RACGP Rural Generalist Fellowship FAQs



As per the Collingrove Agreement, a Rural Generalist is “a medical practitioner who is trained to meet the specific current and future healthcare needs of Australian rural and remote communities, in a sustainable and cost-effective way, by providing both comprehensive general practice and emergency care and required components of other medical specialist care in hospital and community settings as part of a rural healthcare team.”


Rural and remote communities offer diverse health presentations and provide opportunities for GPs to expand their skills to support communities. GPs with additional skills often need to provide non-GP specialist medical services.

A rural GP is trained primarily in community-based medicine in a rural or remote context. A Rural Generalist is someone who has completed the rural GP training plus an extra year of training in an additional skill that addresses their community need and may involve the provision of secondary care in a hospital environment, while also skilled to provide emergency services.

The RACGP trains all GPs to be rural ready so you can work anywhere in Australia – every postcode and every community.


No, all doctors trained to the RACGP Fellowship (FRACGP) qualification are rural ready and can practise as rural GPs in rural locations. Rural Generalists work to an extended scope of practice with skill sets that are informed by the needs of the community they work in. This includes providing community general practice, emergency medical care and procedural and non-procedural services across primary and secondary healthcare settings. In urban practice, these are generally delegated to separate specialities, such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, adult internal medicine, anaesthetics, child health, mental health, obstetrics, palliative care and surgery.

Rural Generalists and rural GPs often work together as leaders and as part of primary care teams.

Regardless of your chosen scope of practice, the RACGP offers GP training and support to suit you.

Flexibility
Opt in to the RG Fellowship at any point of training or opt out if your circumstances change. If you decide to opt out of RG training, you will complete the Fellowship of the RACGP and will still be able to work in rural and remote Australia.

On the ground support
Access local teams in each region including program staff and educators, personalised support, and high-quality training resources.

Individualise your curriculum
Tailor your additional skills to your community's needs with an individualised curriculum if required.

Your rural GP community
Find your people and join a GP community that supports you throughout your career – in training and beyond​.

Experience 
Join the largest representative of rural GPs in Australia, with more than 22,000 members and more than 10,000 GPs living and working rurally; we’ve been training rural GPs for over 60 years​. As an RACGP registrar, you’ll have access to this community and a strong network of support. Our training adheres to high standards and provides a clear learning pathway encompassing general practice, hospital and additional skills to prepare you well for a career in primary care. 

A balanced focus 
Gain experience in hospital and community-based care settings so you’re equipped to work across both.

Broaden your horizons beyond training

As an RACGP Rural Generalist or Rural GP, you can choose to work in private practice, hospitals, the Royal Flying Doctor Service, Australian Defence Force, retrieval medicine, Aboriginal Medical Services or even overseas in places like Antarctica.


The RACGP is part of a joint application to the Australian Medical Council (AMC) and Medical Board of Australia (MBA) seeking formal recognition of Rural Generalist medicine as a specialised field within the specialty of general practice.

Should the AMC recognition application be successful then the RG Fellowship will be recognised as a specialised field within the specialty of general practice. We’re advocating for improved Medicare recognition for the services provided by Rural Generalists and rural GP’s who are appropriately trained to deliver additional specialised services to their communities.


The Rural Generalist Fellowship (FRACGP-RG) features the following training requirements:

  1. 12 months full-time equivalent (FTE) hospital terms (can be postgraduate year 2 (PGY2) or above)
  2. 18 months FTE community-based GP terms (minimum of 12-months FTE must be in a rural MMM3-7 location)
  3. 12 months FTE Additional Rural Skills Training (ARST)
  4. six-month core emergency medicine training
  5. (optional) six-month extended skills term in either a hospital, community GP or community non-GP setting


The RG Fellowship includes strengthened core emergency training and additional rural skills training to better prepare you for working as a RG in your community. Please see the table below that outlines the differences in training requirements.

 

Training requirements RACGP Rural Generalist Fellowship FARGP
Rural GP terms 12 months full time equivalent (FTE of general practice terms in a rural (MMM3-7) setting 12 months full time equivalent (FTE of general practice terms in a rural (MMM3-7) setting
Additional Rural Skills Training (ARST) 12 months FTE of skills training in an accredited training post with the Rural Generalist Fellowship curriculums 12 months FTE of skills training in an accredited training post
Candidates who enrolled in the FARGP prior to 2022 can choose an ARST and undertake either the old or revised Rural Generalist Fellowship curriculum
Emergency medicine Core-emergency medicine training including 6 months FTE of training in an accredited emergency medicine facility with appropriate supervision Completion of 2 emergency skills courses, online case studies and skills self-assessment
Learning plan and reflection Online skills self-assessment, reflection and learning activities Online skills self-assessment, reflection and learning activities
Community project Optional activity unless required by ARST curriculum (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health) Optional activity unless required by ARST curriculum (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health)


Please visit our webpage for additional training information.


