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The ICGP’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) programme, which allows doctors to enter GP training from another specialty with recognition of previously assessed training, has welcomed 27 trainees since it began in 2017.
The College’s RPL programme, developed by the ICGP with the support of HSE National Doctors Training and Planning (NDTP), has enabled a training pathway of three rather than four years, with one year accredited — making the option attractive for those who want to switch from another specialty.
According to Dr Karena Hanley, ICGP Director of Training, there have been between seven and 13 successful applicants to the programme each year since 2017. All successful applicants are still in training.
“It was always intended that RPL trainees would be a small number of trainees, for whom the training body would endeavour to credit a year of training,” said Dr Hanley. “We request that each training scheme nationally take at least one RPL.”
Generally, there have been about 30 applicants each year, some of whom did not meet the application criteria. A total of 30 applicants over three years have been offered GP training through RPL, of whom 27 have entered training.
“The credit of one year of training should attract into GP training doctors who commenced a career in hospital medicine with significant achievements, but who subsequently change their mind. We believe this is happening,” stated Dr Hanley in comments issued to the Medical Independent in late 2019.
She said that the RPL programme criteria was being expanded in the 2020 intake to include doctors with basic specialist training in paediatrics who completed appropriate assessments. This would shorten GP training from four years to 3.5 years or 3.8 years (depending on the GP scheme).