COVID-19: Impact on College Activities

The College’s highest priority is to ensure the health and safety of our members, staff and patients. Radiologists and radiation oncologists are a precious health resource and will be critical in fighting the epidemic and supporting the health system. The College will support governments’ containment efforts in minimising the spread and flattening the disease curve over time.

This page contains further advice and information for members about the impact of COVID-19 on CPD, education and training, events and other College activities.

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Education and Training: Guidelines for decision-making | Update on the release of exam results
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Advice from the MCNZAdvice from the MBAWhat does this mean for members?
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Annual Scientific Meeting 

Education and Training

Update on the release of exam results

Last updated: Tuesday 3 November 2020

RANZCR exams for clinical radiology and radiation oncology trainees have commenced under a revised timetable and format following a necessary postponement due to COVID-19 restrictions.

RANZCR understands that trainees will be affected by the changes to the examination timetable. Our intention has always been to support our trainees to progress their careers, holding exams this year, with the safety of all examination participants at the forefront of decision making.

All candidates have been advised that due to the revised examination timetable, examination results will not be available until mid-January. This is due to the higher than usual number of candidates. The delay in the release of examination results will impact on the processing of Fellowship applications for those who have successfully completed all components of training. Applications for Fellowship will be processed as expeditiously as possible after they are received with Fellowship letters expected to be sent out by the end of February.

RANZCR acknowledges that the timing may impact some graduates’ placements and other future workplace arrangements. We ask that employers be mindful of these impacts and grant as much flexibility as possible to our graduates in these circumstances.

Guidelines for decision-making related to COVID-19 Crisis

Last updated: Monday 8 December 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many facets of the RANZCR's training programs and is expected to continue to do so for some time.

This document sets out the overarching priorities, principles and strategies, as at Monday, 30 March 2020, to guide decision-making on training and accreditation, assessments, examinations and other training activities during the COVID-19 pandemic, and in its aftermath.

The College will regularly review and revise these guidelines , particularly the stipulated timeframes, in line with government advice and the status of the COVID-19 situation in our region.

Our Priorities

In developing this guidance, RANZCR has sought to:

  • Act in the best interests of patient safety, quality of care and the community
  • Protect the wellbeing of trainees and trainers
  • Maintain a balance between the provision of clinical services and the pedagogic objectives of the training experience.

Our Principles 

  1. RANZCR will act to serve the interests of all stakeholders (Fellows, educational affiliates, trainees, international medical graduates (IMGs) and College staff), as well as the jurisdictions and healthcare systems in which they work.
  2. RANZCR will act consistently, fairly and transparently across Faculties and health jurisdictions.
  3. RANZCR will seek to ensure, as far as is practicable, that trainees continue their progress through the training programs at the usual pace.
  4. RANZCR recognises that considerations for clinical service provision may override those of training, and that training and IMG placements will be significantly affected for a period of at least 12 months.
  5. RANZCR recognises that the clinical service provision and training experiences that trainees will have during the COVID-19 pandemic will be different from normal but nonetheless professionally valuable; this departure from normality will be taken into account when evaluating trainees’ progress.

Our Strategies 

  1. RANZCR will suspend all face-to-face educational and training activities until further notice; instead the College is considering alternative methods of educational delivery and the appropriateness of the timing of such activities.
  2. RANZCR will consider alternative methods of examination delivery, while ensuring capacity to deliver and maintain the integrity of the examination process.
  3. RANZCR will suspend all training site accreditation and reaccreditation visits for a period of at least 12 months and facilitate alternative approaches to address urgent accreditation issues as they arise.
  4. RANZCR will be flexible when considering the impacts of changes to the training environment on the ability of trainees to fulfil their training requirements, for a period of at least 12 months
  5. RANZCR will not penalise trainees if they are unable to meet training requirements (such as work-based assessments, experiential training requirements and logbooks) within prescribed timeframes, for a period of at least 12 months. However Trainees must complete all training requirements in order to obtain the Fellowship.
  6. RANZCR has a flexible training program and will continue to be supportive of extended time in training, if required, to help ensure training requirements are fulfilled.
  7. RANZCR recognises that local jurisdictional and personal issues may affect the progress of individual trainees and will therefore manage each trainee’s unique circumstances through its Consideration of Special Circumstances policy. The trainee’s experience and associated impacts will, by this process, be recorded and managed accordingly.
  8. RANZCR suspend all IMG assessments and consider alternative methods of assessment delivery and the appropriateness of the timing of such methods, for a period of at least six months.
  9. RANZCR will extend the timeline for IMGs to complete assessment pathways by up to 12 months, if needed and will manage these circumstances through its Consideration of Special Circumstances policy.
  10. RANZCR will advise all stakeholders of major training decisions with at least three months' notice. These decisions will include the timing and format of examinations, IMG assessments and accreditation processes.
  11. RANZCR will advocate with government where appropriate to minimise adverse impact on trainees' progress and help ensure a sustainable and flexible workforce.

 

Changes to CPD Requirements

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, both the Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ) and the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) have acknowledged that that COVID-19 work will impact on the ability of all doctors to maintain CPD requirements in the coming months:

Advice from the Medical Board of Australia (MBA)

The MBA released an update to Australian members on 30 March 2020. 

