When the pandemic hit us, our priority was the health and safety of our Fellows, Trainees, International Medical Graduates (IMGs) and staff. Our first action was to cancel all RACS education and training activities.
We developed a set of overarching principles to guide our decision making. These included:
- RACS will act in the best interests of patient care and the community; RACS will act in the best interest of all stakeholders (including trainees and IMGs) and the healthcare systems in which they work;
- RACS will act consistently, transparently and fairly across all its educational programs;
- RACS will not penalise Trainees and IMGs if they are unable to meet training requirements such as minimum logbook and workplace-based assessment numbers and;
- RACS will extend the time in training programs and IMG placements by up to 12 months to ensure requirements can be met, as required.
We are now in a phase where we can innovate by focusing on two key areas: operational excellence (internal developments that support improved performance and efficiencies) and; innovation (member experience improvements). With this in mind, we have made some decisions to progress our education and training activities.
Fellowship Examination in 2020
We have committed to holding the fellowship examination in a modified format in 2020. A minimum of three months’ notice will be provided when reinstating the Fellowship Exam, which will be held between mid- September and end-November. A new working party has been established to approve the conduct and delivery method(s) of all examinations in 2020 within the constraints of COVID-19 restrictions. More information about the possible timing of the exam will be available by the end of the week.
Surgical Education Training selection in 2020 for 2021
We have also committed to resuming the Surgical Education Training selection in 2020 in a modified format. We are working with our specialty societies to deliver this. Applications will open shortly, and we hope that candidates, if successful, will be offered posts before the end of November. We will share more information as soon as possible.
COVID-19 webinar series
We have held several webinars including one with the Australian Deputy Chief Medical Office, Dr Nick Coatsworth, one for surgical Trainees and one for IMGs. Below are some more webinars. More information is available on our website.
- 19 May - COVID-19 and Surgical Trainees: Your Questions Answered
- 27 May Educator Studio Session (in conjunction with National Reconciliation Week)
- 28 May – Supervisor and Trainer webinar: Impact of COVID-19 on Supervisors and Trainers
You can view previous sessions on our website.
We thank everyone who has been working so hard to support the fundamental decisions that have made all these education and training activities possible.