Flexible Funds Policy


1.Purpose

Flexible funds are provided to the RACGP by the Australian Government to support continuing professional development for supervisors and address specific needs to build capacity for training in areas of workforce need. This policy defines the principles, requirements, application and scope of flexible funding nationally that is consistent with the business rules set out in the Nationally Consistent Payments Framework.

2.Scope

2.1 This policy applies to:

2.1.1 All RACGP registrars enrolled in the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program,

2.1.2 All RACGP accredited supervisors while actively engaged in the supervision of an AGPT registrar,

2.1.3 All RACGP accredited supervisors and enrolled RACGP registrars while engaged in RACGP approved AGPT remote supervision models,

2.1.4 RACGP Staff.

2.2 Payment types

The flexible funding policy applies to:

  • Supervisor professional development payments (Schedule 1)
  • Remote supervision payments (Schedule 2)
  • Registrar support payments for hard to fill locations (Schedule 3)

2.3 Limitations:

2.3.1 General

2.3.1.1  This policy relates to all placements terms in 2023.

2.3.1.2  Supervisors, training practices and registrars can access the payments outlined in this policy at the beginning of the 2023 training year from 1 February 2023.

2.3.1.3  Claim applications can be lodged from 1 February 2023 with the local program support officer.

2.3.1.4  The payments outlined in this policy are subject to the RACGP receiving agreed flexible funding from the Federal Government for the AGPT program in 2023 and beyond.

2.3.1.5  Payments outlined in the flexible funding policy relate to RACGP registrars, supervisors and placements only.

2.3.1.6  Payments are not payable to supervisors and registrars who have sought, intend to seek or have been paid for the same activity from an alternate entity.

2.3.2 Supervisor professional development payments:

2.3.2.1  These payments are available to RACGP accredited supervisors who have supervised a registrar in the preceding 12 months and/or who have a confirmed placements in the current training term.

2.3.3 Remote supervision payments

2.3.3.1  These payments are available to GP registrars training in GP terms GPT2, GPT3 & Extended Skills in GP.

2.3.3.1  These payments are available to Supervisors while the GP registrar employed by the remote supervision site is in an active GP term.

2.3.3.1  These payments are not available to supervisors who are supervising registrars remotely (via electronic means) when the supervisor and registrar ordinarily operate from the same site(s).

2.3.4 Registrar support payments in hard to fill locations

2.3.4.1  Registrar support payments in identified hard to fill locations relate to 2023 training terms only and will be replaced in 2024 with a policy that is informed by evidence that supports an understanding of training needs/opportunities and workforce needs such as Workforce Prioritisation Planning (WPP) reports.

2.3.4.4  These payments are available to GP registrars undertaking training in active GP terms including for ARST terms.

2.3.4.3  These payments are not available to GP registrars undertaking a second ARST in any location.

2.3.4.4  These payments are not available to GP registrars undertaking extension terms (extension for assessment purposes, extension awaiting fellowship, extension – transition, extension – elective).

2.3.4.5  Australian Defence Force (ADF) registrars in civilian active GP terms are eligible for their civilian training on a pro rata basis.

2.3.4.6  These payments are not available to registrars engaged in a fly in fly out model where they do not reside in the community in which the training site is located.

2.3.4.7 These payments are available to registrars who reside in the community in which their training site is located more than 3 nights per week.

3. General principles

3.1 Supervisor professional development

3.1.1 Supporting and mentoring GP registrars whose professionalism, clinical capabilities and interpersonal skills are still in development requires specialist supervision skills and interventions relative to the learner.

3.1.2 Supervisor professional development and networking is a critical enabling component of quality GP training delivery.

3.1.3 The RACGPs Supervisor Professional Development payments provide for new and ongoing primary and secondary supervisors from 1 February 2023.

3.1.4 Financial support for supervisor professional development is outlined in schedule 1.

3.1.5 Supervisor professional development payments are only payable:

3.1.5.1 to an RACGP accredited supervisor who is currently supervising an RACGP AGPT registrar OR

3.1.5.2 to an RACGP accredited supervisor who has supervised an RACGP registrar within the 12 months preceding submission of the supervisor professional development payment applications OR

3.1.5.3 to a new supervisor, who having applied to be accredited and having completed the mandatory modules to be accredited is awarded RACGP Accreditation status.

