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Flexible Funds Policy


1. Purpose

The Australian Government has provided an additional pool of flexible funding to the RACGP to support supervisors to develop and maintain the skills needed in their supervision of registrars in training; and to enhance, expand and build high quality supported training opportunities for registrars in areas of workforce need.

This policy defines the principles, requirements and application of the RACGP’s use of flexible funds across Australia that is consistent with the business rules set out in the National Consistent Payments (NCP) Framework.

2. Scope

2.1 This policy applies to:

i. Registrars in the RACGP Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program who are engaged in a Core Community General Practice Term, an Extension Term for Assessment Purposes, or an Additional Rural Skills Training (ARST) term,

ii. RACGP-accredited Supervisors who are engaged in the supervision of an AGPT Registrar in community general practice,

iii. RACGP-accredited Supervisors and Registrars who are engaged in an RACGP-approved AGPT Remote Supervision placement,

iv. RACGP-accredited community general practice Training Sites, and

v. RACGP staff.

2.2 This policy applies to the following payment types:

i. Supervisor professional development payments (refer to Schedule 1).

ii. Remote Supervision payments (refer to Schedule 2).

iii. Registrar financial support for Incentivised Placements (refer to Schedule 3).

iv. Registrar financial support for Additional Rural Skills Training (refer to Schedule 4).

3. General principles

3.1 This policy is subject to the RACGP receiving flexible funding from the Australian Government for the AGPT program.

3.2 The payments will be made to the claimant's nominated bank account. It is the responsibility of the claimant to ensure their account details are up to date in the Training Management System (TMS).

3.3 The RACGP is not liable for the recovery of payments made to incorrect accounts.

3.4 It is the responsibility of claimants to ensure that any claims submitted are correctly completed, signed and supported by the required evidence.

3.5 Accessible Flexible Funds payments does not exclude access to existing National Consistent Payment entitlements and other RACGP claimable items.

3.6 All payments and claims will be paid:

i. by semester and are linked to placements.

ii. from the start of the relevant training semester in the state or territory.

iii. for activities that relate to the current training semester.

iv. in accordance with the relevant schedule.

3.7 Payments and claims will not be paid:

i. where a claim for the same activity has already been paid by an alternative entity.

ii. for retrospective semesters.

4. Supervisor professional development payments

Details of the Supervisor professional development payments are outlined in Schedule 1.

4.1 New Supervisor professional development payments are payable directly to new Supervisors who:

i. have applied to become accredited as per the Accreditation Policy,

ii. have completed modules 1-7 of the Foundations of a GP training program, and

iii. are in an Accredited Training Site.

4.2 Accredited training practices supervising at least one Eligible Registrar will receive a Supervisor professional development stipend each semester.

i. The total number of Supervisor professional development hours completed by Supervisors in the training site must exceed the minimum requirement.

ii. Training sites determine who will attend the Supervisor professional development and how the stipend is distributed among the Supervisors.

4.3 Supervisors located in MM3-7, per the Modified Monash Model, can claim for the travel costs associated with attending face-to-face supervisor professional development.

5. Remote Supervision Payments

Details of the Remote Supervision payments are outlined in Schedule 2.

5.1 Remote supervision payments are payable to the Supervisor, as per the Remote Supervision Guidelines, who is providing remote (offsite) supervision to Registrars in GPT2, GPT3, or extended skills training terms undertaking an approved Remote Supervision placement.

6. Registrar financial support for Incentivised Placements

Details of the Registrar financial support for Incentivised Placements are outlined in Schedule 3.

6.1 Financial support for Incentivised Placements can be claimed by Registrars who:

i.  are undertaking a Core General Practice Training Term, an Extension Term for Assessment Purposes, or an ARST placement in a GP catchment or accredited training site that has been identified as an Incentivised Placement, and

ii. reside within the same GP Catchment (or an adjoining GP Catchment), for a minimum of 3 nights in a calendar week, or within 80kms of the placement.

6.2 Reimbursement claims for expenditure incurred can be submitted for the following:

i. relocation costs,

ii. housing rental assistance,

iii. increased childcare and education costs,

iv. additional training costs needed by training delivery site (e.g. Xray courses),

v. travel for personal health care or wellbeing (respite), and

vi. hardware for internet connectivity.

7. Registrar financial support for Additional Rural Skills Training

Details of the additional Rural Skills Training Payments are outlined in Schedule 4.

7.1 Financial support for Registrars can be claimed by Registrars who are:

i. enrolled in Rural Generalist training,

ii. undertaking Additional Rural Skills Training, and

iii. have not claimed an Additional Rural Skills Training financial support payment during training in any location.

8. Amendment of this policy

The Chief General Practice Training Officer (CGPTO) may, without the consent of the RACGP Board, make Minor, Moderate and Consequential Amendments to this policy at any time.

If the CGPTO makes amendments, they must advise the RACGP Board of those amendments as soon as practicable.

The CEO may make amendments to this policy at any time.

All amendments must be communicated to the Department of Health and Aged Care as soon as practicable.

