Guidelines for AGES Accredited Units
This page outlines key information for Accredited Units in the AGES training program in advanced endoscopic surgery.
Trainee Recruitment and Advertising
Trainee interviews take place at the AGES Society Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) early each year. The ASM is held in early March, with notification of the dates of future ASMs posted on the AGES website. The AGES Secretariat will contact the Director of Training at each accredited training site in August of each year to determine if a training position is available to commence the following year. If a training position is available, a proforma application will be completed including the eligibility criteria for that AGES accredited training unit position(s) and to confirm the advertisement you wish to be used for your program.
Please note that only financial units will be allowed to advertise for trainees and attend interviews at the ASM. Training sites that are not financial and have not responded to two written reminders from the AGES secretariat will be removed as an accredited training site and will need to reapply for accreditation including the full $3,300 application fee. The first notification for the training fee will be sent in October of the preceding year.
Advertising for Trainees
Advertisements for training positions will begin in November, with dissemination of training places by the following methods:
- AGES website: all information will be available to trainees on the website. This information currently exists including site locations. Documents with updated position descriptions and advertisements may be found at the website, which will have the most comprehensive information and trainees will be directed here in all other forms of advertising.
- eScope: Due to space limitations, advertisements will be shorter, with a general notification in the spring release of eScope and detailed listings in the summer release.
- Program Directors may choose other forms of advertising directly, which is at their discretion as the employing body. AGES will not accept responsibility for these methods of advertising. Individual Units may be bound by local operating requirements if they are employing trainees through either public or private facilities. It is the responsibility of the Program Director to adhere to these individual requirements and the AGES secretariat will not be responsible for the notification of these organisations on a Training Unit's behalf.
- First Call by November 1 of the year prior to the ASM interviews
- Second Call by February 1 of the year of the ASM
- Trainee applications close by second week of February
- Note that late applications will not be accepted
Following appointment to an AGES accredited training program, each Director of Training must notify the AGES secretariat of the trainee within their unit.
Trainees need to be registered upon appointment and no later than mid-December of the year prior to their first year of training. Training registration is available through the website by completion of the appropriate electronic form. Annual registration is required and notification to the AGES Education of any absence of leave (e.g. special leave, parental leave) that would affect training.
Trainee registration is the responsibility of the trainee. Trainees who fail to register in the time frame will be sent one reminder notice with a copy to the Director of Training for that AGES accredited training program. Failure to comply within 2 weeks will mean that the trainee will not be registered for that year. The training unit will forfeit the training fee in this circumstance.
The following are requirements for satisfactory completion of the 2-year AGES training program:
- Training Assessment
- Procedural Assessment
- Theoretical Assessment
- Research Assessment
- Bio-Statistics Course
- Presentation Requirements
1. Training Assessment
Each Trainee will be required to complete the following over each semester (6 month period) of their training:
a. Training Assessment Record (TAR) – Form 1
- All trainees at all levels must complete and submit the specific AGES TAR
- The TAR will document surgical procedures in a usual log book format
- Non-surgical clinical skills will be recorded (gynaecological clinics or rooms/ultrasound/minor procedures)
- Non-clinical skills will be recorded including meeting attendance, research project preparations and submissions, teaching and training activities, dry-lab
b. Training Supervisors’ Report – Form 2
- All nominated Training Supervisors must complete the Training Supervisors Report for each trainee at the end of each semester and submit it to the AGES Education Coordinator. Note, contributors to a training program who are not nominated training supervisors do not need to complete this form. Directors of training at each site are responsible for ensuring and distributing the Training Supervisors form/link to all nominated training supervisors and those that who are not nominated but considered necessary for an assessment.
c. Training Director’s Summary– Form 3
Once the Supervisors Reports are received by the AGES Education Coordinator, they are collated, and the details entered into a summary for the Director of Training at each accredited site.
A link to this document is then forwarded to the Training Director with the Supervisor’s Reports summarised for reference.
The Training Director then reviews, annotates, signs and submits the Summary, in consultation with the Trainee.
- Documents 1 and 3 are to be submitted to the AGES Secretariat every 6 months by August 31 (usual first semester) and February 28 (usual second semester).
- There may be times when these dates need to be adjusted due to starting times of trainees
- The final semester TAR is due by December 14 to enable revision of the submitted documentation in time for graduation at the ASM in the following March
- Presentation of training certificates will be made to all completed trainees at the Gala Dinner of the ASM in the following March.
- An elevation fee at final completion is payable prior to certification.
- It is expected that Trainees register and attend this meeting in-person to accept their certificate
- Reminders will be sent to Directors of training 4 weeks after these dates if they have not been received
- Training sites that have not responded to two written reminders for the appropriate documentation from the AGES education coordinator will be removed as an accredited training site and will need to reapply for accreditation including the full $3,300 application.
2. Procedural Assessment
- Two Assessment of Procedural Skills (APS) documents are required to be submitted:
- Total Laparoscopic Hysterectomy – this is mandatory for all trainees
- One other procedure, at the discretion of the trainee, from the following list:
- Laparoscopic excision stage IV endometriosis
- Laparoscopic Pelvic Floor Repair
- Laparoscopic Myomectomy (an intramural myoma of >5cm diameter with layered suture repair)
- Laparoscopic lymphadenectomy
- The online assessment forms may be found on the here AGES website
- Two Assessment of Procedural Skills (APS) documents are required to be submitted:
- Submission of Summative APS reports are required by December 14 in the final semester of training.
3. Theoretical Assessment
Trainees are required to complete a theoretical summative assessment (Multiple Choice Questions) to be held in conjunction with an AGES meeting (of which they are a fully registered delegate) and will be notified at least 6 months in .