3.1.6 Supervisors are responsible for the completion, accuracy, signing and submission of supervisor professional development forms.

3.1.7 The RACGP is not liable for the recovery of payments made to incorrect accounts where the account details provided correspond to the account information supplied in the supervisor professional development payment application.

3.2 Remote supervision support

3.2.1 RACGP accredited remote supervision sites as defined in this policy enable quality, supported and safe training experiences.

3.2.2 Remote supervision arrangements take into consideration the individual registrar requirements and appropriately matches them to a remote training site and remote supervisor.

3.2.3 Registrars under approved remote supervision will be supported with Nationally Consistent Payments as well as additional supports outlined in Schedule 2 of this policy.

3.2.4 Remote supervision payments outlined in Schedule 2 are pro-rata.

3.2.5 Supervisors engaged in the provision of remote supervision will be supported with Nationally Consistent Payments for teaching that will be directed to the approved remote supervisor rather than the training site as well as additional supports outlined in Schedule 2 of this policy.

3.2.6 Additionally, remote supervision training sites, registrars and supervisors will be supported in accordance with Schedule 2

3.2.7 The RACGP is not liable for the recovery of payments made to incorrect accounts where the account details provided correspond to the account information supplied in the remote supervision support payment application.

3.3 Registrar support payments

3.3.1    Registrar support payments (outlined in Schedule 3) provide additional financial support to registrars taking up training in MMM 6 and 7 locations throughout 2023 training terms.

3.3.2 Registrars in MMM 4-7 locations who would have been eligible to claim additional support from their regional training organisation may apply to their local program support officer for a bridging payment of the difference between what was available up until 1 February 2023 and what is available to them via the NCP and registrar support payments set out in this policy.

3.3.3 The payments are not prorated and will be paid on submission of a fully completed, signed, submitted, and approved form.

3.3.4 Approved registrar support payment forms will be paid in advance on a quarterly basis into the registrars nominated bank account.

3.3.5 The payments are available in addition to Nationally Consistent Payments available to registrars via Services Australia.

3.3.6 The payments take into consideration the additional costs that may be associated with living in a more rural or remote location but are not based on rurality alone.

3.3.7 The registrar support payment, being in addition to nationally consistent payment eligibility, is considered a comprehensive but flexible payment from which registrars are expected to pay all costs associated with their training including specialist courses, housing, and internet.

3.3.8 Additionally, the registrar support payment may be used to fund additional housing costs, internet and relocation costs associated with accepting a training position in the identified priority hard to fill location.

3.3.9 As the additional costs of rural and remote living are not uniform nationally or by state, the rates set out in schedule 3 will be extended up to the amounts available to registrars under the regional training provider’s policy relevant to that training site location up to 1 February 2023 on application.

3.3.10 Eligibility for extended payments will take into consideration Nationally Consistent Payments, RACGP registrar support payments and whether combined these payments are less than what would have been available to the registrar for that training site under the regional training organisations hard to fill placement support arrangements or similar.

3.3.11 Program support officers in each state will assess relevant registrar training site circumstances and make a recommendation to the Regional Operations Manager in the relevant state or territory.

3.3.12 The Regional Director of Training in the relevant state or territory will approve or decline payments above those outlined in this policy. Any approval to extend the payments will also extend the obligations the relevant registrar would have had in receiving the additional funds in that jurisdiction such as paying for their own flights, accommodation, and transfers associated with mandatory face to face GP training opportunities as defined by the Regional Director of Training in their state or Territory each year.

3.3.13 The RACGP is not liable for the recovery of payments made to incorrect accounts where the account details provided correspond to the account information supplied in the registrar support payment application.

3.3.14 Registrar support payments as defined in this policy are available to registrars who accept a training post which:

3.3.14.1 Is located in MMM 6-7, and

3.3.14.2 Is considered a priority hard to fill location as defined by the RACGP for that state in this policy.

 

4. Amendment to this policy

The Chief General Practice Training Officer (CGPTO) may make Minor, Moderate and Consequential Amendments to this policy at any time.

If the CGPTO makes amendments, they must advise the RACGP Board.

