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Frequently Asked Questions

Please Note: The information provided here is as a general guide to ADF Medical Officers. It may not address all aspects of every case, which will be determined on its own merits. Final decisions regarding MO management lie with the single Service Career Management Agencies.

1. How much will I be paid under the new system?

2. What will I be paid for?

3. I am a Reservist; how will I be paid?

4. Will I still get Service Allowance?

5. Will I still get a pay rise along with the rest of the ADF?

6. Do I only get one chance to decide whether or not to transfer to the new system?

7. Will I have to give up my Permanent Commission?

8. How long will the Fixed Periods of Service be?

9. What are the implications for Superannuation?

10. What are the employment streams?

11. Can I change streams?

12. Can I train in something other than General Practice or Force Protection?

13. How will Defence assist me to achieve and maintain professional standards?

14. Will there be any Return of Service Obligation (ROSO) for my postgraduate training?

15. What about MOSTS?

16. Will I get time away from the ADF workplace to complete my training?

17. Will I be released from my usual job to gain additional experience?

18. What are the grandfathering provisions?

19. What happens if I can�t complete my training in the required time frame?

20. What access will I get to training?

21. Is there a quota of each type of specialist under the new structure?

22. Will I be able to do the training that I want?

23. What happens once I gain fellowship?

24. Can I still get Higher Duties Allowance?

25. What if I achieve a particular ML but am not posted to a job requiring that ML for Service reasons?

26. What happens if the ADF does not get its own quota of GP training positions?

27. Will there be any detriment or penalties if I do not transfer to the new system?

28. Will my career manager listen to senior health advice in posting and career management issues?

29. What career progression will I have if I do not move to the new system?

30. How long will the transition take?

31. If I move to the new system, when will my new conditions and salary be effective from?

32. Who assesses my Medical level and how?

33. Where does rank fit in?

34. What if I fail my specialist training program?

35. Can I appeal against the MOPCDC decision?

36. Is ML part of AIRN/individual readiness?

37. Do I have to move through all the ML?

38. Can I be expected to work outside of my ML?

39. What happens if my supervisor is away on leave/posted?

 

 

1. How much will I be paid under the new system?

The final salary scale is posted on the JHC Intranet site. No currently serving MO will have a reduction in pay. Rather than there being non-detriment provisions, MOs are not required to transition to the new arrangements until their circumstances suit. Therefore, if the MO thinks that they would suffer a detriment by transitioning to the new scheme, there is no compunction for them to do that. Once paid at a particular ML, you will not have a reduction in pay as a result of a posting to a lower level position for Service requirements.

 

2. What will I be paid for?

You will be paid for your specialist skills and knowledge, primarily, with a rank loading that is a relatively small component of your salary. You will be paid according to your Medical Level (ML), if and when you are posted to a position requiring that Medical level.

 

3. I am a Reservist; how will I be paid?

Every Reserve MO will also be assigned a Medical level by the MOPCDC. You will be paid at that ML when on training days. If you come onto Continuous Full Time Service (CFTS), you will be paid at that ML provided you are filling a position requiring that ML. If you have already been employed in a position requiring your designated ML and then are later employed in a position requiring a lower ML for Service reasons, you will be paid at the higher ML rate, ie. Cannot suffer a detriment.

4. Will I still get Service Allowance?

Yes, if you are entitled to Service Allowance now (ie. Are O4 rank or below), you will still receive it. This will be a component of your total salary. Members in their internship will not receive Service Allowance until they gain full registration as a Doctor in a State or Territory of Australia.

 

5. Will I still get a pay rise along with the rest of the ADF?

Yes, if the ADF as a whole gets a pay rise, then any MO in either the new or the old system will also get that pay rise.

 

6. Do I only get one chance to decide whether or not to transfer to the new system?

The decision to transfer to the new system can be made at any time. You can stay with the old system indefinitely but once you decide to move to the new system you cannot go back. So, you should only make this decision after weighing up all the advantages and disadvantages for your own particular circumstance.

7. Will I have to give up my Permanent Commission?

If you are currently on a Permanent Commission and decide to transfer to the new system, then you will have to give this up and accept a Fixed Period of Service (FPS). This is one of the principles underpinning Specialist Officer Career and Salary Structures as determined by the Chiefs of Service Committee in 1998, that is, all officers in that structure will be on FPS.

