COVID-19 – potential impacts on training

We encourage all ANZCA and FPM trainees to refer to this list of potential impacts to education and training as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, first published on 24 March 2020.

PLEASE NOTE: The position published on the ANZCA website will be the most up to date and supersedes any advice provided at local health services and replaces any prior advice on the ANZCA website. This will be regularly updated. 

These decisions are based on a series of overarching educational principles that we have developed in relation to education and training during the COVID-19 pandemic. The position below is the college’s response should individual’s training be disrupted by COVID.

To see what is not changing in ANZCA training, click here.

We understand that there will be individual circumstances that arise which will be outside these listed impacts. Requests will be considered on an individual basis via the regular processes. If there are a significant number of similar requests the college will publish its position on the ANZCA webpage by adding to this table.

Trainee wellbeing Impacts of COVID-19 ANZCA provides resources and advice about trainee wellbeing. See here. Trainees are also encouraged to direct suggestions to their trainee representatives.
Recording training time Trainees redeployed to other clinical areas Trainees should record  all clinical time undertaken during this period, as follows:
  • Record training completed at a CICM accredited site for general or limited general training as OCT  Intensive care medicine time.

  • Record training completed at a CICM accredited site for foundation training as OCT – Other approved training.

  • For training completed at a site not accredited by CICM requires submission to DPA Assessors for approval.

For trainees completing AT in the 2020 HEY who have not met the minimum CAT requirement may complete this in their PFT. Trainees must meet minimum CAT requirement for admission to fellowship. 
Trainees must meet minimum CAT requirements for admission to fellowship.

Trainees redeployed to other duties due to heatlh risks, eg pregnancy, immunosuppression etc, should submit an application to the DPA assessors and will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
Exceeded training time at a particular site Extended employment in the same hospital without rotation to other training site ANZCA will permit trainees to undertake training at the same training site within their training network for a longer duration than planned. For further information, please see here.
The college will allow provisional fellows admitted to fellowship in the 2020 HEY to spend all of their training time in one training site. 
22 weeks continuous CAT in introductory training (IT) Redeployed to HDU/ICU Trainees completing IT in the 2020 HEY will still need to complete a minimum 22 weeks CAT but do not need to do this time continuously.
Time spent at a site accredited for the ICM Specialised Study Unit in the 2020 HEY can count towards the mandatory 11 weeks requirement, provided the time is continuous (interrupted by up to two weeks of non-ICM time).
Leave Unable to do clinical work Any time spent not spent in training, including self-isolation, quarantine or carer’s leave, should be recorded as leave. 

Trainees off work for 13 weeks or more may apply for interrupted training and may be eligible for a pro-rata refund on the annual training fee.
Volume of practice
Reduced elective surgery
consultant-led intubations and other procedures
Increased flexibility to defer requirements from one core unit to the next. Applications can occur within 13 weeks of the anticipated completion date of the core unit.  
Workplace-based assessments (WBA) Contingent on volume of practice (VOP)
Reduced elective surgery

Consultant-led intubation and other procedures
A WBA run rate is not required at this time. See COVID-related WBA guidelines
The college will allow greater flexibility to defer requirements to the next core unit, for those completing a core unit in 2020.  Applications can occur within 13 weeks of the anticipated completion date of the core unit.  
Scholar role activies (SRA) Completing SRAs during the 2020 HEY Please see here.
Advanced Life Support (ALS) course each core unit (IT, BT and AT) Advanced Life Support (ALS) courses cancelled ANZCA will allow for flexibility to defer requirements to next core unit

An ALS course completed within 78 calendar weeks of the completion date of the IT core unit review can count as the IT requirement. 

Please inform the college to allow appropriate TPS adjustments.
Core unit reviews SOT illness
Use of TPS with widespread deferral or requirements to next core unit
ANZCA suggests training sites consider recruiting additional SOTs to assist trainees. Former SOTs are a good resource.  Please email nominations to the college.
Provisional Fellowship training requirements   Guidance on impacts to provisional fellowship training, please see here.
Interrupted training Lengthening of existing interrupted training/new requests for interrupted training There will be flexibility regarding interrupted training approvals, including allowing retrospective applications.

Trainees should note that return to work plans may be required.
Part-time training Increased applications for part time training and need to train at less than 0.5 FTE There is flexibility regarding part-time training approvals, including allowing retrospective applications.

Special consideration may be given for less than 0.5 FTE approval in certain COVID-related circumstances (caring roles/bereavement/ongoing illness). This will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
Rostering and return to work Trainees off work for prolonged and unanticipated period 
Supervised return to work plans must occur as per ANZCA Training Handbook. This includes time spent out of clinical anaesthesia. 

Where feasible from health and wellbeing perspectives, trainees are encouraged to return to part time training rather than remaining in interrupted training,
Applications for deferral / exemptions should only be submitted to the college within 13 weeks of the anticipated core unit end date. Applications submitted outside the 13 weeks may be returned to you for resubmission closer to the end of the core unit 

Please note that any approved exceptions to/deferments of the requirements will be updated in TPS by ANZCA staff. Processing delays for applications are likely at this time. Preference is given to more senior trainees and those close to completing core units. 
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