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Training and Assessment Newsletter - October 2017

In this issue:

Fellowship program

Fellowship program


In recognition that the Targeted Learning (TL) Policy and Procedure in use to date has been both administratively burdensome and confusing, it has been significantly revised based on recommendations from the Directors of Training, Committee for Training and the Trainee Representative Committee. The updated policy has been published and is effective from 15 September 2017.

TL is designed to be a meaningful process, aiming to assist trainees to pass summative assessments. Three types of TL have been renamed for clarity and consistency:

  • rotation-based targeted learning: required for an unsuccessful a rotation.
  • progression-based targeted learning: required when the TL deadline for a centrally administered summative assessment is reached as per the trajectory. 
  • assessment-based targeted learning: required for two fails of the same centrally administered summative assessment.


Rotation-based targeted learning:

Trainees must commence rotation-based TL within 60 days of an unsuccessful rotation. As rotation-based TL cannot be undertaken on a break in training, a trainee on an approved break must commence it within 60 days of their return to active training. A failure to submit the Commencement Form to the College head office by 60 days will trigger a trainee’s requirement to show cause to remain in the Fellowship Program.

Rotation-based TL must be at least 3 FTE months in duration. The Completion Form is required to confirm its conclusion.

Trainees cannot progress to the next stage of training or to Fellowship if they are still in rotation-based TL, even if they have finished all other requirements.

Rotation-based TL is not a barrier to attempt any centrally administered summative assessments, including the OSCE.

Progression-based targeted learning:

Trainees must commence progression-based TL within 60 days of notification. Late or non‑submission of the Commencement Form is not a barrier to attempt the assessment; however, this non-compliance will be considered in any future show cause applications related to any assessment.

Progression-based TL will now be considered complete when the relevant assessment is passed; there is no completion form. It is recommended a TL plan is reviewed approximately every 3 months and prior to any related assessment attempt.

  • Trainees who are currently enrolled in progression-based TL will now remain in TL until the assessment has been passed.
  • Trainees who have completed progression-based TL prior to 15 September 2017, but who have not yet passed the related assessment will not need to re-enter TL.

Progression-based TL can be undertaken while on an approved break in training (but this is not required and is not possible where the DOT has not agreed to the development of the TL plan).

Assessment-based targeted learning:

Trainees must commence assessment-based TL within 60 days of notification; they are ineligible to re-attempt the assessment until the Commencement Form has been submitted. In addition, any non-compliance will be considered in any future show cause applications related to any assessment.

Assessment-based TL will now be considered complete when the relevant assessment is passed; there is no completion form. It is recommended a TL plan is reviewed approximately every 3 months and prior to any related assessment attempt.

  • Trainees who are currently enrolled in assessment-based TL will now remain in TL until the assessment has been passed.
  • Trainees who have completed assessment-based TL prior to 15 September 2017, but who have not yet passed the related assessment will not need to re-enter TL.

Assessment-based TL can be undertaken while on an approved break in training (but this is not required and is not possible where the DOT has not agreed to the development of the TL plan).

Progression and assessment-based targeted learning for the same assessment         

If a trainee is required to undertake both progression and assessment-based TL for the same assessment at the same time, only one TL plan is required and only one Commencement of Targeted Learning Form must be submitted to the College.

The TL plan should be reviewed at this time and at approximately every 3 months to include further support based on the assessment results, trainee’s progress, or other relevant new information.

Summary table

Type of TL





After unsuccessful rotation

At TL deadline on trajectory

After 2 unsuccessful attempts

Consequence of non-compliance

Show cause

Considered at any future show cause

Not eligible to re-attempt, considered at any future show cause


Min. 3 FTE months




Submit completion form

Passing of assessment

Passing of assessment

Assessment eligibility



Must Commence TL to re-attempt

Allow during a BIT


Possible if the plan is approved by DOT

Possible if the plan is approved by DOT


The updated Targeted Learning Policy and Procedure is available at In addition, a flow chat outlining the targeted learning process is available. Please contact with any questions regarding these changes.

RANZCP trainee support webinar: ‘The worst day at work: vicarious trauma, transference and countertransference’

What impact do patients’ emotional and physical states have on psychiatrists? This topic explores the nature of risk assessment, vicarious trauma, managing transference and countertransference. Listen as Fellows of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) discuss their experiences of working with some of the most challenging types of patients and ways to achieve the best possible outcome.

