*Please Note: The information in this blog post has been superseded by our 2018 update to reflect the new changes, please see 19AA & The 3GA Programs (2020)*

We’ve had to bring this blog back sooner than we thought, but we want to make sure all of the relevant information is in one blog for you! So, with all of the changes occurring in the 3GA programs, we’ve updated our 19AA and 3GA Programs blog to have the most up to date information.


In this blog we will go over who is restricted by 19AA and the criteria for different 3GA programs.




All Non-Vocationally Registered Australian Citizens or Permanent Residents are restricted by 19AA.


This means if you are born in Australia, have become an Australian Citizen or hold Permanent Residency you will be restricted.


Until you achieve Fellowship with either RACGP or ACRRM and are recognised as a Specialist in General Practice, you will continue to face this restriction.




If you are restricted by 19AA, you are required to join a 3GA program to gain access to Medicare benefits.


If you are restricted by 19AA and not on a 3GA program, you will not be granted access to Medicare Benefits. Medicare can issue a fine if they discover you have continued to claim Medicare Benefits without being on a 3GA Program. As soon as you receive Permanent Residency you will need to cease practice until you are on an approved 3GA program.




Your 3GA programs will depend on if you meet the eligibility criteria and your practice location, if relevant. We have put together a summary of all the 3GA programs below:



Australian General Practice Training Programs (AGPT)

AGPT is a 3 – 4 year training program for registrars on the journey to either RACGP or ACRRM Fellowship and Specialist Registration as a General Practitioner.


There a 2 different pathways available for GPs and these depend on your 19AB restriction. If you are restricted by 19AB you will join the Rural Pathway with AGPT. GPs in this pathway will undertake all of their training in rural areas that fulfil their 19AB restrictions.


The General Pathway of the AGPT program is for GPs that have completed their 10-year moratorium or are not restricted by 19AB. GPs on this pathway will work in inner and/or outer metropolitan areas.


If you have a 19AB exemption specifically for AGPT, such as a spousal exemption, you are allowed to join the General Pathway instead of the Rural Pathway.


You aren’t able to choose a specific area to practice in on this program, but you can nominate your preferred area regions. Once you have been accepted for a region, you will be provided with a list of practices to contact to try to join their practice.


Applications for AGPT generally open in April each year and you can apply through either RACGP or ACRRM depending on which Fellowship exams you plan to complete.


To be eligible you need to currently hold General Registration, or you will hold General Registration with AHPRA prior to the commencement of the program.


AGPT offers a great level of support for participants and clinics are thoroughly vetted and contracts are negotiated for you. The application process is intensive and there are a high number of applicants, so make sure your application is perfect!



ACRRM Independent Pathway

The ACRRM Independent Pathway is a Specialist training program that assists GPs on the pathway towards ACRRM Fellowship and Specialist Registration.


This program provides you with the flexibility to manage your own learning and training posts. However, they provide individualised case management, personalised medical educator guidance, established education and training programs and modality-specific assessment support programs.


If you hold General Registration, Provisional Registration or Area of Need Limited Registration  and have completed 1 year of postgraduate hospital experience in Australia or in an approved Competent Authority you will be eligible for the program.


Applications are open various times in the year and are listed in the key dates calendar on their website. If applications are not open when you apply, you can submit an expression of interest to be notified when applications next open.


The ACRRM Independent Pathway does have a substantial fee, so you will need to be prepared to cover these costs if you plan to join.



More Doctors for Rural Australia Program (MDRAP)

MDRAP is a new 3GA programs that has been created to encourage more doctors to work in rural and remote communities.


To be eligible for the program you need to hold current AHPRA Registration, have a job offer and have the necessary skills and experience to perform the role. If you do not have previous General Practice experience, you can still apply for MDRAP. You will just need to have a Supervisor in the Practice that is willing to assist you in this transition.


As part of this program you will need to find a practice in a DWS area with a Modified Monash Model (MMM) Classification between 2 – 7. All Aboriginal Medical Services are eligible regardless of location criteria.


This program allows GPs with 2 – 4 years on the program before they will need to transition to an alternative 3GA Program. Whilst on the program, you are expected to apply for at least 1 alternative 3GA program every year.


Applications for MDRAP are now open and you can apply for this program by emailing the Rural Workforce Agency in your State or Territory. Applications take around 28 business days to process.



Practice Experience Pathway (PEP)

PEP is a self-directed education program created to assist Non-VR GPs on the pathway to RACGP Fellowship. There are 2 pathways available, the Standard Stream for IMGs who do not hold Specialist Qualifications and the Specialist Stream for IMGs with Specialist Qualifications that have been recognised as Comparable by RACGP.


