22 December 2016

QUT has partnered with the Allied Health Professions’ Office of Queensland (AHPOQ) Queensland Department of Health and James Cook University to develop and trial a generalist education program for rural allied health professionals.

The two-level Allied Health Rural Generalist Education Program, to be rolled out from 2017, will be developed for seven professions:

  • Occupational therapy
  • Nutrition and dietetics
  • Physiotherapy
  • Radiography
  • Pharmacy
  • Podiatry
  • Speech pathology.

Level one of the program will focus on developing skills in graduates and early career practitioners in rural or remote services, or new entrants to rural generalist practice.  The program will be delivered flexibly - tailored to local service priorities and including work-integrated learning.

Level two of the program is at Graduate Diploma level and will suit health professionals who are progressing to full-scope rural generalist practice.

Learning outcomes will include clinical and non-clinical requirements of rural generalist practitioners in the following key areas:

  • Service delivery and professional skills 
  • Rural and remote health context             
  • Profession-specific clinical skills
  • Service-specific clinical skills including extended scope and skill sharing.

Professor Lisa Nissen, head of QUT’s School – Clinical Sciences, said the program would help allied health professionals develop and hone skills to progress in their careers.

“The benefits of this will flow to the rural communities where these professionals provide vital services, and will ensure their patients are receiving the best possible care,” she said.

The preliminary timeframe for the education program trial is:

  • Level 1 (up to 2 years duration): commences 2nd quarter 2017 (trial until September 2019)
  • Level 2 (up to 1.5 - 2 years duration): commences 1stquarter 2018 (trial until December 2019).

Information on the education program will be available on the James Cook University website from early 2017.  The education program will be available to fee paying students working in any allied health context or organisation in Australia.  The fee structure will be developed in early 2017.

Development of the education program represents the next phase of the allied health rural generalist strategy.  It commenced in 2013 as a collaborative initiative of the Queensland Department of Health , Greater Northern Australia Regional Training Network (GNARTN), Northern Territory Department of Health, Western Australia Country Health Services and Department of Health, and the Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health (SARRAH).

Media contact:
Rob Kidd, QUT Media, 07 3138 1841,
After hours, Rose Trapnell, 0407 585 901

Professor Lisa Nissen says the program will help allied health professionals develop and hone skills.


Faculty of Health

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    Faculty of Health, QUT
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    Kelvin Grove QLD 4059