and RPL
- All face to face education will continue to be replaced with online education sessions until 30 September 2020
- GP Synergy’s health and wellbeing package for registrars extended to 31 August 2020
Managing the COVID-19 illness
If you are unwell and/or diagnosed with COVID-19, please seek medical attention and take time off to recover and self-isolate. Please notify GP Synergy as soon as possible. Please follow the advice of the Public Health Unit in your local jurisdiction to ensure the situation is managed in accordance with the latest advice.
Registrars working in general practice or community terms: Please discuss arrangements for any sick leave with your practice. As per the NTCER, registrars are entitled to 5 days of paid sick leave and 10 days of paid annual leave (or full time equivalent) per 6-month term. Sick leave taken in addition to this is classified as Category 1 leave. At this time, this leave is usually unpaid and does not count towards training time. If you need to take additional leave please notify GP Synergy by completing a leave form, with a clear indication on the form that this leave is being taken as sick leave due to COVID-19. You will also need to attach a doctors certificate or NSW statutory declaration or ACT statutory declaration. Please see further advice from RACGP and ACRRM.
Registrars working in hospital environments: Please discuss your situation with your hospital manager. If you have sick leave to cover your absence, please take this. Any sick leave taken in addition to this is classified as Category 1 leave from the program. This leave does not count towards training time. If you need to take additional leave please notify GP Synergy by completing a leave form, with a clear indication on the form that this leave is being taken as sick leave due to COVID-19. You will also need to attach a doctors certificate or NSW statutory declaration or ACT statutory declaration. Please see further advice from RACGP and ACRRM.
PEP Participants: Please negotiate any sick leave directly with the practice. Your PEP time will not be affected. Please inform GP Synergy so we can provide you with advice or support regarding your time and requirements in the program. Please also seek further advice from RACGP.
Supervisors: Please discuss suitable arrangements within your practice to provide supervision while you recover, ideally handing over supervising responsibilities to an on-site supervisor colleague/specialist GP. If there is another GP Supervisor in the practice who can provide supervision to meet minimum on-site requirements no supervisor leave form is required. If another specialist GP in the practice can take over on-site supervision responsibilities while you recover complete a supervisor leave form and return to GP Synergy.
If these alternative supervision options are limited and you believe you are well enough to continue supervising a registrar by phone, please continue to supervise, in conjunction with other doctors who are on-site in your practice. In this situation it is essential to complete the Telehealth Supervision Form with your registrar and return to GP Synergy. This is particularly important if there are periods of time when no other doctors are on-site to provide support to the registrar.
If there are no other on-site supervisors or specialist GPs to cover the supervision in your practice while you recover and you are not well enough to supervise the registrar by phone contact your PLSO immediately so that GP Synergy may see if there is a suitable alternate arrangement such as remote supervision. If remote supervision is appropriate while you recover complete the specific supervisor leave form for remote supervision.
If you need to contact GP Synergy urgently after hours regarding a COVID-19 issue, please call Interim CEO, Georgina van de Water on 0419 149 490.
Please self-isolate as required by medical or government advice. Supervisors and registrars are encouraged to plan in advance for this possibility by completing the Telehealth Supervision Form together and returning it to GP Synergy.
Registrars: If you and the practice are set up for tele-health and you are able to be supervised, you may be able to use this time to do telehealth consultations. Please complete the Telehealth Supervision Form with your supervisor and return to GP Synergy. Alternatively, if you can, use this time to study (if you are sitting exams in the future) or catch up on any reading/journal articles or any alternate education GP Synergy may set. Please record any of this work in your GPRime practice logs. If you have sick leave or annual leave entitlements, you may use these for self-isolation following discussion of these arrangements with your employer. Your employer will follow the relevant legislation regarding leave for self-isolation. If you do not have any sick or annual leave please notify GP Synergy by completing a leave form, with a clear indication on the form that this leave is being taken to self-isolate. You will also need to attach a doctors certificate or NSW statutory declaration or ACT statutory declaration for periods of self-isolation over 2weeks. Please see further advice from RACGP and ACRRM regarding self-isolation.