To participate on PEP, you will need to hold current AHPRA Registration, have 1-year Australian General Practice experience assessed, have a job offer and pay the associated fees. This program will specifically consider GPs requiring additional support due to personal, professional or educational reasons.


To be eligible for a PEP Provider Number, your practice will need to be in an MMM Classification of 2 – 7 and will also need to be in a DWS area if you are restricted by 19AB.


To apply for PEP, you will need to sit the PEP Entry Assessment (PEPEA) Exam. There are various dates for the PEPEA throughout the year and your results will be valid for 3 years.


Applications for commencement on PEP at the start of 2020 are open until the 31st of May; however, you will need to have previously passed the PEPEA to apply as there are no available dates for the PEPEA until July 2019.


The benefits of PEP are the learning resources you will have available to help you prepare for the Fellowship exams, but you will need to be self-motivated to complete all set activities.


Additionally, you are not able to sit the Fellowship Exams until you have completed your allocated time on the program.



After Hours Medical Deputising Services (AMDS)

This program allows you to gain clinical experience during the after-hour periods whilst preparing for and taking the Fellowship exams with either RACGP or ACRRM.


AMDS services can either be clinic based or involve visiting patients’ homes and these practices are available in both metropolitan and regional areas.


You eligible working hours are between 6pm to 8am on weekdays, from 12pm on Saturday and all-day Sunday and on Public Holidays.


As your patient base is restricted, your experience will be assessed at 50% outside of the clinic and 75% in the clinic. Additionally, this time will be capped at 2.5 years assessed.


You can apply for AMDS at anytime through an AMDS accredited practice after you have received a job offer in this practice. The practice will need to be accredited through AMDS and a practice that operates in the after-hours but is not accredited with AMDS will not be accepted in an application.


If you have Limited or Provisional AHPRA Registration, you will only be able to join AMDS in an in-clinic position and will need to meet the Supervision Requirements of AHPRA.



Remote Vocational Training Scheme (RVTS)

RVTS is a Fellowship training program designed to provide educational opportunities for GPs in rural areas with limited education opportunities.


RVTS provides training via distance education and remote supervision, so this allows GPs working in remote communities’ access to support whilst providing highly needed medical services.


You can apply to RVTS through either the Remote Stream or AMS Stream. To apply through the Remote Stream, you need to be practicing as a GP in an MMM 4 – 7 classification area. To apply through the AMS Stream, you need to be working as a GP in an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service with an MMM Classification of 2 – 7.


To apply, you must hold either General Registration or Area of Need Limited Registration. If you have Limited Registration, you will be required to have lever 3 or 4 supervision


You will need to be working in the practice at the time of applying and remain in the same practice throughout the program. You can apply to RVTS if you are an Australian Citizen, if you hold Permanent Residency and if you are a Temporary Resident.


Every year only 22 GPs are approved for the Remote Stream and 10 GPs for the AMS Stream, so this program is competitive!




Both SAPP and RLRP are still accepting applications. However, both programs will stop accepting applications during 2019. An exact date has not yet been provided, but this is expected to occur in the first half of the year. Until the cut-off date is announced you will be able to submit an application for either program.



Rural Locum Relief Program (RLRP)

RLRP is a training program that encourages GPs to work in rural areas. The program is different in each state, but it will provide you with 2 – 4 years to gain experience as a GP and achieve either RACGP or ACRRM Fellowship.


To be eligible for the 4-year program, you will need 2 years assessed GP experience and any other eligibility criteria relevant to your state.


To join the 2-year RLRP program, you will need to have the required Hospital experience.


RLRP leaves the responsibility on you to find an acceptable practice in a RRMA 3 – 7 area or an Aboriginal Medical Services with a VR GP mentor prior to applying.


To apply you will need to visit the Rural Workforce Agency site for your State and submit an application.



Special Approved Placements Program (SAPP)

SAPP is a 3GA program for GPs that have extenuating circumstances or are unable to join an alternative 3GA program.


There are various Categories for this program, so to apply you will need to ensure you fit one of the Categories.


Unless you have a severe Medical Condition, this program is designed to assist you in becoming eligible for an alternative 3GA program and there is a maximum amount of time you can be on this program and each category.


SAPP does not provide any educational support on the pathway to Fellowship with either RACGP or ACRRM, so you will need to source your own activities to assist you on the pathway to Fellowship.




If you are looking for further guidance on 3GA Programs or would like to ask further questions about the information mentioned, this is something our team can help you with. Contact us directly on [email protected].



Information for this blog has been taken directly from:





People Medical Consulting are a team of professionals with a passion for guiding those specialising in the Medical industry to find their career pathway and settle into Australia. Working with both Australian trained and Overseas trained professionals, we have extensive experience in Recruitment of General Practitioners and Document Assistance for those requiring support with RACGP, AHPRA, 19AA and 19AB Medicare Exemptions.


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