Why, when, and how are we developing a new qualification?

Everything you need to know about the proposed perioperative medicine qualification, including the reasons for its development; the likely course structure, duration, and eligibility requirements; and the timeframes.​

What issues are we trying to solve?

  • Improve patient outcomes and minimise avoidable adverse outcomes.
  • Provide coordinated, proactive care of vulnerable surgical patients.
  • Provide consensus on what constitutes ‘best practice’ for the wide variety of craft groups currently contributing to the care of patients going through surgery.
  • Provide a standardised framework to allow mapping of existing services (e.g. orthogeriatrics) into comprehensive perioperative care that recognises established expertise and avoids ‘reinventing the wheel’.
  • Enable appropriate shared decision making in complex patients to avoid unnecessary, inappropriate or unwanted surgery.

Why do we need yet another qualification?

Doesn’t existing anaesthesia/physician/ intensive care training cover perioperative medicine?

  • While perioperative medicine figures as a component in existing training programs, a qualification will provide the opportunity to produce perioperative specialists who can demonstrate a deeper understanding of the perioperative landscape, and develop advanced leadership, teamwork and advocacy skills to coordinate care.
  • Perioperative specialists holding an accredited qualification will better underpin the broader establishment of perioperative medicine as an essential aspect of health care.
  • The qualification will consolidate much of the good practice that is already occurring but allow those with an interest in improving these skills to add aspects that may not be a focus of their primary speciality, e.g. delirium and frailty assessment for anaesthetists, or acute pain and resuscitation for geriatricians.
  • The qualification will establish a recognised standard of comprehensive practice in perioperative medicine.

What type of qualification will it be?

The steering group, with membership from multiple colleges, has recommended the development of a one-year flexible competency-based diploma made up of six modules. 

How long will the qualification take?

The qualification will be a one-year diploma that can be completed over a maximum duration of three years. As far as possible, the intent is to allow components to be achieved with minimal disruption to primary specialty training (for trainees) or clinical work (for specialists already in full-time clinical practice).

What will the structure look like?

At this point, we're looking at a modular approach so that a trainee’s existing specialisation can be considered, and those undertaking the qualification can gain training in only specific aspects as necessary and/or build towards the whole qualification.

Will recognition of prior learning (grandparenting) be available?

Yes. Specific recognition of prior learning allowances will be developed further down the track, and will vary based on primary specialty and/or other qualifications in perioperative medicine.

What will the requirements be for different specialties?

To be determined, but we're looking at a practical structure to the qualification that will recognise existing skills and experience so that additional requirements, e.g. theatre or physician training time, are not overly burdensome.

Will this qualification be available to GPs?

Yes, but dependent on prerequisites still to be determined.

When will the qualification be available?

We're aiming to roll this out in 2023.

Last updated 10:01 21.12.2021