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Training and Assessment Newsletter - April 2017

In this issue:

Fellowship program
Trainee Representative Committee

Fellowship program

Reminder: applications for individual training trajectory adjustments

Trainees are reminded they may submit an application to the Committee for Training (CFT) to adjust their individual training trajectory due to exceptional circumstances prior to approaching the deadlines as depicted on the Trainee Progress Trajectory.

Applications can be made at any point during training and should include:

  • the reason(s) for the application
  • a plan outlining their proposed course of action to complete the Fellowship requirements
  • any other relevant information (e.g. medical certificate, references, statements showing how trainee has progressed to date)
  • Correspondence from the supervisors/Director of Training (DOT)/Branch Training Committee (BTC); if trainee does not want to seek DOT/BTC support, they should express their reasons in the application.

Any applications for individual consideration will be considered by the CFT on a case by case basis.

Please see the Failure to Progress Policy for more details:

Reminder: When to submit end-of-rotation ITA for part time trainees?

In order for the College to track a trainee’s progress, an end-of-rotation ITA must be submitted at the end of each rotation i.e. every 6 calendar months regardless of a trainee’s full time equivalent (FTE) status.

Trainees training at less than full time must achieve a minimum of one EPA (with a minimum of 3 WBAs as an evidence base) per 6 calendar months.

Please see the Part-time Training Policy for more details:

Reminder: Requirements for the first rotation of Stage 1 Training

Trainees in their first six month rotation are able to pass the rotation provided that the end-of-rotation ITA has been passed and one Observed Clinical Activity (OCA) has been completed.

Trainees are not required to achieve any EPAs in their first six month rotation due to the ‘exception rule’ but are reminded to consider and plan for the number of EPAs they must be entrusted with throughout their training.

Note: if a trainee does achieve the two Stage 1 EPAs in their first rotation, they must achieve two further EPAs in their second rotation because the exception rule does not apply.

Please see Stage 1 Mandatory Requirements Policy for more details:

Reminder: EPA attainment rules

Trainees are reminded of the following EPA rules:

  • If training at full time, trainees are required achieve a minimum of two EPAs and a maximum of six EPAs per 6 month’s FTE training. If trainees wish to attain more than six EPAs in a 6 FTE month rotation, they must discuss this beforehand with their DOT and supervisor.
  • If training at less than full time, must achieve a minimum of one EPA per 6 calendar months.
  • Stage 2 General Psychiatry or Psychotherapy EPAs can be achieved in any Stage 1 or 2 rotation although, they must be achieved at a proficient standard.
  • Trainees must attain the two rotation-based EPAs in each 6-month FTE rotation. If they have already attained those specific EPAs, they may select two EPAs for the rotation jointly with their supervisor and DOT.
  • Because Adult has more than two rotation-based EPAs to choose from, any two of the Stage 2 Adult EPAs must be completed during the first (elective) Stage 2 Adult rotation. Trainees may then select any two Stage 2 EPAs in subsequent Adult rotations jointly with their supervisor and DOT (e.g. General Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, Addiction EPAs, etc.).
  • Trainees are encouraged to plan with their supervisor and/or Director or Training early in the rotation the EPAs they aim to achieve in the rotation.

A handy tips for EPA document is available on the College website, please contact the training team for any queries on

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March 2017 Essay-style and April 2017 OSCE Candidates

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

Results for the OSCE and Essay style examination are scheduled to be released on Monday 8 May 2017 on the College website at 5.00pm.

Please note Trainees who have outstanding Training Fees will have their results withheld until the training fee has been paid and received by the College.

If you believe you have outstanding training fees, please contact the Finance Department of the College. 

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Trainee Representative Committee


If you type “losing accreditation status training hospital” into Google News search you will find dozens of news articles outlining how training positions across Australia and New Zealand have lost training status over the past few years. Most specialties have been affected at one time or another.

The net effect is often that what used to be a registrar position becomes a non-training house officer position, and a training position is lost. Common reasons why this might happen include a lack of adequate supervision from consultants, excessive workload without sufficient junior staff support, or unsafe work environments.

How do these jobs lose accreditation status? Essentially a College Accreditation Committee decides that a trainee cannot get adequate training in that position, and they may “delist” it, if other measures fail to effect change. Often the job then is left to a poor overworked house officer with even less supervision.

One of the roles of the Colleges, including the RANZCP, is to monitor the suitability of training services to ensure that basic standards are being met. This means that your job, your mental health service, and your formal education program all come under regular review by a branch training committee and the RANZCP Accreditation Committee.

The Trainee Representative Committee (TRC) has a registrar representative on that committee to advocate for trainees. We advocate on specific issues where we think the training experience can be improved, especially around issues affecting safety and welfare. This might include issues like: what is a reasonable workload for a first year registrar to manage on an inpatient ward? Is formal education meeting people’s needs? Are complaints from trainees being fully investigated?

