a knowledge transfer program funded by the Australian Government Department of Health.
The RHCE2 Program finishes on 31 December 2015.
The National Rural Health Alliance is holding a number of one-day roundtables to transfer knowledge and resources from RHCE2 to those who will be responsible for providing CPD in the future, including (but not restricted to) rural PHNs.
The 10 Roundtables nationally, are aimed at:
- enabling transfer of knowledge and resources from RHCE2 to prospective/possible CPD providers in the future;
- providing participants with an opportunity to learn about:
- successful projects/approaches for multidisciplinary teams, collaborative partnerships and inter-professional learning;
- a range of online self-paced, flexible training programs and tools developed in the RHCE-2 program;
- new models and innovative approaches to delivering CPD; and
- completed RHCE-2 projects and how they might be adapted to local circumstances.
Details of regional roundtable meetings here. Roundtables have been well attended, with between 300 and 400 participants in total to date. The meetings have provided valuable feedback and insights on the risks inherent in the program ceasing. They have also indicated some of the initiatives that would ensure optimal ongoing value from the RHCE2 investment, especially in the face of ongoing need and the continuing challenges of rural and remote practice in a dynamic policy and health service environment.
Having access to appropriate continuing professional development (CPD) is critical for health professionals of all disciplines working in rural and remote areas, as elsewhere. For the past five years the NRHA has been managing Stream 2 of the Rural Health Continuing Education program (RHCE2) on behalf of the Australian Government Department of Health. During this time 119 CPD projects have been supported, resulting in some useful understanding about ways in which the provision of CPD in rural and remote areas can be successfully completed, and in the production of some specific CPD resources for rural practitioners, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and allied health professionals.
Details of the RHCE2 funded projects can be found here.
NRHA has delivered on all anticipated outcomes.
- Strong networks and sector support have helped NRHA to deliver more from the available RHCE2 allocation than was originally costed and agreed with the Department.
- From 2010-2015 RHCE-2 has supported 119 programs.
- The program has supported over 8,500 health practitioners – from across all disciplines and diverse (rural and remote) locations to provide more effective care and better respond to the particular needs of rural and remote communities.
- The independent evaluation of RHCE2 (December 2013) provided much detail about the success and the reputation of the program.
The RHCE2 evaluation and stakeholder surveys have demonstrated that the RHCE-2 program:
- helps overcome challenges encountered by health professionals in rural and remote Australia accessing CPD - including financial expenses, travel and accommodation near facilities, relief for work and family responsibilities in their absence;
- strongly meets its aims and objectives, and greatly assists in supporting health care professionals and their safe practice in rural and remote settings;
- increases the capacity of the workforce to work in multi-disciplinary teams within their own local environment;
- is very well received by recipients, funders and member organisations, all of which are extremely satisfied with the program and their dealing with it; and
- effectively fills a gap in professional development funding streams by offering value for money.
As a result of the outcomes and recommendations of the CPD Roundtables, the Alliance is holding consultations with the Department on Next Steps and Future Directions for the delivery and funding of CPD for practising health professionals in rural and remote areas. The Alliance will advise you as soon as we can on the outcome of these consultations.