Webinar: ‘The worst day at work: vicarious trauma, transference and countertransference’ Friday October 20, 2017
Time: 11am – 12pm AEDT | 1pm – 2pm NZDT - click here for time zones


  • Dr Gabriel Feiler, consultant psychiatrist (St Vincent’s Health, Melbourne)
  • Dr George Halasz, child and adolescent psychiatrist (Monash Health)
  • Associate Prof Josephine Beatson, psychiatrist/psychoanalytic psychotherapist (Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne)

Join us live and online - via your computer, tablet or phone. In particular, the presenters will discuss:

  • a psychiatrist’s personal experiences of dealing with a patient’s suicide;
  • influence of negative countertransferences on actions of the psychiatrist which can increase the risk of suicide;
  • mechanisms of vicarious trauma, dissociation, and how we can better manage it.
  • Q&A

Please substitute with:

>Register Here

If you're unable to participate in the live webinar, please keep an eye out for the recording in Learnit.

> Watch previously released trainee support webinars in Learnit [member log-in required]

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists has received Australian Government funding under the Specialist Training Program (STP) to deliver this initiative.

The Education Activities Report

This annual report has just been approved by the Education Committee and sorts fact from fiction about the important landmarks in our program. If you’re interested, I encourage trainees and supervisors to become familiar with this data. Pass rates in the centrally administered summative assessments can be found here, as well as information about the progression through fellowship.

Dr Warren Kealy-Bateman, Chair, Committee for Training

Link to the 2016 Education Activities Report :



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Online delivery of the Essay examination

The College has received a number of enquiries regarding online delivery of the Essay-style Written examination in 2018. Prior to online delivery of the Essay examination, the Committee for Examinations and the College need to be fully assured of the rigour of technical processes involved in the delivery, handling, and marking of the examination.

The College continues to work with its Examination vendor in developing and testing such processes. At the current time, the Committee is not satisfied that the Examination vendor can supply services that meet the College’s requirements.

For this reason a pilot of the online delivery of the Essay-style examination has been deferred. It is hoped that this will occur for the August 2018 examination. The College will ensure that prior to trialling the online delivery of examination, candidates will be notified about it in a timely manner.

Hence, the Essay-style examination will be a paper-based examination for all candidates sitting in February 2018.

Meanwhile candidates are encouraged to practice their keyboard skills for speed and accuracy, if they are planning to take the Essay examination after the second half of 2018.

The 2018 Examination Timetable is now available from the Results, timetables, fees page of the College website.

The August 2017 MCQ Report and the June 2017 Scholarly Project Report are now available for review.

The Guide to the Critical Essay Question module is now live in Learnit

A Guide to the Critical Essay Question e-module is available on Learnit [member log-in required].

The aim of this module is to assist you in preparing for the Critical Essay Question (CEQ) part of the Essay-style exam by improving your understanding of what is expected. The module will:

  • Present the concept of the CEQ
  • Explain the scoring system
  • Offer samples of the CEQ to comment on
  • Compare with examiner’s comments
  • Supply tools & methods to formulate your approach to the CEQ
  • Review previous CEQ examples
  • Offer resources to assist you in your CEQ response

It is recommended that you work through all the material to better understand how to approach and answer the Critical Essay Question.

Duration: 60 min

August 2017 Essay-style

To facilitate successful delivery of assessment outcome letters, candidates must ensure that their email address on the College database is current and that they can securely receive emails. 

Modified OSCE Circuit implementation – April 2018

To ensure the ongoing sustainability of the OSCEs and to meet the demand of the increasing OSCE applications, the EC and the Board have approved the introduction of a modified OSCE circuit from April 2018 onwards. This will involve the introduction of additional Byes that will be Inactive, where candidates are not expected to undertake a task.

Please note there is no change in the number of stations that will be examined and no increase in testing time. However there will be some increase in the overall examination time.

A Communiqué [PDF; 99 KB] outlining the rationale and explaining the modified OSCE circuit is now available on the College website.

Congress presentations

The Essay-style, Scholarly Project and OSCE Workshop Presentations made at the 2017 RANZCP Adelaide Congress are now available from the respective Assessments - College-administered page of the College website.

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International Medical Symposium, Sydney 9 March 2018

The RANZCP is hosting, in collaboration with the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP), the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) and the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) the 2018 annual international medical symposium in Sydney on 9 March 2018.

Further details of themes and speakers will be released soon; in the meantime please mark this date in your diary.

Please click here for more information.


Reminder - Advanced Trainee Breakfast: Faculty of Psychiatry of Old Age Conference 2017

The Conference Organising Committee would like to remind Advanced Trainees on planned events at this year’s Faculty of Psychiatry of Old Age Conference.

In place of a separate Advanced Trainee workshop at the end of the conference, a special Advanced Trainee breakfast will be held during the conference featuring an address from an invited speaker and time to speak with SATPOA committee members.  The cost for this event is included in the conference registration fee.

This year’s conference will be held in association with the International Psychogeriatric Association (IPA) at the Millennium Hotel Queenstown, New Zealand, from Thursday 9 November to Friday 10 November. Pre-conference workshops will be held on Wednesday 8 November and the educational breakfast meeting for Advanced Trainees will be held on Friday 10 November.