One element to this process is the five yearly program accreditation site visits. A team of accreditors (usually two consultants, one registrar and the College Accreditation Officer) from outside the service fly in, seek feedback from registrars, supervisors and management, try to make sense of it all, and provide feedback.  Where they feel a registrar position is unworkable as it stands, they will ask for changes to be made in line with the College’s accreditation standards.

You have the opportunity to join an accreditation site visit by contacting the committee secretariat through the Melbourne office and asking to be put on the list of trainee site visitors. This is a great way to get involved in your College and see a service from another perspective.

David Barison

Queensland Representative

Trainee Representative Committee 

Trainee representatives for College committees

Nominations are now open for a trainee to represent trainees on various College committees.

These committees include:

Portfolios include governance and risk; membership engagement; education; and practice, policy and partnerships.

Committees – Examinations; Training; Accreditation and Education Evaluation, Monitoring and Reporting, 

Subcommittees -  Advanced Training in Addiction; Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Consultation Liaison Psychiatry

Committees- Professional Practice; Research; Therapeutic Interventions and Evidence Based Practice; Community Collaboration; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Mental Health and Te Kaunihera.

Addiction Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Consultation Liaison Psychiatry, Forensic Psychiatry, Psychiatry of Old Age and Psychotherapy.

Neuropsychiatry, Rural Psychiatry, Social and Cultural Psychiatry, History, Philosophy and Ethics Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Forensic Psychiatry, Leadership and Management, Psychiatry of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Perinatal and Infant Psychiatry, Young Mental Health, Electroconvulsive Therapy and Neuro-Stimulation, Private Practioners’ and Early Career Psychiatrists.

The effectiveness of the College is largely dependent on the input of its members and representatives and their commitment and leadership via these committees. The RANZCP President, Prof. Malcolm Hopwood, the Board and the Trainee Representative Committee (TRC) acknowledge the valuable and substantial contributions trainees make to College life, without which the College would not be the successful organisation it is.

If you are interested in nominating, please visit the College website to submit your electronic nomination.  Note: You do not need to be a member of the Trainee Representative Committee to nominate, and may submit a nomination for more than one committee.

As per governance regulations and procedures, nominations will be considered and endorsed by the TRC, with appointment made by the relevant committee. Successful applicants, if not a member of the TRC, will be expected to report back to and work closely with the TRC in order to be fully supported and to best represent registrars bi-nationally.

The President and the TRC encourage trainees who wish to enhance their involvement with the College, to nominate for a committee. This involvement is an opportunity to contribute to one of the College’s strategic objectives of enhancing the mental health of Australians and New Zealanders through the leadership of high quality psychiatric care and advancing the profession of psychiatry.

Should you have any questions, please contact Elizabeth Tennant by Ph: +61 (0) 3 9601 4991 or by email

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RANZCP 2017 Congress Adelaide

The RANZCP Congress, which will be held in Adelaide from 30 April to 4 May 2017, at the Adelaide Convention Centre is shaping up to be a memorable event. With over 120 registrars already registered, make sure you register now to secure your place.

The RANZCP Congress will be held in Adelaide from 30 April to 4 May 2017, at the Adelaide Convention Centre.

Register online today.

The full Congress program, based around the theme ‘Speaking our Minds. Telling our Stories’, is available on the conference website.

Highlights of the Congress program for trainees include:

  • Meet the TRC. A confidential lunchtime session with the Trainee Representative Committee (TRC) to get feedback from registrars on any issues of concern. Scheduled for Monday 1st May at 12:30pm – 1:30pm.
  • Leadership in Psychiatry: Are Leaders Born or Made? A symposium that aims to explore core skills of leadership by discussing individual experiences of trainees in attempting the task of developing these skills.  Scheduled for Monday 1st May at 1:30pm – 3:00pm.
  • Integration of research into psychiatric practice: A guide for new investigators and the scholarly project. A symposium targeted at both registrars and Fellows who have an interest in better integration of research with their clinical practice. The session will be of particular assistance to registrars planning their approach to the Scholarly Project. Scheduled for Tuesday 2nd May at 1:30pm – 3:00pm.
  • There will be a designated Registrar Zone in the exhibition area of the Convention Centre, for trainees to meet up and network. Members of the TRC will be present in the area throughout the day and special guests will attend at specific times.
  • A special registrar social event will occur on the Tuesday evening at NOLA from 6:30pm – 9:30pm. Tickets for this event can be purchased here.
  • Registrars will also have the opportunity to meet and chat informally with College Fellows during a ‘speed dating’ event that will take place on Tuesday evening. Express your interest in this event here.

