ACPS Training

Pathways to Fellowship with the ACPS

To be eligible to be awarded a Fellowship of the ACPS, individuals must demonstrate that they meet the applicable standards as set by the ACPS. There are a number of pathways by which this can occur. An individual may:

  • Start as an ab initio Registrar and progress through the ACPS training Program; or

  • Apply for advanced standing within the ACPS training Program, on the basis of prior surgical education, training and experience. Subject to verification and assessment of the candidate, the ACPS may grant the candidate advanced standing, which may then exempt them from some of the requirements of the Training Program; and have pre-existing qualifications and experience, which in the opinion of the ACPS, meet the standards for Fellowship. In this latter case, subject to verification of credentials and any practical, written or oral examination assessment as deemed necessary by the ACPS, the individual may be granted Fellowship without further training (although there may be mentorship and/or other requirements put in place for a period of time as determined by the ACPS Council on a case by case basis).

 All Fellows of the ACPS must meet the same minimum standards for Fellowship, irrespective of the pathway taken to meet those standards. It is important and appropriate that this process is open, transparent, and not subject to any exceptions. This approach provides:

  • A public benchmark, which can be used by the health care system and the community to have confidence in the quality and competency of podiatric surgeons;

  • A fair and equitable process for dealing with any individual who wishes to become a Fellow of the ACPS

  • The opportunity for third party providers of education and surgical training to collaborate with the ACPS in order to prepare candidates to meet some of (or possibly all of) the standards required for Fellowship.

Introduction to the Training Program

The ACPS Training Program has a three-part structure, which takes a minimum of three years of full-time equivalent work to complete (although much of the assessment is competency-based, and so is not necessarily related to a fixed time period). Full-time equivalent is defined as a minimum of 38 hours a week for 48 weeks of a year. 

The objectives of the ACPS training Program are to:

  • Produce a competent practitioner of foot and ankle surgery, whilst maintaining the interests of public health and safety;
  • Foster the development of analytical and research skills to encourage contribution to the existing literature in respect to medical and surgical therapeutics of the foot and ankle;
  • Promote the acquisition of a range of communication skills to enhance the member's ability to disseminate knowledge and information;
  • Ensure the promotion of qualities necessary for the well-being of the patient, the surgeon and the profession; and
  • To meet the community and workforce “needs” for Podiatric Surgeons in contemporary Australian Health Care.

These objectives will be achieved through the integration of university-based post-graduate theory and research studies, as well as supervised practical foot and ankle surgical Training Program undertaken by candidates seeking Fellowship of the ACPS.
The ACPS Training Program uses a variety of teaching methods that have both practical and theoretical components. These include (but are not limited to) the following activities and practices:

  • Lectures
  • Tutorials;
  • Case studies;
  • Skills development courses;
  • Clinical rotations;
  • International Preceptorship Training (UK and North America);
  • Peer review activities;
  • The progressive development of preoperative, perioperative and postoperative skills;
  • Mentoring; and
  • Publication of original research.

 Throughout the ACPS Training Program, Registrars are assessed on clinical knowledge, clinical skills and professionalism.

There are two separate processes of assessment within the ACPS Training Program. These are:

  • Progressive Assessments; and
  • Clinical and theoretical examination.

There is a substantial amount of structured, self-directed learning in the Training Program, and Registrars should anticipate that the Program will require a great deal of time and effort over a long period. A commitment of this type must be considered carefully (whilst taking into consideration all other work and personal responsibilities) by all prospective candidates before deciding to apply for entry into the Program. Potential candidates who are not based in a major city where Supervising Fellows are available will need to consider relocating to a suitable city for the duration of their training.

To be selected for a training position with the ACPS candidates must have confirmed eligibility for selection through the attainment of a list of minimum requirements. 

Overview of requirements to achieve the qualification of Fellowship of the ACPS (FACPS)
  • Minimum of 1970 logged teaching procedures in foot and ankle surgery;

  • Examinations include:

    • General Surgical Science Examination

    • Foot and Ankle Surgical Theory Examination

    • Skills lab

    • Multi-Station OSCE

  • Medical & surgical speciality rotations;

  • Two relevant publications in peer-reviewed journals;

  • International surgical /medical rotations (UK&USA);

  • Principles of osteosynthesis and fracture management (Basic);

  • Principles of osteosynthesis and fracture management (Advanced);

  • Foot and Ankle Arthroscopy Surgical Skills Course;

  • Minimally Invasive Foot and Ankle Surgery Course;

Courses include:

  • ALERT Acute Life-threatening Emergencies

  • Recognition and treatment

  • Anaesthesia and PACU course

  • Basic Surgical Skills Education and Training course (BSSET)

  • Radiation safety course

Teaching modalities include:

  • Cadaveric dissection courses and assessment

  • Sawbone/dry lab workshops

  • Lectures and case-based discussions

  • Peer review meetings

Training Position Availability

The ACPS invites candidates to register for eligibility for the 2021 intake. Applications are open for a minimum of two training positions. Positions will be available in SA and WA. If you are seeking training in another state we encourage you to contact us. It is anticipated that training positions will commence in February 2022.

