Celebrating 30 years
of RACGP Rural

Celebrating 30 years
of RACGP Rural

The RACGP Rural Faculty was formed by resolution of the College Council on 26 April 1992. In 2022, we commemorate our 30-year anniversary.

During the past thirty years we have made significant developments to rural education and advocacy, and have provided a range of supports to assist rural and remote GPs on their general practice journeys.

Today RACGP Rural has over 22,000 members including more than 10,000 who are currently living and working in rural and remote Australia - the largest rural membership of any medical college in Australia.

  • Champion the role of the rural GP and lead the discussion to address the challenges of rural general practice.
  • Work with key stakeholders, state and national governments to enable meaningful and effective representation on key issues.
  • Maintain policy leadership and a strong voice to secure a sustainable rural health system for the future.
  • Deliver the RACGP’s Rural Fellowship to broaden options for safe, accessible and comprehensive rural healthcare.
  • Deliver education activities to develop clinical skills and support lifelong learning.
  • Administer the Rural Procedural Grants Program to provide financial assistance for procedural GPs in rural areas to complete education activities.
  • Provide a range of guidelines, policies and updates to assist medical students, interns, registrars and GPs.
  • Offer opportunities for members to contribute to policy and advocacy work, projects, events, publications or on specialist committees.

Rural membership and representation

​The RACGP represents four out of five rural GPs, the most of any organisation in Australia. RACGP Rural has over 22,000 members including more than 10,000 who are currently living and working in rural and remote Australia. 

Rural training grants

We’ve administered millions of dollars in training grants to help upskill rural GPs through the Rural Procedural Grants Program, first established in 2003. This program makes a vital contribution to maintaining a skilled procedural and emergency medicine workforce.

Rural education programs

We’ve developed a range of accessible education programs with a mix of online and face-to-face education to reach rural members and allow them to develop skills in both procedural and non-procedural areas:

  • Our Introduction to Point-Of-Care Ultrasound and emergency medicine workshops have been run all around Australia since 2017.
  • We also offer accessible online mental health skills training including Focussed Psychological Strategies Skills Training and Focussed Psychological Strategies Continuing Professional Development.

Delivery of RACGP’s rural Fellowship

Launched in 2006 and delivered by the RACGP Rural Faculty, more than 700 GPs have obtained the Fellowship of Advanced Rural General Practice (FARGP) with these doctors able to provide emergency medicine and other procedural and non-procedural additional skills, like obstetrics, surgery or mental health in addition to community general practice, to serve the needs of their rural communities.  RACGP Rural is developing a Rural Generalist Fellowship, FRACGP-RG set to be launched in 2022.

Development of the Collingrove Agreement and working towards Rural Generalist recognition

The Collingrove Agreement was created in February 2018 and since then we’ve been working with the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) to lead the development of a national framework for Rural Generalism on the Rural Generalist Pathway Taskforce, led by the National Rural Health Commissioner. This includes seeking recognition of Rural Generalist Medicine as a protected title and specialised field within the specialty of General Practice.

Diploma of Rural Generalist Anaesthesia

We’ve also been working closely with the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) and ACRRM in developing a Diploma of Rural Generalist Anaesthesia (DRGA) which will supersede the Joint Consultative Committee on Anaesthesia (JCCA) from 2023. The diploma is designed to recognise the role GPs with advanced training in anaesthesia play in many rural and remote communities.

Action in policy

RACGP Rural has lead the response, or provided input, to hundreds of submissions, and attended thousands of stakeholder meetings with government, training organisations, rural workforce agencies and others, including:

  • Successfully advocating for change to the AGPT RG policy to better support our FARGP program and the RACGP registrars who were previously disadvantaged
  • Advocating for a new appeal process for GPs to challenge the Distribution Priority Area (DPA) classification for their area to better allow better allow rural and regional areas to respond to workforce and population changes affecting general practice.
  • Hosting with the Fellowship Pathways team the first Rural Summit in 2020 in Alice Springs, a meeting of key sector stakeholders to discuss rural health focused solutions and policy. The RACGP has progressed more than half of the ideas proposed by delegates in the report.
  • The Rural Summit also led to the establishment of the Practice to Practice pilot program in 2020/21, a matchmaking program to connect rural and urban practices to build relationships and workforce outcomes.

Join us at a celebration event

We’re holding a series of events across Australia to celebrate this milestone with you. Come and join us to catch up with your colleagues!

Meet your Rural Council

The Rural Council is the faculty’s key representative and advisory body for issues affecting rural and remote communities.

Read more

Faculty education and support

Rural Generalist Fellowship
Develop additional rural skills to meet the needs of your community and broaden healthcare access.

Introduction to point-of-care ultrasound
A full-day workshop to help increase your understanding of the applications of point-of-care ultrasound in the diagnostic process.

Focussed psychological strategies skills training (FPS ST)
Essential training to become a GP provider of Focussed Psychological Strategies and provide CBT-derived FPS counselling.

Focussed psychological strategies CPD case-based discussions (FPS CPD)
A CPD activity to support you in implementing FPS with patients, evaluate your practice and further develop your skills.

Rural health webinar series and on-demand education
Catch up on rural health webinars, meet-ups and education from the Rural Faculty at your own pace.

Rural Procedural Grants Program
Access funding to help you attend educational activities that maintain or update your procedural and/or emergency medicine skills.

Practice to Practice
Our Practice to Practice pilot links up practices and GPs in different areas to develop a mutually beneficial relationship.

Emergency medicine for rural GPs
Online and face-to-face workshops to develop your skills in emergency medicine by rotating through real small-group scenarios.