1. Can I do my own surveys?
Yes – The practice will need to develop a practice specific method of collecting patient experience feedback either through a questionnaire, patient focus groups or patient interviews. This tool will then need to be validated and approved by RACGP for use in the 4th Edition standards. This can be a time consuming and costly process. CFEP Surveys have been approved by the RACGP’s standards committee to provide validated patient questionnaires for the 4th Edition standards for Practice Accreditation. For minimal stress and efficiency we recommend using the CFEP PAIS to ensure that you collect reliable and meaningful data that can be used to improve the quality of care and service provided by the practice. CFEP clients that undertake the PAIS are able to compare benchmark feedback scores against those from 1900 practices across Australia. The practice report also includes full time equivalent (FTE) benchmarks for comparison.
2. How much of my valuable time is the process going to take?
In our experience, the administration of the Practice Accreditation and Improvement Survey (PAIS) has proven to be very time efficient. CFEP surveys provides a survey kit which includes everything required for administering of questionnaires and on completion we will collate all data and provide you with a comprehensive report. Our practice managers have supported this by stating that the process is “minimally disruptive” to the operation of the practice. The administrative process was designed by practice managers in a number of focus groups. You can view some of our Reviews here.
3. How much are the surveys going to cost?
CFEP understands the many financial demands associated with Accreditation and have ensured that our prices are highly competitive. Our price is GST inclusive with a survey pack provided that includes all your printed questionnaires, envelopes for each questionnaire, guidelines for staff, a patient awareness poster, ballot box and a large envelope for return of your completed surveys. On receipt of your completed surveys we will collate all the data for you and email you a comprehensive 20 page report showing benchmarks against other practices across Australia. Benchmarks are also provided based on full time equivalent (FTE) numbers. We are happy to provide you with a hard copy of your report at no extra charge. Click here to view our prices or download our application form
4. What happens after I send my application to you?
On receipt of your application, we will process and send the survey pack to you within 2 to 3 working days. The survey pack will include:-
  • all your printed questionnaires
  • envelopes for each questionnaire
  • guidelines for staff
  • a patient awareness poster
  • ballot box
  • large envelope for return of your completed surveys
5. How many surveys do we need to complete?
To meet RACGP 4th Edition standards your patients will need to complete 30 surveys per one (1) full time equivalent GP. There are various formulas available to calculate your FTE number but the one we have found to be acceptable by the College is to add all the clinical hours of your doctors (i.e. full time and part-time) and divide by 37 and then round up to the nearest whole number. This may give you a number such as 2.7 in which case your practice would be required to complete a minimum of 90 questionnaires.
6. How is the survey administered?
  • It is advisable that the patient is given a survey with an envelope after their consultation. As the questionnaire is designed to be completed within a 3 to 5 minute timeframe, the patient can comfortably do this whilst their payment is being processed.
  • On completion of the survey, the patient seals their envelope and places it in the ballot box provided.
  • On completion of all surveys, simply return to CFEP in the large envelope provided for your convenience.
  • We strongly recommend that patients are discouraged from taking the surveys home for completion as we have found the return rate to be low, despite all good intentions by the patient.
7. What happens if we don’t have enough surveys returned?
Our protocol is as follows:-
  • CFEP will provide you with extra printed questionnaires in your initial survey pack for the successful completion of your surveys.
  • We encourage you to have the patients complete all the surveys sent to ensure that the minimum requirement of 30 surveys per one FTE is met.
  • On return of your surveys to CFEP we will contact you if an insufficient number of surveys have not been returned.
  • If less than 50 additional surveys are required, CFEP are happy to provide these to your practice at no additional charge. A charge may incur if additional surveys above this number are required.
8. How many pages is the survey?
The questionnaire is one (1) A4 page double-sided. It includes all core the questions required to meet RACGP’s criteria. CFEP’s PAIS also has an open ended question for patients to comment on how the clinicians/staff could improve their service. These comments are de-identified and included in their entirety in your Report. The questionnaire has been designed to be completed by the patient within a 3-5 minute timeframe. CFEP has found that patients are unwilling to complete questionnaires that are long and complicated. PAIS is comprehensive enough to provide meaningful data. The PAIS questionnaire was trialled with patient focus groups and has been used extensively in Australia and the UK.
