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Please click on the topic links below for frequently asked questions. 

Commencement of training

Once I am accepted onto the training program, am I required to commence training in general practice?
No. In fact, the normal expectation is to commence training in the hospital setting, as both colleges require minimum hospital based experience. In certain circumstances, registrars may be eligible to apply for an exemption from the first year of the program. This is called recognition of prior learning (RPL), and registrars who meet their college RPL requirements may request to commence active training in a general practice setting.

Once accepted onto the training program registrars will be required to attend a pre-entry meeting by telephone or Zoom with a JCU Medical Educator and staff member to assess eligibility for commencement in general practice placements. Prior to the meeting, registrars will be required to provide evidence of all pre-entry hospital work (e.g. statements of service and end of term assessments).

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Can I defer my AGPT Training?
Deferring commencement on the AGPT program is not permitted and will only be considered in extenuating and unforeseen circumstances, consistent with legislated requirements (medical, parental or carer's leave), or to meet Australian Defence Force service requirements. All deferral requests must be submitted to JCU in writing with supporting evidence attached well before the commencement of the AGPT program training year. Deferral approval by JCU is not guaranteed.

Registrars joining the program on hospital contracts that conclude a couple of weeks after the start of the term, will need to notify their local JCU office well in advance of the semester start date.

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Employment conditions

How will I be remunerated while on the AGPT Program?
Registrars will be employed directly through their allocated training post. Registrars employed in a private general practice will be remunerated in accordance with the National Terms and Conditions for the Employment of Registrars (NTCER) developed by the General Practice Registrars Australia (GPRA), the General Practice Supervisors’ Association (GPSA), and the Australian Medical Association (AMA). For more information, review the NTCER on the GPRA website.

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Fellowship pathways

When can I select my fellowship pathway on the AGPT program?
All applicants apply to the AGPT program directly through the RACGP, ACRRM, or both.

When do I need to become a financial member of my chosen college?
When accepting a position to train on the AGPT program, registrars must become financial members with their college prior to commencing their first day of training on the AGPT program. 

What if I forget to become a financial member of my college?
Both colleges have advised that only training undertaken as a financial member will be recognised towards fellowship. It is therefore essential that registrars become financial members of their college/s prior to the commencement of training on the AGPT program, or risk having their time forfeited. Proof of financial membership is required by JCU.

Can I change fellowship pathways after I have commenced training on the AGPT program?
No. Once registrars have selected through a college fellowship program they may not change to another fellowship program during their training on the AGPT Program. However, if a registrar has been selected through both colleges, they may withdraw from one of the colleges after commencement.

Where can I find out more information on AGPT’s fellowship pathways?
For further information on fellowship pathways, please visit the RACGP and ACRRM websites.

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Can I take leave from the training program?
There are provisions in place for registrars to take program leave during their training with on the AGPT program. These provisions are set by AGPT and vary depending on the type of leave taken.

  • Category 1 leave is legislated and includes parental, sick, and carer’s leave. All types of category 1 leave require valid certificates and approval by JCU.
  • Category 2 leave is personal leave, and is capped at a maximum of 26 weeks. Registrars must discuss their leave plans with their Medical Educator and then apply in advance of the leave term they are requesting. The Director must approve all Category 2 leave prior to the leave period start date.
  • Category 3 leave applies to registrars who are full-time members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Leave can be taken under this category to meet ADF service requirements.

If a registrar requires leave prior to commencing their training on the AGPT program, this would be considered a deferral of training (see above). For more information, please review AGPT’s Program Leave Policy 2020.

Note that program leave refers to unpaid leave from the AGPT training program, not to annual leave as per a training post employment agreement. For information on the updated national terms and conditions for employment agreements for registrars training in general practice posts, please refer to the GPRA website.

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Medicare provider numbers

Do I Need a Medicare Provider Number?
To work as a doctor in Australia, registrars may need to have a Medicare Provider Number. This number allows patients to claim Medicare rebates for the services registrars provide. A Medicare provider number may allow a registrar to raise referrals for specialist services and make requests for pathology or diagnostic imaging services.

A provider number may also be used to attract Medicare rebates for professional services rendered (i.e. treat private patients) if the registrar satisfies the legislative requirements. A Medicare provider number does not automatically allow a registrar to attract Medicare rebates for services. Registrars should ask their employer which level of Medicare access for a provider number is needed. A Medicare provider number uniquely identifies both the registrar and the place of work. For more details visit DoctorConnect - Department of Health.

Can I commence working without a Medicare Provider Number?
Registrars should first check with their allocated training post whether a Medicare provider number is required. If so, registrars must ensure that a provider number has been issued prior to undertaking consultations. Failure to do so may result in the following implications:

  • Patients not receiving reimbursement from Medicare
  • Registrars may be committing an offence by providing services for Medicare Benefits if they are not recognised as a General Practitioner and have not advised their patients (applicable to all doctors first registered after 1 January 1996)
  • Registrars should not commence seeing patients whose consultations are to be billed to Medicare Australia unless they have received written confirmation from Medicare Australia that they have an approved provider number that has access to the GP Items on the Medicare Benefits Schedule

How do I apply for a Medicare Provider Number (MPN)?
Once you have advised your JCU Regional Office of your acceptance of a position, they will generate the Medicare Provider Number (MPN) form and provide this to you to sign and return with additional supporting documentation (if required).  MPNs can take more than six (6) weeks to be processed, so it is important to return the completed Medicare Provider Number form with any required supporting documentation to JCU promptly to avoid delays.

