The Rural Health Continuing Education (RHCE) Program is an Australian Government initiative to support health care professionals in rural and remote Australia through education and training opportunities. The Program commenced in 2010 as a consolidation of previous training initiatives for rural health professionals, including the Support Scheme for Rural Specialists (SSRS).
RHCE is split into two streams. Stream One (this website) is managed by the Committee of Presidents of Medical Colleges, and supports medical specialists with the exception of general practitioners. Stream Two is managed by the National Rural Health Alliance, and supports general practitioners, nurses, allied health workers and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers.
RHCE Stream One works to support, sustain and expand a high quality and appropriate specialist workforce for rural and remote Australia, with the ultimate aim of ensuring high quality and accessible specialist care for all Australians no matter where they live.
Application forms with guidelines for both individual specialist CPD grants and project grants can be downloaded here .
Information on how to complete an application form is found at the top of the form, and also in the guidelines.
Funding under Stream One of RHCE is available to rural and remote medical specialists and Specialist Medical Colleges to support activities for specialists working in inner regional (RA2) to very remote areas (RA5) of Australia (using the Australian Standard Geographical Classification – Remoteness Areas system)
Applications are assessed by an assessment panel made up of members of the RHCE Program Management Committee. The panel ranks applications against the RHCE Selection Criteria (which are included in the guidelines).
Weighting is given to applications which address the CPD needs of specialists according to:
- level of remoteness
- level of multidisciplinary involvement
- applicants who have not previously received a RHCE grant
Individual CPD grants
The application form must be completed both electronically and in print and sent to the relevant Specialist Medical College (SMC) for verification. The printed copy needs to be signed. The SMC Liaison Officer will then forward the application to the RHCE Program Management Unit (PMU) before the closing date for applications.
Priority will be given to applicants working in remote and very remote locations (RA4 and RA5), as identified by the Australian Standard Geographical Classification – Remoteness Areas system.
Local opportunities specialists may have in seeking support for CPD either via their employer or from other sources will be taken into account when considering applications.
The total maximum grant an applicant can apply for is $10,000 at a maximum rate of $2,000 per day for 5 days. A budget proposal must be submitted with each application providing costs for registration, travel costs and accommodation. Successful applicants must provide all relevant original receipst for full reimbursement.
Multiple applications can be submitted, but each application must be submitted on a separate application form.
Under Round 7, no retrospective funding will be allocated to events attended before 13 March 2015. Whilst CPD events may incur expenses prior to the notification of the outcome of an application, reimbursement of these expenses will only be possible if the application is successful.
No, the CPD event must take place and be completed in Australia.
Can I apply for funding in this Funding Round if I was successful in receiving funding in the last round?
You are eligible to apply. However, in the needs assessment an applicant who has received funding in the previous round will be given lower priority to other applicants.
Applicants who are eligible for other sources of funding will have their application accepted. The assessment panel however, will have to take into consideration the other source of funding available when making their decision.
Information on the remoteness classification of any town or community in Australia is available online via:
Medical Specialists who live and work in areas classified as RA2 – RA5 using The Australian Standard Geographical Classification – Remoteness Areas system, are eligible for RHCE Stream One grants.
Yes. IMGs 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. For more information contact your College.
No, trainees are not eligible to apply for individual grants.
You will receive notification on or before 13 March 2015.
Grants under Round 7 must be used before 15 November 2015.
I am a successful applicant however I am unable to attend the CPD event cited in my application. Can I attend another CPD event?
Applicants are assessed against other applications therefore any change in CPD event is reviewed by the Program Management Committee on a case by case basis. Please contact the RHCE PMU for further information.
Details of all projects funded by RHCE can be found on the RHCE website under Projects.
Contact the relevant Specialist Medical College project coordinator for more information.
Colleges can submit multiple applications, however the applications must be ranked according to College priority.
To apply for funding for an inter-college collaborative project, one College must be the lead of the project with the other Colleges stated as sub-contractors. This must be stated in section 8 of the application form.
A written agreement for all participating Colleges must be included in the application. In this written agreement the following must be specified:
- In what capacity Colleges are collaborating
- The collaborative College contact person, and
- The agreed budget of expenditure of the collaborating College.
If the application is successful the Lead College will receive a funding agreement from the CPMC and a sub-contract must be drawn up between the project lead College and the other Colleges participating.
The Funding Agreement is with the Specialist Medical College that submits the application. If a third party is carrying out any work for the project, a sub-contract between the Specialist Medical College and the third party must be drawn up.
The CPMC owns the Intellectual Property of all resources and materials produced with RHCE grant funding. At the discretion and with the written agreement of CPMC, a non-commercial license may be granted for the ongoing use of any derived intellectual property.
No. Grants under Round 7 are for 8 months only (13 March to 15 November 2015).
All funding applications must be supported and lodged through a Specialist Medical College. RHCE strongly encourages the involvement of practicing specialists in the development and implementation of project applications. Please contact your Specialist Medical College RHCE Liaison Officer
If the application is successful in receiving funding, the Committee of Presidents of Medical Colleges (CPMC) enters into a Funding Agreement with the College.
Funds cannot to be used for the purchase of equipment, computer hardware or other assets, and may not be used to purchase any off-the-shelf software, such as Microsoft Office.
However, funding may be used to purchase or develop task-specific software for the project.