If you enrolled in the FARGP prior to 1 July 2022, you can complete the FARGP as it currently stands. Upon successful completion of your training, you’ll be awarded the FARGP which can be used as a post-nominal.


Digital application forms are available on the RACGP website. Once we’ve reviewed your application, we’ll contact you regarding your training requirements under the RG Fellowship. Please ensure you notify your training provider (RACGP, JCUGP or RVTS) of your intention to transition to the RG Fellowship. You must apply by 31 December 2023.


Digital application forms are available on the RACGP Rural website. You’ll be asked to provide documentation to support your application. Once we’ve reviewed your application, we’ll be in touch to guide you on the next steps.

Every case is different, and it will vary with the Additional Rural Skills Training (ARST) you are completing and your prior experience in emergency medicine.

In general, if you’re nearing the completion of your Fellowship training and you’re credentialed to work unsupervised in a rural emergency department, it may be better for you to complete your FARGP and then apply to obtain the FRACGP-RG via the recognition of prior learning and experience (RPLE) process.

If you have completed most of the FARGP requirements and you have sufficient experience in emergency medicine and are confident you can satisfy the core-EMT criteria, you may be able to seek RPLE for your core-EMT requirements and can apply to transition and complete the remainder of your training as an RG.

If you’ve completed most of your FARGP training requirements except for the emergency medicine component, you can either complete the FARGP now and apply to obtain the RG after gaining further experience in a rural emergency department; or take the training opportunity offered by the core-EMT and transition now to complete training as an RG.

There will be no charge for those enrolled in the FARGP to transition to RG, but there will be a fee for those who’ve completed the FARGP to obtain the RG later.


Yes. You’ll need to demonstrate you have achieved the outcomes in the core EMT curriculum and the skills listed in the logbook. Evidence can include, but are not limited to, statements of service, logbooks, case studies, assessments and supervisor reports.


Yes. The core emergency medicine training is an additional component of the RG Fellowship. All RG trainees must complete the core EMT no matter what ARST they undertake. If you are undertaking an emergency medicine ARST, the core EM module is a pre-requisite to the ARST in emergency medicine. This means you will spend a total of 18 months in emergency medicine training.


Yes, this type of work may count towards some components of the core EMT. You will need to provide evidence to verify the nature of the emergency services you provided and the length of time, and other emergency upskilling you have completed. You may also need to complete some components of the core EMT such as the logbook or provide evidence of how you have obtained those skills. Each case will be individually assessed, and we’ll support you in this process.


To receive RPLE this needs to be either supervised training or by obtaining hospital credentialing. If you are able to obtain letters of support to verify the nature of the emergency services you provided and the length of time, and other emergency upskilling you have completed, it may count for some components of the core EMT requirements.


The RACGP is working with the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine (ACEM) to develop an Additional Rural Skills Training (ARST) curriculum in emergency medicine for the RACGP Rural Generalist Fellowship. Those commencing their Emergency Medicine ARST in 2023 will still enrol in the existing ACEM Emergency Medicine Advanced Diploma (EMAD). If you are completing the ACEM EMC, you can discuss the best training pathway to the EMAD with ACEM (see EMAD Program Training Requirements).


There are some elements, particularly the rural context, missing from the EMC. We encourage registrars to discuss with their medical educator how they can demonstrate they have attained these skills.

AGPT new applicants and current registrars
There is no registration fee for new applicants or current AGPT registrars.

The Additional Rural Skills Training (ARST) assessment fee of $2,800 (GST free) will be charged right before you start your Additional Rural Skills Training post. The ARST fee is only payable for the six RACGP managed ARSTs. The ARST fees for anaesthetics, obstetrics and emergency medicine are administered by the relevant medical college (ANZCA, RANZCOG or ACEM).

RVTS and FSP registrars
A $950 (GST free) registration fee is applicable to all RVTS and FSP registrars, in addition to the ARST assessment fee of $2,800 (GST free).

Practising GP new applicants
A $950 (GST free) registration fee is applicable to all practising GPs new applicants (those who do not already hold the FARGP). If you are applying for Recognition of Prior Learning and Experience (RPLE) for your ARST, the ARST fee will not apply to you if no assessment is required.

Practising GP transition applications (for FARGP holders)
A $675 (GST free) registration fee will apply to all FARGP holders who would like to transition to the Rural Generalist Fellowship. This is a one-off payment with no further costs involved.
 


We encourage you to read the detailed information about the Rural Generalist Fellowship training requirements and take the time to map each component of the curricula to your own skills, experiences, and the evidence that you will be able to provide, to help you determine which training terms you intend on seeking RPLE for.

