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Important dates

  • Applications closed: 31 Mar 2023
  • Outcomes sent: by 28 Jun 2023
  • Grant recipients complete CPD activities: 1 Jul 2023 – 30 Sep 2024

How to apply

The application window for Funding Round 7 is now closed.

If you have any questions or issues, please contact us. We aim to reply to everyone within two days.

Application Guidelines - Funding Round 7

1. The SRSA Program

1.1 Overview

The Support for Rural Specialists in Australia (SRSA) program is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care and managed by the Council of Presidents of Medical Colleges (CPMC).

The SRSA program aims to help rural communities receive a high standard of care from skilled, supported and engaged medical specialists.

1.2 Governance

The CPMC manages the SRSA program with the assistance of the SRSA Subcommittee. The SRSA Subcommittee is made up of rural medical specialists, specialist medical college representatives, and Department of Health representatives. It provides provide oversight and expert advice over the life of the program.

Day to day operations of the Program are carried out by the Program Management Unit (PMU), who are housed by the Royal Australasian College of Physicians.


2. Individual CPD Support Grants

2.1 Purpose

SRSA individual grants aim to help rural specialists access high quality CPD and networking that suits their individual needs.

SRSA grants are available to medical specialists who live and work in regional, rural, and remote Australia and are connected to a non-GP Australian/Australasian specialist medical college* as either:

  • A Fellow
  • An International medical graduate under assessment
  • An Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander trainee

Applicants must meet the requirements set out below and be supported by their relevant college.

*This excludes the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine, as alternative sources of funding are available for general practitioners.

2.2 Application Requirements

2.2.1   Applications must be submitted electronically or via email to the Program Management Unit

2.2.2   Applications must be completed in conjunction with reading the Application Guidelines.

2.2.3   Applicants must address and meet the criteria set out in sections 2.3, 2.4 and 2.5 below.

  • Applicants can apply for up to three (3) CPD activities per person, per grant round.
  • Funding will only be granted for a maximum of one (1) CPD activity per Applicant, per grant round.
  • If applying for multiple CPD activities, Applicants must rank activities in order of preference.
  • Applicants can apply for up to $10,000 per activity.
  • Funding cannot be split between multiple activities unless they are directly related (e.g., a workshop held in conjunction with a conference).

2.2.5   Applicants must ensure all questions are answered accurately and completely and keep a copy of the application for their own records.

2.2.6   Applications must be submitted by 11.59pm AEDT, 31 March 2023.

2.3 Applicant Eligibility Criteria

2.3.1   Be a Fellow, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander trainee, or international medical graduate under assessment of a (non-GP) Australian specialist medical college or their Faculty, including:

  • The Australasian College of Dermatologists
  • Australasian College of Emergency Medicine
  • Australasian College of Sport and Exercise Physicians
  • Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists
  • College of Intensive Care Medicine of Australia and New Zealand
  • The Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators
  • The Royal Australasian College of Physicians
  • Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
  • The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia
  • The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists
  • The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists
  • The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists
  • The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists
Fellows of ACRRM and RACGP are ineligible to apply for funding unless they are also associated with another college as outlined in 2.3.1.

2.3.2   Live and work in regional, rural or remote areas defined as Modified Monash Model 2019 categories MM2 to MM7. Information on the Monash 2019 classification of any address in Australia can be found on the Health Workforce Locator:

2.3.3   Hold current practice qualifications and registrations including compliance with any state and territory requirements and the Medical Board of Australia. International Medical Graduates who are undertaking college requirements for specialist recognition 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 before those working below 0.5FTE.

2.3.6   Fly-in/Fly-out (FIFO) Applicants are eligible to apply but will be considered the lowest priority.

2.4 CPD Activity Eligibility Criteria

2.4.1   The CPD activity must take place within the time frame specified in the Application Form for Grant Round 7 (1 July 2023 to 30 September 2024)

2.4.2   In-person CPD activities must be undertaken in Australia or New Zealand. New Zealand-based activities must be run or supported by Australian or Australasian specialist medical college.

2.4.3   Online-only activities are eligible and those including a peer support or network-building element are encouraged.

2.4.4   If the CPD activity is based in Australia or New Zealand, the provider must be nationally accredited or recognised. Training providers may include, but are not confined to, universities, registered training organisations and professional bodies such as medical colleges and associations.

2.4.5   If the CPD activity is from provider outside of Australia and New Zealand (online activities only), the provider must be internationally recognised, as in point 2.4.4.

2.4.6   If the CPD activity is a clinical attachment, peer review or similar, it must meet individual specialist medical college CPD program frameworks. This form of CPD is highly encouraged.

2.4.7   Postgraduate qualifications are considered on a case-by-case basis. They must be able to be completed within the grant round time frame. In particular, individual university level courses (or “units of study”) or graduate certificates may be considered.

2.4.8   The CPD activity must be directly relevant to the Applicant’s current work in a regional, rural, or remote area of Australia.

2.4.9   The CPD activity must align with the Applicant’s learning needs. The application must clearly document the learning outcomes and implications for practice and outline a clear process for monitoring the achievement of learning objectives.

