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Fellowship Competencies

These are the core Fellowship competencies expected of all trainees on completion of the Fellowship Program, defined across the major roles expected of a contemporary psychiatrist (based on the CanMEDS roles).

Medical expert

As medical experts, psychiatrists perform comprehensive, culturally appropriate psychiatric assessments with patients of all ages. Fundamental to the practice of psychiatry is the ability to perform and report thorough mental state exams, integrating all available information to accurately formulate and diagnose patient conditions, subsequently providing an evidence-based biopsychosociocultural management plan, mindful of the impacts of patients’ physical health. Demonstrable skills in psychotherapeutic, pharmacological, biological and sociocultural interventions are requisite. Psychiatrists define and review patient outcomes, revising management as appropriate based on this review, and are committed to early intervention and recovery. Medical expertise is supported by the application of contemporary research, psychiatric research and treatment guidelines, as well as the application of mental health and related legislation in patient care.

Fellowship Competencies 

  1. Conduct a comprehensive, culturally appropriate psychiatric assessment with patients of all ages.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to perform and report a comprehensive mental state examination, which includes cognitive assessment.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to integrate available information in order to formulate the patient’s condition and make a diagnosis according to ICD or DSM.
  4. Develop, negotiate, implement and evaluate outcomes of a comprehensive evidence-based biopsychosociocultural management plan.
  5. Demonstrate skills in psychotherapeutic, pharmacological, biological and sociocultural interventions to treat patients with complex mental health problems
  6. Demonstrate the ability to integrate and appropriately manage the patient’s physical health with the assessment and management of their mental health problems.
  7. Demonstrate the ability to critically appraise and apply contemporary research, psychiatric knowledge and treatment guidelines to enhance patient outcomes.
  8. Demonstrate the ability to appropriately apply mental health and related legislation in patient care.

Communicator

As communicators, psychiatrists communicate effectively with a range of patients, carers, multidisciplinary teams, general practitioners, colleagues and other health professionals, using their interpersonal skills for the improvement of patient outcomes. Communication skills range from the ability to provide clear, accurate, contextually appropriate written communication about patients’ conditions, to being able to enter into dialogue about psychiatric issues with the wider community.

Fellowship Competencies 

  1. Demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively with a range of patients, carers, multidisciplinary teams, general practitioners, colleagues and other health professionals.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to provide clear, accurate, contextually appropriate written communication about the patient’s condition.

Collaborator

As collaborators, psychiatrists are able to work effectively with other psychiatrists, within multidisciplinary teams and with other health professionals, whilst working within relevant health systems and with government agencies. Psychiatrists are also able to work respectfully with patients, families, carers, carer groups and non-government organisations.

Fellowship Competencies 

  1. Demonstrate the ability to work respectfully with patients, families, carers, carer groups and non-government organisations.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to use interpersonal skills to improve patient outcomes.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to work effectively with other psychiatrists, within multidisciplinary teams and with other health professionals.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to work within relevant health systems and with government agencies.

Manager

As managers, psychiatrists are able to work within clinical governance structures in health-care settings, providing clinical leadership, and able to work within management structures within the health-care system; the ability to critically review and appraise different health systems and management structures is also requisite. Psychiatrists prioritise and allocate resources efficiently and appropriately, with the facility to perform appropriate management and administrative tasks within the healthcare system, applying health and other relevant legislation where appropriate. Psychiatrists also incorporate an awareness and application of information and communication technology (ICT) into their practice.

Fellowship Competencies 

  1. Demonstrate the ability to work within clinical governance structures in health-care settings.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to provide clinical leadership within management structures within the health-care system.
  3. Demonstrate awareness of the importance of review of and critical appraisal of different health systems and governance/management structures.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to prioritise and allocate resources efficiently and appropriately.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to perform appropriate management and administrative tasks within the health-care system.

Health advocate

As health advocates, psychiatrists use their expertise and influence to advocate on behalf of individual patients, their families and carers, as well as more broadly, on an epidemiological level. Psychiatrists lessen the impact of mental illness through their understanding of and application of the principles of prevention, promotion and early intervention.

Fellowship Competencies

  1. Demonstrate the ability to use expertise and influence to advocate on behalf of patients, their families and carers.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to understand and apply the principles of prevention, promotion and early intervention to reduce the impact of mental illness.

Scholar

As scholars, psychiatrists are committed to life-long learning, having the ability to critically appraise and apply psychiatric and other health information for the benefit of patients. Psychiatrists are able to transfer information to colleagues, other health professionals, students, patients, families and carers and are able to facilitate the learning of colleagues, trainees and other health professionals, contributing to the development of mental health knowledge.

Fellowship Competencies

  1. Demonstrate commitment to life-long learning
  2. Demonstrate the ability to educate and encourage learning in colleagues, other health professionals, students, patients, families and carers
  3. Contribute to the development of knowledge in the area of mental health.

Professional

As professionals, psychiatrists’ commitment to their patients, profession and society is demonstrated through their adherence to ethical conduct and practice, complying with all relevant regulatory requirements, at all times comporting themselves with integrity, honesty, compassion and respect for diversity. Psychiatrists actively engage in reflective practice, giving due consideration to feedback received from others. Psychiatrists are expected to contribute to the profession beyond their commitment to patient care, whilst mindful of the necessity of maintaining a responsible equilibrium between personal and professional priorities in the pursuit of sustainable practice and well-being.

Fellowship Competencies

  1. Demonstrate ethical conduct and practice in relation to patients, the profession and society.
  2. Demonstrate integrity, honesty, compassion and respect for diversity.
  3. Demonstrate reflective practice and the ability to use and provide feedback constructively.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to balance personal and professional priorities to ensure sustainable practice and well-being.
  5. Demonstrate compliance with relevant professional regulatory bodies.

 Related documents

  • Learning Outcomes [PDF; 238 KB]
    General learning outcomes for each stage of training (contributing to attainment of each of the Fellowship competencies mentioned above). These are minimum expectations of trainees and will be assessed in the In-Training Assessments.
  • Developmental Descriptors [PDF; 249 KB]
    Describes the skill level expected of trainees at the end of each stage of training. These can be used by supervisors to help determine if a trainee is performing at the appropriate standard. The Developmental Descriptors are not designed to be an exhaustive list and are not intended to replace a supervisor's best judgement.