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Rural Procedural Grants Program


Boost your skills with the Rural Procedural Grants Program

 

About RPGP

The Rural Procedural Grants Program (RPGP) helps cover the cost of professional development for GPs who provide procedural and/or emergency medicine services in unsupervised settings in rural and remote areas.

Grant

  • $2,000 per day for up to 3 days of face-to-face training per financial year.
  • $1,000 per day for up to 3 days of online training.
  • A grant of $2,000 per day for an additional 3 days per financial year for emergency mental health training. Online training in emergency mental health will be eligible for a $1,000 per day for up to 3 days per financial year.

Online activities claimed count toward the total $6,000 cap each financial year. 

Grant

  • $2,000 per day for up to 10 days of face-to-face training per financial year.
  • $1,000 per day for up to 10 days of online training.

Online activities claimed count toward the total $20,000 cap each financial year.

Revised Rural Procedural Grants Program
Guidelines

The Department of Health and Aged Care have updated the rural
procedural grants program guidelines. Changes in the 2024 revision
include the inclusion of online claiming arrangements, overseas
face-to-face training criteria and other program management
and administrative items.

Revised Rural Procedural Grants Program
Guidelines

The Department of Health and Aged Care have updated the rural
procedural grants program guidelines. Changes in the 2024 revision
include the inclusion of online claiming arrangements, overseas
face-to-face training criteria and other program management
and administrative items.

How to register

Complete the online registration form and provide documentation indicating you are a current unsupervised provider of anaesthetic, obstetric, surgical and/or emergency medicine in a hospital or other appropriately equipped facility.

You do not need to be an RACGP member to apply for the RPGP.

You cannot register with both the RACGP and ACRRM. You can only be registered with one college at a time.

register now  online registration guide  RPGP applicant guide 

How to claim

Complete the online claim form and submit the appropriate supporting evidence.

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

make a claim  online claims guide 

Types of claims

Eligible training programs must be for upskilling and skills maintenance.

Skills maintenance

Complying with RACGP requirements to maintain your clinical privileging rights

Upskilling

Improving or extending your current skill level or learning a new skill relevant to the enrolled emergency or procedural component, based on current Australian accredited procedural curriculum and guidelines

There are three types of activities that can be claimed

You are encouraged to contact the RACGP prior to registering for educational activities to confirm they are eligible for grant support. Call 1800 636 764 or email rural.procedural.grants@racgp.org.au

Educational activity

The activity must include a minimum of 6 hours of face-to-face learning (excluding breaks) related to the component/s that you are registered in, and can include courses, conferences, seminars, meetings and workshops.

Clinical attachment

A supervised clinical attachment must be a minimum of 6 hours in a clinical or a hospital setting. The aim should be to either learn new specific skills or update your specific skills and knowledge.

Online claims

Online activities must be for a minimum of 4 hours related to the component/s that you are registered in, be interactive, include an assessment component and include a certificate of completion.

Frequently asked questions

Can I register in both components of the grants program?

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

Do I have to be an RACGP member to register in the program?

No. Non-college members can register.

Do grants program participants have to be vocationally registered?

No.

Is there a minimum amount of time per year a GP locum must complete in rural and remote services to be eligible for a procedural grant?

Yes. Locums need to complete a minimum of 28 days locum work per financial year.

Does a GP locum have to be based in MMM3-7 to be eligible for the program?

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 MMM3-7 locations in order to be eligible for registration.

Rural locums must obtain clinical privileges in at least one hospital/local health service in the region they are providing the locum services to be eligible for the program.

Rural locums will be deemed eligible for the program if they are VR GPs, have already obtained the relevant emergency medicine skills and undertake a minimum of 28 days of locum work per financial year within MMM 3-7 locations.

The period of locum work needs to be undertaken prior to lodging a claim for payment for eligible training under the program. Training can occur at any time during the relevant financial year, including prior to the completion of the period of locum work.

Can I access a grant to acquire skills to become credentialed in the disciplines targeted by the grants program?

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

Can GP registrars apply for emergency medicine grants?

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.

Would a GP who has admitting rights to a hospital without an accident and emergency facility, but who deals with emergencies in the course of admitting and caring for their patients, be eligible for the grants program?

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.

Who is ineligible for the emergency medicine component?

