Professional development grants for the rural health workforce

The Health Workforce Scholarship Program (HWSP) is an initiative of the Australian Government Department of Health, administered in Western Australia by Rural Health West. The HWSP provides scholarships and bursaries to help health professionals in remote and rural Australia retain and enhance their skills, capacity and scope of practice.

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Applications now closed

Round 11 will open 1 September 2022.

If you would like to be notified when the next round opens, please email your expression of interest to [email protected]

Please ensure you read the Program Guidelines before applying.

Application checklist

ALL APPLICANTS SHOULD COMPLETE THIS CHECKLIST PRIOR TO SUBMITTING AN APPLICATION.

 I have read the PROGRAM GUIDELINES and assessed my eligibility to apply.

 I am a health professional who provides primary care services (ie dentist, nurse, midwife, allied health professional, medical practitioner, Aboriginal Health Practitioner).

 I am providing primary care services in the private or non-government health sector, in a rural or remote area of Western Australia classified as a Modified Monash Model (MMM) 3-7 location, OR; providing primary care services in an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service in Western Australia in an area classified as MMM 1-7 (check your MM location here).

 The course/activity I am applying for funding for will commence after the 1 March 2022. Funding cannot be used for retrospective costs (ie courses that are held prior to the round opening date)

  I am proposing to undertake study or training that will help meet identified health needs, skill shortages or workforce needs in the community. You will be asked to address these two question in your application:

  • What is the health need/skill shortage/workforce need that has been identified in your community?
  • How will the community benefit from your completion of the course/activity?

 I am proposing to continue providing primary health care services in an eligible location and organisation after completing my training/study.

  I have updated my CV (Resume) ready to upload with my application.

  I have completed a budget to accompany my application (ie. course fees and any accommodation or travel expenses that relate to the course).

Frequently Asked Questions

IMPORTANT: COVID-19 update on courses supported through the HWSP

We understand that COVID-19 may have impacted your ability to complete your funded course/training as outlined in your grant agreement. It may be that your course/training has been postponed or cancelled, or that you have had to cancel accommodation and/or travel and you may or may not have been able to seek refunds depending on cancellation policies. Please contact us as soon as possible to discuss your options.

What is the eligibility criteria?

You are eligible to apply for funding if you are;

  • A health professional who provides primary care services in the role of:

    Medical Practitioner
    Nurse or Midwife
    Allied health professional
    Dentist
    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioner.

  • Providing primary health care services in the ACCHS, private or non-government health sector. 

    You are not eligible if you are employed solely by the State Government.

  • Providing primary health care services in a rural or remote area of Western Australia, classified as MM 3 – 7. Check your MM here.
    Please note: Health professionals providing primary health care services in an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health organisation (ACCHO) can be located within a MM 1 - 7 location.
 
  • Proposing to continue to provide primary health care services in a rural or remote WA, MM 3-7 location after completing your training. (You may be required to complete a return of service of up to 12 months)

  • Proposing to undertake study or training that will help meet identified health needs in your community. (All study must conclude by 30 June 2024).
Please note: Meeting eligibility criteria is not a guarantee of funding.
What can the funding be used for?
HWSP funding can be used towards professional development such as short courses, workshops, online training and conferences; Postgraduate studies; Training related expenses such as travel and accommodation. 

Funding cannot be used for;
  • Retrospective costs (this means courses that are held prior to the round opening date relevant to the round in which you are applying)
  • Overseas expenses/international travel
  • Purchasing of equipment e.g. IT items and medical instruments
  • Study funded by other sources, e.g. Paid for by your employer
  • Activities for which other Commonwealth, State, Territory or Local Government bodies have primary responsibility
  • Airport transfers, mileage, car hire, rideshare services, or parking fees
  • Meal expenses

Please note: This is not an exhaustive list and Rural Health West reserves the right to reject any other expense that is deemed unreasonable. It is recommended your application thoroughly outlines your anticipated expenses or that you contact Rural Health West prior to incurring expenses to determine eligibility.

How is the funding provided?
Funding through the HWSP is via reimbursement.

Successful applicants are required to pay for costs upfront and only as outlined within their grant agreement. You must then apply to Rural Health West for reimbursement, providing evidence of reasonable expenses incurred related to the training.

Reimbursement claims can only be made upon successful completion of the funded activity.


When will I be notified of the outcome of my application?
All applicants will receive the outcome of their application once the round has closed and all applications have been reviewed. This may take up to ten weeks after the application round has closed in order to assess all applications fairly.

Rural Health West will not be able to discuss the outcome of your application during the review process. 

If the course/activity you have applied for is due to start during the review process, and you choose not to undertake the course/activity as outlined in your application, Rural Health West reserves the right to withdraw any offer of funding.
 
What are Modified Monash Model (MM) 3-7 locations?

The Modified Monash Model (MM) is a geographical classification that categorises different areas in Australia into seven remoteness categories. It was developed to better target health workforce programs to attract health professionals to more remote and smaller communities. The MM classifies metropolitan, regional, rural and remote areas according to geographical remoteness (as defined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics), and town size.

The HWSP is available to health professionals located in or providing services to areas categorised as MM 3-7 locations.
Please note: Health professionals providing primary health care services in an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisationscan be located within a MM 1 - 7 location.

Check your location via the Australian Government (Department of Health) Health Workforce Locator
I'm an employer. Can I apply on behalf of one of my employees?
Unfortunately, you are not eligible to apply on behalf of your employees for the Health Workforce Scholarship Program. Only individual applications will be accepted.

If an employer will b
e covering the cost of training, the individual is not eligible to apply.
I am a student. Am I eligible to apply?
Unfortunately, students are not eligible to apply.
The HWSP is only available to medical, nursing, midwifery, dental, allied health professionals, including Aboriginal health practitioners who are providing or intending to provide services (which can be demonstrated through a service agreement or contract) in a MM 3-7 location.
Can I apply more than once?
Yes, you are welcome to submit applications for more than one course either across multiple rounds, or within the same round. The total value of all funding awarded to one recipient cannot exceed more than $10,000 in one year.
I work in Western Australia, but live in another state or territory. Am I still eligible to apply?
Yes, if you work in Western Australia, you apply through Rural Health West, regardless of where you live.

If you are working outside of WA, please visit the website for your relevant Rural Workforce Agency. Links can be found here
What is a Return of Service Obligation?
A return of service obligation (RoSO) will be applicable to some successful recipients to ensure rural communities receive the benefit of the additional training and development sponsored through the program.

A return of service obligation (RoSO) means you will continue to provide primary health care services in a rural or remote WA MM 3-7 location. The maximum period of a RoSO will be 12 months and will commence immediately following successful completion of the funded activity.  

Please note: Rural Health West will seek to recover funding provided to to successful applicants who do not complete their RoSO.

How do I apply for funding through the Health Workforce Scholarship Program?
Please make sure you have read the Program Guidelines before applying.

When we are accepting applications, a link can be found just above these FAQ's.

Round 11: Opens 1st September 2022.


Where funding is available, application rounds will occur twice per year. Applications must be received during round opening and closing dates. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

Where rounds are under subscribed, or where new priorities emerge, Rural Health West may accept applications throughout the year that will meet identified priorities.

Follow us on Facebook or join our mailing list to be notified about opening dates for the next round.

Who do I contact for further information?
Please ensure you have read the full program guidelines for additional program information.

For further information about the HWSP, please email: [email protected]

The Health Workforce Scholarship Program is an initiative of the Australian Government Department of Health, administered in Western Australia by Rural Health West.