Rural Procedural Grants Program (RPGP)


The RACGP Awards and Grants Grants Rural Procedural Grants Program (RPGP)

Applying for the grant

The Rural Procedural Grants Program 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 in 24-hour triaging Accident and Emergency facilities located in ASGC-RA 2-5 locations.

This financial support is offered as a grant of $2000 per day for up to 10 days of training per financial year for procedural GPs and for up to 3 days of training per financial year for GPs providing hospital based emergency services.

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

Definition of procedural GP

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.”

Definition of emergency medicine GP

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.

Claims form

From Monday 9 January 2017 all RPGP claims must be submitted with the Grants Claim form together with 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. 


To access this program

GPs need to complete a Rural Procedural Grants Program 'Application to Register' 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 the 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. The RACGP and the ACRRM assess the eligibility of educational activities for inclusion in the program. GPs are encouraged to contact the RACGP or the ACRRM prior to registering for educational activities to confirm whether they are eligible for program support.


Eligibility criteria for participants


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. 

 

Training eligibility criteria


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


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 


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


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