Special Approved Placements Program (SAPP)

Page last updated: 11 March 2020

Important notice

The SAPP closed to new participants on 30 June 2019.

As part of the Stronger Rural Health Strategy, the Department of Health (Health) streamlined the 3GA workforce programs available to non-vocationally recognised (non-VR) medical practitioners. As a result, the SAPP closed to new participants on 30 June 2019.

A new 3GA workforce program, the More Doctors for Rural Australia Program (MDRAP), has been implemented to support doctors by providing them with opportunities to experience General Practice in rural regions prior to moving to a structured training program.

Doctors currently participating on SAPP will be grandfathered and can continue to access the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) until the end of their current placement. Applications for extensions or a change of location will be considered based on individual circumstances, including whether the doctor is eligible for other approved 3GA workforce or training programs, up to the maximum time on the program for their existing placement category.

Doctors on SAPP under the exceptional circumstances category will generally have up to five (5) years in which to obtain fellowship. Doctors on SAPP under the other categories such as limited medical registration, removal from a formal 3GA workforce or training program before all exams have been completed, or in response to a national emergency may have up to two (2) years to reach an identified career milestone. Under the grandfathering arrangements, doctors participating on SAPP will still be required to meet the obligations outlined in their SAPP placement.

The MDRAP commenced on 29 April 2019 and is administered by the Rural Workforce Agencies in each state, and the Northern Territory. Please see MDRAP for more information.

As part of the Stronger Rural Health Strategy the Department of Health is providing funding for a Fellowship Support Program to support non-vocationally registered (Non-VR) doctors to attain fellowship. The Fellowship Support Program will be delivered through the RACGP and ACRRM.

RACGP – Practice Experience Program

ACRRM – Independent Pathway to Fellowship

Existing SAPP Participants' Application Form

PDF version: SAPP Application Form (PDF 135 KB)
Word version: SAPP Application Form (Word 59 KB)