Completed Projects

The RHCE Stream One program has now ended.
If you want to apply for a grant to attend a CPD event, check out the SRSA program.

Select a specialty to view the RHCE funded CPD projects.




Emergency Medicine




Intensive Care Medicine


Medical Administration


Paediatrics, Internal Medicine and associated Specialties
Royal Australasian College of Surgeons


Obstetrics and Gynaecology






Radiology and Radiation Oncology


Sports Medicine



Australasian College of Dermatologists (ACD)

Indigenous Health and Cultural Safety Online: A Dermatological Perspective

This project aims to develop a media-rich module to support the continuing professional development of College Fellows and Trainees in the area of Indigenous health and cultural safety with emphasis on the dermatological perspective.

The module will provide training and support materials related to Indigenous health and safety with specific focus on dermatological issues. It is designed to be aligned with currently available general training courses such as that provided by the Australian Indigenous Health InfoNet and with the Australasian College of Dermatology’s current Professional Qualities Curriculum and will encompass issues such as:

  • Historical and cultural contexts
  • Communication
  • Chronic disease and its management
  • Ensuring optimal care through multi-disciplinary involvement
  • Cultural competency
  • Understanding the unique cultural history of people and how it impacts on their health
  • Applying cultural knowledge in managing and treating patients and family
  • Quality and safety in practice
  • Effective communication

Project Type – Online Module

Target audience –  Dermatologists, Adult Medicine

Funding period – December 2010 – June 2012

Project status – Complete

Project resources – Online learning modules [not available on this site yet]

More information please contact: Dr Bob Corderoy

Rural Practice Review

The Australasian College of Dermatologists coordinated practice visits and reviews between rural dermatologists to facilitate networking and enhance practice performance amongst Fellows working in rural and remote areas. The Fellows who participated in the practice reviews visited or videoconferenced with the host practice and agreed on a development plan which will be implemented and reported on to highlight the effectiveness of the review. A series of webinars was also arranged as part of a discussion forum for members involved in the practice reviews. The case studies generated have been made available online as a sustainable resource for current and future Fellows who are considering building their own private practice and will count as a continuing professional development activity.

Project Type – Face to face, videoconference, webinars and online modules

Collaborating Colleges – None

Target Audience – Dermatologists working and/or living in rural areas

Funding Period – March – November 2015

Project Status – Complete

Project Resources – Online module of case studies

For more information please contact: Jennifer McNeillie

This College has also collaborated with:

The RACP-led Telehealth Technology Workshops project and the RACS-led Nicheportal project (see RACS below).



The Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM)

Promoting Cultural Safety Program

Culturally safe Emergency Departments (EDs) are a key component of providing high quality care for Indigenous and other culturally and linguistically diverse patients.

The ACEM Promoting Cultural Safety Program (PCSP) aims to improve the ability of Emergency Medicine Specialists to assess and improve skills in Indigenous health and cultural competency within EDs leading to greater professionalism of rural and remote staff.

The six month program covered cultural safety initiatives that are relevant for the ED in the areas of project and change management, local ED implementation, building professional relationships with key allied health staff, monitoring and evaluation.

Project type – e-Learning modules, webinars, face-to-face workshops and online support

Collaborating colleges – None

Target audience –  Emergency Medicine Specialists

Funding Period –  March – November 2015

Project Status –  Complete

Project Resources –  ACEM Indigenous Health and Cultural Competency Online eLearning Module series

For more information please contact: Meggan Jenkins

This College has also collaborated with:

Two RACS-led projects:  Nicheportal project  and  Intercultural Competency for Medical Specialists  (see RACS below).


Australasian College of Sport and Exercise Physicians (ACSEP)

Formal Needs Assessment

The ACSEP has identified that the educational needs of rural and regionally-based health professionals differ from those of urban physicians. The Formal Needs Analysis being developed will be presented in a survey format. It will facilitate knowledge gathering and aim to achieve a thorough understanding of rural CPD needs by capturing physicians’ preferences for CPD content, delivery methods, and attitudes toward access to rural CPD in general. The survey, put together by subject matter experts, will be distributed to sports physicians, general practitioners as well as physiotherapists and education providers to ensure we have a comprehensive understanding of what their needs are.

From the collation of data from the survey, the ACSEP will deliver an eLearning tool which will allow sports physicians and their associated MDT’s the opportunity to access relevant and specific education via the web. This aims to remove physical and time barriers to participating in CPD learning for those based in rural and regional areas.

Project Type – Formal Needs Analysis and eLearning tool

Target Audience – Remote and Rural Sports Physicians and General Practitioners and Physiotherapists who are members of the Multi-Disciplinary Teams (MDTs).

Funding Period – December 2013 – October 2014

Project Status – Complete

For more information please contact: Georgie Jackson

This College has also collaborated with:

Two RACS-led projects: SAST and Nicheportal (see RACS below).


 Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA)

 Indigenous Health Modules: Rural Specialist Resources

A series of short independent learning podcast modules were been created, which focused on the needs of rural/remote specialists working, or intending to work with Indigenous patients. The aim of the modules are to provide relevant specialty-specific information to improve communication and knowledge of specialists regarding Indigenous health and cultural competence. The modules are available on the RHCE website, the ANZCA website and through the Network for Indigenous Cultural and Health Education (NICHE) Portal which is accessible to specialists across the Medical Colleges.

Project Type – Podcasts

Target audience – Rural/Remote International Medical Graduates (IMGS), Anaesthetists and Pain Medicine Specialists.

Funding period – July 2011 – December 2012

Project status – Complete

Project resourcesOnline learning modules

More information please contact: ANZCA Policy

Rural Special Interest Group Poster Symposium

Rural anaesthetists and trainees were encouraged to produce and present a poster at the ANZCA Rural Special Interest Group (SIG) Meeting. Posters were related to research or audit conducted in a non-metropolitan setting, or on medical issues in rural anaesthetic practice.

