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RANZCO completes mandated policy reviews

05/07/2017By Matthew Woodley
RANZCO has concluded a review of its policies related to complaints, bullying and conflicts of interest, in order to ensure its continued accreditation as a specialist medical education and training provider.

The review was prompted by a somewhat critical reaccreditation assessment conducted last year by the Australian Medical Council (AMC) – an independent national standards and assessment body for education and training providers. Under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, the AMC reports to the Medical Board of Australia to help it decide on the accreditation of specialist medical training programs.

The 2016 RANZCO report outlined 15 conditions that the College was required to meet this year in order to guarantee continued accreditation, while it also highlighted a further 38 that had to be completed by the end of 2019. Principle among the conditions was the need for a review of several policies related to governance, complaints, conflicts of interest, and bullying.

“As a matter of urgency, the College must review and consistently implement its reconsideration, review and appeals policy, as well as its complaints policy and processes. The College must also address the issue of discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment in its training program,” the AMC report stated.

“The AMC has applied a number of conditions to the training, education and continuing professional development programs under all accreditation standards that must be addressed by the College. The AMC will monitor that the College is meeting the conditions on its accreditation through progress reports and a review visit in 2017.”

Aside from the findings of the reaccreditation committee, the report also referenced a number of complaints made by trainees and supervisors to the AMC between late 2015 and May 2016 which related to RANZCO and its training.

A spokesperson from RANZCO made the following statement.

“The RANZCO Bullying, Harassment and Discipline Policy has been reviewed in order to ensure that the health, welfare and safety of RANZCO members, trainees and staff are central to all College practices. This is in keeping with the policies introduced by other Colleges to ensure that bullying and harassment are not tolerated in the medical professions,” the spokesperson said.

“In addition, a Conflict of Interest policy has been developed to ensure that any conflicts of interest are managed appropriately and that activities conducted by RANZCO and our members comply with the overall RANZCO mission statement.”

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More Reading: Full AMC Accreditation Report on RANZCO

UPDATE: Clarification July 6 at 4pm

RANZCO released a statement today to qualify its position and reaffirm its openness with regard to the AMC report and its subsequent outcomes.

A spokesperson for the College said many of the report’s requirements and recommendations had already been implemented and that it was on track to complete all of the conditions before the March 2020 review date.

“In 2016, RANZCO undertook its triennial strategic planning, timed alongside the AMC’s launch of their new standards regime and ahead of the College’s scheduled accreditation review. That strategic planning process set in place a number of objectives aimed at continuing to improve the College’s functions and processes,” the spokesperson said.

“Since the AMC review and the strategic planning, RANZCO has executed a range of measures that meet both the objectives of the strategic plan and the requirements and recommendations of the AMC report. Our aim is to not only to meet the AMC requirements and recommendations but to exceed them wherever possible.

“To help guide our work in improving the educational service that we provide to trainees and the continuous professional development that we provide to ophthalmologists, we have recruited and appointed the College’s first Dean of Education, Dr Catherine Green AO, who will work alongside our Censor-in-Chief, Dr Justin Mora, and our deputy CEO and Head of Education, Ms Ruth Ferraro, to shape the future of RANZCO’s education services.”

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