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Specialist Training Program
Private Infrastructure and Clinical Supervision program
The Private Infrastructure and Clinical Supervision (PICS) allowance was introduced to the Specialist Training Program (STP) as part of the 15 March 2010 National Health and Hospitals Network initiative "Expand and Enhance the Specialist Training Program". The allowance has provided funding support for clinical supervision and training infrastructure from the beginning of the 2011 academic year for all private sector STP training.

The PICS allowance recognises the cost of delivering training in the private sector with funding designed to contribute to meeting these costs. Funds are provided to the training settings to assist in the provision of a high quality training environment for both trainees and supervisors.

The Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators (RACMA) is engaged by the Department of Health (DoH) to administer this funding. In arrangements similar to those since 2011, RACMA will be responsible for distributing 2015 funds to eligible applicants across the private health service sector. Eligibility for the PICS allowance will be determined at the time of the original STP application based on the eligibility requirements. All eligible applicants will be advised of their eligibility by RACMA.

RACMA will be distributing funds to private settings that have specialist training posts whose eligibility is continuing on from 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 and to private settings that have new posts eligible in 2015.

STP posts that were provided with PICS funding in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 will be contacted by RACMA to confirm eligibility in 2015. Organisations that did not receive PICS funding in 2011, 2012, 2013 or 2014 but have new training posts eligible for PICS in 2015 will be contacted by RACMA to verify details for the administration of the PICS funding allowance.
 
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Frequently Asked Questions

PICS FAQ Sheetdownload pdf
  1. I don't completely understand what the Private Infrastructure and Clinical Supervision (PICS) Program is, nor its relevance to my organisation, can you please explain?
  2. Is it simple to claim PICS funding?
  3. What is RACMA's involvement in the PICS program?
  4. What is the value of the funding?
  5. What is meant by FTE?
  6. What is regarded as the 'private sector' for the purpose of PICS funding?
  7. What is the funding based on?
  8. What do I have to do to get the funding?
  9. When do I get the funding?
  10. How is the funding paid?
  11. Do I have to submit a tax invoice?
  12. Do I have to submit a report?
  13. How long does the PICS program run for?
  14. What can private infrastructure funding be spent on?
  15. What can't private infrastructure funding be spent on?
  16. How is clinical supervision defined for the purpose of PICS funding?
  17. Once funding has been approved, who can sign the RACMA Funding Agreement?
  18. Is there more information on the internet?
  19. Who should I contact at RACMA for further information?






1. I don't completely understand what the Private Infrastructure and Clinical Supervision (PICS) Program is, nor its relevance to my organisation, can you please advise?

The Private Infrastructure and Clinical Supervision (PICS) Program was introduced to the Specialist Training Program (STP) as part of the 15 March 2010 National Health and Hospitals Network initiative “Expand and Enhance the Specialist Training Program”. The PICS Program was designed to provide funding support for clinical supervision and training infrastructure from the beginning of the 2011 academic year for private sector STP training.
 
Organisations that were provided with PICS funding in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 will be contacted by RACMA to confirm their eligibility in 2015. Organisations that did not receive PICS funding in 2011, 2012, 2013 or 2014 but have new training posts in 2015 will be contacted by RACMA to advise of their eligibility for PICS in 2015
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2. Is it simple to claim PICS funding?

For new applicants in 2015:

Organisations that have new STP training posts in 2015 will be contacted by RACMA to advise of their eligibility for PICS in 2015.
 
If you need any information and assistance or have any questions about the process, please call the PICS Team at RACMA on 03 9824 4699 – and we will be happy to assist.
 
Continuing Eligibility – 2011 to 2015:

RACMA will once again be distributing funds to settings with specialist training posts whose eligibility is continuing on from 2011, 2012,2013and 2014 into 2015. Organisations that were provided with PICS funding in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 will be contacted by RACMA to confirm their eligibility in 2015.
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3. What is RACMA's involvement in the PICS program?

RACMA has been engaged by the Department of Health (DoH) for this project to administer services to the DoH Private Infrastructure and Clinical Supervision (PICS) Program.

