4 February 2021

Trainees granted exemption to sit RACGP exams

Accreditation Education Political RACGP TheHill

GPs in training will be able to defy the lockdown order in WA to attend their Key Feature Problem and Applied Knowledge Test, with the government agreeing to issue a special exemption for candidates.

The reprieve has come at the last minute, just one day before candidates thought the KFP would be cancelled (on Friday 5 February) because of stay-at-home orders across metropolitan Perth, Peel and the South West.

The lockdown, which began on Sunday evening after a quarantine worker tested positive to COVID, is due to end in the region on Friday 5 February at 6pm local time – hours after the KFP is scheduled to begin.

But now candidates will be emailed an essential worker permit, which they will have to print or save on their phone, for attending the KFP.

This was confirmed around lunchtime AWST (late this afternoon AEDT).

“The permit will not entitle you to travel anywhere other than to the RACGP exams and back to your home (unless other exemptions apply to you),” the RACGP said in a statement on its website.

Candidates in Bunbury are also being warned that their venue for the exams has changed. The RACGP said it will both call and email those individuals affected by the venue change and notify them of the new exam location.

And all individuals sitting the exams in WA and Victoria will have to wear a mask while sitting their fellowship exams this weekend. 

At this stage, the restrictions in Victoria have not affected the running of Friday’s KFP or Saturday’s AKT, but the RACGP has warned candidates that this advice could change.

Dr Samuel Ognenis, a GP registrar in Perth, told TMR he was ‘relieved’ and ‘thankful’ for the advocacy work that had enabled these fellowship exams to go ahead.

“At the start of the week it was really quite disheartening when we thought the exam was going to be cancelled and it’s very hard to study in those times when you don’t actually know whether or not you’re sitting the exam on Friday, and also still trying to prepare for Saturday,” he said.

“But then as more doctors started advocating, and now with the latest news, I personally feel like people are more inspired to prepare for the exam as diligently as they would have otherwise.”

For more, tune in to our new podcast, The Tea Room, tomorrow morning.

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