Project Type – Establishment of an annual poster presentation symposium at the ANZCA Rural SIG Meeting.

Target audience – Rural Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Specialists, Rural General Practitioner Anaesthetists, Rural Anaesthetic Trainees and Rural Medical Students

Funding period – December 2011 – September 2012

Project status – Complete

More information please contact: Kirsty O’Connor or +61 3 8517 5332

This College has also collaborated with:

Two RACS-led projects: SAST and Nicheportal projects (see RACS below)


College of Intensive Care Medicine (CICM)

Brain Death Certification

This project will be an instructional video, for online and DVD distribution, demonstrating the diagnosis of brain death utilising and based on the latest ANZICS statement of brain death and organ donation.

Project Type – Production and distribution of an educational DVD

Target Audience – Anaesthetists, Emergency Physicians and Intensive Care Physicians

Funding Period – October 2013October 2014

Project Status – Complete

For more information please contact: Lisa Davidson

Echocardiography and Ultrasound Training in Alice Springs Hospital

This project is designed to allow specialists across a number of different specialties at Alice Springs Hospital obtain the skills required to perform clinically appropriate screening ultrasounds.

The course will be run at Alice Springs Hospital. Participants will attend a short course on performing clinical screening ultrasounds and then sessions will be set with an echocardiographer and ultrasonographer for skills transfer with the ability to do the Certificate of Clinical Ultrasound. The level of expertise gained will allow both clinical confidence in the ultrasound and the ability of the specialists to teach trainees and credential trainees where required.

Project Type – Skills transfer

Target audience – Emergency Medicine, Intensive Care Medicine, Anaesthetics, Surgery, Adult Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Funding period – December 2010 – April 2013

Project status – Complete

Project resources – Echo learning resource

More information  please contact: Phil Hart

Indigenous Patients in Critical Care – Communication, Consent and Organ Donation Issues

Effective communication with Indigenous people on health matters, in particular some of the situations that arise in areas of critical care, require some specific skills and knowledge. A cost effective way to disseminate some of this knowledge is through the use of a DVD, utilising the specialised knowledge of clinicians with particular expertise in the area and also by involving some Indigenous people (patients) in the production.

Project Type – Production and distribution of an educational DVD

Target audience – Specialists and Trainees working with Indigenous patients in critical care situations, critical care nursing and Allied Health Staff, other Health Professionals

Funding period – January 2012 – April 2013

Project status – Complete

Project resourcesOnline learning modules and DVD

More information – contact Phil Hart

Safe Patient Transport

The aim of the project is to ensure that all specialists involved in the transport of critically ill patients minimise risk and maximise safety. The outcomes are to ensure that those specialists are aware of the most current guidelines, protocols and practices.

An online learning module has been developed that will assist medical practitioners develop and implement strategies and protocols for the safe transport of critically ill patients.

Project Type  – Online module

Collaborating Colleges None

Target Audience – All specialists involved in transport of critically ill patients, that work in a rural or regional area.

Funding Period – March – November 2015

Project Status – Complete

Project Resources eLearning module

For more information please contact: Lisa Davidson

The Occasional Intensivist

Annual seminar/workshop meetings were held with content aimed as an update/upskilling opportunity suited to the multi-disciplinary specialists providing clinical ICU services in rural and regional hospital locations. Typical content included updates in paediatrics, retrieval, resuscitation, Indigenous health, H1N1 management as well as simulation/skill station training.

Project Type – An annual meeting incorporating: workshops, seminars and simulation sessions

Target audience – CICM Fellows, Multi-disciplinary Specialists

Funding period – July 2011 – April 2013

Project status – Complete

More information please contact: Phil Hart

This College has also also collaborated with:

The RACS-led Nicheportal project (see RACS below).



The Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators (RACMA)

A National Management and Leadership Peer Review Group for Clinician Managers.

This project has established a network of managers and leaders throughout Australia who come together bimonthly to present and discuss their own workplace related cases with peers. This network is open to specialist medical managers (Fellows of the RACMA), other RACMA members and specialists from other Colleges who occupy management or leadership roles.

The Peer Review Learning Sets (PRLS) are comprised of around 15 – 20 managers, two facilitators and the RACMA Curriculum and Training Coordinator. Three learning sets have been established, run bimonthly and are cycled in the same week (Groups A, B and C).

Each case is a de-identified work-based management or leadership issue that is presented in two parts. The first part (Part A) outlines the background and details of the issue, after which the group discuss possible avenues of resolution or pathways forward. The second part (Part B) outline the Participant’s management of the issue, after which the group will assess the strategies that were employed. Part C directs the group on what type of feedback the Presenter is seeking.

Throughout the presentation of their case, the Presenter will remain anonymous to the rest of the group, allowing for more candid feedback and unbiased evaluation, unless they choose to disclose their identity.

Project Type – Online network and web conferences

Collaborating Colleges – ACEM, ANZCA, RACS, RANZCP, RACP

Target audience – Medical Administration and Specialist Clinical Management

Funding period – December 2010 – April 2013

Project status – Complete

More information please contact: Christine Cottrell

E-dgy Issues Program (EIP)

The Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators (RACMA) has delivered a set of four 1.5 hour webinars comprised of e-debates and discussions with doctors and other health professionals. These were live discussions based on edgy, and contemporary issues related to health services, medical and clinical administration.

The online webinars and debates gave doctors and health professionals in rural and remote areas the opportunity to enhance their continuing professional development and to sustain best practice in medical leadership and management.

Through the EIP, RACMA has provided a forum to enable important interdisciplinary, interprofessional and multidisciplinary alliances in approaches to contemporary and current health issues that affect rural and remote health associations, while promoting robust discussion and greater sector interconnection.

The EIP has provided a range of issues that raise significant questions and important topics encouraging discussion and best practice approaches to contemporary challenges, vital in continuing to minimise the effects of isolation for the non-metropolitan based health services that provide key health care in rural and remote communities.

