Medical Training Review Panel: thirteenth report

Australasian College of Rural and Remote Medicine

Page last updated: April 2010

The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) vocational training programs in rural and remote medicine have been developed by rural doctors, for rural doctors. The programs are based on comprehensive curricula that prepare doctors to attain the full scope of knowledge, skills and attitudes required to provide quality health care to rural and remote communities.

Training Program

There are three ACRRM models/pathways for candidates training towards fellowship of ACRRM (FACRRM):
  • Vocational Preparation Pathway - this pathway is suited to new graduates and is implemented through the Australian General Practice Training System;
  • Remote Vocational Training Scheme - provides structured distance based learning for isolated and solo practitioners; and
  • Independent Pathway - self directed learning.
These models are underpinned by ACRRM standards, which define the learning outcomes, as well as the operating principles, policies, procedures and administrative mechanisms to ensure that ACRRM accredited training posts and providers are supported to provide quality training against ACRRM standards.

The ACRRM program is a four-year course. Part-time training is allowed as long as it is at a minimum of three sessions per week. People are also able to take leave from training generally up to 12 months, but extensions can be negotiated with the college on a case-by-case basis.

Trainee Selection

Candidates completing the fellowship of ACRRM through the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program and the Rural Vocational Training Scheme (RVTS) are subject to the selection criteria of those organisations. The ACRRM works collaboratively with the AGPT and the RVTS to embed ACRRM's selection principles within theirs. The ACRRM recruits candidates directly to its Independent Pathway and uses a set of selection criteria to assess them.

Trainee Assessment

The ACRRM commenced its assessment process in 2008. There is no final exam in the assessment process, but rather progressive assessment, including five different assessment items, across the totality of the training program.

Successful completion of training requires:
  • 12 months core clinical training in an ACRRM-accredited metropolitan, provincial or regional/rural hospital;
  • 24 months primary rural and remote training in rural or remote ACRRM-accredited posts such as: hospitals, Aboriginal Medical Services or community/general practice based facilities;
  • 12 months advanced specialised training in ACRRM-accredited posts in one of the following disciplines: surgery, obstetrics, anaesthetics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, emergency medicine, adult internal medicine, population health, paediatrics, mental health or remote health;
  • successful completion of the college assessment program;
  • completion of four modules from ACRRM’s online learning platform; and
  • completion of two emergency courses.

Overseas Trained Doctors

This is an area that is still under development for ACRRM and the process of how this will happen has not been finalised yet.


There are different categories of training post accreditation for different parts of ACRRM's program. There are accreditation of posts for core clinical training, primary rural and remote training and advanced specialised training. All candidates training towards fellowship of ACRRM must be trained by accredited training providers and teachers in accredited posts.

ACRRM has developed standards for accreditation of training providers, as well as standards for accreditation of training posts and teachers. Those that meet the ACRRM standards will be formally recognised and certified by ACRRM to deliver training towards FACRRM.

Further Information