Streamlining General Practice Training

This initiative simplifies training pathways and helps doctors to gain fellowship of one of Australia’s 2 general practice colleges. It distributes training places to ensure a continued supply of skilled doctors in rural and remote areas. It is part of the Stronger Rural Health Strategy.

About the initiative

The Streamlining General Practice Training initiative:

  • simplifies previous general practitioner (GP) training and qualification pathways
  • supports non-vocationally recognised doctors to gain specialist GP status.

This initiative is part of the Stronger Rural Health Strategy.

Why it is important

Reducing the number of GP training pathways simplifies the process and gives the 2 GP colleges greater role in delivering and managing training.

Vocationally recognised doctors are eligible for higher levels of Medicare rebates than those who are not vocationally recognised.

Helping non-vocationally recognised doctors gain fellowship gives them access to the highest tier Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) items during and after training.

About 4,900 doctors are not vocationally recognised in Australia. Many of these work in rural and regional Australia. This initiative supports these doctors to gain fellowship and ensure those communities can see a specialist GP trained to the highest industry standards.


This initiative will:

  • streamline the previous 9 pathways to specialist GP status down to 2
  • help existing non-vocationally recognised doctors gain fellowship
  • distribute training places to ensure a continued supply of skilled doctors in rural and remote areas.

Meeting our goals

We are:

  • providing an extra 100 training places to support rural generalist trainees, on top of the 1,500 Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program places
  • distributing training places across regional and remote areas
  • providing a one-off fellowship support program between 2019 and 2023, delivered by the RACGP and the ACRRM, for non-VR doctors working towards fellowship.

We cap the overall number of places on fellowship pathways to ensure the GP profession is neither oversupplied nor under supplied. We determine the cap based on evidence, and the Medical Workforce Reform Advisory Committee endorses it.


The streamlined pathways to fellowship and the support program for non-VR doctors came into effect on 1 January 2019.

Trainees on the AGPT program, the Remote Vocational Training Scheme, and the ACRRM Independent Pathway can continue to train as planned.

The approved training programs give non-vocationally recognised doctors use of the higher MBS GP items will end by 30 June 2023. After this date, non-vocationally recognised GPs will no longer be able to use these items.

Who we work with

Australia’s GP colleges deliver the 2 streamlined pathways:


Rural health workforce contact

Contact us with questions about our work to support Australia's rural health workforce.
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