2.4.10 Applicants must be able to justify the CPD activity’s benefit for the rural community/ies they serve.

2.5 Application Selection Criteria

2.5.1   Demonstration of relevance of the CPD activity to identified healthcare needs of the community/ies the Applicant serves.

2.5.2   Demonstration of relevance of the CPD activity to the Applicant’s individual educational needs and ability to reduce professional isolation.

2.5.3   Demonstration of appropriate educational principles in the application to enable key knowledge/skills attainment and transfer.

2.5.4   Ability for the CPD activity contribute to sustainable changes in practice.

2.5.5   Rurality of an Applicant’s main practice (regional, rural, and remote focus).

2.5.6   The type of CPD activity and its relative cost effectiveness / value.

2.5.7   The length of time the applicant has worked in a rural location.

2.5.8   The Applicant’s current full-time equivalent (FTE) living and working in a rural location.


3. Budget and Expense Guidelines

3.1 Budget Guidelines

3.1.1   Applications will be accepted up to a value of $10,000 per activity, per person.

3.1.2   Applicants may apply for up to three (3) CPD activities per person, per grant round. However, funding will only be granted for a maximum of one (1) CPD activity per person, per grant round.

3.1.3   Grant funds cannot be split between multiple activities unless they are directly related (e.g., a workshop held in conjunction with a conference).

3.2 Expense Guidelines

3.2.1   Only economy class air travel will be reimbursed. International travel and accommodation will only be reimbursed if the CPD activity is being held in New Zealand and affiliated with an Australian or Australasian specialist medical college.

3.2.2   Overnight accommodation prior to a CPD activity 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. A maximum of $375 will be reimbursed per night.

3.2.3   Taxis/Uber/private vehicle travel between home/airport/location of a CPD activity and airport parking fees will be reimbursed.

3.2.4   Private vehicle travel will be reimbursed at a rate of .75 cents per km.

3.2.5   Amounts refundable for meals per day are as follows:

  • Breakfast up to $40 AUD
  • Lunch up to $50 AUD
  • Dinner up to $80 AUD

Meals will be reimbursed at a maximum of $170 AUD per training day.

3.2.6   Grant funds do not cover costs associated with accompanying adults, nor additional travel unrelated to the approved activity (e.g., travel for a holiday following an approved conference). When receipts include accompanying adults and/or unrelated travel, receipts/invoices must be itemised and relevant expenditure highlighted.

3.2.7   Grant funds cannot be carried over to future grant rounds.

3.2.8   Grant funds cannot be used for any expenses other than those associated with the approved activity.

3.2.9   If CPD activities are completed in New Zealand, expenses incurred in New Zealand Dollars will be reimbursed in Australian Dollars.


4. Application Assessment

4.1 Ranking

4.1.1   Eligible grant applications are initially ranked according to the following criteria:

  • Rural/remoteness rating of current residential and practice address (as outlined in Section 2.3.2);
  • Time (months) living and working in rural/remote locations;
  • Type of CPD activity requested (as outlined in Section 2.4); and
  • Current full-time equivalent (FTE) living and working in a rural/remote location (as outlined in Section 2.3.4 and 2.3.5).

4.2 Review

4.2.1   An assessment panel consisting of members of the SRSA Subcommittee will then assess grant applications according to the Selection Criteria as outlined under Section 2.5.

4.2.2   The Assessment Panel prioritises participatory activities such as clinical attachments, mentorships, peer review, and workshops/courses over less participatory activities such as conferences, scientific meetings, and meetings.

4.2.3   Each Grant Round is allocated a fixed amount of funds.

4.2.4   The Assessment Panel may partially fund lower ranked grant applications.


5. Reimbursement Process

5.1 Reimbursement Process

5.1.1   Following completion of their CPD activity, grant Recipients must email receipts to the Program Management Unit and include bank account details to which reimbursement funds are to be transferred.

5.1.2   All expense items claimed under this grant require tax invoices showing the supplier’s name, address, ABN and GST amount.

5.1.3   Following completion of their CPD activity, Recipients are required to complete a brief evaluation survey.

5.1.4   Reimbursements will be made once the Recipient has completed their CPD activity, provided their receipts, provided their bank account details and completed the evaluation survey.

5.1.5   Surplus funds cannot be applied to another activity, nor rolled over to a future grant round. Any surplus funds remaining in a grant allocation following reimbursement cannot be used.


6. Further Information

6.1 Reconsideration of the Decision

6.1.1   Grant Applicants may request a reconsideration of a funding 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; and
  2. be received with 28 days of the Applicant being advised of the Decision.

6.1.4   The Assessment Panel must give the 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 PMU, in consultation with the SRSA Subcommittee, may approve a change to the originally approved CPD Activity, where:

  1. the Grant Recipient is unable to attend the approved CPD Activity due to external circumstances or significant personal and/or work commitments;
  2. the Grant Recipient is unable to secure registration to the CPD Activity due to attendee numbers; or
  3. the 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 Transfer

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.