Project Type –  Online webinar and debates

2015 E-dgy Issues Dates:
20 May 2015, Inequality in Indigenous Health – What lessons in Indigenous health have been learnt?
Presenter:   Ms Debra Hocking
15 July 2015, 12.30 – 2pm AEST, Playing ball – Embracing collaborative care and reducing load on rural practice through true multidisciplinary integration
Presenter: Professor Associate Professor Joe McGirr
19 August 2015, 12.30 – 2pm AEST, Conquering fragmented rural mental health and other specialist medical services – Telehealth
Presenter:  Professor Peter Yellowlees
14 October 2015, 12.30 – 2pm AEDT, Ageism, sexism, bullying, respect or un-esteemed collaborations between medical professionals. Are we duplicating what is taught in medicine?
Presenter:  Associate Professor David Hillis

Collaborating Colleges – All specialist colleges were invited to participate, and their members to register in the E-dgy Issues online webinars and debate. The Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM) presented in the second E-dgy Issues webinar while The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) participated in the fourth E-dgy Issues webinar on the 14 October 2015.
As part of the marketing of this 2015 EIP, all colleges are informed of the E-dgy Issues events and invited to add these details to their calendars.

Target Audience – Doctors, specialists and health professionals in regional, rural and remote health settings

Funding Period – March – November 2015

Project Status – Complete

Project resources – Pre-reading material, Podcasts and transcripts, Past material e.g. 2014 E-dgy Issues Program Booklet

For more information please contact: Carmel O’Hea

Enhancing performance through Self Audit and Peer Review

This project complements the “National Management and Leadership Peer Review Group for Medical Managers” project, by adding a Self Audit and Peer Review tool for the use of clinical leaders and managers to utilise in support of their own professional development and performance enhancement.

The pilot study process involves establishing a confidential online survey tool which the participants and their nominated peers will complete. Additionally, participants are required to nominate a mentor who is responsible for providing one-on-one feedback for the review results.

The mentor will also assist the participant in developing a performance plan based on the feedback that has been provided by their peers. The review and feedback process will be supported by a number of vocational specialists who will provide professional support, as needed, to both participants and to mentors.

This program is open to specialist medical managers (Fellows of RACMA), other RACMA members, and specialists from other Colleges who occupy management or leadership roles. It will further build the network of managers and leaders throughout Australia who come together to support their peers with professional input leading to best practice solutions.

Project Type – Audit Tool


Target audience – Specialist Medical Managers, Clinician Managers, Specialists from Colleges who occupy management or leadership roles

Funding period – July 2011 – April 2013

Project status – Complete

More information – contact Christine Cottrell

This College has also collaborated in:

The RACS-led Nicheportal project (see RACS below).


The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP)


Addiction Medicine eLearning Module on Smoking Cessation

Smoking-related illnesses are a known burden in rural Australia, particularly in Aboriginal communities. Often these communities have little access to addiction medicine specialists. To help meet present and projected demand for CPD materials in this area, this eLearning module will focus on smoking cessation for patients with complex disorders.

The module will be based on case studies, which will include questions for the learner to answer and compare with model answers. The cases will be supported by readings and reference materials.

Project Type – eLearning Modules

Target audience – Paediatricians, Medical Students, Aboriginal Health workers, Allied Health, Nursing and General Practice

Funding period – December 2013 – October 2014

Project status – Complete

Project resourcesOnline learning module

For more information please contact: Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine

Australian Aboriginal Child Health Modules

This course has been developed in response to the need for improved cultural awareness in health care delivery and in understanding the role of cultural and socio-economic determinants in health outcomes.

The four modules include –

      • Module 1: Cultural awareness relating to Aboriginal families and communities, with examples from the Fitzroy Valley, Kimberley WA;
      • Module 2: The social determinants of Aboriginal child health – past, present and future – using North American and Australian examples;
      • Module 3: The spectrum of common illnesses in Aboriginal children in remote and urban settings (including ear, skin, and eye infections, anaemia, bronchiectasis, rheumatic heart disease and post-infectious glomerulonephritis);
      • Module 4: Developmental problems, including Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, and the effects of early life trauma (adverse social, nutritional and emotional experiences) on development.

Project Type – eLearning Modules

Target audience – Paediatricians, Medical Students, Aboriginal Health, Allied Health, Nursing and General Practice

Funding period – December 2010 – October 2013

Project status – Complete

Project resourcesOnline learning modules

More information – contact RACP or visit

Indigenous Cardiovascular Health Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

The RACP worked in conjunction with the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSANZ) to develop three modules focusing on cardiovascular disease and healthcare in Indigenous rural and remote communities.
The three modules provide continuing professional development for health professionals engaged in the delivery of cardiovascular health care for Indigenous Australians through web-based, interactive modules. The key topic areas covered in the project include:

      1. Coronary Artery Disease including cardiovascular risk factors and specific issues of cardiothoracic surgery in Indigenous Australians;
      2. Coronary Care in the context of cultural considerations for Indigenous Australians and understanding disparities in care of acute and chronic cardiovascular disease;
      3. Rheumatic Heart Disease and Acute Rheumatic Fever in Indigenous Australians.

Project Type – eLearning Modules

Target audience – Specialist Physicians, Cardiologists, Specialist Cardiothoracic Surgeons and Trainees, General Practitioners and Nursing and Allied Healthcare workers involved in Indigenous health care in rural and remote communities

Funding period – January 2012 – April 2013

Project status – Complete

Project resourcesOnline learning modules

For more information on the project please contact RACP.

Simulation Education Upskilling Program

The Sydney Clinical Skills and Simulation Centre (SCSSC) working in partnership with the RACP will coordinate the project entitled “Using simulation and the theme of the deteriorating patient to develop skills and training capacity in rural and remote multi-professional teams”, to be delivered between April 2011 and April 2013.