In order to apply for a training position, candidates must have met the minimum eligibility criteria for selection and submit an Application for Registration for a Training Position form.

To aid this process, candidates should read the  Process for Selection to the ACPS Training Program – Compendium for Candidates. This document outlines the selection process for candidates, including the minimum eligibility criteria, application and interview process and candidate ranking process.


Changes to the Eligibility Criteria – Master Degree

Completion of a Master degree is no longer a minimum requirement necessary to apply for a training position. However, candidates who have completed a Master degree in the fields of Podiatric Medicine, Podiatric Surgery, Public Health or Medical Science are eligible to gain additional ranking points towards their overall candidate ranking score.

Selection into the Training Program is governed by the principles of equal opportunity and will be based solely on merit. The selection process is designed to identify the abilities, qualifications, experience and emotional intelligence of applicants that would enable them to perform all the required duties of a surgical registrar, achieve all the objectives of the Training Program and become a skilled and highly competent podiatric surgeon.

Important Dates for Selection
  • Application Open Date
    • 29 January 2021

  • ACPS Entrance Examination

    • 4 June 2021​

  • Application Close Date

    • 15 July 2021

  • Notice to candidates regarding invitation for an interview

    • 24 July 2021

  • Selection Interview Process

    • 24 August 2021

  • Training Position Start Date

    • February 2022

Eligibility for Selection

Entry into the ACPS Training Program is highly competitive and applicants should be aware that not all podiatrists seeking admission will be successful in obtaining a training position. Presently in Australia, there are a limited number of training positions for podiatric surgeons. For this reason, only a small number of training positions may be available in any given year. It is possible that no training positions may be offered in some years.

 When training positions become available they will be advertised on the ACPS website under Training Positions Availability. Training positions are usually based in a particular location (for example, Melbourne or Perth). Candidates who reside elsewhere would need to relocate to wherever the training position is for the duration of their training.

 Selection into the Training Program is governed by the principles of equal opportunity and will be based solely on merit. Where the ACPS is unable to identify appropriately qualified candidates to fill an available training position the place will remain vacant.

 The selection process is designed to identify the abilities, qualifications, experience and emotional intelligence of applicants that would enable them to perform all the required duties of a podiatric surgical Registrar, achieve all the objectives of the Training Program and become a skilled and highly competent podiatric surgeon. An overview of the ACPS Selection Process is outlined below:

To be selected for a training (Registrar) position with the ACPS candidates must have confirmed eligibility for selection through the attainment of a list of minimum requirements. These required elements serve several purposes:

  • Familiarisation of the candidate with the reality of ACPS Training Program.

  • Assessment of the candidate’s base knowledge of podiatric medicine and surgery.

  • Determination whether a candidate has developed skills and professionalism to a level which will enhance their ability to successfully complete the training program.

 Selection will be based on performance in the required criteria of the selection process (outlined below).

The pre-requisite elements have been determined by the ACPS Selection Committee and Education Board. No application for admission into the Training Program can be considered unless all of the eligibility criteria are met by the applicant. Some candidates may have additional training or experience in podiatric surgery. This does not exempt candidates from fulfilling minimum eligibility criteria. Candidates are directed to the  Process for Selection to the ACPS Training Program – Compendium for Candidates.


1.     Permanent Resident or Citizen of Australia or New Zealand

The candidate must be a permanent resident or citizen of Australia or New Zealand. This requirement is necessary to ensure the successful candidate is able to complete the entire Training Program. In some circumstances, training may take between 4-8 years.


2.     Registration with the Podiatry Board of Australia

The candidate must hold general registration with the Podiatry Board of Australia. Podiatrists registered in New Zealand are eligible for Australian registration under mutual recognition.


3.     Undertaking Endorsement for Scheduled Medicines

The candidate must be currently hold endorsement for scheduled medicines or be undertaking their Endorsement for Scheduled Medicines under the Podiatry Board of Australia (PBA). To be eligible for a training position, the candidate must have submitted three clinical case studies to the PBA and provide written confirmation of approval from the PBA to proceed with completion of their portfolio.