PEP Participants: If you and the practice are set up for telehealth you may be able to use this time to do tele-health consultations. Otherwise, if you can, use this time to study or catch up on your learning units. Please notify GP Synergy so we can best assist you with your learning progress during the isolation time.
Supervisors: If you are supervising a registrar and are able to do so by phone, please continue to supervise, in conjunction with other doctors who are on-site in your practice. Please confirm the acceptability of arrangements for phone supervision with your registrar during this period and complete the Telehealth Supervision Form with your registrar and return to GP Synergy. This is particularly important if there are periods of time when no other doctors are on site to provide support to the registrar. If self-isolation will mean your registrar does not have the requisite on-site supervision, please let GP Synergy know ASAP by completing the appropriate supervisor leave form and contacting your PLSO so alternate arrangements can be made.
GP Synergy advises registrars and participants to seek advice from their supervisors and practice managers regarding the management of COVID-19 in their practice. Supervisors, practices and participants without supervisors should refer to local up to date resources regarding COVID-19 which includes, but is not limited to, NSW Health/ACT Health information, your local Public Health Unit (PHU) or PHN (HealthPathways), RACGP/ACRRM updates, your Medical Defence Organisation (MDO). Please note that social media is often used as a source of FOAMED (free open access medical education) information, however, authenticity of this information is not guaranteed and should be checked. A list of resources is included at the end of this FAQ’s.
Please ensure you are vaccinated for influenza (when available) and that all your other immunisations are up to date.
Supervisors/Practice Managers: If your practice is not following Public Health guidelines for COVID-19 management your practice is putting your staff and registrar at risk. Please work towards compliance with the Public Health advice for the COVID-19 pandemic. As well as the resources mentioned above, GPSA also has an excellent COVID-19 resource.
Registrars: Following Public Health advice regarding COVID-19 is essential for your welfare. If your practice is not meeting the expected standards for COVID-19, please discuss this immediately with your supervisor/practice manager. If the standards are not able to be met please contact your medical educator and education coordinator.
Participants: It is important for your welfare that you and your practice follow Public Health advice regarding COVID-19. We encourage you to be proactive in ensuring that your practice follows the COVID-19 guidelines. If you have any concerns, please contact your GP Synergy medical educator.
Working impacts due to COVID-19
As we are now in uncertain times the increase in workforce need in existing placements is recognised. Registrars that are not working full time and are able to increase their hours will be supported by GP Synergy by:
- waiving the usual 20-day notice period for registrars to count this time towards training and
- allowing this additional time to not be influenced by the previously set caps
Registrars: If you wish to increase your hours, please negotiate and sign a new contract with the practice specifying the start date and forward to your EC.
Please note that this increase will be reviewed at the end of the 2020.1 term.
GP Synergy understands that some registrars and participants have had changes to their work hours in the 2020.1 term. If you have not updated GP Synergy of your change in practice hours please do as soon as possible and prior to the end of term.
Registrars: We understand that your workloads may be returning to normal levels while others may still be seeing a significant decline in patient numbers. If you feel you need to take on additional work elsewhere for financial or other reasons please discuss this with your medical educator so that we can work with you to facilitate an appropriate outcome.
Please be advised of the following considerations:
- Where possible and if appropriate to do so, GP Synergy encourages all registrars to remain at their current practice to continue the term with minimal disruption to them and the practice
- If the workload is reduced, and you wish to do so, you may reduce your hours in negotiation with the practice, please discuss this with your medical educator.
- If you are required to reduce hours at your practice and need additional work, you may wish to consider alternative options such as surge planning for your local hospital or working in a Commonwealth funded respiratory clinic. If you are interested in either of these options, please visit https://gpsynergy.com.au/publications-news/covid-19-alternate-work/ to register your interest and review the information regarding respiratory clinics on GPRime.
*We understand from the recent GPRA survey that many registrars are working reduced hours compared to the start of term. If your work hours have changed from your original contract and you have not already done so, please notify your education coordinator immediately.