The process of applying for RPLE varies slightly between Registrars and Fellowed GPs wanting to complete the Rural Generalist Fellowship.

For Registrars
If you’re on the AGPT program, your program team will be able to help with your RPLE application.

Otherwise, you can find out what evidence you need to give us to support your RPLE application by reading the above information as well as What do I need to include in my application? Once you have all the evidence, submit your application by completing the application form.

We’ll assess your application and ask for extra documentation if needed. Depending on how well your experience and evidence covers the requirements of the Rural Generalist Fellowship, you may receive RPLE in full or in part. If you receive partial RPLE or your application is not successful, the RACGP Rural Censor will give you advice about how you can best meet the requirements of the training program.

For Fellowed GPs
After enrolment and payment of invoice, you will be granted access to the RG portal. You will need to gather all of your evidence to support your RPLE application and upload it to this portal. We’ll assess your application and ask for extra documentation if needed. Depending on how well your experience and evidence covers the requirements of the Rural Generalist Fellowship, you may receive RPLE in full or in part. If you receive partial RPLE or your application is not successful, the RACGP Rural Censor will give you advice about how you can best meet the requirements of the training program.  If at this point you decide that you no longer wish to continue with the RG fellowship, you will receive a refund of $455.

You have two years to complete the Rural Generalist Fellowship from the date that you pay your invoice. If you receive partial RPLE and decide you wish to complete the extra training required to receive full RPLE, your completion time of two years will commence from the training start date instead of the date you pay your invoice.


We recognise the skills and experiences you’ve gained through obtaining your FARGP qualification. The critical difference between FARGP and the Rural Generalist Fellowship is the requirement for six months of core emergency medicine training (core EMT). As a FARGP graduate, you can apply for Rural Generalist Fellowship by submitting evidence of prior emergency medicine learning and experience, such as:

  • current rural hospital credentialling to provide emergency services
  • previous rural hospital credentialling to provide emergency services (within ten years)
  • admittance to Fellowship of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (FACRRM)
  • completion of an emergency qualification such as the ACEM Emergency Medicine certificate combined with experience providing emergency services in a rural area.

GPs who have never been credentialled to provide emergency services in a rural hospital will need to show evidence of having completed training or gained experience equivalent to core EMT.

You have until 30 June 2024 to apply to obtain the Rural Generalist Fellowship via RPLE.

What fees are involved?

The fee for FARGP graduates is $675 (GST free)

How can I apply?

Please submit an enrolment application.


We recognise the skills and experiences you’ve gained through your rural practice. To apply for RPLE, you’ll need to provide evidence that you’ve met the training requirements of the Rural Generalist Fellowship. As a Fellow, you’ve already demonstrated completion of 12 months full-time equivalent (FTE) hospital terms and 18 months (FTE) community-based general practice terms. However, you’ll need to provide evidence that you’ve met the following requirements:

  • A minimum of 12 months (FTE) general practice experience in a rural location (Modified Monash Model [MMM] 3–7) within the last five years, including rural-specific general practice experience of one or more of the following:
    • providing emergency/trauma services at the local hospital or similar healthcare facility
    • providing other procedural and/or non-procedural services at the local hospital or similar healthcare facility
    • limited local access to specialists, including hospitals with salaried medical specialists and inpatient–outpatient allied health services
    • providing after-hours services based on community needs.
  • Completion of training equivalent to the curriculum of your chosen additional rural skills training (ARST).
  • Completion of training or experience equivalent to the Core emergency medicine training curriculum.
What fees are involved?

A $950 (GST free) registration fee applies to all practising GPs (who don’t hold FARGP) who enrol in the Rural Generalist Fellowship. If you apply for RPLE as credit for the ARST training term, the ARST assessment fee won’t apply to you. However, if you’ll be undertaking the training component of ARST, there is a fee of $2,800 (GST free) to cover the cost of assessments. The ARST assessment fee only applies to the six ARST curricula managed by the RACGP. The fees for anaesthetics, obstetrics and emergency medicine are administered by the relevant medical colleges (ANZCA, RANZCOG or ACEM).

How can I apply?
Please submit an enrolment application.
 


We recognise that GPs in training may have relevant experience that may meet some of the requirements of the Rural Generalist Fellowship and you may apply for RPLE for any components of the Rural Generalist Fellowship that your prior learning and experience fulfils. Refer to What do I need to include in my application? to find out the criteria that will be assessed for each component and the types of evidence you’ll need to submit as part of your RPLE application.

What fees are involved?

