Rural Procedural Grants Program (RPGP)


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Applying for the grant

The Rural Procedural Grants Program (RPGP) provides financial assistance for procedural GPs in rural and remote areas to access relevant activities in order to assist them in maintaining or updating their skills.

The RPGP provides financial support to maintain and enhance the clinical skills of GPs and locums who deliver:

  • unsupervised anaesthetics, obstetrics and/or surgery in ACGC-RA 1*-5 locations (1* dependent on additional approval)
  • unsupervised emergency medicine (including mental health) in 24-hour triaging accident and emergency facilities located in ASGC-RA 2-5 locations.

Support is provided in the form of grant payments to assist with the cost of attending training, including course costs, locum relief and travel expenses calculated on the number of training days.

The program is jointly administered by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) on behalf of the Australian Government Department of Health.

If you deliver any of these services in a rural or remote location, you may be eligible to participate. However to receive these grants you must apply to register in the RPGP through the RACGP or ACRRM prior to attending grant approved training.

Support for GPs during the COVID-19 pandemic

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Health has issued a number of temporary revised eligibility arrangements for the Rural Procedural Grants Program to provide additional flexibility and support to rural procedural GPs so that they can continue to access subsidised CPD activities during the period of social restriction.

Find out more


Program information


Procedural: claim $2,000 per day for up to 10 days of face-to-face training per financial year for procedural GPs.

Emergency: claim $2,000 per day for up to 3 days of face-to-face training per financial year for GPs providing hospital based emergency services. GPs registered in the Emergency Medicine component can claim an additional 3 days of emergency mental health CPD per financial year.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Health has issued a number of temporary revised eligibility arrangements for the Rural Procedural Grants Program to provide additional flexibility and support to rural procedural GPs so that they can continue to access subsidised CPD activities during the period of social restriction.

Online activities: claim for a limited number of procedural/emergency medicine CPD activities delivered online, at a rate of $1,000 per day. Courses must be approved by the GP Colleges as CPD activities and include an interactive component and/or assessment.

All other eligibility criteria still apply. Online training in emergency mental health is eligible for a $1,000 per day grant up to $3,000 and is not payable for activities prior to 1 July 2020. Payment of claims for online CPD activities can be made to RACGP. All RPGP claims must include a completed Grants Claim form and the appropriate supporting evidence. Completed claims forms should be emailed to rural.procedural.grants@racgp.org.au.


The definition of rural and remote procedural general practitioner adopted by the Commonwealth is one who:

“provides non-referred services normally in a hospital theatre, maternity setting or other appropriately equipped facilities, that in urban areas are typically the province of a specific referral based specialty.

Most commonly this refers to the fields of surgery, anaesthetics and obstetrics. Elements essential to procedural medicine include the use of appropriately equipped facilities and resources and involve a team of health professionals and the active engagement of the practitioner in an appropriate skills maintenance program in the relevant procedural areas.”


For the purpose of the emergency medicine component of the Rural Procedural Grants Program, the definition of a rural and remote emergency medicine GP is:

“a rural and remote practitioner who provides emergency medicine cover for non-referred services in an accident and emergency facility which is available for 24 hours triaging (hospital or other appropriately equipped facility – which provides a minimum equipment list of, but not restricted to : intubation, cannulation and defibrillation equipment), rapid diagnosis and management of the acute and urgent aspects of illness and injury such as those typically brought to the door by ambulance”.

Medical officers undertaking rural hospital based emergency medicine work may be eligible for this incentive.


All RPGP claims must include a completed Grants Claim form and the appropriate supporting evidence.

Completed claims forms should be emailed to rural.procedural.grants@racgp.org.au

Please note that claims submitted with incomplete details or insufficient evidence will be returned to the claimant and this may delay payments.


GPs must complete an RPGP registration form and provide documentation indicating they are a current unsupervised provider of anaesthetic, obstetric, surgical and/or emergency medicine in a hospital or other appropriately equipped facility.

Eligibility for the program is determined by the RACGP or ACRRM.

Should you have difficulty downloading this document, please contact the Rural Procedural Grants team at rural.procedural.grants@racgp.org.au or 1800 636 764 and they will send these documents to you.

The RACGP will do the rest

Interested GPs who wish to register through the RACGP should email their application form and relevant documentation to the Rural Procedural Grants team at rural.procedural.grants@racgp.org.au. The RACGP will process applications and will forward registration details of successful applicants to Medicare Australia who will maintain the register of eligible GPs.

Once an individual GP has been accepted into the program, they will be notified by the RACGP. Upon entry into the program, doctors can then claim payment for procedural and emergency medicine activities they subsequently attend that are a minimum of six hours in duration and are relevant to the discipline in which they have been registered in the program.