Participants: If you are unable to work at your current practice, or if your hours are reduced and you wish to work elsewhere please discuss with your GP Synergy ME and RACGP. If you are interested in additional work, you may wish to consider options such as surge planning for your local hospital or working in a Commonwealth funded respiratory clinic. If you are interested in either of these options, please visit https://gpsynergy.com.au/publications-news/covid-19-alternate-work/ to register your interest.
Supervisors/Practices: If you are unable to continue to employ your registrar as per your contract, or if you have additional capacity to take another registrar please contact your PLSO as soon as possible. Please note that all practice/registrar employment arrangements and changes to arrangements must comply with the NTCER and Fair Work NSW/ACT. GP Synergy would like to work with practices to ensure they are meeting these contractual arrangements. Please contact your SLO if you need further advice.
Doctors are exempt from the current government travel restrictions. We recommend you discuss the situation with your practice and consider relocating to the practice region if possible. Your practice may be able to provide you with a letter confirming your work arrangements.
Registrars: GP Synergy can also provide you with a letter confirming your work arrangement for travel if you require this. Please contact your EC. Unless there are unforeseen and exceptional circumstances, GP Synergy does not support registrars working in telehealth from their home away from the practice, particularly for long periods of time. For RACGP and ACRRM registrars, there are conditions under which telehealth can be practiced and it is very unlikely that these can be met when the doctor and patient are a long distance apart.
Please discuss this with your practice. If the situation cannot be resolved, you may need to take Category 2 leave from training.
Participants: GP Synergy can provide you with a letter confirming your work arrangement for travel if you require this. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The placement process for 2020.2 is complete and registrars who submitted paperwork before Medicare due date will be ready to commence next term in August 2020. Many thanks to all of you who worked through this process so quickly.
Training impacts due to COVID-19
It is important that registrars record any impacts COVID-19 is having on their training or education program. This will help highlight any gaps in training and inform future learning. Accurate information is required to demonstrate additional learning opportunities that arise from the pandemic. GP Synergy is working with the colleges to advocate for all relevant experience to count towards training time. Please record this week by week as this will be much easier than trying to remember what happened in a few months from now.
Registrars: The medical education team are working with registrars to determine if and how training time might be impacted. This work relies heavily on the input of practice logs and other training completion items. Please update your practice logs this week to ensure we have an accurate representation of the work you are doing.
If your work is disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic please record each week what these impacts are, including telehealth consultations, additional education, changes to supervision and teaching or other work. Please document as much as possible each week.
There is a new free text box in the practice log section on GPRime for you to complete.
Please take a look at the following examples:
Excellent examples of registrar recordings include:
- Reduced patient consultation numbers on 1 day of this week. Time spent undertaking Support GPT modules, submission of ReCEnT and reviewing aged care silver book.
- As per xxx Course, 20 hours private study per week, including AKT Mock Exam, AKT quiz, AJGP articles, Checks on Sports Medicine and Chronic Conditions
- Discussion of setting up new Respiratory (COVID19) clinic and pros and cons. Risk related with the Respiratory clinic. How to avoid/reduce the risks. Use of PPE appropriately Techniques of collecting samples.
- 100% telehealth consults. Self directed learning with: Inside Out Institute Eating Disorders course, Headspace AOD course. Assisted in creation of document/GP manual for the Headspace centre.
Good examples that could be slightly improved include the following:
- Reduced patient numbers, studying for fellowship exams between patients, observing procedures (this could be further improved by outlining which procedures were observed or maintaining a record of this elsewhere).
- Combination of telehealth consults and in person appointments. Given quieter period have started doing teaching sessions with the GPT1 registrar to cover some basic topics (this could be further improved by outlining what teaching was covered or keeping a record of this elsewhere).
Examples that could better demonstrate what you have been doing during the week:
- Significantly reduced patient numbers, many empty appointments, telephone consulting from home (please add in what additional education you did or consultations you observed of your supervisor or other person in the practice).
- Books more empty than usual (please outline what you did during these empty times).
