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National Advanced Skills and Training Program for Rural Practice

The SRPC is part of a consortium entitled Team Primary Care: Training for Transformation, which intends to accelerate health system reform needed to adopt the broad delivery of comprehensive primary care. Team Primary Care, co-led by the College of Family Physicians of Canada and the Canadian Health Workforce Network in partnership with over 65 health professional and educational organizations across Canada, is an interprofessional project of the Foundation for Advancing Family Medicine funded by Employment and Social Development Canada.

Funding Available

The goal of the National Advanced Skills and Training Program for Rural Practice is to increase opportunities for access to training by providing support/funding for practicing rural physicians, including international medical graduates and those in their first year of practice, to increase their skill sets based on the needs of rural, remote, and Indigenous communities. Examples of training may include diagnostic procedures, emergency medicine, general surgery, obstetrical care, and anesthesia. Rural physicians may receive funding for up to 30 days of training, travel, accommodation, locum expenses, preceptor stipend and overhead. 

The program will fund training opportunities to upskill practicing rural physicians, including specialists, nationwide, enabling them to meet specific community needs and reducing the need for patient transport out of communities to receive these services.

The SRPC’s primary mandate is to support rural physicians and communities, and enhance access to high-quality care, close to home. The SRPC has a history of engagement in education and capacity-building projects, and these activities are core to the organization’s current activities.

Click the links below to find out more and to apply online for the program.

Enhancing access

This project will allow for the delivery of training to improve skills in areas such as addiction, diagnostic procedures, emergency medicine, general surgery, obstetrical care, and anesthesia.

The intention is to attract, develop, and retain physicians in rural, remote and Indigenous communities, enhancing equity in access to care for the populations they serve.

The purposes of this initiative are to:

  • reimburse practicing rural physicians for the cost of advanced training and skill enhancement in order to meet the medical needs of their community,
  • reimburse the cost of a preceptor and short-term locum service (if needed) so that physicians in rural areas can receive advanced training, and
  • foster a network of opportunities and/or collaborations to mentor rural physicians in addition to the enhancement of skills.

Potential benefits

NOTE: Rural physicians will be reimbursed based on the amount approved in the application budget submitted. 

  • Income reimbursement: $1,000 per day stipend to cover rural physician’s income loss up to 30 days.  

  • Travel: up to $2,000. Additional funding may be available for physicians practicing in northern and remote communities.
Economy air, car rental, taxi, or ferry receipts are required.

Land travel: mileage reimbursed at $0.55 per km.

  • Accommodation: up to $200 per day receipts required ($75 per day if staying with family/friends; no receipts are required).
  • Preceptor payment: $250 per day to be paid to the primary preceptor; the participant will be responsible for paying the preceptor.
  • Locum payment or backfill physician: up to $1,000 per day.
  • Overhead: costs may be paid depending on the type of practice (e.g. rent, EMR, admin staff).
  • Course Cost
  • Equipment Cost: will only be funded if it is a requirement for a course. 
  • The maximum funding available to each physician is up to $35,000 including HST.

Project guidelines

  • Rural physicians will identify their own training needs and identify or develop learning opportunities to meet their needs.

  • Training may be from one to 30 days in length.

  • Education must be relevant to the approved training plan and may include courses that directly relate to this plan. Course information must include course date, course link and number of days. 
  • Training will typically be based on small-group or one-on-one training with a preceptor(s). 
  • Training must occur in Canada, and applicants are encouraged to seek opportunities within their referral region.
  • Training must not be funded by another source.
  • Training will commence after approval of application.
  • When appropriate, training may be virtual or hybrid given it is difficult for many physicians to leave their rural communities.

Eligibility criteria

  • Rural physicians must have an active license to practice in Canada.

  • Physicians must be SRPC members.
  • Physicians must have practiced in a rural community for a minimum of six months in the past year.
  • Physicians may be practicing in more than one rural community.
  • Physicians will have a demonstrated commitment to rural practice and will be expected to provide services in a rural area after training. Physicians must indicate their intention to return to a rural community for at least six months. 
  • Residents are not eligible for funding.
  • If your training has already started, unfortunately, you are not eligible for funding.

