Pre-Fellowship Program (PFP)

This program helps non-vocationally recognised doctors gain valuable general practice experience in Distribution Priority Areas before they join a general practitioner (GP) College-led Fellowship pathway.

About the program

The Pre-Fellowship Program (PFP) allows doctors with placements in Distribution Priority Areas to access items on the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS).

As a 3GA approved workforce program, doctors on this program satisfy section 19AA of the Health Insurance Act 1973.

International Medical Graduates (IMGs) with provisional or limited registration will also receive funding support for supervision and learning and development.

The Rural Workforce Agencies (RWAs) in each state and the Northern Territory administer the program.


The program aims to:

  • help doctors gain valuable general practice experience
  • improve access to general practitioners (GPs) in Distribution Priority Areas
  • give general practices the opportunity to recruit from a pool of previously unavailable doctors.

Who we work with

The Rural Workforce Agencies (RWAs) administer the PFP on our behalf. RWAs operate in each state and the Northern Territory.


To receive a placement on the PFP, the doctor and practice must meet minimum requirements.


The PFP is open to IMGs and other non-vocationally registered doctors who are:

  • Australian citizens
  • permanent residents
  • temporary residents.

Doctors can have general, provisional or limited registration.

Eligible doctors must:

  • hold current registration with the Medical Board of Australia
  • have an offer of employment and the necessary skills and experience to perform the role
  • provide evidence of appropriate support in place to meet supervision requirements if applicable
  • undertake GP professional development activities, including compulsory modules
  • review readiness for fellowship training, in conjunction with their medical adviser every 3 months
  • take active steps to join a GP College-led Fellowship pathway within the defined period.

A doctor is not eligible to join PFP if they:

  • have previously been on a 3GA program
  • are currently on MDRAP
  • are vocationally registered.

Once a doctor leaves the PFP to join a GP College-led Fellowship program, they are not eligible to return to the PFP.


Eligible locations include practices that are either: 

  • located within a Distribution Priority Area,
  • classified as an Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS), or
  • classified as an Aboriginal Community-Controlled Health Service subject to Ministerial direction under s19(2) or a s19(5) of the Health Insurance Act 1973.

Medical practices who employ a doctor participating in the PFP must be:

  • accredited as a general practice against the RACGP Standards for general practices, and 
  • be accredited or working towards accreditation as a training practice with either the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine or Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.

To find eligible locations, search the Health Workforce Locator.

Ongoing requirements for participants

If you participate in this program, you must show you are working towards GP Fellowship. You must:


To apply for the PFP, contact the Rural Workforce Agency in your state.


The PFP is currently open for applications.


For more details about the program, see the Pre-Fellowship Program guidelines.


Pre-Fellowship Program – Fact sheet

This fact sheet provides information on the Pre-Fellowship Program. This program allows doctors with placements in Distribution Priority Areas to access items on the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS).


Contact the Rural Workforce Agency in your state for more information on the PFP. 

Rural Workforce Agencies Network

The Rural Workforce Agencies Network is made up by Rural Workforce Agencies in every Australian state and the Northern Territory.
Date last updated:

Help us improve

If you would like a response please use the enquiries form instead.