Frequently asked questions
When will the Diploma be available?
The RANZCP Diploma will be available in 2024. Updates will be added to the Diploma web page when applications for enrolment become available.
How long will the Diploma take me to complete? What is the expected timeframe?
Participants can complete the Diploma in a minimum of 12 calendar months and up to 4 calendar years. The Diploma is largely competency-based and therefore the expected timeframe is highly dependent on the individual participant.
Diploma completion time is flexible to take into account:
- the variation in current knowledge, skills and experience of participants in psychiatry and mental health
- the number of patients a participant may see in their usual practice each week/month who require assessment and support in relation to their mental health
- the time busy medical practitioners will have to devote to this professional development opportunity
- the preferred learning style and approach of each participant (e.g. some may prefer to complete activities regularly each week, others within a convenient block of time)
- the interest of a participant to find and engage in clinical experience beyond that obtained during their usual employment, if required.
Will I be required to undergo mandatory placements or occupy an accredited training post during the Diploma?
The Diploma is aimed at upskilling participants who currently see patients who require assessment and/or support in relation to their mental health and allows for participants to undertake the experiential learning through their current employment.
Flexibility for participants to engage in this learning opportunity has been key throughout the development of the Diploma. Supervision meetings and review can be completed in-person or via video conference, with appropriate consent by the employer and the patient.
Does the Diploma have supervision requirements?
As participants do not need to complete a placement or occupy an accredited training post, ‘supervision’ does not have to be provided by a psychiatrist who works in the same practice or health service.
Diploma participants are required to meet regularly with an accredited Diploma Supervisor while enrolled in the Diploma, and complete progress review forms.
Diploma Supervisors (RANZCP Fellows) can be nominated by a Diploma participant, or will be paired with participants in their region, or with a similar interest. Collaboration between hospital-based psychiatry services and hospital departments for participants employed by health services (e.g. emergency medicine physicians), and arrangements through community based mental health services are also possible options.
Will there be Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)?
Professional development that participants have completed up to 5 years prior to enrolment in the Diploma may be eligible for recognition of prior learning, and therefore exemption from some requirements of the Diploma. Such learning or assessment must have been completed while a registered medical practitioner.
Former RANZCP trainees and Specialist International Medical Graduates (SIMGs) are eligible for recognition for prior learning for learning and assessment activities completed, and clinical experience undertaken, in Stages 1 and 2 of the RANZCP Fellowship Training Program.
Can trainees who exit the RANZCP Fellowship Training Program receive the Diploma?
Former RANZCP trainees are eligible for recognition for prior learning for learning and assessment activities completed, and clinical experience undertaken, in Stages 1 and 2 of the RANZCP Fellowship Training Program.
Trainees who have completed Stage 2 of the RANZCP Fellowship Training Program can apply for the Diploma to be awarded.
Will there be provision for Junior Medical Officers to complete the Diploma?
No, the eligibility criteria for the Diploma is PGY 5 or above as participants require a few years of experience as a medical practitioner to effectively engage in the learning and assessment activities and to ensure quality peers to peer learning.
Can trainees completing specialist medical training programs complete the Diploma concurrently?
Yes. If the applicant fulfils the eligibility criteria.
Applicants who are completing specialist medical training programs are advised to consult with the relevant College and be aware of any policies in relation to completing dual qualifications and the workload of each.
Will there be dispensations for Diploma graduates if they decide to complete the RANZCP Fellowship Training Program?
The aim of the Diploma is to support medical practitioners to develop enhanced skills to more effectively assess and support patients in relation to their mental health. It is not designed as a starting point for practitioners who would like to become a specialist psychiatrist.
Will there be new MBS items for the Diploma?
The need for new Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) items, especially for general practitioners and rural generalists, has been acknowledged and advocated for by members of the Diploma Expert Advisory Group and Steering Groups.
The development of the Diploma is being funded by the Australian Department of Health and Aged Care (DoHAC). The DoHAC have advised that the issue of new MBS items is beyond the Diploma scope of this education-related project.
Will Diploma graduates have access to the same MBS item numbers as RANZCP Fellows?
No. RANZCP Fellows are specialist psychiatrists and the Diploma is a continuing professional development opportunity for general and other specialist medical practitioners.
Specific MBS item numbers may be reviewed over time. The College will always advocate for its Fellows and the rigorous training that specialist psychiatrists they undertake, and safe and quality mental health care for the community.
Will specific CPD be required after completion of the Diploma?
The RANZCP Committees have discussed the importance of participants maintaining and further developing knowledge and skills with regard to providing mental health care and providing learning opportunities through the RANZCP.
For graduates of the Diploma to continue to use the post-nominals awarded, they will be required to demonstrate engagement in relevant CPD. Further information will be made available on Diploma web pages when it becomes available.
Will the Diploma be available in New Zealand?
As the development of the Diploma is funded by the Australian Government through the Psychiatry Workforce Program, only medical practitioners registered with the Medical Board of Australia will be eligible to enrol in the Diploma. However, we are optimistic that after the Diploma has been implemented that it could also be made available to medical practitioners in New Zealand.
Will Diploma graduates have RANZCP membership status?
The RANZCP will support Diploma graduates with psychiatry continuing professional development opportunities. A specific membership category for Diploma graduates in the College is currently being determined.
Will supervisors be remunerated?
Models of supervision are currently being devised and the RANZCP are discussing the option of remuneration for Fellows involved in the delivery of the Diploma.
I am a RANZCP Fellow interested in the Diploma. How do I get involved?
If you are a RANZCP Fellow interested in being involved in the development of the Diploma, becoming an accredited Diploma Supervisor or a member of future Committees that will govern the Diploma, please contact email@example.com.