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The RANZCP 2012 Regulations Fellowship Training Program

The Training Program is competency based and is planned for a minimum duration of 5 years (60 months FTE). The length of training depends on the trainee fulfilling all requirements and passing exams and may exceed five years for some trainees.

Training is divided into three stages:

  • Stage 1 (Basic level) – 12 months in adult psychiatry, at least six months of which must be in an acute setting.
  • Stage 2 (Proficient level) – 24 months in a range of areas of practice, including a mandatory six months in child and adolescent psychiatry and six months in consultation-liaison psychiatry, and 12 months in elective areas of practice.
  • Stage 3 (Advanced level) – 24 months with the option to train in either general psychiatry or in various sub-specialty areas of practice.

During the training period, trainees work as registrars in hospitals and community clinics, where they are supervised by experienced psychiatrists.  Each rotation, or clinical placement, is of 6 months duration.

Part time training is available and breaks in training are possible if required.

The Training Experience

Trainees undertake Workplace Based Assessments with their supervisor to asist them to attain the necessary competencies required of a psychiatrist.  These are formative assessments that provide important feedback to the trainee about their performance. 

There are certain Entrustable Professional Activities that must be achieved during each six month rotation and during each Stage of Training.

All trainees must undertake a Scholarly Project during training, which might be formal research, a quality improvement project, a literature review or a case series.  This is submitted as a written report by the end of training and must be passed in order to obtain fellowship.

All trainees must also treat a patient with psychotherapy for a minimum of 40 sessions during training.  This is also submitted as a written Case History by the end of training and must be passed.

The Academic Program

A 5 year formal education course covering all the important areas of psychiatry is provided.  The formal education course is provided to all trainees for 3 hours on an afternoon once per week during working hours. In addition, 4 hours of supervision per week is given to all trainees by experienced psychiatrists who have received training and accreditation in supervision.

Lectures, seminars and tutorials are offered by over 80 specialists, covering the full range of psychiatric practice, including mental health care of children and families, adults and older persons. The course also covers assessment and management of mood disorders, psychotic disorders, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, post traumatic stress disorders, substance abuse disorders and all other mental health problems. There are also sessions on forensic psychiatry, rehabilitation, intensive care psychiatry, indigenous issues, cultural issues, consumer and carer perspectives and ethics.

Advanced Training Certificates

Stage 3 Trainees have an option to train in a Certificate of Advanced Training in a sub-specialty of psychiatry.  In South Australia, all seven of the RANZCP certificate courses are available:

  • Adult Psychiatry
  • Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Psychiatry of the Old Age
  • Addiction Psychiatry
  • Forensic Psychiatry
  • Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry
  • Psychotherapy

Exams

The RANZCP Fellowship Examination consists of two Written Exams of 3 hours each, and a clinical exam. 

The first written exam is a multiple choice style paper, and is usually sat during Stage 2, and the second written exam is an essay style paper, and is usually sat later, either at the end of Stage 2 or start of Stage 3.

The clinical exam is an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE), and is held twice a year in one or two sites in Australia and/or New Zealand.  It is sat during Stage 3.

Extensive exam preparation is provided by both supervisors in the work place and the SAPTC. Trial exams are held for both the Written and Clinical Exams. South Australian trainees have continued to have high pass rates in College exams.