Eligible educational activity may include supervised clinical attachments (forms available below), workshops and scientific conferences.

Until 31 December 2020, the restrictions on claiming RPGP grant support for online CPD activities will be lifted. RPGP participants will be able to claim for a limited number of procedural/emergency medicine Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activities delivered online, at a rate of $1,000 per day. More details on the eligibility requirements can be found in COVID-19 addendum to the RPGP guidelines.


Eligibility criteria for participants

The RACGP and ACRRM assess the eligibility of educational activities for inclusion in the program. GPs are encouraged to contact the RACGP prior to registering for educational activities to confirm whether they are eligible for program support.


Yes, providing they meet the eligibility criteria for both types of grants. 


Yes. Locums need to:

  • complete a minimum of 28 days locum work per financial year OR
  • if they complete less days, they need to do a minimum of 8 individual locums per financial year.

So for example, a GP anaesthetist, who does a 1-day anaesthetic locum once a month and thereby completes 12 days in one year , would qualify for the grants. Similarly, a locum who does weekend locums every 5 to 6 weeks and completes 8 locums over a 12 month period, would also be eligible. 


No, they can be based in any geographic location, including urban settings. They do need to be able to show, however, that they deliver locums in RRMA 3-7 locations in order to be eligible for registration 


No. Grants are only available for the maintenance or updating of existing skills not the initial acquisition of skills. 


Only GP Registrars who have completed the curriculum and assessment requirements for a 12 month Advanced Rural Skills Post in emergency medicine and attained independent, unsupervised rights to practise emergency medicine would qualify. 


No. A GP must be providing emergency services in an accident and emergency facility which is available for 24 hours triaging (hospital or other appropriately equipped facility). In some remote communities, doctors who provided remote triage and retrieval would be eligible. 


Grant payments are not subject to GST or PAYG documentation. However, recipients are encouraged to seek advice from their accountants on the taxation status of this funding. 


GPs practising emergency medicine and who are responsible for providing emergency mental health services or crisis intervention, will be eligible to claim grants for attending eligible CPD activities in emergency mental health.

 

Training eligibility criteria


Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM)) and the RACGP assess the eligibility of training for inclusion in the program 


Face-to-face activities must be a minimum of 6 hours (can be 2 x 3 hour sessions) and be relevant to the GP's procedural/emergency medicine field of practice.

Until 31 December 2020, the restrictions on claiming RPGP grant support for online CPD activities will be lifted. RPGP participants will be able to claim for a limited number of procedural/emergency medicine Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activities delivered online, at a rate of $1,000 per day. More details on the eligibility requirements can be found in COVID-19 addendum to the RPGP guidelines.


Both formal (workshops, courses, scientific conferences) and informal (supervised clinical attachments) modes of delivery can attract a grant.

Until 31 December 2020, the restrictions on claiming RPGP grant support for online CPD activities will be lifted. RPGP participants will be able to claim for a limited number of procedural/emergency medicine Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activities delivered online, at a rate of $1,000 per day. More details on the eligibility requirements can be found in COVID-19 addendum to the RPGP guidelines.


Yes. In these cases, the GP needs to submit a certificate of attendance and an individual application form to the CPD Unit in the State in which they reside. 


The emergency mental health provision is considered as:

The emergency mental health provision is considered as: Acute inpatient mental health services provide voluntary and in-voluntary short-term in-patient management and treatment during an acute phase of mental illness, until the person has recovered enough to be treated effectively and safely in the community.

These services are located within acute general hospitals. Mental health centres often have emergency walk-in services or a mobile crisis unit with clinical staff able make an on-site evaluation of a person’s condition.

The purpose of both is to deescalate, stabilize the individual and determine the next steps. The priority of crisis intervention and counselling is to hasten the process of and achieve stabilization. Crisis interventions must be applied at the spur of the moment and in a variety of settings, as trauma can arise instantaneously. 

Eligible training options could include:

  • The assessment and management of the aggressive patient including psychiatric assessment and care
  • Differential diagnosis of mental health
  • Drug-induced and medical issues
  • Sedation and post-sedation care
  • Appropriate disposition of patients who display aggressive behaviour and those with mental health disorders
  • Include the implications and summary of the new Mental Health Act.
  • Rapid Treatment of Agitation
  • Restraint and Seclusion Use
  • Evaluation of Medical Comorbidities
  • Implementation of Observation Units
  • Active Treatment for Substance Intoxication or Withdrawal
  • Improved Coordination and Communication around Disposition.