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Requesting an Extension in the Fellowship Training Program

Subject: Requesting an Extension for assessment and training requirements in the Fellowship Training Program
Approval Date: December 2017
Review Date: December 2019
Approval By: Board of Censors and Education & Training Committee

1. Background

The Fellowship Training Program requires a number of assessment written tasks to be satisfactorily completed. These may be formative and/or summative.

Candidates are required to submit these tasks on time in line with the Annual Training Calendar. Candidates should obtain a copy of the task completion and assessment guidelines to complete the required tasks in accordance with the assessment requirements and rubrics.
Candidates are required to satisfactorily complete all assessment tasks and training activities to be eligible for the RACMA Pre-Fellowship Oral Examination in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

For Candidates commencing in 2018, the deadlines for tasks will be identified by Program – Health System Science, Research Training, Medical Management Practice and Personal and Professional Leadership Development.

The ability to meet scheduled timelines is considered an important professional skill for a medical manager and leader.

2. Purpose

This Regulation stipulates the College requirements for an application by Candidates for an extension should they be unable to submit their assignments on time.

3. Scope

This Regulation applies to all Candidates undertaking the RACMA Fellowship Training Program.

3. Policy and Procedure

If unable to submit an assessment task on time, Candidates may request an extension. The request must be in writing using the Application for Extension for Assessment Form, and in accordance with this Regulation. The application is to be sent to the Education and Training Program Manager at the National Office no later than 4 weeks before the due date for an assessment. The application will be referred to the relevant Censor, Lead Fellow or the Dean of Education for review and approval.

The College will respond to requests for extensions within 48 hours and will endeavour to support Candidates who can demonstrate reasonable cause or exceptional circumstances for requesting an extension on the submission of work. While the College acknowledges there may be last minute extenuating situations, it is the College’s view that Candidates should be preparing assessment tasks well in advance and not in the last few days before the submission date.

Where a Candidate can demonstrate ‘last minute’ difficulties they should immediately telephone the National Office and outline reasons why they are unable to meet the required deadline. The College will consider such requests on a case by case basis.
Note: Inability to have a Preceptor or Supervisor sign off on a cover sheet is not considered an exceptional situation, and Candidates should seek their availability well in advance of the submission due dates.

3.1 Eligibility for an extension

To be eligible for consideration for an extension, Candidates must specify a valid reason for his/her request for an Extension such as:
• on medical grounds – in which case the College will consider the request only if an appropriate medical certificate has been submitted which prevents them from submitting an assessment task on time or of adequate quality; or
• non-medical grounds – in which case the Candidate may be required to provide additional evidence to assist the College in its consideration of granting an extension. This may be related to other tasks, such as assessments within Research Training Program, Workplace Assessment or Masters’ Program.
Note: excessive work commitment should not be used as a reason for seeking an extension.

3.2 Candidates’ obligations

It is the Candidate’s responsibility to keep a copy of written work submitted for assessment and to produce that duplicate upon request if, for whatever reason, the original is lost or misplaced.

Should candidates be required to provide evidence of compliance with due dates, a postal date receipt, successful sent email receipt, successful sent fax receipt, or e-ETP dated record (wherein user information is automatically captured and the date and time of a submission is automatically time stamped) will be acceptable.

3.3 Request for an extension for ‘formative’ assessment written tasks

• The request for extension is submitted to the Education and Training Program Manager at the National Office. The application for extension may be declined if the circumstances outlined in the Candidate’s application are not deemed as appropriately serious or acceptable for granting an extension.
• In circumstances where a Candidate has exceeded the allowed time-frame of the extension granted for the requirements of the Fellowship Training Program, Candidates may apply for a further extension or special consideration which will be forwarded to the Dean of Education or the Censor in Chief for approval.
• Once the application/request for an extension is approved, the Candidate, and his/her Preceptor/Executive Coach is advised accordingly. A copy of the notification should be attached to the Cover Sheet of the Candidate’s written assignment.
• In some cases, additional information or evidence may be sought.
• If the application for extension is not approved, the Candidate will be notified accordingly as well as his/her Preceptor. The Candidate will be given a working week within which to submit the piece of work for marking. The Candidate may appeal the decision (see section below for reconsideration, review and appeal).
• Non-submission of the task on time in the event the request for extension is not approved may cause the following:
o The Candidate’s non-performance/non-compliance may be presented to the Training Progress Committee for review, remediation and/or recommendation.
o The Candidate’s work may not be accepted until the relevant time in the following training year, thereby potentially prolonging eligibility to sit the RACMA Pre-Fellowship Oral Examination.

