Introduction

The prevocational phase of medical training and development encompasses the period between graduation and vocational training. This training period is an essential part of the development of a mature medical practitioner. During this period it is expected that the doctor will become an increasingly competent practitioner who is able to use the skills of history-taking, examination, and interpretation of investigations, to synthesise patient information and to formulate a patient management plan.  These skills will be mastered during the assessment and management of patients in a variety of settings including inpatient admissions, ambulatory settings, emergency care and appropriate simulated environments, whilst acting as part of a multidisciplinary team. At the successful completion of this phase of training, the prevocational doctor will have acquired the knowledge, skills and experience necessary to proceed to vocational training.

The Australian Curriculum Framework for Junior Doctors (ACF) is an educational template outlining the learning outcomes required of prevocational doctors, to be achieved through their clinical rotations, education programs and individual learning, in order to promote safe, quality health care.

The ACF is a continuing collaborative project between Postgraduate Medical Councils (PMCs) and a broad range of stakeholders under the leadership of the Confederation of Postgraduate Medical Education Councils (CPMEC) and is funded by the Australian Government’s  Department of Health and Ageing.

Using the ACF

 The ACF can be used in a variety of ways to support prevocational training and development:

Prevocational Doctors

  • The ACF can be used to guide your journey through the prevocational years. It outlines the desired learning outcomes for all prevocational doctors by the end of their PGY2 year. It is recognised that learning and skill development is a continuous process throughout the prevocational period, and that different skills may develop at different rates throughout this time.
  • The ACF is designed as a self-assessment tool to identify strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for learning and professional development. It can then be used as a basis for monitoring progress during the prevocational years.
  • When commencing new rotations, the ACF provides a useful checklist and a source for discussing the generic learning opportunities that may be available from a given term. In addition, individual terms may have specific  skills and procedures that may be learnt during the term as per term position descriptions and other educational resources..

Supervisors, educators, employers and managers:

  • The ACF can be used to review the learning opportunities offered by core and non-core rotations, or to plan the development of innovative positions in new and expanded settings.
  • The ACF can be mapped to undergraduate and vocational training curricula, prevocational education programs, position descriptions and rosters in order to identify gaps or duplication across the continuum of medical education
  • Clinical unit staff can use the ACF as a starting point for clinical teaching and professional development.
  • The ACF provides a structure for mid and end of term feedback and assessment.

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