Project Type – Simulation workshop

Target audience – Physicians, Anaesthetists, Emergency Physicians, Intensive Care Physicians, Surgeons, Obstetricians, Ophthalmologists, Dermatologists and Radiologists

Funding period – December 2010 – October 2013

Project status – Complete

Project resourcesTraining Resources to facilitate the Management of the Critically Obstructed Airway Course

For an information sheet, workshop flyers and application forms  please visit the SCSSC website or by contacting the SCSSC Administration Officer Sarah Doran on (02) 9926 4620 or

Remote Peer Practice Review for Rural Rehabilitation Physicians

Peer and practice reviews have a high impact on quality of care and positive practice change. They are also beneficial to reviewers, who are encouraged to reflect on their own practice, stay current with standards and borrow good practices from their peers.

Conducting reviews remotely will reduce the cost complexities involved for rural and remote physicians, allowing them regular access to practice reviews, peer reviews, and team development opportunities.

This project has trialed a model for conducting peer practice reviews using online tools and videoconferencing. It is based on a previously successful face-to-face model.  A comprehensive guide will be developed and tested that will guide participants through the peer review process.  In addition, templates will be developed for conducting reviews and providing feedback.

Project type – Practice review and virtual meetings

Collaborating Colleges – None

Target Audience – This project primarily targets rural and Remote Rehabilitation Physicians. Once the review model and documents have been trialled, they could be adapted for the other physician specialties and shared with other Specialist Medical Colleges

Funding Period – March 2015 – November 2015

Project Status – Complete

Project Resources – A practice review guide and forms will be available for use

For more information please contact: Michael Pooley or Krista Recsei

Telehealth Technology Workshops

Two workshops were held, each providing ‘hands on’ opportunities for specialists to explore telehealth technologies and learn from their peers. They were delivered in two parts:
1. Presentations from specialists on how they use telehealth
2. A demonstration of the various technologies and an opportunity to experiment with them.

The featured technologies included videoconferencing setups, imaging software, cameras, 3D printers and more.

Experimenting with these technologies are an important step in increasing specialists’ confidence and excitement about telehealth.

Workshops were offered in:
Port Macquarie on 25 July 2015, and Hobart on 1 August 2015.

Project Type – Face to face workshops

Collaborating Colleges – ACD, RCPA, RANZCO

Target Audience – Rural, regional and remote Dermatologists, Ophthalmologists, Pathologists and Physicians. Primary Health Professionals are also welcome.

Funding period – December 2013 – November 2015

Project Status – Complete

Project ResourcesRecorded workshops and an online technology guide.

For more information please contact: Krista Recsei

Treatment of Chronic Heart Failure in Rural and Remote Australia

This project will adapt existing guidelines for chronic heart failure (CHF) so that they are more effective in rural and remote areas. This will focus on simplifying treatment regimens and incorporating greater self-care elements.

Two face to face workshops were offered were specialists and their teams where educated about the guidelines. Online train-the-trainer materials will be developed and promote sustainability by allowing the workshops to be held across Australia after the funding round has ended. These materials will focus on understanding the guidelines and enhancing the ability of clinicians to communicate with patients about their condition and treatment.

Project Type Written guidelines, face to face workshops, train the trainer resources

Collaborating Colleges None

Target Audience – Rural and remote cardiologists and other specialists involved in CHF care. The project will initially target Victoria and the Northern Territory.

Funding Period – March – November 2015

Project Status – Complete

Project resources – Written guidelines advising on CHF care in rural and remote settings and train the trainer materials

For more information please contact: Alastair Wilson or Krista Recsei

Rural Outcome Measurement Enhancement Project (ROME)

The ROME project offers a series of videoconferences and face to face workshops for specialists with an interest in health outcomes management. Topics include:

  • Falls, fractures and outcomes for older people
  • Indigenous Health outcomes
  • Sepsis Management
  • Mental Health Outcomes in Indigenous Populations and Farming Communities

Project Type – eLearning

Target audience – Rehabilitation Medicine Specialists, Physicians, Medical Administrators, Surgeons, Obstetricians & Gynaecologists

Funding period – December 2010 – October 2013

Project status – Complete

Project resourcesOnline modules


More Information please contact: RACP

This College has also collaborated with: 

The RACS-led Nicheportal project (see RACS below).


The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS)

Acute Neurotrauma

The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) has been offering Acute Neurotrauma workshops since 2007 and participants have found the skills learned through the presentation and subsequent lab session very valuable.

In 2015 the College ran one workshop. This was delivered on Thursday 24 September at James Cook University in Cairns, and facilitated by two neurosurgeons.

The aim was to equip medical professionals with the skills to deal with cases of neurotrauma using equipment commonly found in rural hospitals, including the Hudson Brace.

Project Objectives:
•  To understand the treatment for acute neurotrauma in the rural setting
•  To be able to decompress a patient with a rapidly expanding extra-dural
•  To be able to use a Hudson Brace and bit.

On completion of this course, participants were able to identify different types of head injury, accurately assess patients suffering neurotrauma, manage extra-cerebral haematoma, identify patients requiring urgent surgical intervention, and learn appropriate surgical skills, including a craniotomy, craniectomy, burr hole and tap-shunt procedure and how to manage acute hydrocephalus.

An e-module was produced in 2014 to compliment the workshop and assist future and past participants in the maintenance of their knowledge and skills.

The program content is based on the information contained in the booklet “The Management of Acute Neurotrauma in Rural and Remote Locations” produced by the Neurosurgical Society of Australasia.

Project Type – A workshop including a hands-on laboratory session.

Collaborating Colleges – none

Target Audience  – Rural Orthopaedic and General Surgeons, Rural Clinicians, International Medical Graduates and Procedural Trainees

Funding Period – July 2011- November 2015

Project Status – Complete

Project Resources – Acute Neurotrauma eLearning Module.

