Certificate of Postgraduate Training in Clinical Psychiatry (Certificate of Psychiatry)
Name change from Diploma to Certificate
After guidance from the committees developing the program, and approval from the RANZCP Board, the Diploma of Psychiatry is changing its name to the Certificate of Postgraduate Training in Clinical Psychiatry (Certificate of Psychiatry).
The RANZCP was required to change the name of the program due to Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011. All medical colleges using the protected titles of the Australian Qualifications Framework are required to make this amendment to their program names to comply with the Act.
About the Certificate
The Certificate of Postgraduate Training in Clinical Psychiatry (Certificate of Psychiatry) is a new course offered by the RANZCP in 2024 that will enable medical practitioners in Australia to learn new skills in mental health assessment and support.
It provides an introduction to foundational concepts in psychiatry, under clinical supervision by experienced psychiatrists.
The aim of the Certificate is to reduce workforce pressures and improve access to skilled mental health support in the Australian community.
It is designed for:
- general practitioners
- rural generalists
- emergency medicine physicians
- other medical practitioners who assess and support the mental health of their patients.
While the Certificate is not a pathway into specialist psychiatry training, it will provide participants with training in core mental health assessment and therapeutic skills that can be applied to all age groups, populations, and mental health problems or diagnoses.
The Certificate will optimise patient care by providing a continuing professional development (CPD) opportunity to support you in developing enhanced skills to provide mental health care in our communities.
You may apply to the Certificate if you are:
- registered with the Medical Board of Australia (MBA)
- PGY 5 or above
- currently employed and working with patients who require assessment and support for their mental health.
Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) and Royal Australian College of General Practitioner (RACGP) trainees may apply to complete the Certificate during specialist training if their supervising psychiatrist is willing to supervise them:
- ACRRM Advance Specialist Training in Mental Health (AST), or
- RACGP Rural Generalist (RG) Fellowship Additional Rural Skills Training (ARST)
Practitioners completing short-term specialist training are not eligible to enrol.
The Certificate is competency based and can be completed at your own pace.
You must spend a minimum of 12 months in the program, and you have up to four years to complete all the requirements.
The curriculum focuses on developing skills in all populations and age groups.
It provides education and training in foundation concepts of psychiatry, psychiatric assessment and interventions.
On successful completion of the Certificate, within your primary area of practice you will be able to:
- conduct a psychiatric interview
- perform and report a comprehensive mental state examination
- apply principles of prevention and early intervention to reduce the impact of mental illness on your patients
- develop formulation and differential diagnosis according to ICD or DSM
- incorporate principles of trauma informed care, recovery and self determination to facilitate person-centred care and supported decision making
- demonstrate skills in psychological, sociocultural and pharmacological interventions to assist patients with their recovery
- assess and manage psychiatric emergencies, with due regard for safety and risk.
The Certificate is comprised of four core areas, with an elective that can be related to your interests.
Core learning focuses on the development of generalisable knowledge and skills which can be applied to various patient presentations.
- Assessment of new mental health presentations.
- Assessment and management of risk.
- Psychosocial interventions.
- Assessment and care plans for patients within a special interest area.
Assessments and learning tasks
During the program, you may complete:
- online learning modules
- structured feedback exercises
- peer discussion meetings
- clinical observations of psychiatry consultations
- written reflections, a case logbook and portfolio
- elective oral presentation.
You will be supported in your learning by a Certificate supervisor.
You may nominate a psychiatrist who works with you to become an accredited Certificate supervisor or request that a supervisor is allocated to you.
During the Certificate you must maintain employment as a medical practitioner and during this time, consult with patients who require assessment and/or support for their mental health.
There will be a fee to enrol in the Certificate, initially to cover the first 24 months. If you complete the requirements sooner, or need more time this amount may vary.
The fees are still being finalised and will be published later in 2023.
The Certificate of Postgraduate Training in Clinical Psychiatry (Certificate of Psychiatry) will be available in 2024.
The RANZCP has received funding under the Psychiatry Workforce Program (PWP) to develop a Certificate of Postgraduate Training in Clinical Psychiatry (Certificate of Psychiatry).
The PWP is an Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care initiative that has been introduced to address mental health workforce maldistribution and shortages. The Program aims to improve access to high quality mental health care for all Australians.
The Certificate is vocational training for graduate medical practitioners and is not a higher education award in accordance with the Australian Qualifications Framework.
Please note this information is subject to change based on ongoing consultation and in accordance with RANZCP governance review and procedures.