Post Fellowship Education and Training in Spinal Surgery

Overview


The objective of the Post Fellowship Education and Training (PFET) Program in Spinal Surgery is to provide competent independent specialist neurosurgeons and orthopaedic surgeons with advanced procedural experience, knowledge and surgical skill relevant to the safe and effective treatment of complex spinal conditions. The PFET Program in Spinal Surgery is a joint program governed by the Neurosurgical Society of Australasia and the Australian Orthopaedic Association.

Download the Spinal Surgery Post Fellowship Education and Training Program Regulations here 

Eligibility and Application

All applicants must have satisfactorily obtained employment in a position accredited for a PFET Program. Applications for employment in accredited PFET Program positions must be made directly to the institutions in which the positions are located. A list of accredited PFET positions is available below.  Eligible fellows must apply prior to the commencement of their PFET Program on the prescribed application form available below. Applications from eligible fellows can be made at any time during the year. Applications are considered by the PFET Committee for registration. In considering applications, the PFET Committee will review eligibility and confirm the applicants’ appointment to an accredited position for a PFET Program.

To be eligible, applicants must be an Australian or New Zealand citizen or have an appropriate visa to work in Australia or New Zealand as a specialist neurosurgeon or orthopaedic surgeon in a supervised fellowship position. All applicants must have current and valid medical registration necessary to practice in the position accredited for the Program. Prior to commencement of the PFET Program the fellow must have sufficient experience in general spine surgery, being a minimum of 50 operative spinal cases, with an appropriate case mix, as primary surgeon or first assistant.

Applicants must also satisfy one of the following:

  • Satisfactorily completed the FRACS Examination in Neurosurgery or Orthopaedic Surgery; or
  • Completed the Australian Medical Council (AMC) or Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ) specialist assessment process resulting in formal recognition as a specialist neurosurgeon; or
  • Have a specialist training qualification in neurosurgery from a designated competent authority being one of the following: Royal College of Surgeons of England (United Kingdom) FRCS; or Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (Canada) FRCSC; or American College of Surgeons (Unites States of America) FACS; or Medical Council of Ireland (FRCSI); or
  • Have a specialist training qualification in neurosurgery or orthopaedic surgery from a country not listed above where the applicant can demonstrate comparability. Such applications will be considered on a case by case basis with the onus on the applicant to provide sufficient evidence to demonstrate comparability to the satisfaction of the Committee.

An application fee is payable at the time of application.Application fees are revised annually. The application fee for 2017 applicants will be $AUD 660 including GST. Applications are considered by the PFET Committee for registration. In considering applications, the PFET Committee will review eligibility and confirm the applicants’ appointment to an accredited position for a PFET Program.If an applicant is deemed ineligible for registration the applicant will be refunded 50% of the application fee paid.

Download the Application Form here
Download the Logbook Summary here (to be submitted with the Application Form)
Download the PFET Payment Form here (to be submitted with the Application Form)
Download the Spinal Surgery Post Fellowship Education and Training Program Regulations here

Registration

If an applicant is deemed eligible for registration the applicant will be registered in the Spinal Surgery PFET Program for an initial twelve (12) month duration. The annual registration fee for the first twelve (12) month period is complimentary. Subsequent renewal of registration is available on an annual basis thereafter for PFET Programs running longer than twelve (12) months. Automatic renewal notices will be issued thirty (30) days prior to the registration expiry date.

The registration fee is revised annually. The registration fee for 2017 will be $AUD660 for all fellows registered in a PFET Program. The registration fee or part thereof is non-refundable.

Download the Spinal Surgery Post Fellowship Education and Training Program Regulations here

Commencement

The official commencement date of the Program will be the application date for registration or alternate date nominated at the time of application.  No retrospective credit will be given for any training undertaken prior to the official commencement date or undertaken after the Program registration has ceased.

Download the Spinal Surgery Post Fellowship Education and Training Program Regulations here

Assessments

Professional Performance Assessment

The assessment of performance by the supervisor is fundamental to advancement of the fellow and the accreditation of the PFET Program. Each PFET position has an approved supervisor. The supervisor is responsible for the supervision and assessment of the fellow in that position.

During the PFET Program the fellows’ performance should be regularly reviewed by the supervisor including a three monthly performance assessment meeting. Completion of the Professional Performance Assessment (PPA) Report, in the prescribed manner, must be undertaken at the conclusion of each six (6) month period. The PPA Reports may also be completed more frequently at the request of the Committee or at any time as determined by the supervisor where any area of unsatisfactory or marginal performance is identified. The fellow and the supervisor must have a performance assessment meeting to discuss the content of the PPA Report completed by the supervisor. The PPA Report should be verified by both the fellow and the supervisor to acknowledge that the content has been discussed. Verifying the report does not indicate agreement with the assessment. Where any area of performance within the PPA Report has been rated as unsatisfactory or marginal the remedial component of the PPA Report must be completed. The fellow is responsible for ensuring that the completed assessment PPA Report is submitted to the Committee by the due date.

