IMPORTANT: COVID-19 update on courses supported through the HWSP
We understand COVID-19 may have impacted your ability to complete your funded course, training or conference as outlined in your contract. It may be that your course, training or conference 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 Health Workforce Scholarship Program?
- Who manages the Program?
- Who is eligible for the Program?
- Who is not eligible for the Program?
- What is the difference between a scholarship and a bursary?
- Can more than one application per year be made be made?
- Are applicants working in NSW but living in another state or territory eligible to apply?
- Can applicants working in rural locations outside of NSW apply?
- What are MMM 3-7 locations?
- What professions can apply?
- I am an employer, can I apply on behalf of my employees?
- I am a student, am I eligible to apply?
- What kind of training and study will be supported?
- What amount of funding is available?
- What training and skill needs have been identified as a priority?
- What is the application process?
- Are all applicants guaranteed a scholarship or bursary?
- What is a Return of Service Obligation?
- What is Case Management?
- Is the scholarship means tested?
- How long will my application take to process?
- Further information?
What is the Health Workforce Scholarship Program?
The Health Workforce Scholarship Program (HWSP) provides scholarships and bursaries to help health professionals in rural and remote Australia retain and enhance their skills, capacity and scope of practice. The Program is an initiative of the Australian Government Department of Health, administered in New South Wales by NSW Rural Doctors Network (RDN).
The Program is available to medical, nursing, midwifery, allied health, dental and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health professionals providing primary health care in the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Sector (ACCHS) sector, non-government organisations and private practice.
Under the HWSP, health professionals working in rural and remote locations (MMM 3-7) can apply for scholarships or bursaries to pursue further education or attend training courses.
Who manages the Program?
The Program is an initiative of the Australian Government Department of Health, administered in New South Wales by NSW Rural Doctors Network (RDN).
Who is eligible for the Program?
To be eligible for a scholarship or bursary, you must be a health professional and meet all the following criteria:
- Hold a primary professional qualification or are working in an existing role e.g. as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Health Worker/Practitioner; and
- Provide (or demonstrate through a service or employment agreement that you are about to provide) primary health services in rural NSW (MMM 3-7 locations); or in an Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS) or Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service (ACCHS) located within a MMM 1 - 7 location; and
- Work in the fields of medicine, nursing, midwifery, allied health, dentistry or Aboriginal health; and
- Propose to undertake study or upskilling activities that will fill the established, high priority gaps in primary health service provision within their community; and
- Be willing, if required, to commit to a Return of Service Obligation (RoSO) that does not exceed 12 months; and
- Provide primary care services primarily in the private (non-NSW Government) sector.
Please note that applications will be assessed on a case by case basis in line with RDN's Primary Health Workforce Needs Assessment (HWNA) and community need.
Who is not eligible for the Program?
Any health professional employed solely or primarily by the NSW Government (i.e. employed in a public hospital, TAFE or school) is not eligible to apply. Please refer to NSW Health or your government agency for scholarship opportunities.
However, please note that applications will be considered on a case by case basis from health professionals employed primarily by the NSW Government who are also employed privately and providing primary health services in areas identified as a priority in line with RDN's Primary Health Workforce Needs Assessment (HWNA).
Health professionals working solely for the NSW Government should contact NSW Health regarding scholarship opportunities.
What is the difference between a scholarship and a bursary?
The Health Workforce Scholarship Program offers two types of funding:
- Scholarships: A payment up to $10,000 per year, for up to two years, toward the cost of completing a postgraduate course leading to a postgraduate qualification
The type of funding offered will depend on the type of study undertaken.
Can more than one application per year be made be made?
Yes, you can make more than one application in a 12-month period, to the total value of $10,000 per year.
Are applicants working in NSW but living in another state or territory eligible to apply?
Yes, the Health Workforce Scholarship Program is open to health professionals who work and provide services to MMM 3-7 NSW rural and remote communities throughout Australia. However, please note that you cannot apply to both states for the same funding or for funds that exceed the limit of $10,000.
Can applicants working in rural locations outside of NSW apply?
Yes, applicants working outside of NSW can apply for a scholarship or bursary through the relevant State or Territory Rural Workforce Agency:
- Northern Territory: Northern Territory Primary Health Network
- Queensland: Health Workforce Queensland
- South Australia: Rural Doctors Workforce Agency of South Australia
- Victoria: Rural Workforce Agency Victoria
- Tasmania: HR+ Tasmania
- Western Australia: Rural Health West
What are MMM 3-7 locations?
The Modified Monash Model (MMM) is a geographical classification system that categorises metropolitan, regional, rural and remote areas according to both geographical remoteness and town size.
The Health Workforce Scholarship Program is available to privately employed health professionals providing health services to areas categorised as MMM 3-7.