 

8. How long will the Fixed Periods of Service be?

The Fixed Periods of Service will be tailored to the circumstances of the individual MO. The Career Managers are mindful of issues such as CRA and DFRDB and will not seek to disadvantage anyone by offering a period of service that could be detrimental to their situation. It is expected that they would be between 2 and 6 years long. The Career Management Agencies will make the final determination, based on many factors, the primary one being that of required capability

 

9. What are the implications for Superannuation?

Essentially this depends on which scheme you�re in and is to do with the employer benefit. If you are in DFRDB, then the day you move to the new system and are paid at the new rate and that rate is higher than your old rate, then your super benefit will be maximised immediately (ie. If you decide to leave the next day, you would already have maximised your benefit). If you are in MSBS, then your super benefit will take 3 years to maximise as employer contributions are calculated on the average salary over your final 3 years of service. So, while your benefit will be improved immediately on transfer to a higher rate of pay, it will take 3 years of service to maximise this benefit. As always, each individual MO should seek professional financial advice regarding their own situation prior to making the decision to transfer to the new system.

10. What are the employment streams?

Essentially, the employment streams consist of clinical or management and staff. The clinical stream will consist primarily of Reserve "procedural" specialists and a small number of primary care providers who choose to remain in that role in the full time ADF. It is envisaged that most MO will enter primary health care training before or during their Initial Minimum Period of Service (IMPS), as the provision of primary health care will be the bulk of their day to day work while acquitting ROSO. It is expected that those who choose to remain in the full time ADF will then enter training in a force protection area, such as Public Health Medicine (which includes tropical medicine), Occupational Medicine (which includes aviation medicine, diving and hyperbaric medicine, and NBC) and medical administration. While these specialties have a clinical component, the "clinical" stream will consist mainly of GPs and "procedural" specialists (ie. Surgeons, physicians, anaesthetists etc).

 

11. Can I change streams?

Individual MO may be able to change streams. Each case would be looked at individually by the MOPCDC in the light of current manning, specialty mix and capability needs. The MOPCDC will make a recommendation to the Service personnel managers, who will make the final decision regarding any change in career stream.

 

12. Can I train in something other than General Practice or Force Protection?

There will be scope for a small number of MO to undergo postgraduate training in some other disciplines, depending on capability requirements. These include disciplines such as sports medicine. The issue of training in the "procedural" specialties is still to be resolved. While the policy regarding MOSTS is extant vide DI(G) PERS 05-31 - Medical Officers Specialist Training Scheme, how it fits in to health capability has not yet been determined. Issues surround the extent of external training required, appropriate ROSO provisions, appropriate employment of these specialists in the full time force, both in the NSA and on operations. At present, selection and approval for MOSTS entry is done by the single Services. Should the need for procedural specialists in the permanent force be accepted, the structure will already be in place to integrate this without any further change.

13. How will Defence assist me to achieve and maintain professional standards?

While it is the responsibility of each MO to apply to and meet entry criteria for postgraduate training programs, ADF will assist by providing funding and release for civilian placements during training. Once fellowship is attained, it is the individual MO�s responsibility to maintain ongoing CME/MOPS requirements, with assistance from CPMD as per DI(G)PERS 05-17 Continuing Professional Development for full time Medical Officers in the Australian Defence Force, and under the provisions of DI(G)PERS 05-32 Postgraduate experience and vocational training for officers with health service specialisations.

 

14. Will there be any Return of Service Obligation (ROSO) for my postgraduate training?

ROSO implications will vary depending mainly on the type of training that the MO is undergoing.

If a MO is released for a general practice civilian placement of 6 months or more, their IMPS, ROSO or FPS may be extended by that amount of time.

If a MO is released for six months or more to gain additional experience in an area other than general practice, eg. occupational medicine, ROSO would be time released plus one year, ie the standard ROSO provisions as detailed in DI(G)PERS 33-2 Return of Service Obligation.

If a MO can complete all training requirements without a full time civilian placement of six months or more, no ROSO will be incurred.

 

15. What about MOSTS?

The Medical Officer Specialist Training Scheme, as per DI(G) PERS 05-31 - Medical Officers Specialist Training Scheme has not been included as part of the MO Specialist Officer Career and Salary Structure. This is being addressed as a separate capability issue that will need approval by the Single Service chiefs, who must be satisfied that there is a requirement and be willing to pay for the scheme. Particular issues that require resolution include ROSO periods, employment of MOs after fellowship, both in the NSA and on operations, and ongoing individual and collective training.

16. Will I get time away from the ADF workplace to complete my training?

The new structure recognises that some postgraduate training and skills maintenance must occur outside the ADF health system. While it is still the Commander�s decision whether or not to release someone, with better education, liaison and planning, the likelihood of release to gain civilian experience should be much greater than it has been.

 

17. Will I be released from my usual job to gain additional experience?

The provision for release from your usual workplace to undergo training or gain additional experience/maintain skills will remain as described in DI(G)PERS 05-32 Postgraduate experience and vocational training for officers with health service specialisations.

