Background to the Australian Curriculum Framework for Junior Doctors

The Australian Curriculum Framework for Junior Doctors (the 'Curriculum Framework') outlines the knowledge, skills and behaviours required of prevocational doctors (PGY1, PGY2 and above) in order to work safely in Australian hospitals and other healthcare settings.

The Curriculum Framework provides a bridge between undergraduate curricula and the curricula that underpin college training programs. It provides junior doctors with an educational template that clearly identifies the core competencies and capabilities that are required to provide quality health care.

The development of the Curriculum Framework is an initiative of the Postgraduate Medical Education Councils of Australia. Under the leadership of the Confederation of Postgraduate Medical Education Councils, a writing group was established to develop a blueprint for a nationally coordinated and collaborative approach to the education and training of prevocational trainees. A rigorous process was undertaken to develop this framework including review of curricula from the United Kingdom1 and Canada2. Work undertaken by Australian Postgraduate Medical Councils345 provided a foundation for the identification of core competencies. Other sources included the National Patient Safety Education Framework6 and the CDAMS Indigenous Healthcare Curriculum7.

The Curriculum Framework was developed using a collaborative, evidence-based and inclusive approach, recognising the educational needs of all interns and junior medical officers, irrespective of their planned specialisation or training location. The Curriculum Framework will assist medical education providers, clinical teachers and employers to provide a structured and planned program of education for prevocational doctors. It will also enable the individual doctor to assess their own education and training needs and plan their own professional development activities.

The ACF was revised in 2009 and again in 2012 to ensure that this document remains responsive to the needs of prevocational doctors. Feedback on the ACF is encouraged and can be provided through the feedback mechanism on this site.

1. UK Foundation Programme Curriculum (2012) -

2. CanMEDS (2005) Report on the CanMEDS Phase IV Working Groups, The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, Ottawa.

3. PMCNSW (2004) Core Curriculum for PHY1s and PGY2s, MTRP Project, Postgraduate Medical Council of New South Wales.

4. PMCSA (2005) Intern Curriculum Framework, Education Committee, Postgraduate Medical Council of South Australia.

5. PMCWA (2006) Western Australian Junior Doctor Curriculum - Guidelines for teaching and learning: Postgraduate years 1 and 2, Postgraduate Medical Council of Western Australia.

6. Safety+Quality Council (2005) National Patient Safety Education Framework, The Australian Council for Safety and Quality in Health Care, Commonwealth of Australia.

7. CDAMS (2004) CDAMS Indigenous Health Curriculum Framework, Project Steering Committee, Committee of Deans of Australian Medical Schools.

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