4.     2-Years Clinical Experience

Candidates must have a minimum of two years of actual clinical experience working as a podiatrist. Working in a non-clinical role (such as an administrator, lecturer, or researcher) is not considered to be practical experience. The applicant will need to provide a minimum of two references from colleagues with whom they have worked indicating their suitability for surgical training.


5.     Affiliate Membership with the ACPS

The ACPS offers a separate membership category – Affiliate Membership – to registered podiatrists who wish to gain broader clinical experience within a mentored environment, expand the scope of practice and or develop skills that will assist an application into the Training Program. All candidates for the ACPS Training Program must obtain a basic familiarity with the ACPS and its work, including making contact with podiatric surgeons in order to gain an appreciation of the work of a podiatric surgeon. Candidates seeking Application for Registration for a Training Position must be a current affiliate member of the ACPS.


6.     Curriculum Vitae

A candidate needs to ensure an up to date curriculum vitae prior to application. The curriculum vitae is supplied as supporting documentation with their Application for Registration for a Training Position. The curriculum vitae should be a maximum of two single-sided pages.


7.     Podiatric Surgical Clinical Rotations

Candidates wishing to submit an application to the ACPS for a Training Position are required to organise and attend clinical rotations in podiatric surgery. To participate in clinical rotations the candidate must be a financial member of the college (Affiliate status). The College can provide a list of fellows of the college who will accept practitioners on clinical rotation.
 
A minimum of twelve (12) sessions (each of four hours, or one-half day) must be spent with fellow of the college. This experience must be gained by visiting three separate Fellows. The sessions should be split equally between office consulting sessions and operating theatre sessions. Using the actual cases observed in these sessions, the Fellow will provide feedback to the candidate on their knowledge skills and professionalism. Feedback will be provided to the candidate in the form of a completed Clinical Rotation Assessment Form (CRAF) from each of the clinical rotations.

The Fellow will also discuss any particular strengths and weaknesses noted in the candidate’s knowledge of perioperative assessment and management. The CRAF assessments contribute to the overall ranking score of each candidate. Only three (3) separate forms should be completed and submitted as part of the application process. 

Complete an Affiliate Logbook of Office-Based and Surgical Cases

All the podiatric surgical rotations must be recorded on the  ACPS Affiliate logbook. The logbook should contain details of all relevant clinical and surgical experience of the candidate. The log-book should include the date of each rotation and all cases observed during their office-based and surgical rotations. The logbook is submitted as supporting documentation with the Application for Registration for a Training Position.


8.     The ACPS Entrance Examination

The ACPS entrance examination is conducted when a training position will be available during the subsequent 12 months. Dates for the examination will be posted on the ACPS website and affiliate members of the ACPS will receive notification of the examination date at least 3 months prior to an examination to allow preparation time. The examination is structured to assess the candidate’s knowledge of core sciences. The examination tests the knowledge of undergraduate or Master of podiatry domains: Anatomy, Physiology, Pathology, Pharmacology and Biomechanics. The examination contains 120 multiple-choice questions and must be completed in two hours. The pass mark is 50%. A candidate must pass the ACPS entrance examination to be eligible to submit an Application for Registration for a Training Position. A candidate should review their podiatry syllabus as it relates to the core domains above, prior to sitting the examination.


9.     Psychometric and Motor Skills Testing

Candidates must undertake the Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i®). The EQ-i® is a scientifically validated, widely used Emotional Intelligence assessment tool. It is based on more than 20 years of research. The EQ-i® examines an individual’s social and emotional strengths and weaknesses. Respondents self-report on their life and workplace performance in 15 key areas of emotional skill that have been proven to contribute to proficiency in complex activities such as conflict resolution and planning.

Candidates also have to perform the VTS MLS (Motor Performance Series) Test and VTS 2 HAND (Two-hand coordination) Test. The VTS MLS measures fine motor abilities through static and dynamic tasks for finger, hand and arm movement. The VTS 2HAND measures visuomotor coordination (eye-hand and hand-hand coordination). Candidates can obtain the location of approved testing sites from the ACPS Assistant Secretary

10. ACPS Basic Surgical Skills, Education and Training (BSSET) Course

Completion of a Master degree is no longer a minimum requirement necessary to apply for a training position. However, candidates who have completed a Master degree in the fields of Podiatric Medicine, Podiatric Surgery, Public Health or Medical Science are eligible to gain additional ranking points towards their overall candidate ranking score. 

Completion of the Basic Surgical Skills Education and Training (BSSET) course is now a requirement to apply for a training position. The BSSET has been designed to provide a professional, accessible and supportive method of engaging health professionals in basic surgical skills training. Following the BSSET course, it is expected that graduates will be confident and proficient foot and ankle surgical assistants. 

