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Recognition of prior learning

An essential component of general practice training on the AGPT program is a hospital year (52 full-time equivalent weeks) in an accredited Australian or New Zealand hospital, where registrars gain knowledge and skills from a variety of experiences in rotations relevant to general practice.

Registrars have the choice to complete this hospital training on the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program, or if eligible, may apply for an exemption from the first year of the program. This is known as recognition of prior learning (RPL). 

The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) each have their own RPL requirements and processes. If a registrar is selected through both colleges and would like to apply for RPL, they are required to complete an RPL application for each college. 

It is recommended that applicants to the AGPT program review the RPL application forms and begin collecting relevant supporting evidence regarding their hospital terms as early as possible, as each college has deadlines for submitting completed applications and require detailed supporting documents. James Cook University's (JCU) GP training program provides advice to registrars about individual eligibility for RPL during a Pre-entry Meeting shortly after accepting a training placement on the program, and at individual meetings during the Introductory Workshop. 

RPL is assessed on an individual basis; it is a privilege and is not guaranteed to be approved. 

It is the registrar’s responsibility to complete and submit the application form to JCU along with all of the necessary supporting evidence. If an incomplete application is received, JCU will return the application to the registrar for completion before an assessment can be made. Once the initial assessment is made the application is reviewed by two JCU medical educators and if approved by JCU, submitted to the relevant college Censor for consideration and approval. It is important to submit the best possible RPL application in the first instance, as it will be assessed on its merits and a determination made by the Censor. 


RACGP requires RPL applications to be submitted within the first six months of training on the AGPT program. This means applications must be submitted to JCU no later than the 1st of May of each year. 

If the application is approved by JCU, it is submitted to the RACGP Censor for consideration and approval. 

RACGP has strict deadlines for submission of RPL and it is the registrar’s responsibility to review the RACGP RPL policy and application process and to submit applications to JCU within the correct timeframes. 


ACRRM strongly encourages registrars to apply for RPL as soon as possible after the commencement of training on the AGPT program.

Applications for Core Generalist Training time must be submitted prior to enrolling in exams, and any other RPL must be submitted prior to completion of training. Whilst it is not a requirement, it is considered in a registrar's best interest to submit an application early to ensure they will be eligible to sit exams.

It is the registrar's responsibility to review the ACRRM RPL Policy and RPL section in the Fellowship Training Program Handbook , and submit applications to JCU within the correct timeframes.

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James Cook University,
Townsville QLD 4811