Rural Workforce Agency of Victoria Scholarship

Focussed Psychological
Strategies Skills Training

RACGP and the Rural Workforce Agency of Victoria (RWAV) are offering 100 scholarships to Victorian GPs in Modified Monash Model (MMM) 3-7 and GPs working in an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation in (MMM) 1-2 + (MMM) 3-7  locations to complete Focussed Psychological Strategies Skills Training (FPS ST).

Each scholarship will provide full funding (valued at $979) to complete the course with RACGP. This program is a partnership between RWAV and RACGP with funding from the Australian Government.


The FPS ST training package provides you with essential training to become a GP provider of Focussed Psychological Strategies (FPS) and provide Cognitive Behavioural Therapies (CBT) derived FPS counselling to patients in your practice.

The training package uses a combination of technology, peer learning groups and locally available resources to provide GPs with access to FPS skills training whist remaining in their practice and community.


The course is comprised of four modules:

Module 1: Clinical audit – Antidepressant prescribing in general practice

This structured clinical audit activity enables GPs to review their use of antidepressant medications against best practice guidelines, consider non-pharmacological treatment options, and use this information to develop and implement quality improvement strategies in their clinical practice.

Module 2: Cognitive behavioural therapy skills for general practice

This online module, completed via the gplearning platform, equips participants to understand the theory and practice of CBT and how it can be applied to the treatment of common issues like depression and anxiety.

Module 3: Case consultation

Participants will begin applying what they have learned by providing CBT - derived FPS counselling to patients in their usual practice while being supported via online/teleconference peer group case consultation sessions lead by an experienced GP provider of FPS. GP participants will be allocated to a case-based discussion group and will be required to participate in a minimum of three of the four allocated case-based discussion teleconference sessions (these are typically held fortnightly from 7:30-9:30 pm AEDT on a weeknight).

Module 4: Mental health consumer and carer perspectives

In this module, GPs will participate in a facilitated webinar in which both a mental health consumer and carer are interviewed about their lived experiences, providing valuable insight to GPs treating mental health conditions.


The training package has GPMHSC accreditation and on completion GPs can gain FPS provider registration with Medicare to access FPS related MBS numbers 2721, 2723, 2725 and 2727.

Modules 1,2 and 3 are all CPD Accredited Activities under the RACGP CPD 2020-22 Triennium Program (eligible for 40 points each).


Module 4 is a CPD Activity (eligible for 2 points).


“The best part of the training course was the group sessions where a very experienced clinician facilitated discussion around de-identified cases. This gave great insight and ideas as well as facilitating connections between like-minded clinicians who shared their favourite resources which was highly valuable. I have taken these skills and used them to increase the evidence-based structure of my MH sessions with patients."
Dr Paul Smith – Ballarat, Victoria

I did the course at the right time – just when COVID-19 started. The mental health of my patients was affected and I knew that they needed me. FPS ST helped deliver more insight, ideas and skills to handle my consultations and help support my patients. The flexible learning environment and opportunity to complete the course at my own pace was very valuable and I’ve since referred my colleague to complete it too.”
Dr Fatima Momtaz, Warragul Victoria

"Mental health issues are the most common presentations to a GP and so it is vital that we are skilled in this area. As a rural GP I found that the RACGP FPS course was well designed, evidence-based, and informative for practical use with my patients. I use these added skills learnt in my clinic on a daily basis."
Dr Sean Atkinson, Trafalgar Victoria

“This well designed course combines virtual, guided and peer to peer learning and is beneficial for rural GPs who may not otherwise get the opportunity to upskill in mental health. The group learning is interactive and case-based, with practical tips from the moderator as well as your peers, which was extremely valuable. I use the knowledge and skills gained from the FPS course in my day-to-day consults and have also been able to apply the skills to improve mental health skills capacity development among patients, teaching GPs in training and other medical professionals, team development and community support.”
Dr Yousuf Ahmad, Sale Victoria

 