9. Responsibilities

9.1 Chief General Practice Training Officer 
  1. Approving Minor Amendments
  2. Approving Moderate Amendments
  3. Approving Consequential Amendments
9.2 National Planner, GP Training Workforce
  1. Annually reviewing this policy and confirming the incentivised locations for registrar support payments
9.3 Program Support Officers and Training Coordinators
  1. Liaising with Registrars and Supervisors affected by this policy
  2. Supporting Stakeholders with access to paperwork and questions about policy requirements and scope
  3. Providing advice of incomplete information
  4. Accessing and recommending applications that meet all criteria for approval
  5. Providing advice to Supervisors and Registrars whose applications do not meet criteria
9.4 CEO
  1. Approving Major Amendments 
9.5 Registrar
  1. Submitting applications for Registrar support payments for identified Incentivised Placements to the RACGP on the correct form, including all relevant supporting documentation
  2. Ensuring the application form is completed in full and signed
  3. Responding to requests for additional information from the RACGP
9.6 Regional Director of Training
  1. Identification of mandatory educational release activity
9.7 Regional Operations Manager
  1. Approving or declining applications for payments
9.8 Training site
  1. Ensuring the bank details provided in the TMS are correct
  2. Ensuring supervisor professional development stipend payments are distributed to supervisors proportional to their participation in supervisor professional development activities
  3. Responding to requests for additional information from the RACGP

 

10. Glossary

10.1 Accredited Training Site A health service accredited by the RACGP where the Registrar may undertake their general practice training. For AGPT Registrars, this excludes the mandatory hospital training time.
10.2 Additional Rural Skills Training (ARST) 52 calendar weeks (FTE) in an accredited training post that provides the appropriate depth and breadth of experience necessary to meet the requirements of the particular ARST curriculum.
10.3 Core General Practice Training Term (GPT) GPT 1, GPT 2, GPT 3 and extended skills in community general practice.
10.4 Consequential Amendment An amendment that requires urgent implementation as a necessary result of an amendment to another policy or process.
10.5 Eligible Registrar All registrars, excluding those in an Extension Awaiting Fellowship term.
10.6 Extension Term for Assessment Purposes Defined as per clause 5.2.i.b of the Extension of Program Time Policy
10.7 Incentivised Placement Placements identified by the RACGP at the GP catchment level as areas with significant workforce need. Refer to the Placement Incentives for further information.
10.8 Major Amendment An amendment that materially changes the operation of the policy but is not otherwise a Minor or Moderate Amendment (i.e., a change to one major clause or policy review).
10.9 Minor Amendment An amendment to style, to correct grammatical mistakes, change overall formatting, make updates that do not materially change meaning, or any other amendment, which in the opinion of the Chief General Practice Training Officer, does not materially alter the operation of the policy.
10.10 Moderate Amendment An amendment that materially changes the operation of a policy by a limited amount (i.e., a change to one minor clause, or changes that have a limited impact on the outcome of the policy).
10.10 Modified Monash Model The Modified Monash Model (2019) (MMM) is a classification system that categorises metropolitan, regional, rural, and remote areas according to both geographical remoteness and town size. The MMM classification for any given area can be found by using the locator tool on the Health Workforce Locator.
10.11 New Supervisor A supervisor who is in the process of undertaking accreditation by the RACGP and has yet to complete their first year as a provisional RACGP supervisor. Upon completion of the 8th training module, they progress to an accredited supervisor.
10.12 Registrar A medical practitioner enrolled in the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program.
10.13 Remote Supervision Provision of supervision and teaching by a supervisor who is primarily offsite, using a model of supervision that provides comprehensive and robust support and training. The supervisor is ‘remote’ from the registrar.
10.14 Remote Supervisor An RACGP-accredited Supervisor who has been matched to an approved remote supervision model and registrar. In this context, a Remote Supervisor is predominantly offsite and supervision with the AGPT Registrar is performed via electronic means in a variety of formats.
10.15 Supervisor An accredited general practitioner who is both a clinician and role model who takes responsibility for the education and training needs of the Registrar while in the practice.


11. Related documents, legislation and policies

12. Policy review and currency

This policy will be reviewed every three calendar years from the last approval date, or when there is a significant change in the intent of the policy. This policy remains valid and applicable notwithstanding if it is overdue for review.

 

Version

Date of effect

Amended by

4 02/04/2024 Education and Policy Guidance Lead
Amendment details
 
  • Clause 2.1.i and 6.1.i updated to include registrars on Extension Term for Assessment Purposes to scope.
  • Schedules 1 to 4 removed from policy. Now hosted on a separate webpage.
3

21/03/2024

Education and Policy Guidance Lead
Amendment details
  • Clause 4.3 updated to reflect new location eligibility requirements. 
  • Schedule 1 updated
2 15/01/2024 Workforce Planning Manager WA
Amendment details
  • Updates to eligibility and requirements for accessing Flexible Funds
  • Removal of process-related information
  • Restructure of policy to align with RACGP policies 

1

The start date of the first term of the Training Program in 2023

Education Policy and Guidance Lead

Amendment details

 

Policy owner:

RACGP Board

Approved by:

Chief General Practice Training Officer

Approved on:

05/01/2023

Next review due:

01/2027    


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