For more information – please contact Annette Ostrand

Australian Indigenous Health eLearning Modules

This project aims to improve surgeons’ understanding of Indigenous cultural issues which impact on their Indigenous patients’ health care outcomes.
The project incorporates a series of online learning modules with face-to-face workshops aimed at promoting a multi-disciplinary approach by specialists in rural and remote locations who care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients. The online content will focus on issues that reflect the complexity of working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in an often fragmented system that makes delivery of health care difficult.
There will be two face-to-face workshops offered to further explore the issues raised in the module forums.

Project Type – eLearning Modules

Target audience – Surgeons

Funding period – December 2010 – October 2013

Project status – Complete

Project resourcesOnline learning modules

More information please contact: Melanie Thiedeman

Intercultural Competency for Medical Specialists

Cultural competency and safety eLearning activities were developed to provide professional development in intercultural skills using examples from a range of cultures within Australia.

These modules provide information on recognising one’s own and other people’s cultural expectations; intercultural communication; the links among values, beliefs and behaviours; and strategic skills for cultural adaptation. There is also a range of activities to promote self-reflection regarding the impact of cultural issues on medical practice.

Project Type – eLearning Activity

Target audience – Rural Specialists, trainees and IMGS from all specialist medical colleges

Funding period – November 2011 – October 2013

Project Status – Complete

Project resourceseLearning modules

For more information contact Melanie Thiedeman

Indigenous Health and Cultural Competency Online Portal – Nicheportal

The Network for Indigenous Cultural and Health Education website (Nicheportal) was developed as a resource for medical specialists working with Indigenous populations. The project is a collaboration between the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS), the Australian Indigenous Doctor’s Association (AIDA) and other specialist medical colleges.

The aim of the Nicheportal project was to update, extend and enhance the online portal; supporting access by medical specialists to professional development activities and resources relating both to Indigenous health and cultural learning, resulting in the most up-to-date information becoming available to medical specialists on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, culturally safe work practices and healthcare delivery.

Project Type – An online project


Target Audience – Australian Specialist Medical Practitioners

Funding Period December 2013 – November 2015

Project Status  Complete

Project Resources –

For more information please contact: Simone Beyfus 

Rural Procedural Audit

This project aims to provide an electronic data collect tool that facilitates the collation and individualised reporting of comprehensive audit data for selected procedures carried out in the rural areas.

This project will provide support for fifteen rural centres over three years as well as individual clinicians to collect and analyse audit data in key craft group procedures using an electronic data collection program called FileMaker Pro.

To achieve the best outcomes, the audit cycle will concentrate on areas of clinical importance, continue over time and involve a cycle of analysis, reflection, dissemination and education.

Project Type – Procedural audit

Collaborating Colleges – RACS, RACP, RANZCO, RANZCOG

Target audience – Surgeons, Physicians Adult Medicine, Ophthalmologists and Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

Funding period – December 2010 – December 2013

Project Status – Complete

More information contact Katherine Economides

Safer Australian Surgical Teamwork (SAST): Working together to help intraoperative teams in rural and remote locations

Research shows that a breakdown in non-technical skills (NTS) frequently contributes to adverse outcomes. The training offered in the SAST workshops seeks to address these breakdowns, and thereby improve safety in the operating theatre and patient outcomes.

The project bought together surgeons, anaesthetists and scrub practitioners in a collaborative, cross-disciplined one day workshop, improving situational awareness, decision making, leadership, task management, communication skills and teamwork. The workshop will utilise three behavioural marker frameworks – Non-Technical Skills for Surgeons (NOTSS), Anaesthetists’ Non-Technical Skills (ANTS) and Scrub Practitioners’ List of Intra-operative Non-Technical Skills (SPLINTS) developed by The University of Aberdeen, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and the National Health Service.

RACS delivered five one-day workshops in 2015. These workshops were delivered by a mixed craft group faculty in regional hospitals, using NOTSS, ANTS and SPLINTS behavioural marker frameworks. The group concentrated on team work and team dynamics and explored the behaviours outlined in the frameworks, looking at similarities and differences for each non-technical category.

Project Type – Workshop

Saturday 19 September
Opal Cove Resort, Opal Boulevard, Coffs Harbour NSW 2450
Surgical Champion: Dr Dave Gillespie, FANZCA

Friday 25 September
Tablelands Clinical School, School of Rural Medicine, University of New England, Armidale NSW 2351
Surgical Champion: A/Prof Graham Stewart, FRACS

Saturday 10 October
University Centre for Rural Health (directly opposite Lismore Base Hospital) 61 Uralba St, Lismore NSW 2480.
Surgical Champion: Dr Sally Butchers, FANZCA

Friday 23 October
HR Meeting Room, Block E, Bundaberg Hospital, Bourbong Street, Bundaberg, QLD 4670
Surgical Champion: Dr Grace Lim, FRACS

Friday 30 October
North East Heath Wangaratta Education and Research Precinct, Melbourne University Simulation Centre Dixon Street, Wangaratta VIC 3677.
Surgical Champion: A/Prof Francis Miller, MBBS, PhD, FRACS.

Collaborating Colleges:

Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS)
Australian & New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA)
Australian College of Nursing (ACN)
Australian College of Operating Room Nurses (ACORN)

Target Audience – Surgeons, Anaesthetists and Scrub Nurses

Funding Period – December 2013 – November 2015

Project Status – Complete

Project Resources – Inter-operative videos with the three craft groups (Surgeons,  Anaesthetists, Scrub nurses)
Facilitators (RACS, ANZCA, ACN and ACORN)

For more information please contact: Paz Quiballo-Puyat

Supporting rural and remote specialists to utilise the eMulti-Source Feedback (eMSF) tool

Multi-Source Feedback (MSF) is increasingly being incorporated into Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programs in Australia and internationally. While becoming more common in metropolitan centres, the process can be more difficult to administer in rural or remote practice.