Access to the grant

  • Participants who wish to access funding for the Focused Psychological Strategies Skills Training (FPS ST) must be an RACGP member currently working as a Registrar or General Practitioner within Victoria.
  • The grants are only available to RACGP members who are practising in rural/remote areas MMM 3-7 and GPs working in an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation in MMM1-2 + MMM 3-7 in Victoria who are not state-government employees and intend to continue working in a rural Victoria MMM 3-7 location after completing the course.
  • A pre-requisite for participation in the FPS ST course is completion of an accredited Level 1 Mental Health Skills Training (MHST) pathway.
  • To apply for funding, RACGP members must complete an online expression of interest form.
  • GPs will only be able to access the grant once.
  • Once approved by the RACGP to access FPS ST, the applicant will have up to seven (7) business days to register for an available intake.
  • Applications are assessed by the RACGP and approved applicants will be accepted to the Program.
  • Applicants who have already completed FPS ST training will not be eligible to access the grant.
  • To enable both RACGP and RWAV to meet their contractual requirements, both organisations will be regularly sharing registration and program completion data. Information sharing will be strictly monitored and will not include participants’ private information.
  • The RACGP will also share registration and completion data with local Primary Health Networks (PHNs) to enable the effective delivery of targeted marketing and promotions activity.
  • By applying to access the FPS ST funding, the applicant provides consent for the RACGP to share information with third parties consistent with the purposes of assessing eligibility, delivering, and reporting the outcomes of the FPS ST program.

Registrations and Cancellations

  • All FPS ST cancellations or amendments must be made in writing to vic.fpsst@racgp.org.au
  • Participants are required to contact the RACGP with requests to reschedule their participation a minimum of seven (7) business days in advance of the start of their scheduled intake.
  • For participants who reschedule their registration in writing at least seven (7) business days in advance of the start of their scheduled intake will be offered the opportunity to register for an alternative intake of their choice, pending session availability.
  • Participants who reschedule their registration in writing less than seven (7) business days before the start of their intake will be offered an alternative education session, pending availability, however the RACGP may not always be able to accommodate a participant’s preferences.
  • For participants who do not notify the RACGP in writing to cancel their registration before their scheduled education session will be withdrawn from the FPS ST and no grant payment will be paid.

Completion of the program

  • To successfully complete the FPS ST program, participants will be required to complete all required aspects of the FPS ST training course and an evaluation survey of the program.
  • Grant funds will not be applied for partial or incomplete completion of the program. If a participant does not complete all aspects of the FPS ST course within four months of the start of their selected intake, an invoice for payment of the course fees ($979) will be issued to the participant. The participant will be responsible for the payment.
  • Upon completion of the program, participants will be provided with a Certificate of Completion and an application form to register with Medicare as a GP provider of FPS. Participants will need to complete this application form and submit it to the General Practice Mental Health Standards Collaboration (GPMHSC) who will forward this to Medicare. Once Medicare has processed the application, the participants will be registered as a GP provider of FPS and will have access to FPS-related Medicare item numbers (such as 2721, 2723, 2725 and 2727.
  • Upon completion of the program participants will also be required to complete an evaluation survey.

Application form submission:

When applying for FPS ST you must declare that:

  • You have read the Terms and Conditions and meet the eligibility criteria.
  • You understand the Terms and Conditions and eligibility criteria.
  • You will adhere to all FPS ST Education Program requirements as outlined by the RACGP.
  • You consent for your personal information to be shared with RWAV and PHNs for the purposes of access to the FPS ST Education Program only, and/or any other related party.
  • You will notify the RACGP in writing before the start of your scheduled intake should you need to cancel or amend your scheduled participation and understand that if you do not that you will be withdrawn from the funding and an invoice for payment of the course fees ($979) will be issued directly to you.
  • The information provided in your application is true and correct at the point of application.
 

Requirements

Please note, Level 1 – Mental Health Skills Training (MHST) is a prerequisite for enrolment in the FPS ST training package.

You must be able to complete all of the training requirements within four months of the FPS ST intake start date to be eligible for the RWAV Scholarship.

How to apply?

Places are limited, please complete the form below to submit an expression of interest. The RACGP team will assess your application and contact you to advise the outcome.

I declare that:
  1. I have completed level 1 Mental Health Skills Training.
  2. I will be able to complete the training requirements within four months of the FPS ST intake start date, including 24 hours of professional development over 14 weeks.
  3. I have read and accept the Terms and Conditions.