Clinical Competency Rubric

12. Rural health

Last revised: 04 Mar 2024

Whilst based on a foundation of the core skills of Australian general practice, rural general practice provides a diversity of geographical and demographic contexts, which contribute to a broad spectrum of patient presentations and potential limitations in availability of health resources. Providing quality care to rural and remote communities therefore requires a flexible and innovative approach and a particular set of skills. The skills that need to be developed and maintained by GPs to provide quality care to their communities depend largely on their practice context and the specialised services and resources available within the local vicinity. The skill sets required for rural and remote practice may be required at an extended or advanced level depending on these factors.

RH1.1 Communicate effectively with other health professionals using available infrastructure
RH2.1 Deliver quality care to a rural and remote community
RH3.1 Promote health in the rural and/or remote community
RH3.2 Undertake a range of public health roles
RH4.1 Identify and ethically manage therapeutic boundary issues
RH4.2 Address professional isolation
RH5.1 Manage time and workloads

Required knowledge

  • Continue building referral pathways for patients and building relationships with other organisations involved in healthcare in the local community

Required skills

  • Work with local hospital(s) and other healthcare providers to maintain and advance skills relevant to community need

Required attitudes

  • Maintain a positive attitude toward working and living in a rural or remote community by ensuring good time management and professional support
  • Continue resilience building


  1. Develops, maintains and reviews effective communication strategies for communicating with patients and other health professionals who are located remotely
  2. Adapts communication to accommodate situations common in rural and remote areas and maintain effective communication infrastructure relevant to the practice setting
  3. Identifies appropriate modes of communication in the practice and the community
  4. Links into existing networks of health professionals in rural and remote settings
  5. Identifies, cultivates and maintains skills relevant to the practice and specific to community needs
  6. Works effectively with patients who live in isolation
  7. Demonstrates leadership in emergency situations
  8. Liaises with emergency services to enhance preparedness to deal with emergencies
  9. Develops and delivers health-promotion activities in the community to address identified risks
  10. Establishes and sustains health-education and health-promotion networks
  11. Implements strategies to minimise obstacles to accessing care
  12.  Works effectively with government and non-government organisations and the community to optimise health service provision
  13. Manages public health risks according to various guidelines
  14. Effectively manages any conflicts between personal and professional roles
  15. Effectively communicates limits of role boundaries to patients, staff and community members
  16. Regularly reviews and implements plans to meet professional learning and support needs
  17. Supports and mentors colleagues in managing professional isolation
  18. Sets up systems to optimise time management for the practice in a rural community with limited resources
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