The eMSF eLearning module will assist rural and remote practitioners to undertake a comprehensive and supported program of self, peer-to-peer or 360 degree review of their performance. The modules will work in association with an established guide to competence and performance assessment and existing eMSF performance systems.

Project Type – eLearning module

Target audience – Rural and remote surgeons, Anaesthetists, Physicians

Funding Period – December 2013 – October 2014

Project Status – Complete

For more information please contact: Rebecca Clancy


The Royal Australian and New Zealand

College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists (RANZCOG)

Audit App

The project sought to make available an audit tool to assist and encourage participation in the audit of clinical practice. The aim was to monitor practice and identify areas for improvement, which may be subject to a ‘Quality Cycle’ approach of measurement, comparison to a standard, introduction of change and re-measurement approach.  The outcome of this project is that rural and regional Fellows with minimum expertise in databases and IT systems would be enabled to conduct clinical audits on a mobile device.

Project Type – Clinical Audit

Collaborating Colleges – None

Target Audience – Rural Specialist Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

Funding Period – March – November 2015

Project Status – Complete

Project Resource – Audit App

For more information please contact: Michele Quinlan 

Perinatal Mortality and Morbidity: learning from adverse events to improve care.

This project sought to improve the audit, investigation and peer review skills of regional and rural obstetricians and paediatricians who had been involved in perinatal adverse events that resulted in an unexpected transfer to a special care nursery, neonatal intensive care unit or a perinatal death. By learning from these events, clinicians had the opportunity to improve clinical and organisational practice.
Full day audits were conducted by two facilitators which included retrospective 12 – 24 month record reviews; interviews with staff including obstetricians, paediatricians, midwives, registrars and anaesthetists; a review of practice surroundings, and a check of compliance with the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand guidelines. Verbal feedback was provided at the conclusion of the visits, followed by a detailed report.

Project Type – Audit and peer review

Collaborating Colleges – RACP, ACM, PSANZ

Target audience – Regional and Rural obstetricians, Paediatricians, Neonatologists and Pathologists

Funding period – July 2011 – October 2013

Project Status – Complete

More information please contact: Angie Spry

Practical Obstetric Multi-Professional Training (PROMPT)

The PROMPT program was developed in the United Kingdom in response to the identified need to reduce risks associated with obstetric care. PROMPT delivers multi-professional obstetric emergency training within hospitals using teamwork, drills, interactive lectures and simulation methods. Studies have found that one of the root causes of risk in maternity is the lack of multidisciplinary training in the management of obstetric emergencies.
PROMPT is a train the trainer program that focuses on training the obstetric team generally made up of obstetricians, anaesthetists and midwives.
PROMPT focuses on teamwork in managing common obstetric emergencies such as: Basic life support & maternal collapse, Maternal cardiac arrest & ALS, Anaesthetic emergencies, Fetal monitoring in labour, Pre-eclampsia & eclampsia, Maternal sepsis, Major obstetric haemorrhage, Shoulder dystocia, Cord prolapse, Vaginal breech birth, Twin birth, Acute uterine inversion and Basic newborn resuscitation.  The simulation training will enable teams to practice drills in response to these emergencies.

Project Type – Train the trainer

Collaborating Colleges – ANZCA, ACM, ACRRM

Target audience – Obstetrics, Anaesthetics, Midwifery

Funding period – September 2011 – October 2014

Project status – Complete

Project resources – Trainer Manual, Course Manual, Supporting USB of resources, DVD ‘PROMPT’ Scenarios

For more information please contact: Lauren Patten

Practice Visits: reviewing specialist practice to improve the safety and quality of care

The Practice Visits Project provided collegial peer review of specialists within their work environment through a variety of means to gain an understanding of their performance/competencies and allow them to compare themselves against RANZCOG standards, with the aim of improving safety and quality of care. Prior to the visit, the visited Fellow was required to complete a three-month surgical logbook, a self-assessment survey, a practice profile survey and patient satisfaction questionnaires. On the day of the visit, two visiting Fellows observed the Fellow undertaking a major and minor surgery, interviewed their colleagues, conducted a record review and reviewed the practice surroundings. At the end of the visit the Fellow received feedback from the visitors, outlining positive aspects of work and areas of vulnerability from a risk management perspective. A written report, sanctioned by the Practice Visits Working Party, was also provided to the Fellow.

The outcome of this project was that specialists gained an understanding of their performance/competencies within their work environment and were able to compare themselves against RANZCOG standards. The result of which has been recommendations to the visited Fellow to improve safety and quality of care for their patients..

Project Type – Quality Improvement

Target audience – Specialist Obstetricians, Specialist Gynaecologists

Funding period – July 2011 – October 2013

Project Status – Complete

More information please contact: Angie Spry

Rural Obstetric and Gynaecological Ultrasound Practice

The main objective of the project was to improve accuracy in the diagnosis of patients who present for pregnancy or common gynaecological conditions, and to provide upskilling in a fast changing discipline.

The project delivered eight full-day ultrasound training visits, each to be conducted by a facilitator and held at one participant’s practice, with up to three other participants joining at that location.

Ultrasound competency is an ongoing training requirement of the FRANZCOG specialist training program and these visits are intended to keep Fellows updated with current ultrasound practice.

A pre‐ and post‐visit questionnaire was conducted with participants to measure the value of the visits. Participants also had the opportunity to provide feedback on the day via an online post‐visit evaluation form.

An outcome of this project is that the visits contribute to fulfilling continuing professional development requirements as they involve quality assurance and educational activities aimed at improving one’s own practice.

Project Type – Face to face training / practice visit

Collaborating Colleges – None

Target Audience – Specialist Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

Funding period – December 2013 – November 2015

Project Status – Complete

Project Resources –
Project participant and facilitator instructions/guidelines
Visit timetable
Volunteer information and consent form
Course workbook
Pre- and post-visit questionnaires
Evaluation survey

For more information please contact: Michele Quinlan

This College is also collaborating in

The RACS-led Nicheportal project (see RACS above).



