2. SRSA Individual Support Grants
SRSA grants to access CPD are available to (non-GP) medical specialists, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical specialist trainees, who live and work in regional, rural, and remote Australia. Applicants must meet the requirements set out below and be supported by their relevant medical colleges.
2.2 Application requirements
2.2.1 Applications for funding must be submitted electronically via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or 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 non-GP medical specialists, and medical specialist trainees of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin, according to the following eligibility criteria:
- Be a Fellow or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander trainee 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 Live and work in regional, rural or remote areas defined as Modified Monash Model (MMM) categories MM2 to MM7:
|MM 2||Areas categorised ASGC-RA 2 and ASGC-RA 3 that are in, or within 20km road distance, of a town with population >50,000.|
|MM 3||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.|
|MM 4||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.|
|MM 5||All other areas in ASGS-RA 2 and 3.|
|MM 6||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.|
|MM 7||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 found through the Department of Health “Map Locator” via: http://www.doctorconnect.gov.au/locator
2.3.3 Hold current practice qualifications and registrations including compliance with any state and territory requirements and compliance with the Medical Board of Australia. International Medical Graduates who are undertaking Specialist Medical College requirements for specialist recognition following assessment by the College via the Australian Medical Council Specialist Assessment Pathway are eligible to apply.
2.3.4 Have been living and working in a regional, rural, or remote area for no less than 12 months.
2.3.5 Part time applicants are eligible to apply. Applicants working 0.5FTE and over will be considered first.
2.3.6 Fly-in/Fly-out (FIFO) applicants are eligible to apply and will be considered for funding on a case-by-case basis. FIFO applicants will be considered the lowest priority, irrespective of the applicant’s total time practising in rural locations, remoteness of practice location, and the type of CPD activity requested.
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 undertaken in Australia and must take place within the time frame specified in the Application Form.
2.4.2 CPD course providers must be nationally accredited or recognised if they are based in Australia, or internationally accredited or recognised if they are based overseas (online activities only), 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, associations, and their equivalents.
2.4.3 Other participatory forms of education, such as clinical attachments in specialist units or proctoring by relevant visiting specialists are eligible and highly encouraged. However, such activities must meet individual Specialist Medical College CPD program frameworks.
2.4.4 This program does not fund full postgraduate qualifications. Requests for financial support to complete individual university level courses (or “units of study”) may be considered.
2.4.5 The CPD event must be directly relevant to the applicant’s current employment in a regional, rural, or remote area of Australia.
2.4.6 Face to face education activities are encouraged. Online-only activities will be considered, particularly if they include a peer support or network building element
2.4.7 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.
2.4.8 Applicants must be able to justify an activity’s benefit for the regional, rural, or remote population(s) they serve.
2.4.9 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; regional, rural, and remote focus. Provision of CPD and educational opportunities for eligible medical specialists and multidisciplinary teams in regional, 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 up to three (3) CPD activities per funding round. However, they will receive funding for a maximum of one (1) activity.
3.1.2 If applying for multiple CPD activities in a funding round, applicants must also rank activities in order of preference.
3.2 International travel and accommodation will not be reimbursed. If flying domestically, only economy class air travel will be reimbursed.
3.3 If travelling domestically, 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 will be refundable per night.
3.4 If travelling domestically, taxis/Uber between home/airport/location of activity identified in the Grant Application Form will be reimbursed.
3.5 If travelling domestically and a private car is used in place of air travel, please consult with SRSA PMU staff to obtain approval. Private domestic car travel will be reimbursed at a rate of 72c per km. Where a private car travel will be used in place of air travel domestically, the total amount reimbursable will be to a maximum of the respective flight cost.
3.6 If travelling domestically, amounts refundable for meals per day are as follows:
Breakfast up to $30
Lunch up to $50
Dinner up to $70
Meals will be reimbursed at a maximum of $150 per training day.
3.7 If travelling domestically, 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 participatory activities such as clinical attachments, mentorships, peer review, and workshops/courses over conferences, scientific meetings (ASMs), and individual university level “units of study.”
4.3 The Assessment Panel does not fund postgraduate qualifications. Requests for financial support to complete individual university level courses (or “units of study”) may be considered.
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 Sections 4.2 and 4.3); 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 tax invoices showing the supplier’s name, address, ABN and GST amount.
5.2 Following the completion of the CPD activity / activities participants are to scan and email receipts to email@example.com 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 the 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:
- be made in writing to contact details outlined in Section 1.2.3; and
- 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:
- Grant Recipient is unable to attend the approved CPD Activity due to significant personal and/or work commitments;
- Grant Recipient is unable to secure registration to the CPD Activity due to attendee numbers; or
- 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 Grant recipients are not permitted to transfer awarded CPD grants to their colleagues or other rural medical specialists.
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.