MCQ’s will be determined by the education committee in a formalised meeting, with pre-determined pass rate prior to the initiation of the examination. The following procedures apply to the Theoretical assessment:
- Both 1st and 2nd years may sit the exam
- Should a 2nd year fail – a make-up exam will be held in February to allow graduation in March at the ASM
- Should a 1st year fail – the next exam they can do is the following November (or whenever the regular exam is to be held)
Exam results will be marked and ratified by the committee and trainees informed within 6 weeks of the exam.
The exam pass mark is determined by the education committee only after the examination has been set and the questions analysed. A modified Angoff process is used to pre-determine the pass mark .
4. Research Assessment
Each trainee is required to complete a research project during their two-year training program.
The research program is deemed automatically passed if the project is published in a peer reviewed journal, with the trainee as first author.
Where the trainee is not first author, submission for consideration of assessment will be required, including a statement to the Chairman of Education as to the trainee’s role in the project. The trainee may be required to present their research and their roles, responsibilities and understanding of the principles of research to a panel to be chosen by the Chairman of Education.
5. Bio-Statistics Course
A bio-statistics course must be completed within the 2 years of training. Exemption to the statistics course may be applied for to the education committee where a course has been undertaken in the 5 years prior to the commencement of training, where there is a documented program and certification obtained from the course.
For courses >5 years prior to the onset of training, each case will be taken on merit. Statistics as a contributor to an undergraduate medical program leading to a medical degree, course work leading to a masters or honours program are unlikely to be exempt. Degrees where biostatistics or research methodology form a substantial and verifiable portion of the degree content or PhD program are likely to be acceptable, however will be assessed on an individual basis.
Current recommended bio-statistics course include:
- PUBH7620 – Biostats
- PUBH7650 – EBM
- CAM625 – Introduction to Biostatistics
- PHCM2002 – Introduction to Biostatistics
- PUBH2203 – Foundation in Biostatistics and Epidemiology
- IMED2003 - Medical Sciences Research Methodologies
- POPH90013 – Biostatistics
6. Presentation Requirements
To meet this requirement, the trainee must have presented at one of the following DURING their training:
- An AGES affiliated scientific meeting (ASM/Pelvic Floor/Focus)
- The AAGL annual meeting
- The ESGE annual meeting
- The BSGE annual meeting
For presentations at other meetings, submissions may be made to the education committee for equivalence. Please note that presentation at the RANZCOG annual (or other RANZCOG regional) meeting will not be considered acceptable.
Trainees entering training from January 2019 will be required to complete ALL of the following workshops over the 2-year period of their training:
- Anatomy of Complications workshop or equivalent
- Anatomy of Dissection workshop or equivalent
- AGES Research Workshop or equivalent
- Training Workshop to be held at the Annual Scientific Meeting annually
For completion of other courses, submissions may be made to the education committee for equivalence. Please note that submissions must include a copy of the course content, certification of completion and are subject to review. Review will be considered by the education committee on a quarterly basis.
Directors of Training must allow trainees to attend the ASM. Attendance during training is considered a mandatory requirement for training.
A Trainee meeting will be held in combination with the ASM and it is a requirement that all trainees attend. The training representative and board liaison will be directly responsible for the organisation and running of this meeting in association with the AGES board or representatives directed by the Chairman of Education
Trainees are also expected to attend the other AGES meetings – Pelvic Floor and Focus – each year and encouraged to attend the annual AGES/RANZCOG Trainee Workshop as facilitators. Volunteering for this workshop is expected when the workshop is held in the same state as the are held in another state.
Training Documentation for each Trainee is reviewed every 6 months by the AGES Training Committee.
Certificates of Recognition are awarded to each successful trainee at the AGES ASM in the year following the completion of their requirements. All trainees are expected to attend the ASM to receive the document.
- Training site fees are to be paid by February 1 of each training year by the training unit. The invoice will be issued to the Unit for payment
- The annual cost per accredited trainee position is $1,500 (inc GST) regardless of whether a trainee is appointed
- Training sites that are not financial and have not responded to two written reminders from the AGES secretariat will be removed as an accredited training site and will need to reapply for accreditation including the full $3,300 application fee
Training Site Review
- Review of all documentation for accredited training sites is undertaken before February 28 of each year
- Directors of Training should inform the AGES secretariat of any substantial changes to the training program that would materially change the program and result in the program not meeting requirements for training (for example a reduction in the minimum number of training supervisors)
- Failure to do so will result in the unit being removed and an accredited training site and will need to reapply for accreditation including the full $3,300 application fee
- Re-accreditation of a training unit will take place every 4 years or earlier if there has been a material change in the staffing or services provided
Accreditation of New Sites
- Applications for new training sites will be reviewed on an annual basis
- Applications are available on the AGES Website
- Applications must be received by May 1 of the year before advertising for the position
- The application fee of $3,300 is payable at the time of the application and is non-refundable, regardless of whether the position is approved
- The outcome of the application, including site visits (where needed), will be disseminated by August 1 to ensure that advertisement for the position is in line with all other AGES accredited sites
- An accredited position would commence in the year following advertising and interview
Training Supervisors & Site Certificates
- Training Supervisor Agreement forms completed and returned by May 1 of the Units first year of training
- Training Site Certificates are reviewed by November 1 by the AGES Training Committee after each site has completed one year of training
- Certificates of Recognition are awarded to each approved training supervisor and will be sent by mail
- Directors of Training are responsible for maintaining an up to date record of training supervisors and notifying the AGES secretariat of any substantial changes