Fulfilling the course requirements will result in certification by the ACPS of successful completion of the BSSET. 

Application for Training

Selection into the Training Program is governed by the principles of equal opportunity, and is based solely on merit. Applicants will not be discriminated against on the grounds of age, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, race, religion, or State of residence. Only those applicants who meet the minimum eligibility criteria will be considered for appointment to the ACPS Training Program.

When a candidate has fulfilled the minimum eligibility criteria for selection, they must complete and submit an Application for Registration for a Training Position. This application is for the purposes of formally registering candidacy for the available training position with the ACPS Selection Committee. The Application will not be considered complete until the Application for Selection for a Training Position Lodgement Fee is paid.

The Application for Registration for a Training Position has fourteen (14) sections, many of which require certified copies of supporting documentation. An overview of the fourteen sections that form the Application for Registration for Training Position is outlined below. Candidates are encouraged to read the Process for Selection to the ACPS Training Program – Compendium for CandidatesThe application and supporting documentation must be submitted to the ACPS Selection Committee via the Assistant Secretary by the application closing date. The application closing date for 2021 is July 15th.

 

Overview of domains of the Application for Registration for a Training Position

TrainingSelectionDomains.jpg

Candidates who wish to apply for advanced standing within the Training program should indicate their intention to do so on the Application form.

The Selection Committee will assess each candidate's Application for Registration for a Training Position and score the candidate's application out of a maximum mark of sixty (60). An Application Marking Guide is used by the Selection Committee for this purpose.

Interview and Admission

Selection Interview

The final element of the application will be a formal interview process. Any candidate who has successfully fulfilled all the selection requirements compiled an application and paid all relevant fees is invited to present for an interview. Please note that the training position/s may not be necessary based on the location the applicant currently resides in. The applicant should not proceed with an application unless they are prepared to relocate for the purposes of training.

The interview will be conducted by the ACPS Selection Committee. The interview panel will generally be made up of 4 – or more – members, comprising a minimum of:

  • Chair of the selection committee

  • Registrar representative

  • Senior Supervising Fellow of the available training position

  • University academic with a background in selection processes.

Prior to the interview, the panel will review the Application of each candidate and may request further information from the candidate. Both pre- and post-interview reference checks will be undertaken. Selection will be based solely on merit and will be based on an assessment of the candidate’s personal and academic suitability to become a podiatric surgeon. All elements of the candidate's minimum eligibility criteria and  Application for Registration for a training Position will be considered by the Selection Committee

Each candidate invited to present for an interview will be forwarded key documents that they should familiarise themselves with prior to the interview. These documents include:

  • Applicant Interview Guide, (including an Outline of the Training Position and Key Criteria)

  • The Fellowship Training Handbook

  • Registrar Duties and Responsibilities


Application Marking Guide

Each candidate’s Application and Interview is scored using the  ACPS Selection Marking Guide. Each candidate is scored in a total of 7 domains, with a total score out of 100. Each domain and correlating sub score is summarised below:

Following this process, the Selection Committee will make a recommendation to the Education Board on which of the candidates should be offered a training position. Candidates with the highest-ranking score will be recommended to the Education Board.

The ACPS is under no obligation to select a candidate for any training position if none of the applicants is deemed suitable for that training position.

The ACPS selection process aims to ensure that candidates from across Australia and New Zealand have an equal opportunity to apply for training positions and that the best candidates are selected. The process is transparently managed by the Selection Committee of the ACPS.

Advanced Standing

Candidates are advised to become familiar with the Australian health care system before considering Fellowship of the ACPS. International Fellows of the ACPS are also recommended to participate in observational surgical and office based sessions, within Australia, with existing Fellows of the ACPS prior to considering Fellowship application.

Overseas-qualified Fellows of the ACPS may have pre-existing qualifications and experience, which, as assessed by the ACPS, meet the standards for Fellowship. In this latter case, subject to verification of credentials and any practical, written or oral examination assessment as deemed necessary by the ACPS, the individual may be granted Fellowship without further training (although there will be mentorship and/or other requirements put in place for a period of time as determined by the ACPS Council on a case by case basis).

Irrespective of equivalency, all overseas qualified Fellows of the ACPS must obtain general registration and endorsement for scheduled medicines from the Podiatry Board of Australia before they can be granted fellowship of the ACPS. A Podiatrist from the United States of America who holds accreditation from American Board of Podiatric Surgery (ABPS), may apply for fellowship.

https://www.abps.org/Pages/About/BQRRASurgery.aspx

For more information on advanced standing, please contact the office.

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