We frequently receive questions about what it means to be a Supervisor and what responsibilities are involved. To avoid any delays or possible rejections from AHPRA, we encourage all of our practice and doctors to be aware of what is involved before applying.
To help our practices and doctors, we have put together all of the information you need to know about Supervision!
To meet the Supervision requirements of AHPRA, your practice will need 2 VR General Practitioners willing to Supervise with at least 3 years of General Practice experience.
A Principal Supervisor and Co-Supervisor will need to be nominated. The Principal Supervisor is primarily responsible for Supervising the IMG. When the Principal Supervisor is unavailable, they are expected to delegate supervision responsibilities to the Co-Supervisor.
If the nominated Supervisors have not previously supervised, they will be expected to complete the online education and assessment module on the supervision guidelines within 1 month of the IMG commencing.
VR General Practitioners concurrently consulting their own patients can supervise 1 IMG on Level 1 Supervision and up to 3 IMGs on Level 2 – 4 Supervision. This applies if you are acting as a Principal Supervisor and/or Co-Supervisor. So, if you are Co-Supervisor for a GP on Level 1 Supervision, you are unable to act as the Principal Supervisor for another GP under Level 1 Supervision.
If the VR General Practitioner is not consulting their own patients, they are able to supervise 4 IMGs on any level of supervision.
Supervisors are expected to provide formal and informal supervision on the basis of the IMGs Supervision level.
Formal supervision will include scheduled time for the Supervisor and IMG to discuss and reflect on the clinical practice. This can include identifying strengths and weaknesses in practice, discussion of difficult cases and reviewing medical records.
Informal supervision is provided when necessary to provide advice, guidance and support. For example, when the IMG is consulting the Supervisor after a patient consultation.
When commencing as a GP, most IMGs will start on Level 1 Supervision as AHPRA likes to ensure they will have adequate support and no patients will be harmed. Before you offer supervision, it is a good idea to check if your VR General Practitioners can adequately meet the responsibilities of supervision. Below are the following levels and the requirements of each level:
Level 1 Supervision
The Supervisor is primarily responsible for each patient seen by the IMG and must be physically present in the practice 100% of the time the IMG is practicing. Supervision via telephone or other methods is not permitted. The IMG must consult the Supervisor during or after each patient consultation prior to the patient leaving the practice.
Level 2 Supervision
The Supervisor and IMG share the responsibility of the patients. The Supervisor is expected to assess the IMGs performance and allow them the appropriate level of responsibility based on this assessment. The Supervisors must be physically present 80% of the time and available via phone when they are not on site. The IMG has to consult the Supervisor daily about the management of individuals patients.
Level 3 Supervision
The IMG takes primary responsibility of every patient and the Supervisor must ensure there are mechanisms in place to monitor the IMGs practice. The Supervisor is not required to be on site whilst the IMG is practicing but must be available via the phone.
Level 4 Supervision
The IMG is directly responsible for all patients. The Supervisor must oversee the IMG’s practice and be available for consultation if the IMG requires assistance. Additionally, the Supervisor is expected to periodically review the IMGs practice.
There is a lot of responsibility on both the Supervisor and the Supervised GP. Whilst Supervision may seem scary, this is an incredibly rewarding experience for both the GP, the Supervisor and the Practice. To help prepare for Supervision, we have offered a few tips below:
The IMG can make an excuse to leave the consultation room to consult their Supervisor about the patient’s diagnosis and management plan (i.e. “I need to grab some paper for the printer, just hold on one moment”)
Schedule the formal meetings during a quiet time in the practice
Plan a new CPD activity for the IMG to participate in every week to address a limitation identified in the previous week
PESCIs are significantly harder for Level 2 Supervision, so it is better to start your IMG on Level 1 Supervision and move up Supervision levels as appropriate
Have the IMG complete an Observership before they sit for their PESCI
Invite the IMG to sit in on consultations, so they can experience real-life cases and familiarise themselves with the Australian communication style.
Make a plan for when your IMG will sit for the AMC Clinical and what they will do to prepare for the exam.
Plan out when your Work Performance Report is due to be sent to AHPRA
Prepare an Orientation plan for when the IMG starts, this should include MBS Billing, Practice team, prescribing
Role-play cases with your IMG! This will help you to identify their strengths and limitations in clinical practice.
If you have Supervised or been Supervised, please send us your tips and suggestions at email@example.com
If you are looking for further guidance on Supervision of Limited/Provisional GPs or would like to ask further questions about the information mentioned, this is something our team can help you with. Contact us directly on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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People Medical Consulting are a team of professionals with a passion for guiding those specialising in the Medical industry to find their career pathway and settle into Australia. Working with both Australian trained and Overseas trained professionals, we have extensive experience in Recruitment of General Practitioners and Document Assistance for those requiring support with RACGP, AHPRA, 19AA and 19AB Medicare Exemptions.