GPSA Chair Report – August 2023

Planning for what lies ahead

As the end of the year approaches at warp speed, we now turn our attention to what lies ahead. GP Supervisors might think of this as a reference to the Unknown Unknowns of Jahari’s Window, but I’m more concerned today about the Known Unknowns of the hectic Conference and AGM season coming up in October / November!

GPSA’s amazing team will be front and centre at several conferences this year, presenting on research, education and GP training initiatives at RMA, WONCA and (fingers crossed) the National Prevocational Medical Education Forum. Just one of the research topics we’ll be spruiking at these events is the “GPCLE” (GP Clinical Learning Environment). Building on previous research, this project – funded through the 2023 RACGP Educational Research Grants and overseen by a Steering Committee that could easily be confused for the United Nations so extensive is the quality and breadth of its membership – involves the development of an essential quality evaluation tool for Australian training practices. Under the leadership of our highly experienced Director of Research & Policy, Dr Samia Toukhsati, the GPCLE project exemplifies two features that make GPSA stand out in this space: 

On top of multiple research / education presentations, by the time we arrive at RMA23 and WONCA, GPSA’s mobile app “SCENARIO Toolbox for Supervisors” will be ready for you to test and review. This is just one of the innovations we have been working on to keep our resources relevant and accessible into the future. Another is the GPSA Community Platform, developed to help you connect and engage with this very special community of practice; to share ideas and drive solutions for others in your region, and for the sector more broadly. Supervisor Liaison Officers are now facilitating jurisdicational networking on this Platform too, making it even easier for you to reach out for help and stay in touch with peers locally and across the country.

As mentioned previously, the Practice Managers on the Community Platform put the rest of us to shame with their easy adoption of this new communication channel back in April… My challenge to you Supervisors and Practice Owners is to get involved: start a conversation, comment, message one another and join groups that resonate with you whether through your role, geographical location and / or special interest(s)! Of course, if you haven’t activated your account on the platform yet, you should probably start there!!

While this challenge is only intended to promote healthy competition, it also serves as a reminder that Practice Managers are eligible for election to the GPSA Board this year. A significant amendment to our Constitution passed by Special Resolution at the 2022 AGM elevated Practice Managers to “Ordinary” members of GPTA Ltd, allowing one of the seven elected Directors to be a Practice Manager (alongside six active GP Supervisors). The reason I am highlighting this now is because, in two very short months, we will be calling for nominations for Directors.

Four positions will be voted on at this year’s AGM, which will be held via Zoom from 7.30pm AEDT on Monday 13th November, 2023.

Are you ready to help us take GPSA into the future? 

Date reviewed: 28 July 2023

Please note that while reasonable care is taken to provide accurate information at the time of creation, we frequently update content and links as needed. If you identify any inconsistencies or broken links, please let us know by email.

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How is it already April?!

It might not make great material for a Netflix doco, but a day in the life of the GPSA Chair is certainly proving far from dull as Carla and I navigate all the meetings with and requests from members and sector stakeholders! And this is only a couple of months into the training year!

Our accomplishments are starting to stack up though, making it all worthwhile…

GPSA’s Community Platform
On 19th March we started inviting our members to join the new community platform tied to the GPSA website, where we still offer all 1,000+ resources free and open-access. This new concept is designed to enable our members to more readily connect with one another, with us, and ultimately with representatives of the Department, Colleges and other sector stakeholders. This has been a really quiet “soft” launch as the last thing we want to do is overwhelm anyone with so many changes afoot through the Transition, especially in terms of IT systems. But hats off to our practice manager members, who have jumped in and started helping one another develop strategies and solutions by creating discussions under their private community Discussion tab. Now the challenge is on for our supervisor and practice owner colleagues!
If you haven’t activated your account already, it’s really easy to log in, join one or more Community Groups, and virtually step outside the consulting room for a few moments: if only to reduce the feeling of isolation that comes with our profession.

2023 National Survey
On the topic of our wellbeing, I note that this year’s National Survey is being launched on Thursday 6th April, and will include some follow-up to last year’s survey which produced this report summarising our perspectives on wellbeing and selfcare. Importantly, this annual survey will give you a chance to share your individual reflections on the new training regime and what it will take to make this a thriving sector into the future. Please make the most of this opportunity as we really are in a position to influence change with your participation – noting the data we collect from this questionnaire is used for our advocacy work and representation on advisory committees such as for the various Workforce Planning and Prioritisation (WPP) organisations. AND you can be credited for an hour of CPD as an added bonus!

New branding, new identity
The new GPSA logo has been developed and will now start to be rolled out across our various touchpoints – website, emails, social media etc.. The new icon is indicative of our evolution from GP Supervisors Australia to GP Supervision Australia, really reflecting what we do and the partnership between the Supervising Practices, Supervisors, Practice Managers and the GP Registrars that we are collectively supporting. When asked “who” GPSA is, traditionally we would have pointed to the voluntary Board of Directors at the top of the triangle, beneath us the small team (<4FTE) of employees, and at the bottom the community we represent. By contrast, today we refer to GPSA as the community first and foremost, with the team supporting you from below, and the Board beneath them as the cornerstone of the organisation, with our new branding symbolising this new identity especially as it relates to whole-of-practice scaffolding of the learner / trainee, and flattening of the hierarchy in supervision.

CPD made easy
I hope that you are all attending our Webinars, there are so many great topics being covered and wonderful hints for how to work with your Registrars. Pearls of wisdom keep getting dropped by presenters and participants. AND, now we are approved CPD providers for RACGP (soon ACRRM also), we can automatically add a CPD hour to your CPD Home account when you attend these (generally webinars are approved for Educational Activity) and an additional hour for Reviewing Performance when you go on to complete the post-webinar activity we now offer. The team is currently working on converting recordings of past webinars and other static educational resources on the website into online modules to help increase CPD opportunities for you. All free for our members: so be sure to make use of this!

GPSA keeping your voice heard out there
We have regular meetings with RACGP and ACRRM regarding their training developments and both Colleges are very supportive of our role in assisting with this. Member feedback has been that the Transition has predominantly gone smoothly; but, as always, there have been a few hiccups along the way. Mostly these are small and fairly easily resolved. We also meet regularly with GPRA, continuing to work together to enhance the experience of Registrars and Supervisors, and with the Government at different levels and in different groups. I believe that the respect that we have earned with all our engagement has been well worthwhile. We continue to advocate for all our members at all levels and are being listened to.
One space that we are working hard to involve our community in is the Single Employer Model pilots being rolled out across Australia. This is a departure from how GP Registrars have been employed in the past, mainly as a solution for the rural sector, so we are keen to understand and help shape these models in order to drive  the best outcomes possible for all Registrars (our future workforce!) and with minimal unintended consequences. These pilots will look different across the country, but quality of training must remain paramount: we will keep pushing the Quality barrow always. A quick note that any Tasmanian Practice Owners / Practice Managers or Supervisors are invited to join the private group we have created on the community platform called “Tasmania’s SEM”, to which we have given members of the team running the Tasmanian pilot access so they can answer any questions you may have as potential participants in their trial.

Well, all the best from me and enjoy your Easter, but just remember, not too many Easter Eggs!!



Date reviewed: 15 April 2023

Please note that while reasonable care is taken to provide accurate information at the time of creation, we frequently update content and links as needed. If you identify any inconsistencies or broken links, please let us know by email.

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