Other sessions that may be of interest to trainees include:

  • Pre-Congress workshop 1: Approaching the Critical Essay Question (CEQ) and the Modified Essay Questions (MEQ) in the RANZCP Essay-Style Examination
  • Pre-Congress workshop 2: Approaching the RANZCP Scholarly Project Assessment
  • Pre-Congress workshop 12: Leadership and management: Trainee and early career psychiatrist workshop
  • Pre-Congress workshop 13: Approaching the RANZCP Psychotherapy Written Case Assessment
  • Pre-Congress workshop 14: Approaching the RANZCP Objective Structured Clinical Examination (“OSCE”) Assessment (Clinical Examination)

Trainees can register for the pre-Congress workshops via the conference registration portal. A number of the workshops listed above are free of charge.

View the full Congress program.

Complementing the scientific program will be an impressive social program including the Congress Gala Dinner which will be held at the beautiful and historic Adelaide Oval.

Visit the conference website for more information. 

Section of Child & Adolescent Forensic Psychiatry Conference 2017 – Save the date

The Organising Committee is pleased to advise that the Section of Child & Adolescent Forensic Psychiatry Conference 2017 will be held at Rydges Melbourne from Friday 4 August to Saturday 5 August 2017.  Registrations will open in the near future and a special discounted rate will be available for RANZCP Trainees.

Speakers will include Dr John Kasinathan and Dr Scott Harden, who will jointly present an update on the myriad of commissions of enquiry titled “Enquiring about Commissions”.  Dr Kasinathan will also present a case study entitled “Strange Insularity” and Dr Harden will present on “Musings on psychopathic features in young people”.  Dr Kasinathan and Dr Harden will also be joined by a number of other engaging keynote and invited speakers.

Dr Scott Harden
Dr Harden is a child, adolescent and adult forensic psychiatrist. He is appointed as Medical Director Forensic Child and Youth Mental Health Services for Children’s Health Queensland, Assisting Psychiatrist Mental Health Court, member of the (compensation) Medical Assessments Tribunal and has a private medicolegal practice in the family, civil and criminal court with a particular interest in sexual offenders.  Dr Harden also maintains a private clinical practice with interests in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Anxiety Disorders.

Dr John Kasinathan
Dr Kasinathan is a forensic, child and adolescent psychiatrist, a conjoint lecturer with the UNSW and visiting fellow with the Centre for Mental Health Research at the ANU. His specialist appointments are as Clinical Director Custodial Adolescent Mental Health and clinical leader for the high-secure Adolescent Unit in the Forensic Hospital, Sydney (the only Unit of its kind in Australia); and the Forensic Mental Health Service and CAMHS in Canberra.  Dr Kasinathan’s research and clinical interests include the appraisal of imminent aggression and re-offending in mentally ill adolescents, interpersonal drivers for self-harm in prisoners, psychopharmacology addressing violence in adolescents and adult forensic patients, and the management of sexual deviance in youth.

The organising committee are currently working on a dynamic and exciting program which will be released in the coming months. 

To express your interest, or for more information, please email the conference office

Save the Date: Faculty of Psychotherapy Conference 2017

The Organising Committee is pleased to advise that the Faculty of Psychotherapy Conference 2017 will be held at Ayers Rock Resort in Uluru from Friday 15 September to Sunday 17 September 2017.  Registrations will open in the near future and a special discounted rate will be available for RANZCP Trainees.

We are delighted to have Pamela Nathan as our keynote speaker. Pamela is a forensic and clinical psychologist and a psychoanalytic psychotherapist in private practice in Melbourne.  She is also Director of CASSE’s Aboriginal Australian Relations Program. Pamela has worked in community mental health services, hospital inpatient units, prisons, forensic facilities and courts. Pamela will also be joined by a number of other local speakers.

The organising committee are currently working on a dynamic and exciting program and will be released in the coming months.

A range of accommodation options are available at Ayers Rock Resort and we encourage delegates to book early in order to secure your preferred option.

Book your accommodation online now

As Uluru is such a popular tourist destination, we would also encourage you to look into flight options early.

To express your interest, or for more information, please email the conference office

Save the Date: Faculty of Psychiatry of Old Age Conference 2017

The Organising Committee is pleased to announce that the Faculty of Psychiatry of Old Age Conference 2017 will be held at the Millennium Hotel Queenstown, New Zealand from Thursday 9 November to Friday 10 November, with the Advanced Trainee day on Saturday 11 November 2017.  Registrations will open in the coming months and a special discounted rate will be available for RANZCP Trainees.

This year’s conference will be held in association with the International Psychogeriatric Association (IPA) and Pre-conference workshops will be held on Wednesday 8 November.

