Development of the RACGP Standards for General Practices 5th edition

The RACGP is developing the next edition of the Standards which will be launched in October 2017. The first draft was launched for consultation from 15 February 2016 to 1 April 2016. The RACGP Expert Committee – Standards for General Practices (REC-SGP) is now reviewing all the feedback that was received during this consultation phase to inform the second draft of the Standards.

The second draft of the 5th edition Standards will be released for another round of consultation this month. In addition, the draft Standards will be piloted in 100 practices across Australia.

A summary of the feedback received from stakeholders, the subsequent changes that have been made to the Standards, and updates on the Standards development will also be available on the RACGP website in June 2016.

Introduction to the Standards 5th edition

The purpose of the RACGP’s Standards for General Practices (5th edition) is to protect people from harm and to improve the quality and safety of health services. They also provide practices with a way of identifying and addressing any gaps they have in their systems and processes.

The Standards’ Indicators are written with a focus on outcomes and patients, where appropriate, instead of prescribed processes.

By focusing on outcomes, a practice can develop systems and processes that reflect their preferred ways of working and choose how to demonstrate that they meet the intent of the Indicator. This will give the practice’s team greater ownership of their processes and systems, and embed those processes and systems before, during and after accreditation.

Focusing on patients means that the patient and what the patient receives is the emphasis of the Indicator rather than what the practice does. For example:

  • Process focused indicator - our practice team can demonstrate how we receive and return telephone, text and email messages from patients
  • Patient focused indicator - out patients can contact the practice and their GP by telephone, text and email messages when required

There will be 18 fewer Indicators than there are in the 4th edition. The explanatory notes will include two sections:

  • why this is important from a quality and safety perspective
  • the way the practice may choose to demonstrate to meet the indicator or criterion.

The Standards are also based on the best available evidence such as ‘studies of the relevant areas’ and ‘Level IV evidence – otherwise known as evidence from a panel of experts’.

The RACGP’s Standards Committee welcomes feedback on the draft Standards, and if you would like to participate in this process please forward your comments to:

Chair RACGP Expert Committee - Standards for General Practices
100 Wellington Parade
East Melbourne Victoria 3002
Telephone 03 9998 8630 Facsimile 03 8699 0400
If you would like to discuss your comments, contact the RACGP Standards Unit on 03 9998 8630