Do I need to complete a provider number application for every location I am placed at?
Yes. Medicare Provider Numbers are location specific. Every location worked will require a new provider number.

How will I know when my provider number has been processed?
Registrars will receive written correspondence directly from Medicare (in the mail) advising of their new Medicare provider number(s). Please read the letter carefully as there may be a request to provide additional information/documentation before the number is accessible. Registrars who wish to check the progress of their applications, should contact Medicare directly on 1300 302 122. Please note that Medicare does not inform JCU as to the progress of provider numbers.

Can I submit my forms directly to Medicare?
No. All enrolled AGPT registrars require endorsement from both JCU and the Department of Health.

Where do I submit my applications for a Medicare provider number?
Applications should be submitted to the local JCU office

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Overseas training doctors (OTDs) and the 10-year moratorium

What is the ten-year moratorium and how do I know if I am on the 10-year moratorium?
Section 19AB (3) of the Health Insurance Act 1973 prescribes a 10-year moratorium for some doctors seeking to practice in Australia. This is an Australian Government policy which restricts access to Medicare benefits and requires OTDs and FGAMS to work in a district of workforce shortage for 10 years in order to access Medicare arrangements. Section 19AB (3) applies for a period of 10 years (and may be scaled to five years depending on remoteness) starting from the date a doctor first gains medical registration in Australia, which includes provisional or limited registration.

The Department of Health and Ageing can assist registrars in regards to issues relating to the 10-year Moratorium. This information is available in the Section 19AB of the Health Insurance Act 1973 Fact sheet.

For more information visit 

What is the difference between an International Medical Graduate (IMG) and an Overseas Trained Doctor?
An IMG has studied and graduated from medicine in a country other than Australia. Once this has been verified, an IMG can then go through one of three assessment pathways in Australia to determine whether they can become a registered doctor in their respective field. Once this is complete, they will become an ‘overseas trained doctor’.

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Part-time training

Can I train part-time?
AGPT registrars are expected to undertake their training on a full-time equivalent basis (38 hours per week), however in special circumstances where a registrar is unable to meet the full-time requirement, they may apply to JCU to train part-time.

JCU requires part-time registrars to work a minimum 0.5 FTE (19 hours per week or 5 sessions). All part-time training approvals will be on a temporary, fixed-term basis, and require a training advisor meeting prior to any extensions. Part-time training can only commence following written approval from JCU. Part-time training can be applied for at any stage of training, although the core Hospital and Advanced Skills Training terms are normally undertaken full-time.

For more information on part-time training, please review JCU's Part-time Training Policy and Procedure and AGPT’s Training Obligations Policy 2020.

How do I apply for part-time training?
Registrars interested in training part-time must first contact their local medical educator to discuss their reasons for wishing to train part-time. A part-time training application form must be completed and signed by their local medical educator and then submitted to the local JCU office for processing.

The JCU office will advise the registrar of the outcome of the application and how this will impact their overall training time on the AGPT program. If approved, the registrar will be contacted close to the end of the approved part-time term to set up a training advisor meeting. 

Am I able to return to full-time training after working part-time?
Yes. Registrars can return to full-time training status from part-time status at any time, providing that the training post can accommodate these changes. Registrars must first contact their local office to discuss their return to full-time training.

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In-practice Teaching Requirement

What are the minimum 'in-practice' teaching requirements for registrars and supervisors?
The ‘in practice’ teaching requirements are set by AGPT and the colleges and do not vary between regional training organisations. The requirements for registrars’ individual 'in-practice' teaching time per week are as follows:

  • GPT/PRRT 1 (1.0 FTE) – 3 hours per week
  • GPT/PRRT 2 (1.0 FTE) – 1.5 hours per week

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After accepting a placement with JCU, can I transfer to another training organisation?
In general, registrars are expected to remain with their allocated training organisation or training region for the duration of their training. AGPT has strict guidelines on what circumstances constitute a legitimate reason to transfer RTOs. Registrars should review the JCU Transfer Policy and Procedure and the AGPT Transfer Policy 2020.

If I want to temporarily work in a different region, am I able to temporarily transfer to another RTO?
A temporary transfer may be considered where the registrar’s training needs cannot be met within the allocated RTO. Registrars may be directed to take Category 2 leave in order to train for 6/12 in another RTO. Please contact the local JCU office for more information.

Can I transfer from the rural pathway to the general pathway, or vice versa?
Pathway transfers are very rarely approved and considered under extenuating and unforeseen circumstances. Information on transferring between pathways is included in AGPT’s transfer policy, located on the AGPT website.

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Working for after-hours providers

Can I work for after-hours providers?
Supervisors and registrars often ask about JCU’s position on registrars working for independent after-hours providers. After-hours care is part of good general practice experience if it is part of a teaching placement and supervised as for any other clinical work. Provider numbers are only available for use within an accredited training post, and all clinical work whether in or after hours, must be under the supervision of an accredited supervisor.

JCU will approve of after-hours work only if the after-hours work is part of a scheduled roster within the training post and the registrar is being supervised by their usual supervisory team.

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Get In Touch

Ph: 07 4781 3262
Building 39, Level 1,
James Cook University,
Townsville QLD 4811