In performing this administrative role, RACMA will:
  • administer the PICS funding for eligible private sector STP training sites, in consultation with DoH;
    • establish funding agreements with all new eligible PICS settings; and report to DoH on how the contracts have been set up;
    • establish a Deed of Variation with training organisations who have an established PICS funding agreement with RACMA; and report to DoH on how the deeds have been set up; and
  • report to the DoH on the distribution of PICS funding and whether the objectives of the project have been met.
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4. What is the value of the funding?

The maximum amount of funds that RACMA will provide under this Agreement for each private sector FTE* training post is $30,000 (GST exclusive) per annum, pro rata for clinical supervision and $10,000 (GST exclusive) pro rata, once in any three year period for private infrastructure.

*A definition of FTE is explained in the answer to the next question.
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5. What is meant by FTE?

Full Time Equivalent (FTE) – in relation to training sites
  • FTE is the full time equivalent amount of time a trainee supported under STP spends in a particular training site. While the FTE workload of a trainee may differ between specialties and is not calculated on an hourly/weekly basis, it is to reflect a full academic year’s training.
  • A single training position supported under STP may rotate through a number of training sites, therefore the level of FTE for a training site may not be the same as the amount of FTE supported as salary contribution under STP for the training position.

Source: Department of Health and Ageing, Private Infrastructure and Clinical Supervision (PICS) Program – Addendum 4 of the Specialist Training Program Guidelines Amended April 2011

RACMA FTE clarification

FTE is not calculated in the same way as headcount. It is a measure of the amount of time an individual works. Consider an organisation where a full-time employee is required to work 40 hours a week. An individual working 40 hours has an FTE of 1.0. If an employee in that organisation works 20 hours a week, then they have an FTE of 0.5.

FTE with respect to the PICS funding eligibility is based on the amount of time the STP post is based in a private health setting, for example, an STP post may be 1.0 FTE however, 0.5 FTE of the role is in a public setting and 0.5 FTE of the role in a private setting.  Only the FTE in the private setting is eligible for PICS funding.
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6. What is regarded as the 'private sector' for the purpose of PICS funding?

The DoH definition of "Private" relates to the facility and its ownership.  A private setting is not a publicly owned facility treating private patients.
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7. What is the funding based on?

Infrastructure allowance

The infrastructure allowance is attached to the training site, not the trainee or the supervisor, and will be linked to a specific STP training position. Posts are only eligible for infrastructure allowance funding once in any three year period.  2012 posts who received the infrastructure funding in 2011 will again be eligible for infrastructure funding in 2015. (see the PICS Eligible Infrastructure and Supervision Guidelines 2015).

In cases where a health care facility has more than one STP training post, the training allowance may be aggregated and used across the facility for the benefit of the whole training cohort.

For example, a private health care facility may provide training in the specialties of surgery, paediatrics and psychiatry. Funding may be provided based on the total FTE supported at the facility under STP, and used to provide resources for training of a generic benefit to all.

Conversely, where a training position rotates through a number of different health care facilities, each private sector facility within the rotation may be eligible for infrastructure support, at a pro-rata rate based on the amount of FTE training provided.

Clinical supervision allowance

The clinical supervision allowance is attached to a supervisor, not the trainee or the health care facility providing the training, and will be linked to a specific STP training position.

In cases where a supervisor has responsibility for more than one trainee supported under STP, the clinical supervision allowance may be aggregated and used for the benefit of all the supervisor’s STP registrars.

Under STP, supervision activities eligible for funding include:
Administrative support
Support for activities which promote and maintain good work standards, coordinate practices and policies which lead to efficient and smooth running training experience;
Educational support
Activities which help coordinate the educational development of trainees to ensure delivery of a training experience that contributes towards fellowship training of the relevant college;
Trainee employment support
Effective support projects to ensure the trainee’s entitlements are met;
Networked supervision support
Development of networks of training which facilitate seamless transition between training sites that ensures that trainees receive high quality, appropriate training that coordinates supervision across the network; and
Supervisor development training support
Training programs aimed at enhancing supervisors' leadership and management skills.

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8. What do I have to do to get the funding?

Funding is available to STP posts approved by the Department of Health (DoH) as eligible for PICS. Organisations that have new training posts eligible for PICS funding in 2015 will be contacted in the first instance by RACMA.
 
