The Independent Pathway to Fellowship

The ACRRM Independent Pathway is an Australian Medical Council (AMC) accredited specialist general practitioner training and education program. Successful completion of the program will result in the award of Fellowship of the College, or FACRRM, recognising the breadth and depth of skills needed to practise safely and independently in clinically isolated locations.

FACRRM qualification is recognised in reciprocal arrangements with other international medical colleges and as a specialist general practitioner anywhere in Australia.

The Independent Pathway has been developed by rural practitioners and is administered entirely by the College through a structured but flexible, training and education program.

Independent Pathway Program benefits

The Independent Pathway is a 3GA approved program that enables access to 100% A1 Medicare rebates whilst progressing towards Fellowship.

Training on the Independent Pathway provides experienced doctors with the flexibility to manage their own learning and training posts dependent on their current skills, knowledge.

The Independent Pathway education and support provides:

  • Individualised case management from a dedicated Training Officer
  • Personalised Medical Educator guidance
  • An established education and training program
  • Modality-specific assessment support programs
  • Up to three years Recognition of Prior Learning

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q. Why would I consider training for a FACRRM? [more]

    A. Fellowship of ACRRM equips you to practise unsupervised anywhere in Australia. This gives you real freedom, independence and scope of practice through your career. This unique integrated training program provides the skills and confidence to practise in a broad range of geographic and clinical settings. ACRRM Fellowship enables you to follow different career pathways, from solo practice in small communities to leadership roles in larger hospitals; from retrieval and expeditionary medicine to Aboriginal health services or urban general practice. Achieving a FACRRM will verify that you are qualified to practise anywhere – independently and safely.

    There is no other general practice fellowship that covers this scope of practice. So when you are looking for a career that is more than just a day at the office, consider the FACRRM program. There is no equivalent.

  • Q. How does the Independent Pathway training differ from training through the AGPT and RVTS? [more]

    A. The Independent Pathway is delivered entirely by ACRRM. In the AGPT, Regional Training Organisations (RTOs) provide training services and in the RVTS, these are provided by the program’s administration. All training to Fellowship of ACRRM applies the College curricula and standards and all ACRRM registrars undertake the same assessments. All ACRRM Fellowship training is Australian Medical Council (AMC) accredited and is recognised in reciprocal arrangements with other international medical colleges.

    For further information see the Fellowship Training Handbook.

  • Q. What is the difference between the ACRRM and RACGP training programs? [more]

    A. Both these programs are AMC accredited in the discipline of general practice. ACRRM has a unique curriculum and set of assessments which reflect the broader and deeper requirements of the rural and remote context. Registrars must train in posts accredited by ACRRM. The ACRRM program is an integrated program that usually takes four years post-internship. However registrars with experience may apply for recognition of prior learning (RPL).

    For further information see the Fellowship Training Handbook.

  • Q. Do you have to undertake all training in rural or remote locations? [more]

    A. No, while most registrars will spend a significant amount of training in rural areas, the focus is gaining skills and knowledge required in rural and remote settings. Some of these skills can be developed in urban or rural facilities. However having a good understanding of the context of rural medicine is also essential. Therefore all registrars must spend a minimum of 12 months of training living and practising in a rural or remote setting.

    For further information see the Fellowship Training Handbook.

  • Q. When do you undertake the assessments? [more]

    A. Once you have met the minimum eligibility of 24 months training, or equivalent Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), you can commence assessment. However it is important to note that the standard for all assessments is that of a doctor practising independently and safely at Fellowship level; so it is important to be well prepared. While the order is not specified, it is strongly recommended that StAMPS (assessment) is left until you have had the experience across the broad range of learning experiences including community primary, emergency and hospital care, and rural or remote settings.

    For further information see the Fellowship Training Handbook.

  • Q. What is available to help in preparing for ACRRM assessments? [more]

    A. New information is being developed all the time. The ACRRM website provides sample questions and scenarios, plus recorded virtual classroom sessions; there are also online courses on ACRRM Online Learning. StAMPS preparation workshops and study groups are now offered via live virtual classroom or face to face at least twice a year.

    For further information see the Assessment Preparation webpage.

  • Q. What happens if you are not able to complete your Core Clinical Training rotations? [more]

    A. The Core Clinical Training stage of Fellowship training ideally involves completion of terms in general internal medicine, general surgery, paediatrics, emergency medicine, obstetrics and gynaecology, and anaesthetics over a 12 month period in an ACRRM accredited hospital.

    Where completion of these terms is not possible, there are flexible ways to build these skills sets as you progress through training. Provided that you have completed 12 months training you will be able to progress to the next stage of training.

    For further information see the Fellowship Training Handbook.

  • Q. What are the selection criteria for Independent Pathway? [more]

    A. ACRRM select candidates for the Independent Pathway based on the following criteria:

    • Demonstrated commitment to a career as a specialist general practitioner working in rural or remote Australia
    • Demonstrated capacity and motivation to acquire abilities, skills and knowledge in the ACRRM domains of practice
    • Demonstrated connection with rural communities
    • Demonstrated commitment to meeting the needs of rural and remote communities through an extended scope of practice
    • Possesses the personal characteristics associated with a successful career in rural or remote practice
  • Q. What happens if I don’t complete my application? [more]

    A. Incomplete applications will automatically transfer to the next intake for review. Application fees will not be refunded except in extenuating circumstances in line with the College’s Refund Policy.

  • Q. What is ACRRMs confidentiality agreement for applications? [more]

    A. The College treats all information submitted confidentially. All personal documentation submitted to the College for the purpose of RPL or an application for Independent Pathway will be sent to the College Censor, members of the Selection Panel and Medical Educator Team to determine training requirements and review suitability for the training program. The College does not share this information or the outcome of the application with any outside party.

  • Q. What is the College's selection complaints & appeals process? [more]

    A. The College recognises the need for the selection process to be rigorous and applied fairly and equitably to all applicants. Should an applicant consider that their application has been unfairly assessed, contact with the College is encouraged. If the issue(s) cannot be resolved, applicants may access the Reconsideration, Review and Appeals policy.