General practices, Aboriginal medical services, medical deputising services (MDS), after hours services, and Royal Flying Doctor Services (RFDS) in Australia are recognised for their commitment to safety, quality and continuous improvements with the award of practice accreditation.

Practice accreditation is awarded following independent assessment and recognition that a practice meets the requirements of governing industry standards. In Australia, these are set by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP).

The RACGP developed the RACGP Standards for general practices (5th edition) with the purpose of protecting patients from harm by improving the quality and safety of health services. The Standards support general practices in identifying and addressing any gaps in their systems and processes.

As part of our commitment to quality, AGPAL takes an active role in educating practices about safety, quality improvement and the requirements of the RACGP Standards applicable to their profession.

The RACGP Standards for general practices 5th edition

Image of the RACGP Standards 5th edition within a green circle

The RACGP Standards for general practices is currently in their 5th edition, released in October 2017, after a three-year consultation period with general practitioners, practice managers, nurses, consumers and many other stakeholders.

AGPAL was the only accreditation body to participate in the large-scale pilot of the RACGP Standards 5th edition.

This has provided AGPAL with unique insight into the application and interpretation of the 5th edition Standards to best support practice teams on their accreditation journey.

The 4th edition of the RACGP Standards had five sections that accreditation surveyors used as the basis of their assessments of general practices. The 5th edition of the RACGP Standards has three modules that collectively cover all of the areas in the fourth edition, but in a different structure. This modular structure allows the RACGP to update the modules separately, and to adapt the Standards for other healthcare settings.

Modular structure

The structure of the RACGP Standards 5th edition supports a focus on outcomes and patients, rather than prescribed processes. This means practice teams can develop systems and processes that reflect their own ways of doing things, ensuring they have evidence to demonstrate how they meet the intent of each 5th edition indicator.

Core Module

8 Standards

24 Criterion

62 Indicators
(including non-mandatory)

Quality Improvement Module

3 Standards

7 Criterion

19 Indicators
(including non-mandatory)

General Practice Module

6 Standards

13 Criterion

43 Indicators
(including non-mandatory)

RACGP Standards 5th edition FAQ’s

RACGP Standards for after-hours and medical deputising services

The RACGP developed the RACGP Standards for after-hours and medical deputising services 5th edition to improve the quality and safety of health services that provide care outside normal opening hours.

The Standards support after hours and medical deputising services in identifying and addressing any gaps in their systems and processes. AGPAL accredits after hours services and medical deputising services against the RACGP Standards for after-hours and medical deputising services 5th edition.

Want to know about AGPAL’s accreditation process?