Key dates

  • Application window: 1 October 2019 to 31 January 2020.
  • Assessment Panel review of applications: February 2020.
  • Outcome letters distributed via email: March 2020.
  • CPD activity completion window: 1 April 2020 to 30 April 2021.

Latest update

  • The Funding Round 5 application window is currently open.
  • Grant applications close 31 January 2020, at 5pm AEDT.

How to apply

Grant applications are to be submitted using the: Online Application Form.

Funding Guidelines

Table of Contents

  1. The SRSA Program
  2. SRSA Individual CPD Support Grants
  3. Budget and Travel Expense Guidelines
  4. Application Assessment
  5. Reimbursement Process
  6. Further Information

1. The SRSA Program

1.1 Overview
The Support for Rural Specialists in Australia (SRSA) program is a Department of Health funded initiative and is administered by the Council of Presidents of Medical Colleges (CPMC).

The overall aims of the SRSA Program are to provide rural specialists with access to professional support and training opportunities. This is achieved by:

  1. providing support and training via online learning programs; and
  2. providing individual grants to enable rural specialists to access training not available in their home town.

SRSA provides a streamlined program of support and education for health professionals in rural and remote Australia to access multidisciplinary or continuing education projects.

1.2 SRSA Sub-Committee and the SRSA Program Management Unit
1.2.1 The SRSA Sub-Committee is established in consultation with the member Colleges of the CPMC and the Department of Health, to provide oversight and expert advice over the life of the program.
1.2.2 The SRSA Program Management Unit (PMU) is currently located within The Royal Australasian College of Physicians and contracted by the CPMC to administer the SRSA Program.
1.2.3 The contact details for PMU staff are:

2. SRSA Individual CPD Support Grants

2.1 Purpose
SRSA grants to support access to CPD are available to individual medical specialists who live and work in rural and remote Australia. Applicants must meet the requirements set out below and be supported by their relevant medical college.
2.2 Application requirements
2.2.1 Applications for funding must be submitted electronically via: https://www.ruralspecialist.org.au/funding/application-form
2.2.2 Application submissions must be completed in conjunction with reading the Application Guidelines.
2.2.3 Applicants must address and meet the Eligibility Criteria, CPD Activity Criteria and Selection Criteria set out in sections 2.3, 2.4 and 2.5 below.
2.2.4 Late applications will not be accepted.
2.2.5 Before applications are submitted please ensure all questions are answered accurately and completely. Keep a copy of the application for your own records.
2.3 Eligibility criteria
Funding is available to medical specialists according to the following eligibility criteria:
2.3.1 Eligible applicants must be a Fellow of a Specialist Medical College or their Faculty, including:

  • The Australasian College of Dermatologists (ACD)
  • Australasian College of Emergency Medicine (ACEM)
  • Australasian College of Sport and Exercise Physicians (ACSEP)
  • Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA)
  • College of Intensive Care Medicine of Australia and New Zealand (CICM)
  • The Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators (RACMA)
  • The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP)
  • Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS)
  • The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA)
  • The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO)
  • The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists (RANZCOG)
  • The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP)
  • The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR)
2.3.2 Medical specialists who live and work in areas determined using the Modified Monash Model (MMM) system categories MM2 to MM7 as follows:

Modified Monash Category Inclusions
MM2 Areas categorised ASGC-RA 2 and ASGC-RA 3 that are in, or within 20km road distance, of a town with population >50,000.
MM3 Areas categorised ASGC-RA 2 and ASGS-RA 3 that are not in MM 2 and are in, or within 15km road distance, of a town with population between 15,000 and 50,000.
MM4 Areas categorised ASGS-RA 2 and ASGS-RA 3 that are not in MM 2 or MM 3, and are in, or within 10km road distance, of a town with population between 5,000 and 15,000.
MM5 All other areas in ASGS-RA 2 and 3.
MM6 All areas categorised ASGS-RA 4 that are not on a populated island that is separated from the mainland in the ABS geography and is more than 5km offshore.
MM7 All other areas – that being ASGS-RA 5 and areas on a populated island that is separated from the mainland in the ABS geography and is more than 5km offshore.