To be eligible for accreditation of the PFET Program the PPA Reports, covering the 12 month period immediately prior to completion of the PFET Program, must be satisfactory in all areas. Where there have been any unsatisfactory or marginal areas the PFET Committee will interview the supervisor to assist in making a determination on whether accreditation should be granted. For accreditation to be considered in these circumstances there will need to be strong support from the supervisor.

Download the Professional Performance Assessment Report here 
Download the Spinal Surgery Post Fellowship Education and Training Program Regulations here 

Clinical Experience Assessment

Appropriately supervised operative experience in spinal surgery must be obtained during the Program in the accredited position. Operative experience acquired prior to the commencement, during a period of interruption, in an institution not accredited, or after the completion of the Program will not be considered.

For each operative case where more than one surgical procedure is undertaken only one procedure may be recorded. For a procedure to be recorded the fellow must have been involved in the performance of the surgery and the pre and post operative management of the patient.The fellow must maintain an operative experience log of all procedures they participate in as part of the Program. As a minimum the operative experience log should include the operative date, patient name, patient identification, institution where the procedure is performed, pre-operative diagnosis, operative procedure performed and outcome. This detailed operative experience log is not submitted to the Committee but must be cited by the supervisor.

Completion of a Cumulative Logbook Summary (CLS) Report, in the prescribed manner, including the supervisors’ verification that the CLS Report reflects the fellows’ detailed operative experience log must be submitted to the Committee at the conclusion of each six (6) month period. The fellow is responsible for ensuring that the CLS Report is submitted to the Committee by the due date.

To be eligible for accreditation of the Program the CLS Report must demonstrate sufficient experience in complex spinal surgery. While competence cannot be measured in absolute numeric terms, as a general guide the Committee would expect a major involvement in a minimum of 150 operative spinal cases as the primary surgeon or first assistance with an adequate case mix.

Download the Spinal Surgery Cumulative Logbook Summary Report here 
Download the Spinal Surgery Post Fellowship Education and Training Program Regulations here 

Research Assessment

The fellow must demonstrate scholarly activity in spinal surgery with active participation in clinical and/or basic research during the Program. To be eligible for accreditation of the Program the fellow is required to complete one spinal surgery research project suitable for publication and/or presentation in a peer reviewed journal or scientific meeting during the Program.  Research projects completed prior to the commencement, during a period of interruption, in an institution not accredited, or after the completion of the Program will not be considered.

Download the Spinal Surgery Post Fellowship Education and Training Program Regulations here 

Completion Report

At the completion of the Program the supervisor of registered fellow must submit the Program Completion Report to the Committee.

To be eligible for accreditation of the Program the Program Completion Report must confirm that the fellow has satisfied all requirements of the Program and, in their opinion, should be accredited and awarded the Certificate.  This report is completed by the supervisor alone. The report will be available to the fellow.

Download the Spinal Surgery Post Fellowship Education and Training Program Regulations here 

Post Fellowship Assessment Report

The fellow must submit the Post Fellowship Assessment Report providing an honest and accurate assessment of the Program position.The Post Fellowship Assessment Report is used to evaluate the quality of the position in comparison to the accreditation standards and objectives and is used in the renewal and re- accreditation process. The Post Fellowship Assessment Report is made available to the Fellow online following submission of the final assessment reports.  The report by the Fellow will be available to the supervisor.

Download the Spinal Surgery Post Fellowship Education and Training Program Regulations here 

Completion and Awarding the Certificate

Within twenty (20) business days of the completion of the Program registered fellows must submit the following:

(a)The final Professional Performance Assessment Report; and
(b)The Post Fellowship Assessment Report; and
(c)The Cumulative Logbook Summary Report for the Program duration.

Within twenty (20) Business Days of the completion of the Program the supervisor of registered fellow must submit the Program Completion Report.

Accreditation of the Program and awarding of the Certificate is conditional on the submission of the required forms identified above in the manner prescribed within the specified time frames. Applications for Program accreditation must be made after completion of 12 months of the PFET Program by submission of the requisite forms. Accreditation is not an automatic process. Fellows who apply for accreditation more than twenty (20) Business Days after their Program registration has expired will be charged an Assessment Fee. The PFET Assessment Fee is revised annually.  The Assessment Fee for 2017 will be $AUD110 and is not refundable.

Applications are considered by the Committee. In considering applications, the Committee must be satisfied that the PFET Program objectives have been satisfied.  This determination will be made within (20) Business Days of the forms being received.
On approval of accreditation the fellow will be issued with a Certificate of Post Fellowship Education and Training in Spinal Surgery.

Download the Spinal Post Fellowship Education and Training Program Regulations here