9. Do all the questions have to be answered?
A questionnaire will become invalid if one side of the questionnaire has not been completed. In this instance we are unable to use the data for collation of statistics and another survey would need to be completed. It is for this reason that we provide your practice with additional surveys in your initial survey pack. We have purposely not included a column for ‘Not Applicable’ as our 20 years’ experience has shown that patients will consider the available options more closely rather than dismissing them by checking the ‘Not Applicable’ box.
10. Our patients think some of questions are intrusive.
An envelope is provided with each questionnaire to ensure that the patient’s responses/comments remain confidential. We strongly encourage practices to reassure their patients that their honest feedback is valued and that they will remain anonymous throughout the process. We recognise that the area that causes the most concern are some of the demographic questions and suggest that patients are reassured of their anonymity and the importance of gaining an understanding of their patient base to enable you to provide services that best meets that clientele base. CFEP Surveys staff are the only people who will be able to see the responses made by patients. It is important to note, that blank demographic questions do not invalidate the questionnaire.
11. The majority of our patients are indigenous?
CFEP fully empathises with the potential difficulties associated with completing a standard survey in an indigenous community. We are working on providing a culturally sensitive questionnaire. If your practice is within an indigenous community you are welcome to contact us so that we can further discuss your needs.
12. Your application form states that our doctors can earn 40 Category 1 QI & CPD points or 30 ACRRM Extended Skills points?
Yes they can. Doctors can earn 40 Category 1 Clinical Audit points or 30 ACRRM Extended Skills points by participating in the PAIS. It is a very simple process and we invite you to contact us for full details. An additional cost applies for this service.
13. Is the survey available in languages other than English?
Yes. Simply contact our office to discuss your requirements. An additional fee will apply for this service.
14. We would like to add some questions specific to our practice.
We can certainly add extra questions but they will not be included in the standard PAIS questionnaire. These questions will be attached separately and independent analysis of feedback will be provided on these questions alone. An additional fee will incur for this service.
15. Will our PAIS Report be sufficient to meet accreditation?
Your PAIS report will meet Criterion 2.1.2 Indicator C.
  • An Action Plan is included in your Report. Should you wish to use this Action Plan it may guide you in assisting to satisfy Criterion 2.1.2 Indicator D.
  • A "Certificate of Completion" with a Practice Improvement Plan for your practice is also issued with your Report. This may be of support to you in demonstrating Criterion 2.1.2 Indicator E.
  • These guides are provided at no extra cost.
16. Once the surveys are returned to CFEP, when can we expect to get our results?
On receipt of your surveys, CFEP will email a comprehensive 20 page, easy to follow Report within 2 to 3 weeks. If your Report is required sooner than this, please contact us. We will do our very best to meet your deadlines. A hardcopy of your Report is available on request at no extra charge.
17. How do I get the discount price?
AGPAL have negotiated a 10% discounted price on behalf of their members. We are proud of our Standard price and CFEP is pleased to be able to offer such a competitive price to all practices across Australia.
18. What is the ‘Rurality’ you have on your Application form?
Rurality is determined by how many kilometres your practice is situated from the centre of your capital city. In general terms, the closer you are to the city the lower your RA number is. If you are unsure of your practice’s rurality, leave it blank and we will complete this on your behalf or you may like to visit this site www.doctorconnect.gov.au. This information will later be used for benchmarking purposes.
19. What does the Report include?
  • The practice report is over 20 pages and is illustrated in tables and graphs with associated benchmarks based on feedback given by thousands of patients across Australian general practices. Percentage scores are also given that show comparisons against practices of similar FTEs. Supporting documents are also provided to assist you in the interpretation and understanding of your results.
  • You are welcome to call our friendly, qualified staff who would be happy to discuss your report with you.
20. Can I get a PDF file that I can print myself?
In our discussions with practice managers in numerous focus groups, the overall consensus appears to be that:-
  • Time poor practice managers see the printing and management of the questionnaires to be just another onerous task for them to complete.
  • The printing and management of surveys has proven not to be cost effective, particularly when time factor is taken into account.
  • Surveys photocopied in house are not always produced to the level of professionalism that is required to meet the 4th Edition standards. Patients are hesitant, at best, to complete a survey and are less likely to participate if the questionnaire does not meet the professional ideals that the 4th Edition standards require.
  • CFEP provides you with the correct number of specialized, printed questionnaires which saves you time, takes the guess work out and more importantly maintains your professionalism in the operation of your practice.