Health professionals providing primary health care services in an Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS) or Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) can be located within a MMM 1-7 location.
To find the classification of a specific location, go to the DoctorConnect website.
What professions can apply?
The following health professions are eligible to apply for the Health Workforce Scholarship Program:
Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Health Worker/Practitioner
Unfortunately, you are not eligible to apply on behalf of your employees for the HWSP. Only individual applications will be accepted.
Unfortunately, students are not eligible to apply.
What kind of training and study will be supported?
The Health Workforce Scholarship Program supports a wide range of study and training options, including:
- university postgraduate courses: Certificates, Diplomas, Masters, PhDs
- short courses, workshops, conferences and seminars
- vocational Education and Training courses e.g. Australian Skills Quality Authorisation (ASQA) recognised training packages
- training that meets the professional development requirements of the applicant’s professional registration and/or association
- recognised industry skills training and upskilling for individual health professionals.
Funding cannot be used for:
- retrospective costs
- undergraduate degrees
- overseas face to face courses
- study fully funded by other sources
- IT or IT related equipment
- upskilling where a course completion certificate or proof of attendance is not issued
- textbooks, equipment, membership fees, exam fees, subscriptions
- meal expenses
- taxi and Uber fares, transfers, parking fees or similar
- activities for which other Commonwealth, State or Local Government bodies have primary responsibility. This includes training for health professionals working solely or primarily in a public hospital.
What amount of funding is available?
Health Workforce Scholarship Program postgraduate scholarships involve a payment dependent upon the qualification being undertaken. Scholarships will be awarded as a contribution toward the cost of courses. Scholarship funding per qualification per year is as follows:
Masters or PhD
Applicants must submit a new application if their course extends beyond one year for consideration for a second year of funding. Scholarship allocation will be determined against the perceived workforce benefit of the training and scholarships must be directly related to training and upskilling primary health professionals who will provide services to rural and remote areas.
Health Workforce Scholarship Program bursaries involve payments up to $10,000 that contribute toward the cost of training or course fees as well as training related expenses such as accommodation and transport where appropriate. Bursaries must be directly related to training and upskilling health professionals who are providing or planning (with evidence) to provide primary health services to rural and remote areas.
Applicants can make more than one application in a financial year providing that the funding requested does not exceed the limit of $10,000.
What training and skill needs have been identified as a priority?
RDN has worked with stakeholders to identify regional and local health workforce skills and capacity needs through an annual Primary Health Workforce Needs Assessment (HWNA). The HWNA forms the basis for determining the allocation of scholarships and bursaries.
The following upskilling and training areas have been identified in the HWNA:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care
- Chronic disease management
- Severe and complex conditions
- Mental health management
- Children and young people
- Aged care and associated conditions
- End of life/palliative care
- Culturally safe practices and practitioners
- Team/coordinated patient care and
- Improve patient health literacy and self-management.
What is the application process?
Before you apply you will need to:
- assess your eligibility by reading the HWSP Applicant Guidelines
- set up a MyRDN account
- collect your supporting documentation
- submit your application via the MyRDN portal.
You will be notified of the progress of your application.
Are all applicants guaranteed a scholarship or bursary?
No. Successful applicants must meet all the Health Workforce Scholarship Program eligibility criteria to be considered for a scholarship or bursary. All applications are assessed against the needs of the community. Scholarships and bursaries will be awarded to those who wish to undertake study and training that help to fill a service gap or address the health needs of specific communities.
What is a Return of Service Obligation?
A Return of Service Obligation (RoSO) will be determined as part of the Health Workforce Scholarship Program application process. The RoSO will be clearly stated in the successful applicant’s contract with the RDN, which the applicant will need to sign before commencing the activity.
All applicants awarded a scholarship will be committed to a ROSO. The maximum period of a RoSO is 12 months in total. Applicants receiving bursaries equal to or greater than $5,000 will need to commit to a RoSO of 12 months. A RoSO will also apply where one or more bursary applications has been approved in one financial year and the combined grants total is greater or equal to $5,000.
Where a health professional accepts a scholarship or a bursary and does not complete the required service obligations as stated in their contract, RDN will seek to recover funding provided to successful applicants.
What is Case Management?
Successful applicants will be case managed by the RDN throughout their scholarship or bursary activity relevant to the value of the scholarship or bursary and the scope of any Return of Service Obligation (RoSO).
Is the scholarship means tested?
No. All applications to the Health Workforce Scholarship Program are assessed against the needs of the community.
Scholarships and bursaries will be awarded to those who wish to undertake study and training that help fill a service gap or address the health needs of specific communities.
How long will my application take to process?
Applicants are notified by email of the outcome of their application within 4-6 weeks of submitting an application.This time may vary depending on the number of applications received.
Please contact RDN for further information about the Health Workforce Scholarship Program on email or phone +61 2 4924 8000.