The RACGP Board 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

5. Responsibilities

5.1 Chief General Practice Training Officer
  1. Approving Minor Amendments
  2. Approving Moderate Amendments
  3. Approving Consequential Amendments
5.2 RACGP
  1. Assessing, approving and making support payments
5.3 RACGP Board
  1. Approving Major Amendments
5.4 Registrar
  1. Submitting all applications for Registrar Support Payments for Identified Hard to Fill locations to the RACGP on the correct form, including all relevant supporting documentation
  2. Ensuring that the application form is completed in full and signed
  3. Responding to requests for additional information from the RACGP
5.5 Supervisors
  1. Submitting all applications for Supervisor professional development and remote supervision Payments to the RACGP on the correct form, including all relevant supporting documentation
  2. Ensuring that the application form is completed in full and signed
  3. Responding to requests for additional information from the RACGP
5.6 Regional Directors of Training
  1. Identification of mandatory educational release activity
5.7 Regional Operations Managers
  1. Approval of registrar support payment applications
  2. Approval of extended payment applications
5.8 Program Support Officers
  1. Liaison with registrars and supervisors affected by this policy
  2. Support stakeholders with access to paperwork and questions about policy requirements and scope
  3. Provision of advice of incomplete information
  4. Assess and recommend applications that meet all criteria for approval.
  5. Provide advice to supervisors and registrars whose applications do not meet criteria

 

6. Glossary

6.1 Active General Practice Training Term

GPT 1

GPT 2

GPT 3

Extended skills in community general practice

6.2 Additional Rural Skills Training (ARST)

Completion of a minimum 12 months of Additional Rural Skills Training (ARST) in an accredited training post is an essential component of training towards the RG Fellowship. This is in addition to the basic requirements of fellowship to the RACGP

6.3 New Supervisor

Any supervisor who is accredited by the RACGP after 1 February 2023 for a period of 1 year from the date of confirmation of accreditation.

6.4 Ongoing Supervisor

Supervisors who were RACGP accredited prior to 1 February 2023 and supervisors who were accredited after 1 February 2023 after completion of their first year as an RACGP accredited supervisor.

6.5 Primary Supervisor

Accredited as the primary supervisor for a registrar in the practice. The primary supervisor takes ultimate responsibility for the registrars professional and educational progress during their placement with the practice.

6.6 Secondary Supervisor

Accredited secondary supervisor who is supporting the primary supervisor for a registrar in the practice from time to time.

6.7 Remote Supervisor

A remote supervisor is an RACGP accredited supervisor who has been matched to an approved remote supervision model and registrar. In this context a remote supervisor is predominantly off-site and supervision with the AGPT registrar is performed via electronic means in a variety of formats.

6.8 Priority hard to fill locations

In 2023 training terms, priority hard to fill locations will be defined as any accredited MMM 6 to 7.

In 2024 training terms, priority hard to fill locations will be defined by the RACGP in this policy and informed by the workforce prioritisation plans set out in each state and territory.

7. Related documents, legislation and policies

8. Policy review and currency

This policy will be reviewed annually 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.

Schedule 1 – Supervisor professional development payments

The GP supervisor professional development requirements are:

Classification

Position

New Supervisors
(first year)

Primary

  • RACGP will fund up to sixteen hours of supervisor professional development for new primary supervisors comprising:
    • Completion of the RACGP Introductory GP supervisor online modules. Seven (7) of which must be completed prior to being accredited. The eighth module must be completed during the first year of supervisor accreditation.
  • Supervisor professional development payments will be paid directly to the supervisor based on the completion of professional development activities and payment requirements.

Secondary

  • RACGP will fund up to four hours of supervisor professional development for new secondary supervisors, which will be linked to the completion of three (3) specified learning modules which must be completed prior to being accredited.
  • Paid directly to the supervisor based on the completion of professional development activities and payment requirements.

Ongoing Supervisor

Primary and Secondary

  • There are no mandatory supervisor professional development requirements in 2023 for existing supervisors.
  • RACGP will fund up to eight (8) hours of supervisor professional development for ongoing supervisors.
  • RACGP Supervisor online modules will be available to ongoing supervisors via the learning management system however will not be mandated.
  • Paid directly to the supervisor based on the completion of professional development activities or to practice based on allocation of registrars.