- Reading Murtagh's General practice (while reading is a way of gaining information, reading alone doesn’t consolidate knowledge, consider “read and took notes on Murtagh’s abdominal pain chapter and developed three illness scripts”).
- 26 consults this week - 21 were phone consults (consider including – face to face consults covered a breadth of general practice, phone consultations were mostly for repeat scripts. Thorough review and tidy up of the medical record was completed for all telehealth patients and I identified a number did not have a diabetes cycle of care completed. Meeting arranged with practice nurse to call in patients for cycle of care over the next two months).
Please keep a record each week of what impact the COVID-19 has had on your practice and your ability to complete the learning modules. Please inform the RACGP where you have experienced negative impact from COVID-19 on your training and education so they can explore appropriate support.
Supervisors and Practices: Please ensure you check the full view of the practice log (see below) to see what your registrar has entered into the COVID-19 implications box (see above) prior to signing off the practice log.
Please review the new Telehealth Resources page on GPRime.
Registrars & Supervisors: Telehealth may be considered as the clinical component of training if appropriate supervision provisions are in place. For patient and registrar safety, there must be adequate supervision in place for these consultations.
Telehealth consultations fall outside of the scope of the usual standards for supervision for GP training. GP Synergy has developed an RACGP and ACRRM approved telehealth supervision plan for supervisors and registrars to complete to ensure that there is adequate supervision in place.
The approved telehealth supervision plan will need to be completed in the following instances:
- Where the registrar is doing ANY OFF-SITE telehealth consultations
- Where the registrar is doing EXCLUSIVELY ON-SITE telehealth consultations
- Where the supervisor is consulting OFF-SITE to the extent that they are unable to meet their on-site supervision requirements
If the registrar is doing telehealth and seeing patients in the practice and the supervisor is co-located, meeting the minimum required on-site supervision for the registrar’s stage of training, this plan does not need to be completed.
Registrars: If you are participating in telehealth consultations:
- Please review the newly developed Quick guide to telehealth consultations for registrars on GPRime
- If you meet any of the above criteria, please work with your supervisor to complete the Telehealth Supervision Plan
- Please record your telehealth consultations in your practice log, instructions are on page 9 of the Practice Log Help Sheet.
The recent GPRA survey indicated that a number of registrars did not feel comfortable with the level of supervision provided for their telehealth consultations. For those who are in that position, we encourage you to try and work with your supervisor to complete the Telehealth Supervision Plan. If this is not possible, or you have difficulty achieving this with your supervisor please discuss this with your ME as soon as possible so we can support the appropriate supervision requirements being met.
Supervisors/Practices: If your registrar is participating in telehealth consultations in any of the above instances, or you anticipate that your registrar may be working this way shortly, please complete the GP Synergy Telehealth Supervision Plan with your registrar and return to your PLSO at GP Synergy.
PEP Participants: telehealth consultations are able to be undertaken if organised and run by your practice.
GP Synergy, RACGP and ACRRM acknowledge that the GP workforce may be participating in other clinical and non-clinical work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
RACGP Registrars: RACGP have published new guidelines (see below) for non-GP clinic-based work counting towards training. If you wish to have any of this work count towards training, please discuss this with your ME as soon as possible to ensure these guidelines are met.
Non-clinical work cannot count towards GPT1/2/3 at this time. Some non-clinical work may count towards extended skills. Please discuss with your ME if you wish to count this work towards extended skills.
ACRRM registrars: Alternative work may count towards training. You will need to discuss with your ME if work you undertake will meet the ACRRM requirements for your term type. If they do not, then an alternative training plan application and approval from ACRRM will be required.
Participants: Please discuss any non-GP clinic-based work with your PEP ME to see if this will affect your PEP time.
GP Synergy is well underway with over 450 remote clinical teaching visits completed and many more scheduled over the coming weeks.
Registrars: For those registrars with current or past due CTV’s, you should have already been contacted to schedule at least one CTV. If you believe you should have a CTV scheduled but have not been contacted please contact your EC asap to clarify when your visit will be scheduled.