New AGPT applicants and current AGPT registrars: there is no registration fee. If you apply for RPLE for the ARST component, the ARST assessment fee will not apply. However, if you’ll be undertaking the training component of ARST, there is a fee of $2,800 (GST free) to cover the cost of assessments. The ARST assessment fee only applies to the six ARST curricula managed by the RACGP. The fees for anaesthetics, obstetrics and emergency medicine are administered by the relevant medical colleges (ANZCA, RANZCOG or ACEM).

RVTS and FSP registrars: a $950 (GST free) registration fee applies. If you apply for RPLE for the ARST component, the ARST assessment fee won’t apply. However, if you’ll be undertaking the training component of ARST, there is a fee of $2,800 (GST free) to cover the cost of assessments. The ARST assessment fee only applies to the six ARST curricula managed by the RACGP. The fees for anaesthetics, obstetrics and emergency medicine are administered by the relevant medical colleges (ANZCA, RANZCOG or ACEM).

How can I apply?

Please submit an enrolment application here.


The successful application to have Rural Generalist Medicine recognised as a specialised field within general practice would result in doctors with appropriate rural generalist qualifications, having these indicated in their Ahpra registration within the discipline of general practice.

It is hoped this national formalisation of their qualification status will:

  • enable health service quality and safety and employment systems to consistently recognise and understand these doctors’ capacity and appropriately utilise their skills
  • simplify the processes for training, employment and hospital credentialing for RG doctors (which are currently complex and onerous due to lack of coordination)
  • enable rural patients to better understand the training and capacity of their doctors
  • provide a mechanism for RGs and their skillsets to be counted in rural workforce and resource planning
  • make it easier to promote rural careers as RGs to the next generation


An application for national recognition of Rural generalist Medicine as a specialist field within the specialty of general practice must be submitted to the Australian Medical Council (AMC) and the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) for consideration.

Stage 1 initial assessment of proposal

A proposal is submitted to the MBA, describing the objectives of the proposal in broad terms. The Board seeks the AMC’s advice and based on this advice will determine whether the application is eligible to proceed to a stage 2 assessment.

Stage 2 detailed assessment of proposal (application)

During this stage, the AMC assesses the detailed case for recognition of a new field of specialty practice on behalf of the MBA.

This stage is a rigorous assessment of the case that includes a public consultation process and results in a recommendation being made to the Council of Australian Government (COAG) for final approval which is projected to take around 18 months. This process may also involve an assessment of the proposal by the Commonwealth Government’s Office of Best Practice Regulation.
 


The Rural Generalist Recognition Taskforce was established in June 2019 to oversee the application process. It comprises the National Rural Health Commissioner as chair and the chief executives, and senior representatives of both general practice colleges including the RACGP Rural Council Chair and the President of ACRRM.

Further information can be found on these issues on this RACGP webpage.


Rural generalists (RGs) are trained to deliver an extended scope of services in a rural or remote clinical context either independently or as part of a healthcare team. For people who live in places isolated from city-based resources this scope is critical to providing them with safe, high-quality care. Many of these services are especially important to patients without the social, physical or financial capacity to travel to cities for care, such as the socioeconomically disadvantaged, the aged or people with disabilities. RGs are trained to provide continuing, primary care, as well as care in emergencies, hospital based care and care in other medical specialist areas such as obstetrics, anaesthetics or mental health.

They are also trained in telehealth, retrieval and other systems for working effectively with city-based specialists and specialised services. Rural Generalists and rural GPs often work together as leaders and as part of primary care teams. Both rural GPs and Rural Generalists are important for a strong primary care system.


Yes, the term ‘rural’ is intended to reflect the nature of ‘rural generalist’ training which requires these practitioners to attain skills reflecting the needs of both rural and remote clinical contexts.


Should the Medical Board of Australia confer recognition on Rural Generalist Medicine as a specialist field within general practice, rural generalist’s qualifications would continue to be registered as a General Practice (GP) qualification and as such they would be eligible to practice as Vocationally Registered (VR) General Practitioners and to provide services billable under the Medical Benefits Scheme (MBS).


The RACGP offers the AMC accredited Fellowship of the RACGP which enables a GP to practice unsupervised anywhere in Australia. We also offer the Rural Generalist Fellowship which includes strengthened core-emergency training and additional rural skills training. The Rural Generalist Fellowship is a recognised end-point for rural generalist training on state and territory rural generalist programs and as part of AGPT.


The two general practice colleges, RACGP and ACRRM, currently provide the training, continuing Professional Development and Fellowship qualifications which the Medical Board of Australia recognises for Vocational Registration purposes for specialist general practitioners. If recognition is achieved, these existing arrangements are expected to continue.


This is the name the Commonwealth Department of Health have given to their commitment to constructing a national framework to support doctors to train, qualify and practice as rural generalist practitioners in a way that is structured and consistent and which enables portability across health services and jurisdictions.

 
 

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