The Royal Australian and New Zealand

College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO)

Clinical Audit for Rural Specialists

In this project Ophthalmologists will be provided with auditing software to assist in the collection and reporting of cataract surgery outcome. Data will be collected preoperatively, intra-operatively and post-operatively. The data collected will allow a variety of outcomes to be assessed and analysed.
Ophthalmologists will be able to compare their own outcomes with the group figure and the group figures can be compared with other published data.

Project Type – Clinical Audit

Target audience – Ophthalmology

Funding period – December 2010 – October 2013

Project status – Complete

More Information please contact: Tanya Parsons

Telehealth Education Modules for Ophthalmology and Diabetic Screening

This project aims to provide resources for ophthalmologists, remote doctors and Aboriginal health workers to improve their skills in the area of telehealth. The resource will entail online modules for health practitioners of different clinical backgrounds and include short educational videos.

The objectives of this project are to improve access to telehealth educational and instructional resources among outreach allied, primary and specialist eye health care providers; improve the uptake of tele-ophthalmology services in rural, remote and Indigenous settings; encourage the integration of tele-ophthalmology services into routine clinical practice; provide formal certification in the use of tele-ophthalmology imaging equipment and peripherals; and improve quality of tele-ophthalmology training with trainees gaining appropriate skills not otherwise available through traditional settings.

Project Type – Online modules

Target Audience – Ophthalmologists, Remote area allied health practitioners, e.g. Aboriginal health, workers, nurse practitioners and optometrists and other doctors who may use equipment

Funding period – December 2013 – October 2014

Project Status – Complete

Project Resources – Online modules, educational videos

For more information please contact: Tanya Parsons

This College has collaborated with:

The RACP-led Telehealth Technology Workshops and the RACS-led Nicheportal project (see RACP and RACS above).


The Royal Australian and New Zealand

College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP)

Indigenous Mental Health Resource Centre

This project will develop a centralised Indigenous resources page on the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists’ (RANZCP) website, along with four competency based training and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) modules addressing major key factors when working and engaging with people from an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background. The four modules include:

  • Module 1: Interviewing an Indigenous Australian patient presenting with a mental health problem
  • Module 2: Developing a management plan for an Indigenous Australian patient
  • Module 3: Formulation of a case involving an Indigenous Australian patient
  • Module 4: Review a model of mental health service delivery in an Indigenous Australian community service.

The development of these resources aims to improve knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health issues and to achieve better mental health outcomes.

The project will also incorporate the development work undertaken by the various medical colleges in the area of Indigenous health such as the: Indigenous Health and Cultural Competency Online Portal (RACS), Australian Aboriginal Child Health Modules (RACP), and Indigenous Health Modules: Rural Specialist Resources

Project type – Online education

Target audience – Psychiatrists, General Practitioners, Mental Health Professionals, Aboriginal Health Workers

Funding period – 1 February 2014 to 31 October 2014

Project status – Complete

Project resourcesWebpage and four e-modules

For more information please contact: Huseyin Mustafa

Practice Visit Coordination

RANZCP will develop a coordination process for practice visits for rural psychiatrists and other rural mental health practitioners to facilitate networking among psychiatrists working in rural and remote areas.
In a practice visit, one practitioner visits the practice of another to review how well the practice meets the relevant profession’s practice guidelines. For psychiatrists, these are the RANZCP ‘Guidelines for Outpatient Psychiatric Practice’. The visit may be in person or it may be conducted using Skype or video conference. Firstly, the project will establish a database of psychiatrists interested in hosting and /or visiting a practice. The database will then be used to match up practitioners (from the equivalent professional group). Practice visits are conducted in two stages, and the project will provide support at both stages. During the first visit, the guest interviews the host, reviews their practice against relevant professional guidelines and agrees on a development plan for the practice. The second stage takes place between 6 and 12 months after the first visit. This visit provides an opportunity to review the effectiveness of the planned changes. The practice visit will be supplemented by monthly peer review groups which can be conducted via teleconferences or video technology. The project will also explore monthly seminars on topics of relevance to rural and remote psychiatrists utilising webconferencing.

The second stage of the visit may be conducted in person, or via phone, Skype or video conference.

Project type – Quality improvement through peer review and clinical audit

Target audience – Psychiatry, Psychology, Social Work, Occupational Therapy, Mental Health Nursing, General Practice, Aboriginal Health Work

Funding period – December 2010 – October 2014

Project status – Complete

Project resources

For more information please contact: Huseyin Mustafa

Rural CPD web portal

The aim of this project is the upskilling or re-skilling for rural practitioners from any medical or allied health discipline. Easy access to a calendar of Continued Professional Development (CPD) events, templates and guidelines for CPD activities, and multidisciplinary webinars, will enhance mental health practitioners’ involvement in well informed and locally relevant CPD. Enabling access in a time efficient way will also improve the practice of mental health care in rural, remote and regional Australia.

The project will deliver an online CPD portal that will comprise:
1. A list of CPD events for the information of rural mental practitioners
2. Templates and guides for the conduct of CPD activities (e.g. journal clubs, clinical audit) to support practitioner initiation of activities
3. Quarterly delivery of interactive webinars, made available to multidisciplinary groups of mental health professionals to supplement the current CPD calendar of events.

The webinars will:
a) utilise panel discussions, discussion of case studies, question and answer sessions, and hypotheticals, and
b) cover a range of issues pertinent to practice in rural areas, with topics informed and decided by a clinical reference group and via suggestions made by practitioners to the online portal.

