Professional development grants for the rural health workforce.

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

The Program provides scholarships and bursaries to help health professionals in remote and rural Australia retain and enhance their skills, capacity and scope of practice.


Funding is available to medical, nursing, midwifery, allied health, dental and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health professionals providing primary health care in the Aboriginal Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) sector, non-government organisations or private practice, and can be used towards;

  • Course fees
  • Professional Development such as webinars, online courses and online training modules
  • Postgraduate studies (online courses only)
  • Training related expenses

Please note: With restrictions currently in place due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, all training must take place online

Applications are currently closed

More Info

Applicants should read the
Program Guidelines 
before applying. 

Frequently Asked Questions

IMPORTANT: COVID-19 update on courses supported through the HWSP
We will consider a wide range of study and training, however due to the current global COVID-19 pandemic, only online training can be supported at this time.

Courses and activities do not need to be accredited, but will be assessed by Rural Health West for relevance, value for money and the likelihood to meet the identified need.

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
    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.

  • 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 31 December 2020).
Please note: Meeting eligibility criteria is not a guarantee of funding.
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.

What can the funding be used for?
HWSP funding can be used towards course fees and/or course related expenses.

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 fee’s
  • 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.

What are Modified Monash Model (MM) 3-7 locations?

The Modified Monash Model (MMM) 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 MMM 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. 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 be 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, dentistry, 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.
The next Round will open in September 2020

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.

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:

Please note: Due to current restrictions in place due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Rural Health West staff are working remotely. It is preferred that you contact us via email at this time.
The Health Workforce Scholarship Program is an initiative of the Australian Government Department of Health, administered in Western Australia by Rural Health West.