Rural Pharmacy Liaison Officer Program
The Rural Pharmacy Student Placement Allowance (RPSPA) provides financial support to Australian universities to facilitate Pharmacy Student placements in rural and remote communities. The Allowance assists with students’ travel and accommodation costs for participating in placements in rural and remote areas. The Program aims to facilitate positive rural and remote placement experiences for Pharmacy Students in order to encourage students to return to rural and remote communities upon graduation.
Interested students can obtain further information about the RPSPA from their Pharmacy School.
Pharmacy Schools receive support for administration of rural and remote placement programs via the Administrative Support to Pharmacy Schools Scheme.
Please note that the remainder of this Program Overview applies to the RPSPA Program.
Student applicants for the RPSPA must meet the following criteria:
Participating universities are contracted to deliver the RPSPA program and must:
Student applicants and participating universities must abide by the Rural Pharmacy Student Placement Allowance Program Rules, available from the Downloads section of this page.
Students must apply for the RPSPA through their university. Application forms are available from the applicant’s university and are assessed by that university.
The maximum Allowance is $3,000 (excluding GST) per student per eligible placement. Successful applicants will receive this payment directly from their university. The RPSPA may only be used to assist with travel and accommodation costs associated with participating in a pharmacy program student placement in a rural or remote area.
In 2015, the Department of Health introduced the MMM classification system as it better targets health workforce programs by categorising metropolitan, regional, rural and remote areas according to both geographical remoteness, as defined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, and town size.
The Department of Health began transitioning Commonwealth health programs to the new MMM classification system from 1 January 2020.
The decision to adopt the use of the MMM for the Rural Pharmacy Student Placement Allowance from 1 July 2021 to ensure greater support for regional, rural and remote pharmacies was made as part of the Seventh Community Pharmacy Agreement (Seventh Agreement) between the Australian Government, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia (the Guild) and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA)
Further information on the MMM rural classification system can be found here: https://www.health.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/2019/12/modified-monash-model—fact-sheet.pdf .
Due to the transition to the MMM, the PhARIA website will be turned off in July 2021. Please ensure you have recorded any PhARIA information you require prior to the MMM transition.
The MMM is updated after each Census. The 2015 MMM was derived from 2011 ABS Census data.
The current MMM was updated in 2019 using 2016 ABS Census data and geography information.
The next ABS Census is in August 2021. The MMM will therefore be updated sometime after the 2021 Census. A specific date cannot be provided at this stage.
The RPSPA Program provides financial support to encourage and enable eligible Australian universities to deliver Pharmacy Student placements in rural communities.
Australian universities who offer rural placements for Pharmacy students may be approved to deliver the RPSPA. The Program provides an Allowance to assist with travel and accommodation costs for students undertaking placements in eligible rural areas. The Allowance has a maximum value of $3,000 plus GST per student per eligible placement.
Students can apply for the RPSPA via their university. Allowances are paid by the university.
Australian universities can apply to deliver the Program if they provide:
pharmacy undergraduate or graduate entry courses leading to a registrable qualification as a Pharmacist
Pharmacy Student placements in eligible rural areas.
Eligible universities enter into a formal agreement with the Pharmacy Programs Administrator and will also be eligible to receive funding through the Administrative Support Pharmacy Schools Scheme.
For the purpose of the allowance, ‘rural and remote’ will be determined by the MMM.
Placements funded under this Program must take place in a MM Category 3 to Category 7 location.
The MM category for a particular location can be found by visiting https://www.health.gov.au/resources/apps-and-tools/health-workforce-locator/health-workforce-locator.
Click on the MMM 2019 tickbox in the Classification Filter, type in the placement address and click Search Location. The MM category will be displayed underneath the address and also on the map.
During their degree, student applicants may apply for funding to undertake one placement in or close to their ‘home’ town (that is, their address used on admission to their course), provided that their ‘home’ town is located in a MM Category 3 to Category 7 location.
Placements in the town where the student’s own university campus is based are not eligible for funding.
Contact your placement coordinator or school of pharmacy at your university to find out more about the RPSPA.
Yes, please contact the Pharmacy Programs Administrator on 1800 951 285 or email email@example.com for further details.
Please contact the PPA Support Centre on 1800 951 285 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance with lodging reports and invoices on the PPA Portal.
Please refer to the Rural Pharmacy Student Placement Allowance Program Rules, available from the Downloads section of this page.
If you have any queries, contact the Pharmacy Programs Administrator on 1800 951 285 or email email@example.com.
The Administrative Support to Pharmacy Schools Scheme provides financial support to universities to facilitate placements for students in rural and remote areas, and to promote the Rural Pharmacy Student Placement Allowance (RPSPA), Rural Pharmacy Scholarship Scheme (RPSS) and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Pharmacy Scholarship Scheme (ATSIPSS).
Only universities can deliver the ASPSS. Additionally, the university must be approved for RPSPA Program.
Australian universities that provide pharmacy undergraduate or graduate entry courses leading to a registrable qualification as a Pharmacist are eligible to deliver the Program.
The university must be registered for the RPSPA Program to participate in the ASPSS.
Participating universities enter into a formal agreement with the Pharmacy Programs Administrator.
The ASPSS Program Rules are available from the Downloads section of this page.
If you have any queries, telephone the Pharmacy Programs Administrator on 1800 951 285 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.