RACS’ duty of care to trainees includes providing a safe training environment which supports patient safety and fosters a culture of respect.

As part of our work to build respect in surgery, we’ve adopted a new protocol to guide information sharing with hospitals. It will help RACS monitor and manage the training environment and surgical workplaces. 

The protocol applies to information sharing in complaints management, when concerns have been raised about breaches of the RACS Code of Conduct, including discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment. 

It sets out structured information sharing thresholds and details what information about surgeons’ professional conduct will be shared between a hospital and RACS, and when it will be shared, in accordance with RACS privacy policies and the principles of procedural fairness. 

Under the protocol, information:

  • will be shared between a hospital (training post) and RACS, when there is a joint review of a concern by a third party, and/or when substantiated findings about a surgeon have been made after a formal complaint
  • should be shared after a formal complaint when there are no findings made or yet determined, or if there are repeated allegations made about the same surgeon but no formal complaint has been received. 

The protocol is included in RACS’ updated Hospital Post Accreditation Standards and will apply progressively as training posts are accredited against the new standards. 

There is no need for action from Fellows, Trainees and SIMGs. We’re just letting you know what we’re doing to make RACS code of conduct more effective as we build a culture of respect in surgery.

More information about feedback and complaints handling at RACS is published on our website.