 

18. What are the grandfathering provisions?

Currently serving MO who have not yet gained fellowship of a relevant College/Faculty or who do not hold the ML required for their current job may be grandfathered. Those who have had at least six years full time equivalent military service as a doctor after hospital residency will be deemed to be ML3, those with at least 12 years of such service will be deemed ML4. These MO will then have a period of six years in which to complete all training requirements to gain the relevant fellowship, or revert to a lower level of pay (that of their true assessed ML). Reservists may achieve the same only through ADF experience. Therefore, someone who had, for instance, 5 years in the ADF as an MO would need to have completed 1 FTE year as a reserve MO to achieve ML3. That individual would then have until 6 years after the start of the new scheme to achieve FRACGP or FACRRM to retain ML3. It should be noted that grandfathering will not necessarily be automatic, but will depend on the position currently being filled and its requirements. For example, if you are a ML2 currently posted to a ML3 job and have more than 6 years FTE experience, you may be grandfathered to ML3 and paid accordingly. If you are a ML2 with more than 6 years experience and are in a ML2 job, you may not be grandfathered to ML3.

19. What happens if I can�t complete my training in the required time frame?

As at today, the six year window in which to gain fellowship is absolute. If a MO has been grandfathered and hasn�t completed fellowship training within six years, the individual case will be looked at by the MOPCDC. If it is determined that the individual has made all reasonable attempts to complete this training but hasn�t been able to do so because of factors beyond their control, the DFRT will be approached to consider the case and whether an extension could be granted.

 

20. What access will I get to training?

The ADF will fund postgraduate training in the areas of primary health care, public health medicine, occupational medicine and medical administration. Other areas may be funded at the discretion of the Single Service personnel branch on recommendation by the MOPCDC. Each individual MO is responsible for applying for and meeting entry criteria for postgraduate training courses and programs.

 

21. Is there a quota of each type of specialist under the new structure?

While there is no strict quota of each specialty per se, there are limitations to the positions that can be filled by particular ML and by particular specialties. Each Service has a liability for certain specialties and will select and pay for the training needed to meet that liability.

22. Will I be able to do the training that I want?

There is a limited range of postgraduate training programs that will be sponsored within the full time ADF and this is based on health capability requirements. Essentially, the ADF will sponsor postgraduate medical training in

  • Primary health care (RACGP or ACRRM)

And/or one of the following:

  • Occupational Medicine (includes Aviation, Diving and Hyperbaric, NBC)
  • Public Health (including Tropical Medicine)
  • Medical Administration
  • Sports Medicine
  • Any other area of medicine deemed to be necessary for providing ADF health capability.

It will be the MO�s responsibility to apply for and gain entry to each of the postgraduate training programs. Selection for ADF sponsored postgraduate training will be merit based and capability driven.

 

23. What happens once I gain fellowship?

The ADF will sponsor postgraduate training to the point of gaining fellowship of a relevant College. Once fellowship is attained, it is the MO�s responsibility to meet the ongoing requirements of fellowship, and will be assisted by the ADF through the CPMD allowance, as now.

 

24. Can I still get Higher Duties Allowance?

Yes, but not in the way you can now. If you are in a ML2 job and are asked to fill in for a ML4 job, you can only be paid the ML4 salary if you have satisfied all requirements for ML4 (ie. Are really a ML4 but just haven�t yet been posted into a ML4 job). If not, then you can only be paid higher duties for the rank component. See the section on HDA.

25. What if I achieve a particular ML but am not posted to a job requiring that ML for Service reasons?

Under the new system, you can only be paid at a ML once you achieve that ML and are posted into a job requiring that ML. So, if you have met all the requirements for ML3, you will not be paid at ML3 rate until posted into a ML3 job. If you are already in a ML3 job and are posted to a ML2 job for Service reasons, you will suffer no detriment and remain on the ML3 pay rate. If you have met all requirements for a ML and posting into a job requiring that ML is delayed, you will have to take it up with your career manager. The aim of proper personnel management would be to avoid this situation. The spread of ML positions makes this scenario unlikely for an individual, but may still occur for the duration of a current posting. As is the case currently, posting into positions by Career Managers, particularly if an increase in rank is involved, is based on relative merit.

 

26. What happens if the ADF does not get its own quota of GP training positions?

Nothing much. The ADF is currently in negotiations to gain its own quota of funded GP training positions. Any MO wishing to enter an ADF-based GP program would still have to meet entry criteria and standards as laid down by the RACGP/ACRRM and go through the usual process. This would still be a competitive process and may attract DEO to the ADF. If the training positions are not obtained, then it�s business as usual, no change from now.

