Skip to Content


RHCE2 Frequently Asked Questions - 2012 - Round Three

The Rural Health Continuing Education (RHCE) Program is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health to increase the availability of continuing professional development (CPD) to rural and remote health professionals. RHCE2 PROGRAM CLOSED - no further grant funding rounds.










What is Continuing Professional Development (CPD)?

For the purposes of RHCE2, CPD is defined so as to include continuing professional education, inter-professional learning, multi-disciplinary training and professional orientation. 

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is an activity to support postgraduate study and up-skilling of individual health professionals to enable them to reach or maintain the level of competence required to be registered to work, or to continue to work, as a health professional in a specified field.

Back to top

What is inter-professional learning?

Inter-professional learning involves learners from two or more health professions and different disciplines participating jointly in activities in a collaborative learning environment. The goal of these efforts is to develop knowledge, skills and attitudes that result in inter-professional team behaviours and competence. Ideally, inter-professional learning is based on a multi-disciplinary curriculum that is vertically and horizontally integrated. Such learning lays the basis for health professionals to work collaboratively in a multi-disciplinary/inter-disciplinary team in a range of health care settings including Primary Health Networks.

Back to top

What is multidisciplinary training?

Multidisciplinary training involves people of different professions studying and learning together in a given activity.

Back to top

What are multidisciplinary teams?

A group composed of members with varied but complimentary experience, qualifications, and skills that contribute to the achievement of the organisation's specific objectives.

A team of professionals including representatives of different disciplines who coordinate the contributions of each profession, which are not considered to overlap, in order to improve patient care.

Read more:

  2. Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders

Back to top

What is different in RHCE2 Round 6 in 2015?

In 2015, the RHCE2 program will:

  • support and promote locally-based Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for rural and remote health professionals (as in previous RHCE2 funding rounds). For information on each of the projects funded in the previous five Rounds of RHCE2 grants see
  • provide funding for knowledge transfer/knowledge translation activities and projects to showcase the lessons learnt from the RHCE2 program to assist Primary Health Networks (PHNs) to take on the role of supporting Continuing Professional Development (CPD) in their jurisdiction.
  • publish summaries of the 100 completed RHCE2 projects at and will arrange for publication of the programs funded in Round 6, once completed. This will provide an ongoing source of information to people concerned with the provision of continuing professional development for clinicians in more remote areas.

Back to top

Primary Health Networks - what are they?

  • • In the 2014-15 budget, the Australian Government announced the establishment of Primary Health Networks (PHNs). PHNs are being established with the key objectives of increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of medical services for patients, particularly those at risk of poor health outcomes; and improving coordination of care to ensure patients receive the right care in the right place at the right time. Refer to

Back to top


See the RHCE 2015 Application Guidelines

Why is preference given to allied health professionals and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander practitioners?

Preference is given to CPD for which standard provisions within a single profession do not already apply. So, because GPs, nurses, midwives and pharmacists have more developed CPD systems in place than Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander practitioners and some allied health professionals, preference will be given to those latter two groups. However it will always be possible for applicants - including GPs, nurses, midwives and pharmacists - to provide evidence about a CPD gap that exists in their profession or locality. GPs (including those trained overseas who have met the requirements of the approved pathway for practice in Australia), nurses, midwives and pharmacists may participate in CPD training developed under the RHCE2 program, but the cost of their participation will not be met by RHCE2 funds.

Back to top

Must all courses provide CPD points for all who participate?

No. If an organisation offers a course to registered* Aboriginal Health Workers, aged care workers and allied health staff who are entitled to receive CPD points, the course may also be open to other staff who are not entitled to CPD points from the course. However, the costs of participation of these others must not be met with RHCE2 funds.

*Further details on the registered professions who are part of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme can be found at

Back to top

Is RHCE2 funding available for an individual undertaking nursing or allied health postgraduate study? 

Yes, funding is available for individuals especially those who wish to undertake specialist postgraduate training that is not otherwise available, and it is demonstrated to be a high priority for the local community/region. However, as funding is limited in this program priority will generally be given to groups of individuals and organisations in order to achieve best value for money.

Back to top

Are Hospital Scientists eligible for RHCE2 funding?

The Alliance is advised by the Department that the Hospital Scientists are not eligible under Round 5.

Back to top


Can multiple applications to the funding round be submitted? 

Multiple applications will be accepted but due to limited funding and given the strongly competitive nature of the grants, no single entity will receive more than one grant within Round 5.

However, in consideration of effective use of funds with respect to sustainability and value for money, applications for additional funding to build on or expand the coverage and scope of a pilot program funded in an earlier round will be considered.

