Frequently asked questions


Essential Skills will support GPs to better screen for alcohol and drug use, assess patients’ readiness for change and determine appropriateness of referring to alcohol and other drug treatment services. The training program will be delivered as a self-directed two hour online learning activity available on gplearning.

Treatment Skills will help GPs assess the reasons why a patient is using alcohol and other drugs, determine approaches to managing any physical or mental health comorbidities and, where appropriate, identify if the patient has a mild, moderate or severe substance use disorder.

Pathway no. 1 (face-to face) will be available for GPs in metropolitan, regional and more populated regional areas. The face-to-face education sessions will be delivered by GP AOD educators as a series of:

  • short presentations
  • case-based discussion
  • self-reflection in small groups.

Training Pathway no.2 (self-directed) will be required to complete a mixture of core modules, optional modules, case studies and self-reflection exercises to the equivalent of eight hours of structured, self-directed learning on-line via gplearning.

Training Pathway no.3 (tele-education) will be a series of tele-education sessions utilising Project ECHO methodology. ECHO methodology provides an educational experience that matches the power of face-to-face learning to meet the needs of rural and remote GPs who require an alternative to face-to-face education.

Advanced Skills Training is for those GPs wishing to undertake advanced training to the equivalent of 20 hours of CPD to support treatment of alcohol and other drug use in their community. Upon completion of this pathway, participants will be required to take on a leadership role and share their learning with others in their practice, in their region or in the supervision of general practice doctors in training.

Participants will be required to complete a predisposing activity and baseline survey, attend one 1.5-hour small group online education session specifically designed for Advanced Skills Training participants, participate in the relevant education and/or mentoring sessions, and complete a reinforcing activity and post-training survey.

Pathway no.1 is face-to-face education

Commences March 2020

Pathway no.2 is self-directed learning available via gplearning

Commences October 2020

Pathway no.3 is delivered via tele-education sessions

Commences March 2020

The Essential skills education is available as online modules that are easily accessible and provide an introduction of how best to treat patients with alcohol and other drug related issues. These modules are completed online and physical attendance is not required, so there is no payment to compensate the cost implications of time spent away from practice. Payments for completion are targeted at the treatment skills training where the education needs of GPs is greatest so as to get the greatest outcome for commonwealth funding.

No, you do not need to complete all three pathways in order to receive the payment. Only the first 1800 GPs that complete one pathway (face- to-face or self-directed learning or tele-education) in Treatment Skills Training will receive a payment of $1200.

The AOD GP Education Program has been developed to support the needs of all members.

Essential Skills Training is a two (2) hour online learning program that will be provided at no-cost to all members. Members will not receive any payments for the completion of Essential Skills.

Treatment Skills Training is an eight (8) hour education program. The completion payment amount was determined based on a GP taking one day away from their practice for Continuous Professional Development.

Advanced Skills Training is a 20 hour education program. The completion payment amount was determined based on a GP taking up to three days away from their practice for Continuous Professional Development.

The RACGP has made a commitment to nearly double the amount of training spaces available to its members through the AOD GP Education Program, to ensure that as many eligible GPs can benefit from this education as possible.

Payments will be processed after the completion of all requirements for participant’s chosen training pathway (for either Treatment or Advanced Skills Training). These requirements include the completion of the predisposing activity, baseline survey, reinforcing activity and post training surveys,

Payment will be made to the participant’s bank account using the details provided to the AOD team.

Essential Skills Education is not a prerequisite for Treatment Skills and Advanced Skills Training. However, entry into Treatment Skills Training and Advanced Skills Training is determined by demonstrable prior alcohol and other drug knowledge.

Treatment Skills Training is not necessarily a prerequisite for acceptance into Advanced Skills Training. However, entry into Advanced Skills Training is determined by completion of either:

  • one pathway in Treatment Skills Training
  • providing evidence that you are currently treating patients for alcohol and other drug misuse
  • prior learning in alcohol and other drug misuse.
  • In larger metropolitan and regional areas, workshops will be of 4–5-hours duration, followed by a 1.5-hour small group online education session which occurs four to six weeks.
  • In more rural areas, education may be delivered as weekly small group learning discussions spanning 3–4 sessions. These will take place in NSW/ACT, Vic, WA, SA, NT and TAS

Locations for face-to-face education sessions will be based upon areas of need and where there is a critical mass of GPs in practice that require alcohol and other drug Treatment Skills Training.

Eligible GPs who reside near a state/territory border and are approved to the program will be able to access training in their preferred state. GPs will be able to request access to their preferred state during the application process.

Rural and remote status will be determined by the Modified Monash Model. GPs in areas 4-7 are considered to have rural or remote status.

MMM classifications are listed here: Health Workforce Locator

GPs practising in more rural and remote areas are encouraged to take part in Treatment Skills Pathways 2 (self-directed) or 3 (tele-education). Those GPs residing in rural areas (MM 4–7) whose preference is to attend a face-to-face education (metropolitan or regionally) will be considered on a case by case basis to attend and may be eligible for a rural travel subsidy.

The subsidy is calculated according to the participant’s location, their preferred training location and whether overnight accommodation is required. The rural subsidy is capped at $1000 for those GPs living in remote regions.

For more information about the program contact:

 1800 472 247


GP Education Program Handbook (PDF 1.56 MB)