ACRRM's Independent Pathway

The ACRRM Independent Pathway (IP) is an Australian Medical Council accredited training pathway to become a general practitioner in Australia. Successful completion of the program will result in you being awarded Fellowship of the College, or FACRRM. Gaining FACRRM through the IP is recognised in reciprocal arrangements with other international medical colleges.

Experienced doctors often choose the Independent Pathway as their preferred avenue to achieve FACRRM because its suits the self-directed learner who has already been in practice for some years.

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

The Independent Pathway does not receive Government funding; therefore registrars are required to pay the fees associated with achieving Fellowship.

Doctors training on the Independent Pathway will pay total fees of approximately $34,290. This fee is based on taking four years to complete Fellowship. It includes the application and RPL fee, all mandatory education and recommended support activities. Information on the components of this fee may be found here.

Registrars on all training pathways are required to pay assessment fees which total approximately $9,220 based on one assessment in each modality. Information on the fees for each assessment may be found here.

Please note* these totals are provided as an estimate of total fees based on 2018 fees. Fees are subject to change and registrars are referred to the individual fee schedules described above.

There are two opportunities each year to apply for the Independent Pathway. Training typically commences in February or July. All training must take place in accredited posts. Visit this page to find out more about the standards required for accrediting training and teaching posts.

Important Dates

Event Date
Recognition of Prior Learning applications close 7am Monday 29 January 2018
Applications open 7am Friday 9 February 2018
Applications close 5pm Friday 23 February 2018
Selection interviews conducted Saturday 17 - Sunday 18 March 2018
Training place offered No later than Friday 6 April 2018
Applications accepted training places and fees due Friday 27 April 2018
Training commences Monday 2 July 2018
Face-to-Face workshop in Brisbane Monday 23 - Friday 27 July 2018

Further information

Eligibility How to apply Recognition of Prior Learning Fees

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 modules on Rural and Remote Education Online (RRMEO). 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