 

27. Will there be any detriment or penalties if I do not transfer to the new system?

There will be no detriment provisions in so far as no one can suffer a financial loss. So, if you remain under the old system, you just remain on the old pay scale (rank based) and gain the usual increments as before. However, in the longer term, there may be limitations in the range of positions that you will be suitable to fill, as each position has been assessed with respect to appropriate ML.

28. Will my career manager listen to senior health advice in posting and career management issues?

The new system will certainly require careful personnel management if it is to succeed. It is proposed that the MOCPDC have input into MO management. The MO�s Career Adviser is the first point of contact for all questions.

 

29. What career progression will I have if I do not move to the new system?

In the short term, during the transition, career progression is unlikely to be affected greatly due to the practicalities of implementation, available number of MOs etc. In the longer term, career progression may be affected if a MO does not move to the new system. This is mainly in terms of having the appropriate ML to fill a range of jobs that that the MO may have been suitable to fill before. Employment may become more limited.

 

30. How long will the transition take?

Given the current manning level, the expected number of entrants in coming years and the long training times involved, full transition to the mature state is likely to take 8 to 10 years (ie. it is expected to take that long to have the mature structure fully populated by MOs with all the appropriate MLs). Implementation and transition began on 31 July 2003.

31. If I move to the new system, when will my new conditions and salary be effective from?

If you agree to the terms offered to you by your Career Manager and decide to move to the new system before 31 January 2004, your new salary and conditions will come into effect on 31 July 2003 (ie. back pay). If you decide to move to the new system after this date, your date of decision will become the with effect date of your new employment conditions. It is vital, then, to get your information package in to the MOPCDC ASAP so that your processing time can be minimised, giving you as much time as possible to make your decision.

 

32. Who assesses my Medical level and how?

Each MO�s Medical level will be assessed by the MOPCDC and will be based on:

  • Postgraduate qualifications held (fellowships, degrees, diplomas)
  • Military and military medical courses completed.
  • Compliance with continuing medical education/maintenance of professional skills programs.
  • For grandfathering during the transition period, time/experience in full time military service will also be considered.

The MOPCDC advises the Career Management Agency, where the final decision resides. It is the head of each single Service Career Management Agency who has the final say regarding assigned ML, pay rate and conditions of employment.

There is an appeals process if you are not satisfied with the outcome.

 

33. Where does rank fit in?

While the salary structure contains a rank component, rank does not form part of the competency structure. Rank remains a Single Service issue. A combination of rank and ML will be required to fill certain positions.

34. What if I fail my specialist training program?

Each case will be considered on its own merits by the MOPCDC.

 

35. Can I appeal against the MOPCDC decision?

Yes, any MO who is not satisfied with a decision made by the MOPCDC can seek reconsideration and/or appeal to the Appeals Committee through their Career Manager. All other avenues of appeal or complaint within the ADF are also available to MO, eg Redress of Grievance.

 

36. Is ML part of AIRN/individual readiness?

Only in so far as deeming the individual MO as being suitable for a particular range of tasks or roles. Military and military medical courses have only been specified for ML1 moving to ML2, and some within ML2. The environmental command SMOs determined that this level of training was required prior to being deployable, based on the roles that these MO would be required to fill on deployment.

37. Do I have to move through all the ML?

No, there is no fixed linear progression through the Medical levels.

MO entering the ADF under the new scheme will most likely commence at ML1 and progress through ML2 to ML3, 4 (not necessarily all or in that order). For example, on completion of ML1, the MO may remain in ML2 while completing GP, a discipline of Occupational Medicine or Public health training, and then move to ML3 or to ML4 respectively.

Direct entry MO (DEO) would "plug in" to the system at their appropriate ML, as determined by the MOPCDC. For example, a fully qualified GP DEO would enter at ML3, but remain on the lowest increment until completion of all ML1 and any necessary ML2 requirements.

Currently serving MO will be deemed at an appropriate ML. Not all will have to complete any outstanding ML1 or ML2 requirements. The need for "catch up" training will be identified on an individual basis by the MOPCDC, determined by current and likely employment or role on deployment.

 

38. Can I be expected to work outside of my ML?

The basic premise of a competency based system, is that individuals cannot work outside their level or area of competency. However, there is provision for a MO to work outside of the medical officer structure (ie. not in a MO position) for a period of up to 3 years without detriment. After 3 years out of the MO structure, pay would revert to the Officer Common Scale.

 

39. What happens if my supervisor is away on leave/posted?

If you are doing a GP basic term, an alternative supervisor must be nominated and move on site. If doing advanced or subsequent terms, an alternative supervisor must be nominated but can be located offsite. For supervisor absences with respect to other postgraduate programs, advice will be sought from the relevant College.

27 February, 2012