Chair’s Report May 2022

Nicole Higgins
GPSA Chair, Dr Nicole Higgins

Change as a door to opportunity….

Sometimes we get so caught up in what is changing we fail to pause, zoom out and put change into perspective. 

The role of GP Supervision largely happens independently of the administration of GP training. 

Despite multiple changes to RTOs, RTO footprints, the demise of GPET and now the transition of training to the colleges, the piece that doesn’t ever change is the critical role GP supervisors play in the process. Registrars and the community can feel heartened that their day to day will mostly remain unchanged. Training practices and  supervisors are the one constant and  90% of GP training  occurs within training practices under the expert supervision of accredited GP supervisors. 

Having been through a transition in 2015 I understand the hurt and loss.  We  appreciate that for many staff within the RTOs, GP training has been their life; for some as long as 20+ years. So there is considerable grief and in some cases anger, even contempt for the change that directly affects and  impacts them. To all RTO staff, leadership and boards struggling with what the transition represents, we see you, we hear you and we feel your pain. GP Supervisors have forged strong alliances with all of you across those 20+ years and we hope to see many of you continue working with the colleges in 2023 and beyond.

All players within the sector are here to ensure transition goes smoothly – including GPSA.

"To all RTO staff, leadership and boards struggling with what the transition represents, we see you, we hear you and we feel your pain."

Dr Nicole Higgins

No organisation or individual is immune to change. GPSA will enter a phase of renewal over the next six months as the board seeks to bring fresh skills and eyes to its governance through the call for expressions of interest in joining the board that was put out last month. The EOI closes on the 20th of May.  We have had a wonderful response from our community and we will continue that process and keep you up to date as new directors are appointed.

There is also a new opportunity emerging within the GPSA leadership. Glen Wallace, our CEO of over seven years, has accepted a leadership position within the RACGP Profession Led Training team. 

Glen took on the position in 2015 – two years after GPSA was formally funded by the Department of Health. At that stage the organisation barely had any educational resources developed to support the membership, had really no research portfolio to speak of and about a third of today’s membership. 

Glen has led the organization and an impressive team to what has now evolved into two research journal publications annually and the production and maintenance of over 350 educational resources which continues to grow annually and importantly be consumed and used by stakeholders. 

Glen’s approach has always been pragmatic and oriented to what matters most to GP supervisors. We congratulate Glen on his new position within the college and thank him for his service to the GP supervisor community. His vision, collegiality and pragmatism will be an asset to the RACGP and to the profession as we head into the business end of this transition.

We are now seeking expressions of interest (EOIs) from the General Practice and GP Training community to fill the position of CEO at GPSA. To this end we have placed the position description online. Prospective candidates are encouraged to initially make themselves known to the GPSA board by emailing a CV with their expression of interest to governance@gpsa.org.au.

On a personal level, I have loved working with you Glen and how our ‘brains go ping’ to develop ideas and solutions. You will be missed and I wish you all the best in your new role.

Yours in training,

Dr Nicole Higgins
GPSA Chair