Participants: All PEP workplace-based direct observations are being conducted virtually and you will be contacted to arrange these if they are due or overdue.
Supervisors/Practices: You and your registrar will be contacted to make arrangements for a remote Clinical Teaching Visit (CTV) This visit may involve observing consultations by video or phone, simulated consultations or discussion of cases using the Random Case Analysis (RCA) technique or Case Based Discussion (CBD) technique. Your practice will be notified of the type of teaching visit your registrar will be participating in at the time of scheduling the remote CTV. Your practice will be provided with information about whether patient bookings are needed, depending on the type of CTV being scheduled. Please note: Random Case Analysis (RCA) or Case Based Discussion (CBD) CTVs require 2.5 hours of patient free time.
ACRRM: The following examinations have changes to the way they will be delivered.
- MCQ; will proceed with strong recommendation that registrars participate through distance-based means rather than attending the centralised exam centres
- StAMPS: will run by videoconference on 10 and 11 October 2020.
- ACRRM assessment update
RACGP: The 2020.1 OSCE examination has been postponed. The 2020.2 KFP and AKT have been postponed.
23 May 2020
Remote Clinical Exam (RCE)
Friday 23 October
Sunday 25 October
Tuesday 27 October
Thursday 5 November (optional day)
17 & 18 July 2020
KFP 9 October 2020
AKT 10 October 2020
8 Nov 2020
Remote Clinical Exam
Thursday 11 March 2021
Friday 12 March 2021
Sunday 14 March 2021
Friday 19 March 2021 (optional)
We are currently developing our support package for the RACGP RCE. This will include webinars, journal clubs, additional resources and a modified mock exam. There will be additional support for registrars that have had an unsuccessful exam attempt. More information will be published in the next week.
ReCEnT (updated 23 July)
We thank all of you who participated in the ReCEnT quality improvement project this term and we are working towards getting your reports back to you as quickly as possible. Please ensure you discuss your report with your ME and supervisor and see if there are ways to meet any gaps you may have experienced during COVID-19. We are in the process of analysing the data across the term and we will be providing feedback about this in the upcoming training updates.
Practice diversity requirements (updated 8 May)
RACGP registrars: If you are a registrar that is remaining at your current practice due to the impact of COVID-19 and you will not have worked in a second practice for 6 months full time equivalent, you will need to complete a COVID-19 Exception to practice diversity plan. Further information about this plan is available on GPRime. Please discuss this with your medical educator if you have any questions about how to meet this requirement.
Sydney Child Health Program August 2020 Exam – cancelled (updated 8 May)
RACGP registrars: If you had planned to use this exam towards meeting your RACGP paediatric requirement, to allow you to commence GPT1 in 2020.2, you must now complete a modified NSW and ACT Pre GP Paediatric Equivalent (NAPPE). If you need to meet this requirement, please discuss this with your medical educator as soon as possible.
ACRRM registrars: If you had planned to use this exam towards meeting your ACRRM paediatric requirement you may meet this when the exam is next available.
ALS/BLS/emergency course requirements (updated 1 May)
RACGP registrars: We are working with the RACGP on alternatives to meeting ALS and BLS requirements.
One option currently available for registrars to complete their Pre-GPT1 or Pre-Fellowship CPR requirement, is the following course, from “gp learning” including an online learning module and virtual practical assessment. Follow the link for further information. https://dplearning.com.au/cpd-learning/basic-life-support
ACRRM registrars: we are working with ACRRM to prioritise registrars who need to meet REST and other emergency course requirements to achieve fellowship. Please contact your EC if you have an outstanding emergency medicine course requirement that may impact your completion of training.
RACGP Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) applications (updated 23 July)
Please be advised that GP Synergy’s due date for submission of RACGP RPL applications has passed If your RPL paperwork is outstanding, please discuss this with your ME and EC.
For registrars commencing GPT1 in 2020.2 and who wish to apply for RPL, the deadline for submission of RPL applications to GP Synergy is Friday 16 October 2020.