 

Supervisor PD Activity Payment Rates

Who

What

Rate

All GP Supervisors

Supervisor PD Hourly rate

  • $150/hr (+GST) up to the allowed maximum for the supervisor’s classification on submission of payment claim form and completion requirements

Rural/ Remote GP Supervisors

Travel time

  • $150/hr (+GST) for travel during business hours between practice or residence and RACGP professional development, after the first hour of travel each way up to a maximum of four hours. Additional travel time will be considered and pre-approved on a case-by-case basis.
  • Supervisor required to submit claim form

Travel mileage or transfer costs (Uber or CabCharge to and from airports)

  • Reimbursement for kms per the ATO rates, for travel to and from RACGP professional development
  • Supervisor required to submit claim form

Flights, accommodation, and car rental

  • If flights, accommodation and/or car rental are required, the RACGP will book on behalf of the supervisor
  • Applicable for travel relating to RACGP mandatory in person supervisor professional development and remote supervision activities

 

Schedule 2 – Remote supervision payments

Activity per GP term

2nd Term

3rd Term

4th Term

Remote Supervision
Orientation (once per placement/
site)

Remote supervisor paid $150/hr (+GST) up to 76 hours (2 weeks) for on-site orientation

Remote Supervision
Includes all teaching, support, ad hoc communications,
assessment & regular quarantined
time with the registrar

$150/hr (+GST) up to 2.5 hours per week on top of NCP allowance and teaching time

$150/hr (+GST) up to 2.5 hours per week on top of NCP allowance and teaching time

$150/hr (+GST) up to 3 hours per week

Additional Onsite Visits
Supervisor travel, accommodation and hours worked.

$150/hr (+GST) Up to 2 visits per term

$150/hr (+GST) Up
to 2 visits per term

$150/hr (+GST) 1
visit per term


Additionally support for remote supervision sites will be assessed and provided for:

Item

Paid To

Position

Support/Incentive payments for practices

Practices

To assist in building training capacity:

  • For additional support in hard to fill areas aligned to Workforce evidence-based data, for such activities as supervisory support, assistance on additional oversight, training resources to host a registrar
  • For practices where registrars are required to undertake out-of-practice education workshops in GPT3 [outside scope of NCP]
  • Payments made on assessment of support requests from affected practices.

Pre-Placement Support (Registrars)

Supplier

  • RACGP will provide flights and accommodation to support pre-placement visits by registrars to practices in hard to fill areas

Travel

Registrar/ Supplier

  • Support payments for registrars may include travel booking and/or reimbursement for mandatory workshops based on travel policy where the remote supervision site is not covered under the bridging registrar support payments.

Pastoral care for:

  • Registrars
  • Supervisors

Supplier

  • The RACGP will engage with selected organisation/s to provide psychological support services to registrars and supervisors

Exceptional Circumstances

Registrar

RACGP will on a case-by-case basis consider exceptional circumstances requests for funds relating to activities where additional support is required by registrars aligned to criteria.

Practice Manager Professional Development

Practices

Support for attendance at practice manager professional development (e.g., orientation)

 

Schedule 3 – Bridging registrar support payments for priority hard to fill locations


2023 Registrar Support Payment Scale

MMM Location

Hospital

All Community General Practice Terms
Per term

MMM1

0.00

0.00

MMM2

0.00

0.00

MMM3

0.00

0.00

MMM4

0.00

0.00

MMM5

0.00

0.00

MMM6

0.00

3,500.00

MMM7

0.00

5,000.00

 

Consideration will be given to registrars who would traditionally be eligible for higher registrar support payments according to the training policies in place in their state, territory or region up until 1 February 2023.

Exceptional Circumstances payments

Support payments for exceptional circumstances will be assessed by Program Support Officers and approved by Regional Directors of Training in the relevant state or territory in which the training is taking place.

The exceptional circumstances payment amount will be considered in relation to the difference between the registrar support payments (including those for ARST purposes) that were available to registrars in the relevant state territory or region up to 1 February 2023 and the combination of payments (nationally consistent payments for registrars and the RACGP Registrar support payment (schedule 3) available from 1 February 2023 considered together.

 

Payment types

Hospital

Registrar support
payments per term

NCP Registrar Payments
per term

Combined value
Per term

MMM1

$0

$0

$0

$0

MMM2

$0

$0

$1,800

$1,800

MMM3

$0

$0

$3,425

$3,425

MMM4

$0

$0

$3,425

MMM5

$0

$0

$4,810

$4,810

MMM6

$0

$3500

$9,250

$12,750

MMM7

$0

$5000

$14,250

 

Version history

Version

Date of effect

Amended by

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:

RACGP Board

Approved on:

7/12/2022

Next review due:

     

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