Non-VR Fellowship Support Program

Up to $42M is available from Non-VR Fellowship Support Program to assist medical practitioners to gain vocational registration as a specialist general practitioner.


Non-VR Fellowship Support Program

The Non-VR Fellowship Support Program will provide support to assist medical practitioners to gain vocational registration as a specialist general practitioner. The Commonwealth’s funding will provide a contribution for medical practitioners with any additional costs in attaining Fellowship
funded by participants.



The Non-Vocationally Registered (Non-VR) Fellowship Support Program was announced as part of More Doctors for Rural Australia Program through the 2018-19 Stronger Rural Health Strategy: Streamlining GP Training Budget Measure.

The purpose of the Non-VR Fellowship Support Program is to provide support to approximately 5,000 non-VR registered doctors to assist them attain Fellowship qualifications with one of the two GP colleges. The Non-VR Fellowship Support Program will provide funding to support a
participant’s training on the program, with a co-payment required from participants to cover the remaining costs of their training. Medical practitioners applying for the Non-VR Fellowship Support Program will be assessed by the relevant Colleges to determine the level of education/training support required. The level of additional financial contribution required from the medical practitioners will be based on their expected length of time in the Non-VR Fellowship Support Program.



The objectives of the grant opportunity are to:

  • facilitate access to an approved GP College pathway to assist Non-VR medical practitioners attain GP Fellowship and specialist GP registration; and
  • incentivise Non-VR doctors to commence training on an approved College pathway by subsidising the cost of their training.

The intended outcomes of this grant opportunity are to:

  • develop a capable, diverse, culturally safe and qualified GP workforce;
  • increase the number of specialist general practitioners working in Australia, including in rural, regional and remote areas; and
  • support an increased number of Non-VR medical practitioners to attain Fellowship while continuing to practice and provide services to the Australian community in their existing locations.



The Australian Government has committed a total of $42.043 Million (GST exclusive) from 1 July 2018 to 31 December 2021 for the Non-VR Fellowship Support Grant Opportunity. A total of $41.055 million (GST exclusive) is available under this grant opportunity over 4 years (2018-19 to

Funding under this grant opportunity has been divided into two elements:

Element 1: Start-up funding for the development of the Non-VR Fellowship Support Program.

Element 1: refers to the start-up arrangements and development of implementation plans to administer the Non-VR Fellowship Support Program through the RACGP and ACCRM for $0.988 million (GST exclusive) over the period 1 July 2018 to 31 December 2018.

Funding has already been provided to the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) for this element.

Element 2: Administration and Delivery of the Non-VR Fellowship Support Program.

Element 2: refers to the administration and delivery of the Non-VR Fellowship Program through the RACGP and ACRRM for $41.055 million (GST exclusive) over the three years from 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2021.

Funding from other Commonwealth, state, territory or local government sources cannot be used to fund your share of eligible expenditure.


Eligible Projects

Element 1 – Start-up and development of Implementation Plans for the delivery of the Non-VR Fellowship Support Program

Activities under this element include:

  • development of an Implementation Plan outlining how the Non-VR Fellowship Support Program will be administered;
  • development and implementation of a College Register to record participants on the NonVR Fellowship Support Program. The College Register will be used to identify eligible nonVR medical practitioner candidates; and
  • work in conjunction with the Department to assist non-VR medical practitioners who are on the College Register to obtain a Medicare Provider Number and any relevant exemptions

Note; funding for Element 1 has already been provided to the RACGP and ACRRM for the period 1 July 2018 to 31 December 2018.

Element 2 – Administration and delivery of the Non-VR Fellowship Support Program.

Activities under this element include:

Program Entry:

  • maintaining an ongoing College Register to record expected participants on the Non-VR Fellowship Support Program;
  • undertaking quarterly eligibility assessments of doctors on the register;
  • ensuring the program is resourced to accommodate demand for participants training on the Program. Given there are approximately 5,000 Non-VR doctors in Australia, it is expected that RACGP will recruit and commence training 2,800 doctors in the first three years of the
    Non-VR Fellowship Support Program, and ACRRM will recruit and commence training 1,100 doctors over the same period (funding specified under this grant opportunity is based on these participant numbers);
  • developing strategies on how your College will create and manage demand for the Program;
  • prioritising candidates for selection and/or entry onto the Non-VR Fellowship Support Program in the event of oversubscription in any year of the Non-VR Fellowship Support Program;
  • providing assistance to any Non-VR medical practitioners on the College Register who may need to obtain a Medicare Provider Number and any relevant exemptions by adhering to the processes prescribed by the Departments of Health and Human Services, as advised and amended on the relevant department websites from time to time; and
  • ensuring participants are able to commence training at least biannually each year from 2020.

Program Delivery:

  • assessing education and training needs of participants;
  • delivering education and training, mentoring and exam support to participants; and
  • engaging and funding third parties, as required, to assist in the delivery of the Non-VR Fellowship Support Program.

Program Administration:

  • marketing the Non-VR Fellowship Support Program to prospective participants through relevant mediums;
  • developing and publicising guidelines on the Program as required;
  • collaborating and maintaining regular communication with key industry stakeholders, participants and training partners (where relevant), in relation to program implementation and other relevant issues;
  • managing the allocation of funding to program participants in line with participant numbers set by the department;
  • setting, collecting and administering the co-payment from participants on the Non-VR Fellowship Support Program;
  • maintaining Australian Medical Council accreditation of the College pathway through which the Non-VR Fellowship Support Program is being delivered for the duration of the Non-VR Fellowship Support Program;
  • providing data as specified by the department and as requested from time-to time;
  • adhering to the Australian Privacy principles and requirements; and
  • recording and transmitting program data in a format specified by the department.

Eligible expenditures include:

  • salaries and related costs of professionals and administrative support staff to deliver the grant;
  • administration and management functions integral to the support and overall achievement of the grant’s aims and outcome;
  • data and reporting activities as outlined in Section 12 of the guidelines;
  • expenditure or commitments incurred in relation to an asset required for the delivery of the grant activities with a total planned capitalised cost of less than $50,000;
  • depreciation of capital items or assets, only where this is consistent with the amount that can be attributed to the cost of the Activity; and
  • governance and business processes to support delivery of the grant (development of operational and administrative guidelines, surveys, and data and reporting activities).


Eligible Applicants

This is a targeted non-competitive grant opportunity. To be eligible you must be either:

  • The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP); or
  • The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM).

The listed organisations are invited to apply for this grant opportunity as they have been assessed to have:

  • Australian Medical Council (AMC) accreditation to provide specialist general practice medical education and training;
  • capability to deliver the project activities to the target audience; and
  • existing infrastructure and sector relationships to meet the program objectives through undertaking the project activities.

The listed organisations are the only AMC accredited bodies that can award Fellowship qualifications for the discipline of General Practice leading to vocational recognition as a general practitioner. The unique role the two Colleges have in being able to award Fellowship qualifications in general practice, along with their established administrative arrangements and infrastructure, specialist knowledge, capability and resources required by each organisation to perform the grant activities result in the RACGP and the ACRRM being the only organisations eligible to apply.



Applications close 9 November 2018.


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