Information on the remoteness classification of any town or community in Australia can be readily provided through the Department of Health “Map Locator” which is available online via: http://www.doctorconnect.gov.au/locator

2.3.3 Medical specialists must have been living and working in a rural / remote area for no less than 12 months.
2.3.4 Medical specialists who are Fly-in/Fly-out (FIFO) are eligible to apply and will be considered for funding on a case by case basis.
2.3.5 FIFO applicants will be considered the lowest priority, irrespective of the applicant’s total time practicing in rural locations, rurality/remoteness rating of practice location, and the type of CPD activity requested.
2.3.6 Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) and Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) Fellows:
General Practitioners (ACRRM and RACGP) are ineligible to apply for funding under the Program, as CPD for these practitioners is funded through other Australian Government programs.
2.4 CPD Activity Criteria
2.4.1 The CPD activity must be under taken in Australia and must take place within the time frame specified in the Application Form.
2.4.2 The CPD course provider must be either nationally accredited, nationally recognised or an accredited/professional private educational provider. Training providers may include but are not confined to universities, registered training organisations or professional bodies such as medical colleges and their equivalents.
2.4.3 Other forms of education, such as clinical attachments in specialist units or proctoring by relevant visiting specialists are eligible for grant funding but must conform to meet individual Specialist Medical College CPD program frameworks.
2.4.4 The CPD event must be directly relevant to the applicant’s current employment in a rural or remote area of an Australian state or territory
2.4.5 Courses and/or education activities must include a minimum of 6 hours of face-to-face learning per individual.
2.4.6 The application must clearly document the outcomes of learning and implications for practice and outline a clear process for monitoring the achievement of learning objectives.
2.4.7 Funding under this program supplements areas not currently serviced by state and territory or other Australian Government programs.
2.5 Selection Criteria
The following criteria will be applied to applications for funding of individual CPD activities by individual medical specialists:
2.5.1 Demonstration of identified need at ‘local’ level with respect to identified healthcare needs in context of individual educational needs.
2.5.2 Location; rural and remote focus. Provision of CPD and educational opportunities for eligible medical specialists and multidisciplinary teams in rural and remote areas of Australia with an ability to reduce isolation.
2.5.3 Demonstration of appropriate educational principles to enable key knowledge/skills attainment and transfer.
2.5.4 Ability to integrate learning to a wider context.
2.5.5 Ability to contribute to / demonstrate sustainable changes in practice.
2.5.6 Relative ‘cost effectiveness’ / ‘value’.
2.5.7 Demonstrated hardship or difficulty in participating in approved CPD activities.

3. Budget and Travel Expense Guidelines

3.1 Applications will be accepted up to a value of $10,000 per person, per annum.
3.1.1 Grant applicants may apply for multiple CPD activities per funding round, provided that the total funds requested does not exceed $10,000 per annum.
3.2 Only economy class air travel will be reimbursed.
3.3 Overnight accommodation prior to an event will be reimbursed only where the travelling times makes it impractical to travel on the morning of the event or to return on the same day following the event.

Where overnight accommodation is required, a maximum of $350 per night will be refundable per night.

3.4 Taxis/Uber between home/airport/location of activity identified in the Grant Application Form will be reimbursed.
3.5 If a private car is used in place of air travel, please consult with SRSA PMU staff to obtain approval. Private car travel will be reimbursed at a rate of 69c per km. Where a private car travel will be used in place of air travel, the total amount reimbursable will be to a maximum of the respective flight cost.
3.6 Amounts refundable for meals per day are as follows:

  • Breakfast up to $30.00
  • Lunch up to $50.00
  • Dinner up to $70.00

Meals will be reimbursed at a maximum of $150 per training day.

