Certificate of Advanced Training in Psychiatry of Old Age

Psychiatry of old ageThis page contains information about the Certificate of Advanced Training in Psychiatry of Old Age. The requirements apply to both trainees and Fellows-in-training.

Training requirements

For each Certificate of Advanced Training, there are specific training requirements (outlined below) in addition to mandatory training requirements that apply to all Certificates of Advanced Training. Specific training requirements for the Certificate of Advanced Training in Psychiatry of Old Age are:

  • Successful completion of 24 months1 FTE training in accredited psychiatry of old age training posts, including:

    • 6 months FTE in an inpatient setting
    • 6 months FTE in a community setting.

      1Up to 12 months FTE can be spent in an another clinical area of practice related to psychiatry of old age or research, which must be sought and prospectively approved on a case-by-case basis by SATPOA. Any application would need to detail how the required psychiatry of old age EPAs are to be completed.
      Up to 6 months FTE training in geriatric medicine can be prospectively approved on a case-by-case basis by SATPOA. Any application would need to detail how the required psychiatry of old age EPAs are 
      to be completed. Training in prospectively approved research rotations cannot be approved unless there is a demonstrable completion of the research criteria that the trainee had outlined in their prospective application.

  • Written learning plan (including proposed rotations) for year 1 and year 2 of training, agreed with the Director of Advanced Training (DOAT) and submitted prior to the commencement of training.
    .Learning plan template [MS Word; 44 KB]
    .Curriculum [PDF; 155 KB]

    • The learning plan will demonstrate how the Certificate of Advanced Training in Psychiatry of Old Age curriculum will be addressed.

    • The learning plan will be discussed with supervisors/DOAT and modified if required throughout training.

    • The learning plan will be reviewed at the end of training by the DOAT to ensure the objectives of training have been met.

    • If a local SATPOA-approved formal teaching program is available, it must be attended (and included as part of the learning plan) but if a formal teaching program is not available, there must be a compensatory increase in the other types of learning activities.

  • Completion of a formal psychiatry of old age teaching program, or equivalent as outlined in the
    learning plan.

    • The teaching program can be undertaken while on a break in training depending on the arrangements with the course provider and with the employing health service, where relevant.

  • Attainment of eight Stage 3 psychiatry of old age EPAs (see below); two per 6-month FTE rotation.

    • A minimum of three WBAs are required to contribute to the evidence base for each required EPA.

  • Completion of a mandatory minimum of one Observed Clinical Activity (OCA) WBA with older persons
    (> 65 years) during each 6-month FTE rotation.

    • This applies to all trainees (including transitioning trainees) and Fellows-in-training regardless of OCI pass.

    • The OCA will be recorded on the end-of-rotation In-Training Assessment (ITA) form.

    • This will satisfy the Fellowship OCA requirement for pre-Fellowship trainees.

  • Successful completion of the Faculty of Psychiatry of Old Age research project; 3000–5000 words in length. [Summative assessment]
    .Research project presentation by Prof. Gerard Byrne [PDF; 1.4 MB]
    .Research project guidelines [PDF; 37 KB]

    • A successfully completed Fellowship Scholarly Project may be used to fulfil this requirement. 

    • A doctoral thesis, research Masters or Honours thesis or an article published within the past 10 years in a recognised, peer-reviewed English-language journal that has satisfied the Fellowship Scholarly Project exemption criteria may be used to fulfil this requirement

    • Trainees and Fellows with no requirement to complete a Fellowship Scholarly Project must submit a research project to the College and will be marked by at least two Psychiatry of Old Age Psychiatrists, with a third assessor required in the event of split decision.


      • There is no fee payable for marking the projects for the Certificate program.
  • Completion of 40 discrete case summaries; 10 summaries per 6-month FTE rotation.
    .Diagnostic categories [PDF; 103 KB]
    .Case summary form [PDF; 182 KB]

    • Diagnostic categories are prescribed to ensure reasonable coverage of both high prevalence and low prevalence disorders. Requirements:

      • ​25 high prevalence disorders
      • 15 low prevalence disorders
        • At least 5 cases (of the required 40) must be seen in a consultation–liaison setting.
    • Further specification of the number of cases required within each diagnostic category has been determined by SATPOA.

    • Typed vignettes of 50–100 words are required for each case and should include: patient age and gender, presenting context, presenting symptom(s), diagnosis, management and what was learnt.

    • Supervisors must sign and date each vignette as an accurate record of the patient treated. Completed case summaries must be attached to the end-of-rotation ITA form.

  • Provision of psychotherapy to three older persons (i.e. > 65 years old) for at least six sessions each.
    .Psychotherapy form [PDF; 84 KB]

    • Completion of all three cases will fulfil the Stage 3 Fellowship psychotherapy requirement.

  • Completion of five medico-legal reports, e.g. testamentary capacity, fitness for trial, guardianship, etc.

  • Management (pre- and post-) of two older people receiving ECT.

  • Attendance at five half-day memory clinics.

  • Completion of (formative) mid-rotation and (summative) end-of-rotation ITAs.
    .Stage 3 trainee mid-rotation ITA form [PDF; 440 KB]
    .TraineeStage 3 trainee end-of-rotation ITA form [PDF; 460 KB]
    .Fellow-in-training mid-rotation ITA form [PDF; 258 KB]
    .Fellow-in-training end-of-rotation ITA form [PDF; 231 KB]

    • End-of-rotation ITA forms must be submitted within 60 days of the completion of each rotation.

  • Submission of checklist & sign off
    .Checklist & sign off  [PDF; 260 KB]

    • To be signed by the trainee, DOAT and SATPOA Chair as declaration and confirmation that the trainee has satisfactorily completed the requirements of the Certificate training program.​

    • See Certificate award process for details.

The requirements listed here were approved by the Subcommittee of Advanced Training in Psychiatry of Old Age (SATPOA) on 25 September 2015.

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.Psychiatry of old age EPAs and COE forms [PDF; 263 KB] (combined document)

EPA number

EPA title




Formal capacity assessment and report.




Demonstrate leadership skills in a multidisciplinary team setting (POA).




Assessment of older people in general medical settings.




Older adult psychopharmacology, including the use of psychotropic medications in patients with treatment-resistant depression and those with complex general medical needs.




Management of behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia.




Neuropsychological testing, neuroimaging and rating scales.




Assessing older people in complex domiciliary settings, including those with problems such as hoarding, squalor and homelessness.




Residential aged care facility assessment and management planning.




Psychological treatments in older people.



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Forms and documents – psychiatry of old age

Workplace-based Assessments (WBAs)


Please direct all enquiries to training@ranzcp.org.

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