The MBA acknowledged that COVID-19 work will impact on the ability of all doctors to maintain CPD requirements in the coming months. They have decided to not take action if you cannot meet the CPD registration standard when you renew your medical registration this year.

As we move into 2021, the MBA will keep a close watch on the situation to determine whether the 2021 renewal year is affected. The College will work with the MBA on a strategy to resume CPD requirements and associated audit activity.

Read the full update

Advice from the Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ)

MCNZ shared an update to all practising doctors in New Zealand on 26 March 2020.  

The MCNZ acknowledged that COVID-19 work will impact on the ability of all doctors to fully meet the recertification programme requirements in the coming months. They have decided to exempt all General and vocationally-registered doctors from recertification programme requirements until 28 February 2021.

Similarly, doctors with general or vocational registration who returned to practice from 25 March 2020, will not be required to enrol in the Inpractice or College programme until that date.

MCNZ staff will not be auditing doctors for compliance with recertification programmes over the coming 11 months, but will expect doctors to be enrolled and actively participating in their required programmes from 1 March 2021. As we move closer to 28 February 2021, the College will work with MCNZ on a strategy to resume recertification programmes and associated audit activity.

Read the full update

What does this mean for members? 

The College will support members by applying the following reduced CPD program requirements. The reduced requirements are in line with those previously communicated by the MCNZ. The College will work closely with the MBA to ensure members are supported during this period. The College’s current CPD program operates on a triennium basis, with 2020 being the middle year of the 2019-2021 triennium. 

The College will not be conducting its annual compliance audit on CPD for 2020​.

Revised RANZCR CPD Requirement

  • By the end of the 2021 calendar year, RANZCR radiation oncology members are required to have accrued 130 CPD points (normally 180 CPD points)
  • This is based on the RANZCR guideline included in the 2019-2021 CPD Handbooks regarding exemption which details pro rata CPD points are calculated at 5 points per month with a maximum of 50 pro rata CPD points in a calendar year. In this instance, a 50-point exemption will apply
  • There will be no annual requirements for a minimum number of CPD points to be met.

Summary

  • Radiation oncology members will be exempt for 11 months (or equivalent to 50 points)
  • Radiation oncology members need to accrue 130 CPD points by the end of 2021.
  • There are no annual requirements for a minimum number of CPD points to be met in 2020 or 2021
  • For further information see the Radiation Oncology CPD Handbook 2019-2021 

Revised RANZCR CPD Requirement

  • By the end of the 2021 calendar year, RANZCR clinical radiology members are required to have accrued 125 CPD points (normally 180 CPD points). This is based on the RANZCR guideline included in the 2019-2021 CPD Handbooks regarding exemption which details pro rata CPD points are calculated at 5 points per month with a maximum of 60 pro rata CPD points in a calendar year. In this instance, a 55-point exemption will apply (based on 11-month CPD exemption).
  • There will be no annual requirements for a minimum number of CPD points to be met.

Summary

  • Clinical radiology members will be exempt for 11 months (or equivalent to 55 points)
  • Clinical radiology members need to accrue 125 CPD points by the end of 2021.
  • There are no annual requirements for a minimum number of CPD points to be met in 2020 or 2021
  • For further information see the Clinical Radiology CPD Handbook 2019-2021.

Whilst we recognise there is disruption or cancellation of many educational events scheduled in 2020, we encourage members that if you are undertaking any type of CPD activities, you are still able to log these in the learning portal and they will still count toward your triennium total.

Some examples include web-based learning, participation in clinical meetings, teaching, journal reading and research, to name a few. 

Current CPD Compliance Audit – 2019 calendar year

RANZCR audits compliance of CPD on a calendar year basis as well as on a triennium basis. We are in the final stage of compliance checking for CPD completed during the 2019 calendar year and are currently contacting members to assist with this process. We understand this is a busy time for members and College staff can assist this process by inputting documentation on behalf of members.

If you have any questions about CPD or are experience any difficulties with your CPD, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

College Events

Last updated 8 May 2020

RANZCR 2020 Annual Scientific Meeting postponement

The 2020 RANZCR Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) was scheduled to run from 15-18 October at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. Based on guidelines provided by the government, the College's COVID-19 Taskforce’s recommendations and in consultation with the ASM Convenors, the College Board has made the difficult decision to postpone the RANZCR 2020 ASM.

This has been done bearing in mind that social distancing restrictions may continue well into the end of 2020 with strict restrictions on international travel as well as mass gatherings. The College is also aware that a surge of patients is expected at health facilities from those patients who have delayed seeking treatment during the quarantine period and this may impact on our members and their ability to take leave and join the ASM.

Information for those who submitted abstracts:

  • The ASM Committee will review all abstracts already submitted to the College, with a view to potentially use some for the 2021 ASM or for future events held by the College. Our Conveners and the ASM Committee are working through all available options and we will communicate them in due course. 
  • RANZCR trainees who have submitted abstracts as part of their training program requirements and are immediately affected are asked to submit a Consideration of Special Circumstances request as outlined in the relevant policy.