The Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine (AFRM) has a four-year training program. Training occurs in prospectively approved training programs in rehabilitation medicine units during which trainees acquire the professional qualities and specialty specific competencies necessary to practise as a rehabilitation medicine physician. The training program requirements, curriculum, courses and assessments are detailed in the AFRM Manual for Trainees and the AMC Accreditation Submission, both of which are available on the faculty’s website.
To register, a trainee must have completed at least two years of general clinical experience or general practice. AFRM trainees are self-selected. In order to have a training program approved and become a registered trainee, a doctor must obtain employment or other supervised work that is accepted as appropriate training by the faculty. Each year, applicants must obtain positions that enable appropriate training. Applications for these service positions are managed by employing bodies.
The faculty is not directly involved in the selection of trainees into employment positions. However, each year some members of the faculty, as hospital employees, may be involved in interviews and placement of doctors into some registrar positions for the following 12-month period. The faculty recommends that official faculty representatives attend these interviews.
As well as on-going assessment requirements and successful completion of the fellowship examinations, admission to fellowship of the faculty requires satisfactory completion of all training requirements as follows:
- four years of supervised clinical training in rehabilitation medicine in an accredited training program; and
- completion of training modules in clinical research, clinical neuropsychology, administration and management of rehabilitation services and behavioural sciences.
Overseas Trained Specialists
Applications from overseas trained rehabilitation physicians for specialist recognition in Australia are assessed by the AFRM via the Australian Medical Council (AMC). Standard AMC application documentation is scrutinised by the faculty and an interview is undertaken to determine the level of comparability in training and experience to that of an Australian-trained rehabilitation physician.
Applicants whose training and experience is deemed to be partially or substantially comparable to that of an Australian trained rehabilitation physician may be required to undertake further assessment requirements including one or more components of the fellowship examination and/ or a period of peer review. Applicants who successfully complete the assessment process will be eligible to apply for fellowship of the AFRM.
The faculty accredits facilities considered suitable environments for training in rehabilitation medicine, although individual trainees’ proposed training programs not posts are approved annually whether undertaken at non-accredited or accredited facilities. The criteria facilities should fulfil for accreditation are listed in the AFRM Manual for Trainees and on the website.
In order to achieve formal accreditation and two-yearly re-accreditation facilities are required to complete and submit a training facility accreditation questionnaire. A desktop audit is then conducted. Site visits are conducted on a seven-year cycle.