Keynote Speakers
We are delighted to welcome Professor Robin Jacoby and Professor Henry Brodaty as our keynote speakers, who are well-known as erudite researchers, teachers and leaders in our speciality.

Professor Robin Jacoby
Professor Jacoby entered psychiatry training at the Bethlem Royal and Maudsley Hospitals in London in 1974 and spent a period in full-time research at the Institute of Psychiatry from 1976-79. His first consultant post was as Senior Lecturer at the Middlesex Hospital Medical School (1980-83) before taking up a consultant appointment at the Bethlem Royal and Maudsley Hospitals from 1983 to 1993. In 1994 he was appointed Clinical Reader in Old Age Psychiatry at the University of Oxford, and Professor in 1998. He has been Professor Emeritus of Old Age Psychiatry at the University of Oxford since 2005.

Professor Henry Brodaty
Professor Henry Brodaty was the Foundation President of the NSW Australian Alzheimer’s Association in 1982. In 1988, he became national President of Alzheimer’s Australia and in 2002, Chairman of Alzheimer’s Disease International, the world-wide federation of (now) 75 national Alzheimer’s Associations. Since 1990, he has been the inaugural Professor of Psychogeriatrics at the University of NSW and the Foundation Director of the Academic Department for Old Age Psychiatry at both the Prince of Wales and the Prince Henry Hospitals

The organising committee is currently working on a dynamic and exciting program based around the theme “Capacity, Creativity and Ageing in Clinical Practice” which will be released in the coming months. 
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 is also plenty of hiking and biking trails, guided tours, boat cruises, scenic flights or spa and wellness centres to make the most of your time in the region.

To express your interest, or for more information, please email the conference office

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Thinking on writing a critical essay, by Lillian Lywan Ng

This article recently published in one of the RANZCP’s journals, the Australasian Psychiatry, will be of interest to trainees.

Objective: To provide a strategy for writing a critical essay for the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists examination using a sample question.

Conclusion: To prepare for writing a critical essay, candidates are advised to read widely and critically, to practise writing essays with a clear structure under examination conditions and seek constructive critique from colleagues. This will help them to write succinctly and develop a reasoned argument that is relevant to the quotation.

Trainees can access all Australasian Psychiatry articles by logging in to the College’s journal page using their College login details.

>Access journal articles [member log-in required].

Once logged in: to view the article ‘Thinking on writing a critical essay’, click on ‘Browse’, then ‘Online first’, then scroll down.

For assistance with your member log-in, please contact the College on, 1800 337 448 (toll-free within Australia), or 0800 443 827 (toll-free within New Zealand).  

Podcast: practice modified essay question

A new podcast is now available online via the Australasian Psychiatry journal to assist trainees in practising modified essay questions.

The Editorial Committee of Australasian Psychiatry hopes to engage trainees by providing practice Modified Essay Questions (MEQ) and providing some guidance as to how best to answer these questions. The discussants are Andrew Amos, Lisa Lampe, Louise Newman, George Halasz and Shuichi Suetani.

>Access essay question online

Webinar now available on Learnit: Training Program Basics

Are you a new RANZCP trainee wondering where to get started with the College’s training program? Learn how to navigate the program by watching the first episode of the new webinar series.

Run by the RANZCP, this is the first of a dozen webinars which will be held throughout the year and will cover all aspects of the training program.

This first webinar provides participants with an overview of the training program, including:

  • introduction to the RANZCP training program
  • setting-up
  • where to get information
  • what is supervision?
  • what College committees / bodies are important?
  • which documents need to be read?
  • real world experience by trainees.

To watch this webinar simply login to Learnit using your College username and password.

The next episodes will focus on Stage 1 and Stage 2 of the training program. More details to come soon. 

Latest Training and Assessment Update

The College has collated the most recent data on training numbers, assessments, CPD participation, Specialist pathways and workforce numbers. This data is for the calendar year of 2016.

In summary:

  • 256 new trainees started in 2016
  • The College has 1442 trainees across Stage 1, Stage 2 and Stage 3
  • There are 174 candidates on specialist pathways
  • 94% of Fellows are participating in College CPD
  • There are 5977 Fellows, trainees, Specialist International Medical Graduates (SIMGs) and Affiliates at the College
  • Pass rates for all assessments are also provided

New progression data is also included for the first time.

The report can be found on the College website at

5-minute Medicinal Cannabis Survey

Click on the hyperlink, above, to complete a brief (5-to-7-minute), confidential and anonymous Scholarly Project survey about your knowledge of, attitudes towards and concerns about medicinal cannabinoids. The survey is part of a study being funded by the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics at the University of Sydney. Results will be used to guide the development of training materials and educational programs. More information can be found in the Participant Information Statement, at the start of the survey. 

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