The Rural Continuing Professional Education Allowance aims to increase access to quality pharmacy services for rural Patients by improving and strengthening the pharmacy workforce in regional and remote areas of Australia.

The Rural Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Allowance assists Pharmacists from rural and remote areas to access Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activities by providing financial support for travel and accommodation. The Program also provides funding for professional educators to travel to a rural location to deliver CPD activities to a group of practising Pharmacists.

 To be eligible for the CPE Allowance, a Pharmacist must:

  • Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • Be a practising Pharmacist, Intern Pharmacist or a Pharmacist preparing to re-enter the workforce
  • Reside and work in a Pharmacy Accessibility Remoteness Index of Australia (PhARIA) Category 2 to Category 6 location.

To be eligible for the CPE Allowance, a professional educator must:

  • Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • Have travelled to a PhARIA Category 2 to Category 6 location to deliver approved CPE activities.

All applicants must provide evidence to substantiate their claims (see Document Certification section). Information on PhARIA locations can be found on the PhARIA website.

Applications must be submitted via the Pharmacy Programs Administrator Portal, within 60 days of the conclusion of the CPE event. Each CPE event must be claimed individually, and late applications will not be accepted. Limits apply to the various components of the CPE Allowance claim. Refer to the Rural Continuing Professional Education Allowance Program Rules for further details.

Documentation to support a CPE Allowance claim includes:

  • Proof of the applicant’s status as an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • Proof of attendance or list of attendees at a CPD activity
  • Official tax invoices detailing eligible expenditure
  • A travel log book detailing evidence of car travel.

The CPE Allowance funds travel and accommodation costs associated with the following activities:

  • Participating in or delivering Group 2 accredited activities
  • Delivering Group 3 accredited activities
  • Participating in preceptor training activities
  • Participating in pharmacy workforce re-entry courses and other courses that will assist with re-entry into pharmacy practice.

Applicants can also claim some travel-related costs associated with obtaining locum relief while undertaking CPD. This includes locum travel and accommodation, but not locum wages. Funding will not be considered for registration fees, overseas conferences, costs associated with compulsory workshops and examinations for Intern Students undertaking an Intern Training Program, meals, locum wages, car hire, and travel to and from the applicant’s accommodation venue to the CPD venue. Interns who attended events that are a compulsory part of their Intern Training Program should claim travel and accommodation costs through the Rural Intern Training Allowance program. Allowances have a maximum value of $2,000 per CPD event. However, applications over $2,000 will be considered where additional documentation is supplied to substantiate the reasons for the additional costs (e.g. airfares or other additional transport links from remote centres). These applications will be subject to review by the Pharmacy Programs Administrator.

Continuing Professional Education Allowance FAQ

  1. A Portal User Guide is available in the Downloads section of this webpage.

  2. The following activities are eligible:

    • Participation in or delivering Group 2 accredited activities
    • Delivering Group 3 accredited activities
    • Preceptor training activities
    • Pharmacy workforce re-entry courses and other courses that will assist with re-entry into pharmacy practice.
  3. Yes, applicants must be residing and working in a PhARIA Category 2 to Category 6 location, or be a professional educator delivering CPD in a PhARIA Category 2 to Category 6 location. For information on PhARIA locations, refer to the PhARIA website.

  4. Yes, the living and working in a PhARIA Category 2 to Category 6 eligibility criterion only applies to participants attending eligible activities, not the educators delivering the CPD activity.

  5. Each claim is capped at $2,000. You can claim as many times as you need to each year. Please note, however, that some claimable activities are subject to additional requirements, including capped amounts. For example, see the FAQ ‘Is there a minimum and maximum car travel allowance?’

  6. Applications over $2,000 will be considered where additional documentation is supplied to substantiate the reasons for the additional costs (e.g. airfares or other additional transport links from remote centres). These applications will be subject to review by the Pharmacy Programs Administrator.

  7. Yes, you can apply for the locum’s travel and accommodation costs (you will have to provided evidence with your claim). You cannot claim for a locum’s wages.

  8. Please refer to the CPE Program Rules for more information about CPE claiming. Please note, however, that the following activities cannot be claimed:

    • Registration fees
    • Overseas conferences
    • Compulsory Intern workshops and exams for Intern Students (these are claimable through the Rural Intern Training Allowance program)
    • Meals
    • Locum wages
    • Car hire
    • Travel between your accommodation and the location of a CPD event.
  9. If you would like to do this, the person who is submitting the claim for the accommodation must provide evidence that the other person in the room has paid them for their share of the accommodation costs. If this is not possible, both individuals should claim the accommodation costs by halving the amount shown on the invoice provided in the claim. Remember, though, that claims are capped at $2,000.

  10. You can claim for the night directly proceeding the CPD event and, if needed, the night(s) of your CPD event.

  11. No, you can only claim costs for the night directly preceding each CPD activity as well as the night of the CBD activity. If a claim was paid for this scenario, the Pharmacy Programs Administrator would divide your total accommodation costs by the duration of the stay to establish a nightly rate and then pay for the eligible number of nights.

  12. An applicant must be a Practicing Pharmacist, an Intern Pharmacist, a Pharmacist preparing to re-enter the workforce in a rural area, or a professional educator travelling to a rural area to deliver CPD.

  13. You must submit your CPE claim no later than 60 days after the conclusion of the CPD event.

  14. The minimum distance claimable for car travel is 200 km and the maximum distance claimable is 500 km. The car travel must be part of a round trip from your home to the CPD event and home again.

  15. For applicants who attended an event, you must clearly show evidence of your attendance, including the Group 2 CPD points gained. This could be a screenshot from your Professional Development schedule, a confirmation certificate, or a letter from the program providers outlining the date, location, Group 2 points gained and confirmation of your attendance at the session. Providing evidence of registration for the session is not sufficient. For educators, you can provide the name of the event, the location, whether it was a Group 2 or 3 event and clearly defined lists of attendees and presenters.

  16. A certified copy of your Australian passport, birth certificate in an Australian state or territory or certificate of Australian citizenship is considered adequate evidence of citizenship. For permanent residents you may provide a certified copy of your letter confirming permanent residency or evidence from the Commonwealth’s Visa Entitlement Verification Online website. This must include your name and visa number.

  17. No, once you have provided acceptable citizenship or permanent residency evidence, you will not have to provide it again. However, if you upload your passport, you will be required to upload a new passport when your current passport expires.