Register today to secure your place.


The Organising Committee have put together a dynamic and exciting program based around the theme “Capacity, Creativity and Ageing in Clinical Practice”.

Pre-conference Workshops

The conference will feature four highly relevant, optional pre-conference workshops on Wednesday 8 November.

Organised by the IPA, workshops will be interactive and will be led by international experts.

• Imaging and Biomarkers (full day)

• Capacity Controversies and the Cutting Edge (full day)

• Late-Life Mood Disorders: Emerging Concepts (half day)

• Management of BPSD Using Psychosocial Interventions for People with Dementia Living in Nursing Home Care

(half day)

Keynote speakers

We are delighted to welcome Professor Robin Jacoby, Professor Henry Brodaty, Professor Roger Mulder and Dr Margaret Dudley as our keynote speakers, who are well known as erudite researchers, teachers and leaders.

Social functions

Welcome Reception

A welcome reception will be held on Wednesday evening at Skyline Queenstown and is included in the cost of your registration.  Guest tickets can also be purchased for this event.

Conference Dinner

A special conference dinner will be held on Thursday evening at Prime Waterfront Restaurant.  Tickets can be purchased when you register for the conference and include arrival drinks and canapés, three course dinner and beverages.  Please click here to secure your place for this memorable event.


We have secured a range of accommodation options in Queenstown and we encourage delegates to book early in order to secure your preferred option. Queenstown also features a wide range of other accommodation options which delegates may choose to book directly. As Queenstown is such a popular tourist destination, we also encourage you to book flights early to secure the best fares.

World-renowned for its adventure, Queenstown is home to a huge choice of adrenaline-based activities including jetboating, bungy jumping, white water rafting and skydiving – all guaranteed to get your blood pumping!  There are also plenty of more relaxing activities on offer such as guided tours, wine tours, boat cruises, culture and heritage activities or a day trip to Milford Sound to make the most of your time in the region.

To register, view the program, or for more information, please visit the conference website

We look forward to seeing you at the conference.

 Dr Jane Casey, Conference Co-convenor

Dr Elizabeth Fussell, Conference Co-convenor

Professor Brian Draper, Conference Co-convenor, IPA

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The Work of the Accreditation Committee

The Accreditation Committee (AC) is involved with the accreditation of psychiatry training programs in Australia and New Zealand.

The most well-known aspect of the work of the AC is the site visits to training programs every five years.  Site visitors include two Fellows and one trainee, all with an interest and experience in training matters, in addition to College secretariat support.

One newer aspect of site visits is the pre-site visit survey.  When your training program is due for accreditation, you will receive a short email survey beforehand seeking your input about issues or concerns in that program.  Your feedback allows the site visit timetable to be tailored to ensure site visitors can meet with trainees, supervisors and management in relevant areas.

A copy of the finalised accreditation recommendations is circulated to trainees in the program afterwards by your Director of Training.  The AC works with the Director of Training and the Branch Training Committee to follow up on recommendations in the accreditation visit report.

The AC is also now trialling a mid-cycle accreditation review process, and again this is an opportunity for trainees to provide feedback about training conditions in their programs.  The AC has also been involved in the development of Rotation Accreditation Standards for individual posts, and these are used by Directors of Training and Branch Training Committees in initial reviews and re-accreditation reviews of training posts.

The Accreditation Standards for both training programs and rotations are available on the RANZCP website here, noting you will need to enter your password:

If you have urgent concerns about your training, please do not wait until the next accreditation site visit, noting face-to-face visits only occur every five years.  The best way to raise any urgent concerns during your training, is usually an initial approach to your supervisor, training co-ordinator, or Director of Training.

If you are not comfortable with this approach, or if it is inappropriate, you can contact the College via, attention the Manager, Accreditation, CPD and Reporting.  Alternatively, you might wish to phone the Manager, Accreditation, CPD and Reporting on +61 3 9640 0646.

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Confidential advice is available to all members of the RANZCP. Call the Member Welfare Support Line on 1800 941 002 (AUS) or 0800 220 784 (NZ) for support on any issue that affects your physical or mental wellbeing. Please be aware that this service operates between 8.30am – 5pm AEST Monday–Friday (or call out of hours and leave a message to receive a call-back).

The RANZCP acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land, and pays respect to Elders past, present and future.

The RANZCP Committee for Training wishes to acknowledge the lived experience of mental health difficulty amid our trainees, affiliates and Fellows, their families and friends. We recognise the immense insight this provides us in our capacity to care for others, while also asking for vigilance and thoughtful recognition of our own humanity, and the need at times to ask for assistance.