Spotlight: Section 3GA approved programs – 1: Rural Locum Relief Program (RLRP)

Spotlight: Section 3GA approved programs – 1: Rural Locum Relief Program (RLRP)

  • July 25, 2018

With over 5 years’ experience in rural GP recruitment and having placed more than 80 non-VR GPs into rural placements throughout Australia, DXC Medical has the knowledge, contacts and experience to help you secure the right practice, location and fellowship pathway program for you.

Over the coming months we will be providing an overview on the main Section 3GA approved GP training number programs. The aim is to answer the most commonly asked questions and provide a clear and concise overview of each program. The first program in this series is the Rural Locum Relief Program or RLRP for short.

Q: What is RLRP?

A: Introduced in 1998, the Rural Locum Relief Program (RLRP) is a Department of Health (section 3GA) approved program to allow access to a provider numbers to non-vocationally registered (VR) doctors while they work towards fellowship of the RACGP or ACRRM. RLRP is often used as a stepping stone to a further Section 3GA approved pathway, such as AGPTRVTS, ACRRM Independent pathway or new RACGP Practice Experience Program. We will be covering each of the pathways in future Spotlight editions.

Q: Who runs RLRP?

A: The program is administered by the Rural Health Workforce Australia through the Rural Workforce Agencies in each state and territory.

NSW – New South Wales Rural Doctors Network (NSW RDN)

Victoria – Rural Workforce Agency Victoria (RWAV)

Tasmania – Health Recruitment Plus (HR+)

Queensland – Health Workforce Queensland (HWQ)

Northern Territory – Northern Territory PHN (NTPHN)

Western Australia – Rural Health West (RHW)

South Australia – Rural Doctors Workforce Agency (RDWA)

Q: Who is eligible for RLRP?

A: The following doctors are eligible for RLRP

  • Non VR Australian graduates, citizens
  • NZ citizens who studied their undergrad in NZ and are non-VR
  • Non VR Overseas trained doctors who hold perm residency or citizenship and are planning to work in a RLRP eligible location.

Q: What is an RLRP eligible location?

A: Any RRMA4-7 location (some RRMA 3 ‘priority’ towns are also eligible)


Q: How long can a doctor stay on RLRP?

A: Doctors are given either 2 or 4 years dependant on the state they are working in and whether they have a skills assessment from the RACGP or a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) from ACRRM. The requirement for the RACGP is to have a minimum of 2 years assessed, to be eligible for the 4-year program.

The doctor MUST gain fellowship within the time allocated to him (2 or 4 years) OR have moved onto a 3GA approved training pathway (AGPT / RVTS / ACRRM independent pathway).

Q: What support does the doctor require?

The doctor does not require a supervisor providing they hold general registration with AHPRA. Doctors do require a mentor, but this doctor does not necessarily have to be based at that site, although this is preferred. The mentor will agree a learning plan with the doctor, which is subsequently signed off by the Medical Assessor at the workforce agency.

Mentors will need to hold fellowship of the RACGP and ACRRM with previous rural experience being highly desirable.

Please follow this link for the full RLRP Guidelines.

For more information regarding anything covered in this post, please contact:

Darren Compton
Managing Director
0405 234 852

To view our latest non-VR GP positions in RLRP eligible locations, please click here

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