Application process

  • Rural physicians will complete the National Advanced Skills and Training Program for Rural Practice application, including the primary preceptor contact information.
  • The application must be accompanied by a letter of support from the hospital chief of staff or regional medical director confirming the skill is needed in the community.
  • The program funding will be first-come, first-served.
  • Applications will be reviewed by the SRPC, and physicians will be notified as quickly as possible.
  • Physicians must complete a Claim Form and submit receipts for reimbursement once training is completed.
  • Eligible expenses directly incurred by the physician will be reimbursed. The funding is a taxable benefit.

Online application form instructions

To make sure you have everything you need to submit your application, have the following on hand:

  • CV 
  • signed letter of support from your local hospital chief of staff or regional medical director confirming you have been practicing in a rural community for at least six months within the past year and confirming the need for the stated training in your community

Please note, you will not be able to save the information so you will need to complete the entire application in one sitting. It will take approximately 20 minutes to complete the application.

The project funder, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), requires inclusion of questions related to equity-deserving groups. ESDC is only interested in the raw number and they will roll-up the data we provide (with some assumptions) to report internally.

  • The reporting is 100% voluntary and people have the right to refuse to answer any or all of the questions.
  • The data will be destroyed after the final report has been submitted.
  • ESDC is particularly interested in the people participating in skills development and employers involved in hiring the trained individual.

Training must be completed by March 15, 2024


Apply Now

Potential preceptors

To be successful, the National Advanced Skills and Training Program needs physicians to act as preceptors for rural family physicians and specialists. If you have skills in areas of interest to rural physicians, e.g., emergency department, obstetrics, minor surgery, diagnostic imaging, treatment of addiction, and are interested in becoming a preceptor, we invite you to register. 



Mainpro+ Accreditation

Linking Learning Exercises

  • Participants can complete Linking Learning Exercises (found in the Certified Assessment category of the Mainpro+ platform) to reflect on the impact to practice on any aspect of the program.
  • You can earn five certified Assessment credits per exercise completed.
  • Preceptors can also use these to earn credit by reflecting on the impact to their own practice.

Formal Clinical Traineeship/Fellowship

  • The time you spend working with a preceptor can be claimed under a Formal Clinical Traineeship/Fellowship in the Mainpro+ platform.
  • This time is self-claimed by participants in the Certified Self-Learning category.
  • You can earn up to 50 credits.

Non-certified Assessment Credits

  • Preceptors can claim non-certified Assessment credits for the time they spend being a preceptor.

Additional Non-certified Credit

  • You can claim non-certified credit for any journal reading/research you do to support your skill development in the Self-Learning category.

The Mainpro+ Manual: page 8 has details on clinical traineeships, and page 6 and 7 outline other types of activities and under which category they fall (i.e., non-certified).

MOC Accreditation

Specialists involved in traineeships can claim 2 credits per hour under Section 2 Self-Learning of the MOC Program (Framework of Continuing Professional Development Activities: The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada).

SRPC's National Advanced Skills and Training Program for Rural Practice Expert Advisory Committee

Jennifer Barr

SRPC Chief Operating Officer

Shawville, Quebec

Dr. Elaine Blau

SRPC Member

Tobermory, Ontario

Dr. Isabelle Cochrane


Baie-St-Paul, Quebec 

Dr. Brian Geller

SRPC Member

Regina, Saskatchewan

Lisa Hetu

Administrative Manager, Rural Education Action Plan

Vancouver, British Columbia

Dr. Stuart Iglesias

SRPC Member

McDougall, Ontario

Dr. Sivaruban (Ruban) Kanagaratnam 

SRPC Member

Swift Current, Saskatchewan

Kristen Kluke

SRPC Project Coordinator

Campbell's Bay, Quebec

Dr. Sarah Lespérance

SRPC President, Chair

Petitcodiac, New Brunswick

Kàh enti:ne Maracle

SRPC Resident Member & Indigenous Representative

Tobermory, Ontario

Dr.  Gavin Parker

SRPC Treasurer

Pincher Creek, Alberta

Daria Parsons

SRPC Project Manager

Toronto, Ontario

Dr. Sonja Poole

SRPC Resident Member

Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

Dr. James Wiedrick

SRPC Member

Nelson, British Columbia


Funded by the Government of Canada's Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program.

Financé par le Programme de solutions pour la main d’œuvre sectorielle du gouvernement du Canada.

Contact us

Phone: 1 877-276-1949