The Surgical Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (SGE) Committee was established in September 2016.
Surgeons as endoscopists engage with a diverse range of stakeholders. To ensure collaboration at all levels and with all agencies, a consistent reference point for this engagement is required. The formation of this Committee addresses the need to provide central coordination for matters relating to surgical gastrointestinal endoscopy in Australia and New Zealand.
The SGE Committee reports to the Education Board and is governed by the SGE Committee Terms of Reference (PDF 35.9KB).
The broad objectives of the Committee are to:
- Develop gastrointestinal endoscopy standards of practice;
- Provide advice to RACS Training Boards and external organisations involved with gastrointestinal endoscopy training on standards of education and training of endoscopists;
- Establish a competency based recertification model for surgical gastrointestinal endoscopy in Australia and New Zealand;
- Certification and recertification of practising colonscopists
- Provide oversight of service delivery standards in Australia and New Zealand;
- Advocate for improved outcomes regarding access to training for SET Trainees and International Medical Graduates, in bowel cancer screening and other issues relating to surgical gastrointestinal endoscopy;
- Provide reference and support for surgeon representatives on colonoscopy and bowel cancer screening related organisations and agencies.
The Committee aims to promote communication across all stakeholders, with the aim of building relationships and increasing credibility and transparency. This importance of strong collaboration with the Surgical Societies and with GESA in particular is recognised.
RENEWAL OF ENDOSCOPY SKILLS & TRAINING (REST)
Colonoscopy is an important diagnostic tool in detecting colon diseases including colorectal cancer in the early stages with almost one million colonoscopies performed in Australia per annum. Colonoscopy is also the only procedure currently in Australia where endoscopists are required to recertify (triennially) against a defined set of criteria, as outlined in the Colonoscopy Clinical Care Standard established by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC). It is likely that this requirement will be introduced in Aotearoa New Zealand.
The Recertification Conjoint Committee in Colonoscopy (RCCC) was established in February 2023 as a conjoint committee of the Gastroenterological Society of Australia (GESA), the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP). While the RCCC oversees the triennial recertification of endoscopists, there is no mechanism within its Terms of Reference for the support of endoscopists who don’t meet the reaccreditation criteria. In the Terms of Reference, this responsibility is deferred to the endoscopists specialist medical college or body. In meeting this responsibility, RACS has established a Renewal of Endoscopy Skills and Training (REST) Program. The REST Program is oversighted by the Surgical Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Committee and seeks to support endoscopists to meet the certification criteria set out in the Colonoscopy Clinical Care Standard. The program also demonstrates the enduring commitment of RACS to provide an environment promoting fellowship development and support, as articulated as a core purpose in the College’s constitution.
OVERVIEW OF THE REST PROGRAM FRAMEWORK
The REST Program has been established to support surgeons maintain their certification to provide colonoscopy services to communities throughout Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. Overseen by surgeons with significant experience in endoscopy, the program is tailored to the individual needs of the surgeon requiring support including:
- Peer review of audit data
- On-site visit
- Clinical attachment to a peer
- Interactive skills training
- Professional development plan
The program is founded on the principle of collegiality, with an emphasis on patient safety and quality endoscopy.
ELIGIBILITY TO PARTICIPATE IN THE REST PROGRAM
The REST Program is open to any Fellow of the RACS in Australia or Aotearoa New Zealand. Gastroenterologists, physicians, and rural and remote non-surgical clinicians should contact their specialty body.
Surgical endoscopists who are not a Fellow of RACS or another specialist medical college are encouraged to contact the College to discuss their circumstances.
REFERRAL TO THE REST PROGRAM
An endoscopist may also be referred to the program via the RACS representatives to the RCCC. Participation in the program is voluntary - a nominated endoscopist can elect not to participate.
Endoscopists can self-nominate to participate in the program by contacting the RACS Professional Standards Department.
Dr Brian Kirkby - Chair SCEG
Dr Marianne Lill - General Surgery (AoNZ) / EGGNZ Representative
Dr Dan Croagh - CCRTGE AU Representative
Professor Neil Merrett - ANGOSA Representative
Dr Iain Skinner -RCCC Representative, Colorectal Surgery Representative
Dr Mike Hulme-Moir - NZAGS Representative
Dr Sally Butchers - Chair GSA, General Surgery Representative
Dr John Stuchbery - Rural Surgery Representative
Dr Susan Adam - Paediatric Surgery Representative
Dr Rebecca Shine - Colon and Rectal Surgery Section Representative
Prof David Fletcher - College Councillor
Dr Rowan French – Chair NZAGS Representative
Dr Elizabeth Murphy – Co-Opted, Chair CSSANZ
Dr Sarah Rennie - Co-Opted Surgical Advisor
Dr Ian Brown – Co-Opted Member, Pathologist
Dr Christine Lai – Co-Opted: Chair, PSFSC
Surgical Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Committee
Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
250-290 Spring Street
East Melbourne VIC 3002
Telephone: +61 3 9276 7425