FARGP Community Project now optional

Anastasia Tsirtsakis

21/05/2020 4:02:39 PM

The requirements have been updated to help broaden accessibility to the Fellowship in Advanced Rural General Practice.

Rural community
Some candidates previously identified the mandatory requirement to complete a project over six months as a barrier to completing the FARGP.

Candidates for the Fellowship in Advanced Rural General Practice (FARGP) will no longer be required to complete a Community Project to obtain their qualification.
The decision is part of the transition to a Rural Generalist Fellowship (FRACGP-RG) aimed at strengthening the RACGP’s rural pathways.
RACGP Rural Censor Dr Ken Wanguhu told newsGP the change was informed by feedback from candidates and Training Organisations.
Some candidates identified the mandatory requirement to complete a project over six months as a barrier to completing the FARGP.
‘It stopped some candidates from enrolling in the Fellowship to begin with, and others were able to complete all the other requirements apart from the Community Project,’ Dr Wanguhu said.
‘One of the main reasons identified is that candidates were challenged to set aside the time required in amongst their other GP training or clinical requirements to complete the project within their allocated training time – it was done in the middle of their other responsibilities.’
Now an optional activity (effective immediately), candidates who have completed all other requirements are able to complete their FARGP qualification.
FARGP requirements now include the completion of:

  • the learning plan and reflection activity
  • 12 months in a rural general practice setting (Modified Monash Model [MMM] 3–7)
  • 12 months of Advanced Rural Skills Training (ARST) in an accredited training post
  • emergency medicine activities, including satisfactory completion of two advanced emergency skills courses.
In addition to making the FARGP more appealing to GPs in training, the change is also expected to appeal to rural GPs.
Through the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) pathway, candidates will have the opportunity to submit evidence that demonstrates how they meet the requirements of the FARGP, and earn the additional RACGP Fellowship.
Candidates who have already commenced their Community Project are no longer required to complete it, but are encouraged to do so as part of a valuable opportunity to engage with their community and develop their own skills. However, those completing their ARST in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health will still be required to complete a Community Project as part of the curriculum requirements of that ARST, unless an exemption is approved.
‘The public health and research aspects in this ARST curriculum are very important,’ Dr Wanguhu explained.
Given the opportunity the Community Project offers to candidates to develop their skills and help improve healthcare in rural and remote communities, GPs will still have the option to complete it.
‘We have left this as an optional requirement because we recognise that public health and research are important areas of general practice,’ Dr Wanguhu said.
‘We still value the fundamental reasons for undertaking the project and recognise the benefits it can have for rural and remote healthcare and communities.’
RACGP Rural will continue to offer an annual award for the FARGP Community Project of the Year in recognition of the most innovative project.
More information on the FARGP pathways for general practice registrars and practicing GPs can be accessed on the RACGP website.
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