Project Type – Upskilling or re-skilling in areas of clinical practice

Target audience – Psychiatrists and Mental Health Professionals

Funding period – July 2011- October 2013

Project status – Complete

Project resourcesWeb-portal with webinars

For more information please contact: Huseyin Mustafa

Self Care for Rural Psychiatrists

This project provided practical measures for rural and remote psychiatrists to improve their physical health and wellbeing, through the development of a centralised resource page on the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists’ website. This page provides access to a continuing professional development e-learning module, focused on self-care for rural psychiatrists in addition to self-directed tools that help manage chronic conditions.

The objectives of this project are to:
1)  assist practitioners to understand and reflect upon their own health and wellbeing
2)  identify the challenges and barriers to improving health and wellbeing
3)  increase knowledge and understanding of practical measures for self-care management
4)  recognise issues associated with working in remote and rural practice
5)  identify strategies for managing issues that can cause stress and identify where help can be accessed.

Project Type – Online Education and Resources

Collaborating Colleges – None

Target audience – Rural Psychiatrists, Psychologists, General Practitioners, Social Workers, Occupational Therapists and Mental Health Nurses

Funding Period – March – November 2015

Project Status – Complete

Project Resources – Webpage, e-learning Module, Online Resources

For more information please contact: Huseyin Mustafa

This College has also collaborated with:

The RACS-led Nicheportal project (see RACS above).


The Royal Australian and New Zealand

College of Radiologists (RANZCR)

Appropriate Use of Medical Imaging in Rural and Remote Emergency Departments

Up to four regional webinars for rural medical specialists have been held nationally to facilitate discussions about the best and most effective and efficient way to utilise medical imaging. Up to 15 people participated in a Q&A-style discussion, focusing on the need for the judicial use of medical imaging for a number of common presentations in the emergency setting.  An unlimited number of participants were able to login to the webinars as observers, and a recording of one of the webinars is available on the RHCE website.

The webinars are supported and enhanced by a series of recently completed and piloted educational modules for appropriate imaging referrals (currently available in three media formats: web-based; iBooks; and/or PDFs). The modules have been developed by multidisciplinary teams, with the support of the Australian Government Department of Health.

Each of the nine clinical modules present the evidence behind the best clinical decision rules for that topic, followed by how to apply rules in practice. An interactive format has been used, with numerous quizzes aimed to consolidate the theory, followed by clinical scenarios to assess understanding in practice. A smart phone app is also under development to help practitioners implement practices learned from the modules.

Project Type – Interactive webinars supported by eLearning modules and other resources

Collaborating Colleges – Australasian College of Emergency Medicine (ACEM)

Target Audience – Emergency medicine physicians, Hospital interns, GPs providing emergency department (ED) coverage, Allied health professionals including physiotherapists, radiographers and ED nurses.

Funding Period – March 2015 – November 2015

Project Status – Complete

Project Resources –

Imaging Clinical Decision Rules App
Webinar recording
Learning modules
Clinical Decision Rules Summaries
iBooks of the module material
PDFs of the module material

For more information: please contact: Jessica Brown

e-Learning Library

The project is the development of an e-learning library consisting of 10 hours of e-learning, based on the non-medical expert domains of Communicator; Manager; Professional; and Health Advocate.

This project is in line with the outcomes identified in a recently undertaken Training Needs Analysis (TNA), which determined that there was a need to introduce e-learning for College Members and to ensure that these resources ought to be focused on the non-medical expert domains. The new modules will be housed on the new College Learning Management System (LMS) and will be initially targeted to rural specialists and trainees within RANZCR and within the RHCE-funded Indigenous Health and Cultural Competency Online Portal.

Project Type
e-Learning activity

Target audience – Rural Radiologists and trainees, Rural Radiation Oncologists and trainees, and Rural Members of the Specialist Medical Colleges.

Funding period – December 2011 – April 2013

Project status – Complete

Project resourcesOnline learning modules and DVD

More information please contact: Pam Taylor

This College has also collaborated in:

The RACS-led Nicheportal project (see RACS above).



The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA)

Online modules on External Quality Assurance (EQA).

The aim of this project is for the RCPA and RCPA Quality Assurance Programs Pty Ltd. to collaboratively develop eLearning modules to support quality improvement in regional and remote laboratories for pathologists working alone or in small practices, and to provide suitable material for CPD quality activities.

In response to identified needs in relation to EQA, modules will be developed in the areas of : Anatomical pathology, chemical pathology, haematology, microbiology/serology and transfusion.

These modules will focus on the interpretation and application of EQA report data to troubleshoot issues and implement quality improvement.

A general pre-analytical module will be developed to explain the risks associated with a range of incidents in the pre-analytical phase of testing to assist regional / rural pathologists with making decisions to either accept or reject suboptimal pathology samples and the risks associated with those decisions.

The provision of online competency-based modules means that these EQA activities can be widely accessed and cater for all levels of learning. In addition, the modules may serve as an ongoing reference tool and assist pathology trainees as well as those in other specialist fields.

Project TypeOnline modules

Target audience – Regional and Rural Pathologists

Funding period – January 2014 – Dec 2014

Project status – Complete

For more information please contact: Kathy Robinson

Update in Paediatric Aspects of Pathology

The aim of the Project is to update and upskill rural and regional pathologists in the paediatric aspects of pathology using virtual classroom technology. The teaching session will be live and interactive via the internet. Participants will log in to the session from their home or office. They only require a computer with internet access and a headset with microphone. The course will be coordinated by the Department of Laboratory Services at Royal Children’s’ Hospital Melbourne (RCH). Each teaching session will be facilitated by two RCH pathologists. The virtual classroom software enables the facilitators to view, or share, their desktop with the participants (useful for other imaging software). Participants can interact by speaking into their microphones, or typing into the chat box, or clicking “Yes’ or “No” boxes to answer questions.

Project Type – Virtual classroom

Target audience – Regional and Rural Pathologists

Funding period – January 2012 – April 2013

Project status – Complete

More information please contact: Vanessa White

This College has collaborated with: 

RACP-led Telehealth Technology Workshops and the RACS-led Nicheportal project (see RACP and RACS above).