Programmatic assessment Multi-Source Feedback (MSF) (updated 23 July)
RACGP GPT1 registrars who are involved in programmatic assessment: the MSF collection from practice staff and patients will be postponed in 2020. Western NSW subregion will pilot the MSF process for programmatic assessment as a formative assessment and for logistics in 2020.2. More information regarding the MSF will be distributed to those involved in the pilot.
ACRRM registrars, please discuss with your Medical Educator (ME) when is the most appropriate time to complete your MSF. If you need to complete the MSF this term, please discuss this with your practice and supervisor.
PEP participants: You are required to complete your MSF requirement. As a response to COVID-19, CFEP will provide you with all the patients surveys online. Please contact CFEP or email@example.com
Programmatic assessment Procedural Skills Log (updated 23 July)
RACGP GPT1 registrars who are involved in programmatic assessment: we understand that registrars have had reduced ability to practice procedural skills during the COVID-19 pandemic. To account for this, we are delaying the requirement to complete skills from the end of GPT1 to the end of GPT3. For more information please see the Procedural Skills Log Resources on GPRime. We are working on some additional education to support you in achieving these procedures.
ACRRM registrars, if you are having difficulty completing your procedural skills log due to the COVID-19 pandemic please discuss this with your Medical Educator (ME). We are working on some additional education to support you in achieving these procedures.
We are currently working through stage three of this process (see below) and registrars are being contacted by their medical educator to discuss their training time. Please ensure any outstanding items are up to date so that you are not unnecessarily flagged as a registrar who needs an extension.
Registrars: We have been notified by the Department of Health and the colleges of the AGPT COVID-19 Support Policy 2020, which outlines the increased flexibility with training due to COVID-19. The following items are covered in this policy:
- COVID-19 extension of training time
- COVID-19 leave from the program
- COVID-19 and transfers
- COVID-19 and training location obligations
- COVID-19 and training time obligations
GP Synergy will work with the colleges to streamline the above processes for registrars to access this increased flexibility. This policy will be published on the AGPT website here.
We are in the process of working through how to implement these policies in GP Synergy including streamlining applications for COVID-19 leave and COVID-19 extensions. There will be a staged process:
Stage one: Conversion of current leave and extensions to COVID-19 leave and COVID-19 extensions (where appropriate) on GPRime COMPLETED
Stage two: Processing new registrar requests for COVID-19 extensions/leave/transfers and recording on GPRime COMPLETED
Stage three: Further to the email sent to all registrars in GP terms on 16 June 2020 we are currently working with registrars to determine who would benefit from counting some or all of 2020.1 as a COVID-19 extension term. The COVID-19 extension term is additional time to gain clinical experience and remain in a highly supported environment for additional time with no training time cap penalty. For example, if a registrar in their first GP term (GPT1/PRRT1) was disadvantaged by seeing low numbers of patients with reduced education and supervision for 6 weeks, then the COVID-19 extension allows that registrar to remain in GPT1/PRRT1 for an additional 6 weeks with supervision and teaching at that level rather than moving to a lower level of supervision and teaching. This is extra training time is to ensure registrars are supported and practising safely and have sufficient time to prepare for their exams.
Stage three includes a review of all the available information on GPRime including:
- Practice logs completed, leave taken and average patients per hour
- Assessment of the Placement
- Competency assessments and IOS
- Completion of ReCEnT if applicable
- Attendance at education offered
- Completion of the research skills module if applicable
Registrars with the following flags will trigger a discussion with their Medical Educator to discuss the overall progress of their training through the term:
- Not enough practice logs completed to determine clinical exposure
- On average, less than 1.2 patients per hour
- More than 2 weeks leave above the usual leave allowances
- An assessment of the placement that demonstrates supervision and teaching was not to the expected standard for the stage of training
- Concerns with meeting competencies or serious flags in assessments
- Concerns flagged by the supervisor
Your Medical Educator (ME) will review the above information as well as the registrar's progress through training and any additional activities they have been involved in throughout the term. The ME will arrange a time with the registrar to discuss this information. This meeting allows an opportunity to discuss the pros and cons of a COVID-19 extension to training and to work through the best outcome for the registrar. Please note that no one piece of information will be used to decide if training time will count or not. The sum of all the experience gained and competencies achieved over the term will determine how much, if any, time does not count towards training.