4. Request for an Extension for Research Training Program (RTP) Assessment Tasks

Successful completion of all training and assessment tasks and written papers is a requirement for the eligibility to election to Fellowship. The research written paper, is the final summative assessment of the RTP.
The rules for requests for an extension in relation to Research Training Program tasks are as follows:
• In the case of an extension for a Research proposal or a research written paper an extension must be requested at least four weeks prior to the due date for submission, and should be accompanied by the endorsement and commentary from the Preceptor or Executive Coach.
• The extension applies to those Candidates undertaking Research Training Program (RTP) who are unable to complete their RTP written report/paper in time for their registration to sit the RACMA Oral Exam. Candidates will be allowed to apply for a 6 months extension (6 months period post the first Oral Examination attempt).
• In the event that Candidates who undertake their Research Training Program under the auspice and assessment of the University program, Candidates will be allowed to apply for an additional 6 months extension (up to total of 12 months maximum) if unable to submit within the original 6 months’ extension because of academic timeframes set by the University. This must be supported by appropriate evidence from the University – this can include an assessment schedule, letter from the University supervisor and/or submission to the College of their research paper submitted to the University. In such a case, Candidates need to inform the National Office and provide the request for an extension 4 weeks prior to the expiry date of the original 6 months’ extension.

5. Extensions for completion of Masters’ requirements

Candidates are required to complete an approved university Masters’ program to provide the theoretical underpinning to the experiential components of the Fellowship Training Program (FTP) in medical administration. They must complete the Masters’ units within 6 months of sitting of the RACMA Pre-Fellowship Oral exam or within the University timetabling limits.

6. Extensions for completion of Medical Management Practice under Supervision

Supervised medical management practice is the period of workplace training undertaken as a requirement in the RACMA Fellowship Training Program. This is the period of formative learning and is critically important for the development of the medical leadership and management competencies required of the successful specialist medical administrator. This period is evaluated by the Candidate’s online Manager/RACMA Supervisor (preferably a FRACMA) via a set of workplace assessment tools including In Training Assessment Report and Annual Training Plan, which is developed in conjunction with the Candidate’s Supervisor and Preceptor.

A series of training activities relevant to medical management have to be undertaken within the workplace or externally if the training post cannot sufficiently accommodate all the experiential training required for an effective medical administrator.

Candidates should complete their planned minimum years of successful supervised practice within 6 months of successfully undertaking their RACMA Oral Exam, noting that they need to be working in accredited supervised medical management practice at the time they sit the Oral Examination. They will be required to apply for an extension for this 6 months and if unable to complete within the allowed timeframe, they may apply for an additional 6 months’ period (up to 12 months extension in total) to be able to meet the eligibility for election to Fellowship. Approval may be sought from relevant College stakeholders such as Censor in Chief, CEO or Chair of Training Progress Committee.

7. Consequences

If Candidates are non-compliant with the rules for the extensions for assessment and training requirements within this Regulation, the case will be forwarded to the Training Progress Committee or the Faculty Board for determination of the consequences and/or penalties imposed.

Upon the recommendation from the above committees and endorsement by the Education and Training Committee, the College Board may make a determination to suspend or revoke Candidacy, or grant an additional limited timeframe to complete any outstanding requirements and comply with the Regulation and Fellowship Training Program requirements. Candidates will be required to show ‘cause’ based on the compelling and legitimate grounds to continue in the Fellowship Training Program.

8. Appeals

Candidates may seek reconsideration/review and appeal against the decisions made on their requests for extensions on the assessment tasks under the Policy for Reconsideration, Review and Appeals against of the College Officers and/or College Committees. All College Policies and Regulations are located on the RACMA website.

9. Related Documents

Policy for Reconsideration, Review and Appeals against the decisions made by the College Officers and Committees
Policy for Special Consideration for the Oral Examination
Policy for Special Consideration for the Research Project Oral Presentation
Regulation for Accreditation of Training Posts
Policy for Discrimination, Harassment, Bullying and Victimisation
Policy for Supervised Practice
College Handbook
RTP Handbook
RACMA Annual Training Calendar