  • GPs seeking to attend training to attain skills in emergency medicine;
  • Doctors only performing emergency medical services, such as suturing of small wounds, x-ray, assessment and treatment of unscheduled presentations, in a medical practice treatment room or at an attached outpatients clinic;
  • Doctors providing less acute mental health consultations in practice rooms or in planned appointment consultations at an outpatient clinic attached to a hospital or health care service delivery facility.

Am I eligible for the emergency mental health grants offered under the RPGP?

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

How do I confirm my ongoing eligibility for the program?

You must advise the RACGP of any changes to your eligibility status and provide updated documentary evidence to confirm your ongoing eligibility for the program.

Are the procedural grants tax-free?

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.

How do RPGP grant allocations work?

By financial year. Your grant allocations start on the 1st of July each year. Claims are paid according to the date of training and will be deducted from the grant allocation for the financial year in which the training takes place. Grant allocations do not roll over to the next financial year if they are not used.

You can claim for the current financial year and the previous financial year but nothing prior to that. There is a cut-off date two weeks prior to the end of the financial year for claims to be approved for the preceding financial year. Current financial claims can be put in at any time.

Am I eligible for the RPGP if I am already receiving government funding for training?

No, GPs that are participating in a training program where direct financial support is provided by the Commonwealth or State and Territory governments are not eligible for the RPGP.

Am I eligible for the RPGP if I hold another specialty?

If you hold fellowship of a non-GP specialist college such as FACEM or FANZCA you are excluded from the RPGP, even if you are also a GP.

What is the MMM classification system?

RPGP is available to you if you work in an MMM 3 to MMM 7 region (alongside other eligibility criteria). This generally means working in a rural community with a population of less than 50,000. A full description of the MMM classifications is available on the the Department of Health website.

If a Supervised Clinical Attachment (SCA) involves 60 hours over 9 days, what is the size of the grant?

While the activity involves enough hours for a 10 day grant, the GP only attended on 9 days, so this qualifies for a 9 day grant.

If a Supervised Clinical Attachment (SCA) involves 12 hours over 3 days, what is the size of the grant?

As the GP only completed 12 hours even though he /she attended on 3 occasions, this activity qualifies for a 2 day grant. 

Who assesses the eligibility of educational activities?

The RACGP assesses the eligibility of training for inclusion in the program.

What educational activities can I claim?

Eligible CPD activities must meet the following criteria:

  • Be for skills maintenance and/or skills enhancement;
  • Can be both formal (e.g. courses) and informal (e.g. clinical attachments) delivery modes;
  • Include a (physical) face to face component to assess the practical skills of the relevant course wherever possible, noting that online training is also eligible under the program;
  • Online training must include an interactive component and/or assessment;
  • Assessed by the GP Colleges as meeting the required academic, practical/clinical standards of CPD, training and education, as well as being of sufficient length (time/hours);
  • Must be related to the relevant program discipline being claimed under; and
  • All courses, workshops, seminars, conferences or clinical attachments must be a minimum of six hours of procedural upskilling contact time (excludes breaks, etc.). Online courses should have a minimum of four hours of interactive training delivery.

What type of training is eligible for emergency mental health grants offered under the RPGP?

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

Can I claim for activities which have not received CPD accreditation?

Yes. Please submit a program of activity and a certificate of attendance with your claim form.

If you would like CPD points for your training activity please upload your information on your RACGP profile or contact the RACGP CPD team in your state.

What online educational activities I can claim?

Online course completion hours

Number of claimable days

Less than four hours

None

Over four hours but less than eight hours

One eg. $1000

Over eight hours but less than 12 hours

Two

Over 12 hours but less than 16 hours

Three (cap for emergency medicine)

Over 16 hours but less than 20 hours

Four

What overseas educational activities can I claim?

CPD training activities may be undertaken overseas in a face-to-face format. From 7 May 2024, CPD activities undertaken overseas must meet the following criteria:

  • Training must be pre-approval by one of the Managing Organisations;
  • Activities must be education that is not available, or difficult to attend, in Australia (i.e. long waiting lists or distance constraints);
  • Participants must submit an attendance certificate;
  • Participants must provide confirmation and evidence of the number of days and hours of training attended;
  • Participants must provide confirmation of interactive sessions attended (i.e. highlighted program or other documented evidence); and
  • Participants must provide evidence that the attended activity benefits procedural and/or emergency medicine skills maintenance and/or upskilling in the rural Australian medical context.

Latest news

Keep up-to-date with the latest Rural Procedural Grants program updates in our bi-monthly newsletter and more.

  See what's new 

Contact the RACGP Rural Procedural Grants Team