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Recognition of Prior Learning and Experience (RPLE)


The RPLE process enables applicants for the Fellowship Training Program (FTP) the opportunity to receive advanced standing as a result of prior learning and/or experience.


The objective of this policy is to provide information for applicants demonstrating equity, transparency and evidence-based decision making.


The Fellowship Training Program (FTP) has four learning and assessment domains:

  • Health System Science (HSS)
  • Medical Management Practice (MMP)
  • Research Training (RT)
  • Personal and Professional Leadership Development (PPLD)

Candidates must perform to a satisfactory level in each domain and within identified timeframes in order to be eligible for a Fellowship and membership of the College in the category of Fellow (FRACMA).


Applicants are able to apply for acknowledgement of competency development in their practice of medical management that has occurred prior to entry into the Fellowship Training Program.

The outcomes of applications for RPLE may be exemptions from summative tasks and modified timeframes for workplace learning with respect to those domain-based activities which are required to be satisfactorily completed prior to eligibility for Fellowship.

Applicants wishing to apply for credit/exemption from University coursework in the HSS domain and/or exemption from assignments in the RT domain alone, may apply separately, or indicate these requests in their fuller application for the RPLE interview. Further information can be found on the RACMA website


A list of definitions of key words that the applicants must understand includes:

Advanced StandingAcknowledgement of knowledge acquisition and/or skill development based on prior study or work experience. If advanced standing is awarded the requirements for the applicant’s FTP may be reduced.
CreditFTP Training requirement for which the applicant receives recognition of prior learning and/or experience.
ExemptionThose parts of the FTP for which applicants have received credit, which will not need to be repeated or completed in the applicants’ FTPs if they are accepted as Candidates.


6.1 Equity

All applications for RPLE for credit in the HSS and RT domains and for reduced time in supervised medical management practice in the MMP domain will be assessed on their merit against the competencies outlined in the RACMA Medical Leadership and Management Curriculum. The curriculum is briefly outlined in the following table:

Domains – role
Training goalsScope of TopicsWorkplace learning
Health system
Acquisition of specialist
Systems thinking
Corporate planning and governance
Self-directed and
University determined
Attainment of Master’s
Corporate planning and governance
Medical expertClinical governance and
patient safety

Financial Management
University assignments
Medical management practiceHuman resource management
with reference to medical officers
Supervisor- and self-directed in workplaceSatisfactory In-Training Learning Reports
CommunicatorPractice of workplace skillsLog of learning activitiesThree-four FTE years practice in accredited sites
Medical managerOperational systems – public,
private, non-government,
critical care, acute care,
sub-acute care, health promotion
and prevention, General Practice,
investigations, non-procedural care, procedural medicine, surgery

Digital health

Medical education

Critical evidence-based decision-making

Health services research
Learning sets (distance tutorials)

Assessed management tasks

Case -based discussions

College Trial Oral Examination

MMPD Oral Examination
Research trainingPractice of evidence-based decision-makingSupervisor-and self-directed critical evidence-based analysis and management reasoningOral presentation of research progress
Written presentation of research outcomes
Scholar – researcherSupervisor- and self-directed conduct of health service research
Personal and professional leadership developmentDevelopment of personal attributesEthical decision-makingSupervisor- and self-directed guided reflection discussions

Log of learning activities
Satisfactory In-Training Learning Reports
Scholar – educatorIndigenous health advocacy
AdvocateCultural diversity awareness
CollaboratorCultural safety

6.2 Transparency

Applicants will be provided with advice about the assessment process and the nature and standard of the evidence required by the College to consider in assessing the application for RPLE.

6.3 Evidence-Based Assessment

Assessment will be based on evidence provided by the applicant and should be:

  • Valid – relate to the competency being assessed
  • Current – generally consider the previous five years
  • Sufficient – meet the standards specific in the RACMA Curriculum
  • Authentic – verifiable as the applicant’s own work

6.4 Assessors

Assessment will be undertaken by senior RACMA Fellows who have been identified by the Board of Censors, to evaluate the evidence of experience, training and qualifications provided by the applicant.

6.5 Assessment Process Quality

The assessment process for RPLE will be valid, reliable, fair and flexible and moderation (if required) will be undertaken by authorised College Officers such as Censor-in-Chief or the Dean.

6.6 Application for MMP RPLE Interviews

Applications for RPLE interviews will be accepted throughout the year. Interviews will take place during specified time blocks throughout the year with outcomes being applicable to the following academic enrolment period into the Fellowship Training Program.

Once applications have been reviewed and deemed to:

  • have met the minimum requirements for training in the RACMA training program i.e.
  • active or potential general or specialist registration with the Medical Board of Australia or the Medical Council of New Zealand; and
  • at least three years in clinical practice.
  • to have outlined roles in health system management or leadership.

The application details will be forwarded for awareness to:

  • the Jurisdictional Coordinator of Training for the relevant jurisdiction for advice regarding the appropriateness of training positions and supervision within the State jurisdiction; and
  • to two RPLE assessors for their views on the appropriateness of the application and whether there may be more information required.

If deemed eligible, the applicant will be contacted to schedule a face to face interview and the applicant’s referee’s will be contacted to complete a competency-based online reference form.

6.6.1 Interview for RPLE in MMP domain

The duration of the interview is two hours with the first hour dedicated to discussion of the applicant’s experience, confirmation of information provided in the application (including the referee reports) and exploring competencies in the specialty of Medical Administration.

In the second hour the applicant will be required to prepare a response for a medical management scenario that will be provided at the time of interview. The applicant is allowed 20 minutes to review and prepare and 20 minutes to present to the panel. The final 20 minutes are for the panel to provide feedback on the presentation and address any questions and feedback on the interview process from the applicant.

At the conclusion of the interview, the assessment panel members will reach a consensus regarding the recommendation they will make to the Education and Training Committee. The applicant will not be advised of the outcome at the time of interview. If the panel cannot reach consensus on the recommendation, the interview documentation will be forwarded for review and moderation by the Censor-in-Chief or the Dean.

6.6.2 Outcome

If applicants are to be granted recognition of satisfactory performance in supervised medical management practice, the outcome will outline:

  • The minimum number of satisfactory six-monthly In-Training-Performance Reports that are to be completed in order to be eligible for Fellowship;
  • The gaps identified during the interview process that will need to be addressed;
  • The earliest date the applicant will be eligible to sit the College Triall Examination; and
  • The earliest date the applicant will be eligible to sit the MMPD Oral Exam.

6.6.3 Reconsideration and appeals

The applicant may seek reconsideration of the outcome of the RPLE MMP interview and should refer to the policy for Reconsideration, Review and Appeal of Decisions of the College Committees and Officers.

Approval Date – June 2020

Review Date – June 2023

Review By – Education and Training Committee