Consultation for 2022 RACS Hospital Training Post (HTP) Accreditation Standards - NOW OPEN !!
RACS is currently undertaking a quality improvement project to review the accreditation standards and the process of accreditation.
The new standards will be piloted in a small number of hospitals before being rolled out across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. Hospitals can express their interest to take part in the pilot of the new accreditation process. Hospitals will be able to feedback on their experience and help shape how RACS conducts accreditation in the future.
Stakeholder consultation of Draft 2022 - Updated RACS HTP Accreditation Standards
Over a two-year period, RACS in consultation with representatives from the Specialty Societies and Surgical Training Boards (STBs), have reviewed and revised the RACS Hospital Training Post (HTP) Accreditation Standards. The draft RACS HTP Accreditation Standards (PDF 1.55MB) are now ready for external consultation and review.
A table of key changes to the standards can be viewed following this link (PDF 86.65KB).
The key differences between the 2016 standards and the revised 2022 version focus on the following:
- An introduction of overarching principles
- A revised structure
- Strengthened standards around respect and safety
- Addition of a Principle and standards on Cultural Competence
- Strengthened support for surgical supervisors
- Strengthened support for surgical trainees
- Facilitation of information sharing with hospitals under RACS new accreditation process
- Updated language and terminology.
Rationale for change
There are multiple reasons RACS undertook a review and revision of the HTP Standards, including:
- New Australian Medical Council requirements
- A shared desire to reduce duplication and the administrative burden on STBs and hospitals
- To improve support for those involved in the accreditation process, and
- To assist with health workforce strategies for training in rural areas
High level future process
The HTP Accreditation Standards review included a revised process to undertake future accreditation. This process separates generic ‘facility level standards’ (Part A) from standards related specifically to training departments (Part B). The goal of this separation is to reduce burden on both hospital administration, and training departments in relation to accreditation activities and requirements.
Under this new process, RACS will undertake ‘Part A’ of Accreditation, which will be hospital-wide (not specialty specific). This accreditation will continue to be relevant for up to five years as is the current accreditation cycle of all RACS training programs. ‘Part B’ accreditation, specific to each specialty training program, will continue to operate as usual. However, STBs will have a reduced number of standards that are specific only to their curriculum requirements. Several standards have been identified as ‘Joint Standards’, where RACS and the STBs have defined responsibilities to gather evidence. In this instance, RACS will only request the facility level requirements once, whereas each specialty boards will request the information they need at the department level.
Under the shared Part A and B process, future RACS accreditation will relieve hospitals significantly of the requirement to provide generic policy and evidence repeatedly for each specialty accreditation cycle (currently up to nine times per five-year cycle).
RACS and STBs will work together in accreditation to share information internally and to ensure quality assurance processes, the identification of issues, and the support needs for facilities are met.
The development of the new HTP RACS Accreditation process is still under development with STBs. A pilot plan in 2024 will test and provide feedback on these processes. Following this, information, resources and support will be provided to sites as the new standards are rolled out across Australia and New Zealand.
Requests for feedback and timelines
Please follow the attached link to view the new HTP Accreditation Standards (PDF 1.55MB).
Feedback may be provided by written correspondence to Hospital.Accreditation@surgeons.org or by following a link to our feedback survey. This survey focuses only on new or adjusted standards developed as part of the HTP Accreditation Standards review. The survey also allows for overall commentary specific to the future process that will be used by RACS.
This consultation period will be open for a period of 4 weeks. The consultation closes on Thursday, 22nd December 2022. If additional time is required, or you have further questions, please email to Hospital.Accreditation@surgeons.org
Current Accreditation of Hospital Training Posts
Trainees progress through an integrated program that provides them with increasing professional responsibility under appropriate supervision. RACS approves training posts that enable Trainees to acquire the needed competencies to become consultant surgeons who are able to practise independently or as part of a multidisciplinary team.
Current application process for accreditation
RACS accredits individual training posts in nine surgical specialties, with each specialty determining the accreditation standards that training posts must meet.
The table below indicates which organisation is responsible for supporting the accreditation process. Please follow the links below to obtain the standards and application form required.
|Cardiothoracic Surgery||RACS (see below)||RACS (see below)|
|General Surgery||General Surgeons Australia||New Zealand Association of General Surgeons|
|Neurosurgery||Neurosurgical Society of Australasia||Neurosurgical Society of Australasia|
|Orthopaedic Surgery||Australian Orthopaedics Association||New Zealand Orthopaedics Association|
|Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery||Australian Society of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery||RACS (see below)|
|Paediatric Surgery||RACS (see below)||RACS (see below)|
|Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery||Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons||RACS (see below)|
|Urology||Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand||Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand|
Current RACS Accreditation Standards
For hospital posts supported by RACS, the RACS accreditation standards can be found in the Accreditation of Hospitals and Posts for Surgical Education and Training booklet (PDF 345.22KB). The current version of the booklet was released in June 2016.
The Application for accreditation form (PDF 132.31KB) can be downloaded for all RACS supported posts.
Accreditation of all posts must comply with the RACS Training Post Accreditation and Administration policy. (PDF 57.1KB)
Read the FAQs about post accreditation.
HTP Project Manager
Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
250-290 Spring Street
East Melbourne VIC 3002