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On-site assessments for accreditation to recommence

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission) has confirmed that on-site assessments for the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) Standards for general practices (5th edition) can recommence for general practices, Aboriginal medical services, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHOs), medical deputising services, after hours services and Royal Flying Doctor Services that are at low risk of COVID-19 transmission from 26 October 2020.

The reintroduction of on-site assessments will take into consideration the required lead-time for planning and preparation of assessments. AGPAL is pleased to advise that all practices that had a valid accreditation expiry date as at/or after Wednesday 25 March 2020 are automatically eligible for a 12-month extension to their certification expiry date.

All general practice accreditation was suspended by the Commission on 25 March 2020, as part of their response to the COVID-19 pandemic public health emergency.

Adjusted expiry, self-assessment and on-site assessment dates

The AGPAL Team are working through our client files and adjusting key accreditation milestone dates to allow for the 12-month extension. Adjusted dates will be visible in within each practice’s individual AGPAL accreditation hub.

We are managing our workflow by prioritising tasks chronologically using accreditation expiry dates as a guide.

We urge our clients to keep an eye on their AGPAL accreditation hub to view their practice’s adjusted accreditation expiry date, and revised self-assessment and on-site assessment due dates. It may take our team several weeks to update all practice records with these revised dates.

Our clients can be assured their AGPAL Client Liaison Officer will contact them well in advance of any accreditation deadlines to ensure there is plenty of time to put in place assessment requirements.

AGPAL accreditation certificates

The AGPAL Team are uploading a revised A4-sized version of each practice’s AGPAL accreditation certificate showing each practice’s adjusted expiry date into their AGPAL accreditation hub.

Once available, we encourage our clients to download and print this certificate in full-colour to replace any A4-sized versions of the AGPAL accreditation certificate displayed or held within a practice.

To request a copy of the revised A3-sized version of the AGPAL accreditation certificate, our clients should contact their AGPAL Client Liaison Officer as we would be pleased to assist.

PIP payments

Any payments received from Services Australia as part of the Practice Incentives Program (PIP) and Workforce Incentive Program (WIP) will automatically continue.

AGPAL confirms that Services Australia has applied a 12-month extension to all general practice accreditation expiry dates and payments will be maintained accordingly.

Practices are therefore not required to contact Services Australia or submit revised accreditation certificates to continue receiving PIP and WIP payment(s).

How do I know if my practice is considered low risk?

The Commission has identified criteria for determining which general practices should be assessed first and those that will be assessed during subsequent rounds. On-site assessments will be based upon a risk-based approach and will only take place in settings where there is a low risk of transmission of COVID-19.

The Commission has determined that a general practice is low risk if it meets four or more of the following criteria:

  • Is not treating patients with active COVID-19 except by telehealth consultation
  • Is not treating overseas travellers during their quarantine period except by telehealth consultation
  • Does not have (or does not suspect they have) a member of the workforce with COVID-19 which could have been transmitted to others in the general practice
  • There is limited impact on the normal workforce being available for duty. Members of the workforce are not:
    • In isolation due to possible or confirmed COVID-19 contact
    • Redeployed to support COVID-19 related activities
  • The general practice is not directly affected by:
    • A public order that has resulted in a lockdown or restriction of movement of citizens
    • Known active COVID-19 infections in the area
    • The general practice is not supporting an aged care facility with active COVID-19 infections.

AGPAL is here to support general practices

The AGPAL team will be in contact with each of our practices as they progress towards their expiry date and to ensure they are on track with self-assessment and preparing for their on-site assessment. Practices are welcome to contact us to discuss any concerns or queries that they may have. Contact us on 1300 362 111 or

To gain further details of the Commission’s announcement, please see their official statement and frequently asked questions outlined on the Commission’s website.