3.7 Airport parking facilities may be used where necessary and may be reimbursed.
3.8 SRSA grant funds do not cover costs associated with accompanying persons.
When receipts/invoices include accompanying persons, the PMU require receipts/invoices to be highlighted to indicate itemised expenditure to be reimbursed.

4. Application Assessment

4.1 Individual Grant Applications will be assessed by an Assessment Panel, and according to the criteria of each SRSA Program component as outlined in the SRSA Application Guidelines.
4.1.1 Each Funding Round is allocated a fixed amount of funds.
4.1.2 Where eligible applications exceed the funding available, grants will be awarded following ranking of applications against CPD activity prioritisation guidelines.
4.2 The Assessment Panel prioritises clinical attachments, mentorships, peer review, workshops/courses over conferences and scientific meetings (ASMs).
4.3 The Assessment Panel does not fund postgraduate qualifications e.g. Masters, Graduate Diplomas, and Graduate Certificates.
4.3.1 Requests for financial support to complete individual components of university level qualifications may be considered. The proposed university course/workshop must include at least (6) hours of face-to-face learning.
4.4 The Assessment Panel initially ranks eligible grant applications for assessment, according to the following criteria:
4.4.1 Rural/remoteness rating of current residential and practice address (as outlined in Section 2.3.1);
4.4.2 Time (months) living and working in rural/remote locations (as outlined in Section 2.3.4);
4.4.3 Type of CPD activity requested (as outlined in Section 4.2); and
4.4.4 Current full-time equivalent (FTE) living and working in a rural/remote location (as outlined in Section 2.3.3).
4.5 Eligible grant applications will be assessed according to the Selection Criteria as outlined under Section 2.3.
4.6 The Assessment Panel may partially fund lower ranked grant applications.
4.7 The number of previously awarded SRSA CPD grants may be used as criteria when ranking grant applications.

5. Reimbursement Process

5.1 All expense items claimed under this grant require a tax invoice showing the supplier’s name, address, ABN number and GST amount.
5.2 Following the completion of the CPD activity / activities participants are to scan and email receipts to admin@ruralspecialist.org.au and include their nominated bank account details where funds can be transferred.
5.3 Prior to reimbursement, the participant will be required to complete a brief mandatory evaluation following the completion of the CPD activity / activities.
5.4 Reimbursements will be made once the CPD activity and evaluation survey have been completed.

6. Further Information

6.1 Reconsideration of Decision
6.1.1 Grant Applicants may request a Reconsideration of the Decision.
6.1.2 Reconsideration of the Decision is conducted by the Assessment Panel which made the original Decision.
6.1.3 The request for Reconsideration of the Decision must:

  1. be made in writing to contact details outlined in Section 1.2.3; and
  2. be received by the SRSA PMU with 28 days of the Applicant being advised of the Decision.
6.1.4 The Assessment Panel must give the Grant Applicant written notice of its decision on the request for Reconsideration of the Decision within a reasonable timeframe.
6.2 Changes to approved CPD activity
6.2.1 The Governing Committee may approve a change to the originally approved CPD Activity, where the:

  1. Grant Recipient is unable to attend the approved CPD Activity due to significant personal and/or work commitments;
  2. Grant Recipient is unable to secure registration to the CPD Activity due to attendee numbers; or
  3. Course Provider has cancelled the event.
6.2.2 The Alternative CPD Activity must meet the criteria outlined in Section 2.4.
6.2.3 The Grant Recipient will be reimbursed up to the amount of their originally approved CPD grant budget.
6.3 Transfer of grants
Grant recipients are not permitted to transfer awarded CPD grants to their colleagues or other rural medical specialists.
6.4 Privacy
Any information provided to the SRSA program by an applicant will be dealt with in accordance with Privacy Act 1988.
6.5 Feedback and complaints
Grant Applicants and Recipients can provide feedback and complaints to the SRSA PMU via the contact details outlined in Section 1.2.3.