If, after this discussion, the registrar wishes to extend their training time then an application for extension is completed. If the ME feels that an extension to training time may be beneficial then this is discussed at a regional COVID-assessment review committee. This committee will decide if training time should be extended and will recommend this to the registrar. If the registrar disagrees with this recommendation there will be an opportunity to provide further information and reasoning as to why their training should continue uninterrupted. If you have any concerns about this process, please discuss this with your ME and/or regional head of education.
Education impacts due to COVID-19
At present, all face to face education sessions have been cancelled, changed to an online format or postponed until the end of September 2020. Please refer to the Calendar Page on the GP Synergy website for regular updates to educational events. We will also keep you updated about events whose arrangements have not yet been confirmed.
Registrars: For compulsory education face to face events GP Synergy is working through alternatives to meet your education needs in a timely manner. For non-compulsory education we hope to make these activities up at a later date or change their delivery to an online format. The webinar and registrar program has been reviewed and updated to include new content. Please refer to the Calendar Page on the GP Synergy website. Please remember to let your practices know If your education day has changed from the original program.
PEP Participants: The webinar series will continue to be delivered. The simulated session in May has been changed to an online format. GP Synergy will refund any flight or accommodation expenses if no credit is offered by the airline or hotel. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. More details about the online simulated session will be sent shortly.
Supervisors/Practices: Face to face supervisor events will either be postponed or may be delivered in an online format. The program has been reviewed and updated to include new content. Please refer to the Calendar Page on the GP Synergy website. The registrar education program is still continuing, and some dates may have changed. Registrars should still be paid for education release time. The registrar calendar is also available on the Calendar Page on the GP Synergy website.
*The requirement of supervisors attending a GP Synergy educational CPD face to face event has been waived for the 2020 year due to the COVID-19 restrictions.
Further updates regarding specific events will also be provided to you from your local team.
In recognition of the need for registrars to take care of their own well-being, GP Synergy is offering a reimbursement of up to $200 for any health and well-being program/s or any educational or training resource/s which will help at this time.
Examples include but are not limited to, online gym membership or other well-being subscription, online educational resources such as a part contribution to Up-To-Date or exam course; or equipment to help with telehealth such as Zoom subscription or camera.
We have extended this support package and claims can be made using the Registrar wellbeing general expense form, with copies of receipt/s, from now until 31 August 2020. Please see the COVID-19 registrar well-being subsidy page on GPRime for the claim form and more information. You can find this on GPRime under ‘Forms, documents and links’ by searching ‘COVID’.
We understand that this may be a difficult time for health professionals on the front line. Please contact one of the following GP Synergy staff members with any questions or concerns. Contacts are provided in the resources below or are available on your GPRime portfolio.
Registrars: Medical Educator, Education Coordinator, Registrar Liaison Officer, Rural Support Officer, Special Education Programs Manager
We have extended the access for GP Synergy registrars to two confidential counselling sessions through Relationships Australia. To access this service, call 1300 364 277 or visit the website for more information https://www.relationships.org.au/. When making bookings, please let them know you are a GP Synergy registrar.
The above is in addition to counselling services provided through your college:
- RACGP GP Support Program: Three free one-hour sessions with a psychologist face-to-face or by telephone. RACGP members also have access to counselling for traumatic incidents or crisis situations. This service is available 24 hours, seven days a week.
- ACRRM: Complimentary access to ACRRM Employee Assistance Program for immediate confidential counselling support 24/7. Phone 1800 818 728 to access this member service.
Participants: Medical Educator, PEP Coordinator
Supervisors: Regional Head of Education, Practice Liaison Support Officer, Supervisor Liaison Officer
Please also take a look at the resources available on the wellbeing and support page of our website.
ACRRM and RACGP also have psychological support packages available as part of your membership.