Back to top

What are ‘exceptional circumstances’ for funding outside the maximum amount?

In very special circumstances the Independent Assessment Panel has the ability to consider funding applications from organisations developing and delivering CPD which require more than $60,000 to achieve their objectives and outcomes. Priority will be given to CPD in which there is an emphasis on inter-professional learning and undertaken by multidisciplinary teams. These projects must have sustainability and transferability and be able to be delivered and finalised before 30 October 2015.

Back to top

Can program funds be used for the purchase of equipment or other assets?

No, RHCE2 funding cannot be used for the purchase of motor vehicles, training equipment or IT hardware.  With the permission of the Department, funds may be used to purchase software that is essential for the development eg conversion of hard copy resources to online interactive training programs, or the performance of the project activities eg webinars for training of remote allied health professionals across a state or nationally.

Back to top

Do I have to apply for the full amount specified in the guidelines?

No, the Assessment Panel will review your proposal and decide if your budget will realistically achieve your objectives and outcomes. In Round 5, there are 3 funding levels: up to $6,000, up to $40,000 and up to $60,000.

Back to top

Can retrospective payments be made?

If the course you are seeking funding to attend is run before funding decisions are announced in November 2013, no support can be provided by RHCE2. No payment can be made for activities already undertaken.

Back to top


What programs support backfilling arrangements for staff attending CPD? 

The Nursing and Allied Health Rural Locum Scheme (NAHRLS) provides support for nurses, midwives and allied health professionals in rural and remote Australia to get away to do professional development training they need to continue to do their work. ‘

The Rural GP Locum Program aims to maintain and enhance the access of rural communities to quality local GP care by providing subsidised locum support to the rural and remote GP workforce in ASGC-RA 2 to 5 locations. This support allows rural GPs to take time off to undertake ongoing education and training. See

Back to top


Are there any other programs to support CPD for rural health professionals?

Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health (SARRAH) administers the allied health streams of the Nursing and Allied Health Scholarship and Support Scheme (NAHSSS) and other allied health scholarships.  The specific objectives of the NAHSSS are to:

  • increase the workforce by encouraging young people to pursue a career in allied health;
  • support allied health professionals to undertake continuing professional development; and
  • encourage health careers in geographic areas and professions where there are shortages.

For a copy of the SARRAH Scholarship information, see:

The Australian College of Nursing (ACN) administers the nursing and midwifery streams of the Nursing and Allied Health Scholarship and Support Scheme (NAHSSS).   For Information about these scholarships and other trust funds administered by ACN see: and

The Australian College Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) is responsible for setting professional medical standards for training, assessment, certification and continuing professional development. ACRRM has developed a web based platform called Rural and Remote Medical Education Online (RRMEO) ( that assists doctors to access their Professional Development Programs. See

Through the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) a number of programs and supports are available for doctors working in rural, remote and very remote Australia. The National Rural Faculty (NRF) assists eligible procedural and emergency medicine GPs practicing in regional, rural and remote areas to access financial assistance for skills maintenance and upskilling in their respective disciplines. This occurs through the Rural Procedural Grants Program which is funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) and co-managed by the NRF. The faculty also assists rural and remote GPs to receive relief through increased locum services, via the Rural Locum Education Assistance Program.  See



Who owns any intellectual property developed during this project?

All resources and materials produced with RHCE2 funding will become intellectual property of the Commonwealth of Australia.

Back to top

Intellectual Property Register

As part of the transition activities of Round 6, an Intellectual Property Register will be developed in consultation with all fund holders to record IP of existing materials and IP of materials/resources developed with RHCE2 grant funding.  This information will be made available to the Primary Health Networks that wish to access/use products/outcomes from the RHCE2 programme to deliver/access/provide CPD to their staff and other parties once the RHCE2 programme finishes.

Back to top

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT of Australian Government funding

Any questions about the application of the Australian Government logo, including about possible exemptions or co-branding, should be directed to:

Honours, Symbols and Territories Branch

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

PO Box 6500


Ph 02 6271 5601

Fax 02 6271 5662


For guidance on branding for government campaigns and advertising please refer to guidelines issued by the Department of Finance and Deregulation at

For guidance on government website design please refer to guidelines issued by the Australian Government Information Management Office at

As a general rule, and based on convention in the Department of Health and Ageing, they brand only departmental resources or resources over which the department has editorial control. In general, to acknowledge funding the Australian Government branding is not used. An exception is where there is co-funding, such as by a state or territory government or university, and the co-funder  wants to use its branding, then the Department uses their branding.  Equally, both could be recognised by words only. Where the Australian Government brand is used, it should be consistent with the branding guidelines issued by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Back to top