If you need any information, assistance or have any questions about the process, please call the PICS Team at RACMA on 03 9824 4699 – and we will be happy to assist.
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9. When do I get the funding?

When eligibility details for each 2015 STP training post have been confirmed by the health setting to RACMA, RACMA will issue a Secondary Funding Agreement or a Deed of Variation (whichever is applicable). Once a completed Secondary Funding Agreement (SFA) or Deed of Variation (DOV) has been returned, a Progress Report will be due in line with submission dates identified in the SFA or DOV. The first 50% of the PICS funding entitlement will be paid upon acceptance of the Progress Report.

The balance of funds will be paid on acceptance by RACMA of a final report from the recipient informing RACMA that the funded activity has been successfully completed for the academic year.
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10. How is the funding paid?

The funds will be paid directly into a bank account nominated by the recipient in the Secondary Funding Agreement or Deed of Variation. Funds will be distributed in accordance with the reporting requirements outlined in the Secondary Funding Agreement or Deed of Variation.
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11. Do I have to submit a tax invoice?

Yes, the recipient will need to submit a tax invoice with both the progress and final reports to be paid funding. Details of the tax invoice requirements are included in the Secondary Funding Agreement or Deed of Variation schedules.
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12. Do I have to submit a report?

A progress report and final report per academic year must be submitted in accordance with the submission dates outlined in the Secondary Funding Agreement or Deed of Variation. Templates for each report are included in Schedule 1 in either the Secondary Funding Agreement or Deed of Variation sent to you by RACMA.
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13. How long does the PICS program run for?

The PICS program will run until the end of 2016, in line with the Specialist Training Program (STP).  Funding is per academic year and paid in arrears. Both Secondary Funding Agreements and Deeds of Variation entered into with RACMA in 2014 will cover both the 2014 and 2015 academic years, pending eligibility being approved by DoH again in 2015.
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14. What can private infrastructure funding be spent on?

Resources which provide for, or enhance, the training experience delivered by the STP training position, including
  • training room outfitting, including purchasing specific training equipment such as microscopes for trainees and training simulation equipment;
  • minor renovation of existing facilities to make space within the training setting suitable for use in registrar training;
  • videoconferencing facilities;
  • investments in on-line educational training software; and
  • overhead infrastructure in general i.e. office asset equipment purchases such as computers; phones; desks; IT equipment and associated facilities that will be used by trainees and their supervisors.
(see the PICS Eligible Infrastructure and Supervision Guidelines 2015).
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15. What can't private infrastructure funding be spent on?

Resources which may be required for the activity of clinical training which are excluded, i.e., not eligible, for funding support are:
  • the use of infrastructure funding to contribute to operational expenses such as salaries, training courses or ongoing building maintenance costs;
  • the purchase of office consumables and other recurrent items such as stationery and printer cartridges, recurrent telephone line and rental costs, including phone call costs, as well as uniforms and cleaning products;
  • major capital works projects involving the construction of new facilities, including as a funding contribution towards the total cost of larger capital projects, or as a funding contribution towards the purchase of substantial medical equipment used in service delivery rather than specifically for training;
  • hospital consumables used in the treatment of patients;
  • recreational equipment; and
  • operational expenditure for initial training post setup, including any costs associated with the process of gaining accreditation for training.
(see the PICS Eligible Infrastructure and Supervision Guidelines 2015).
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16. How is clinical supervision defined for the purpose of PICS funding?

Direct or first-hand observation of teaching and involves face to face and other associated interactions between the trainee and the clinical supervisor. Generally clinical supervision will be provided by a senior practitioner. The role of the clinical supervisor is to ensure that trainees achieve the established goals or tasks contained in their training curriculum.
 
The supervisor’s administrative role requires an understanding of complex systems that are constantly in transition. As the medical system and training requirements change there may be additional administrative burdens placed on the clinical supervisor.
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17. Once the funding has been approved, who can sign the Secondary Funding Agreement or Deed of Variation?

The ‘Execution Page’ of the Secondary Funding Agreement or Deed of Variation (pages 29 and 45 of the funding agreement and pages 2, 19 and 23 of the Deed of Variation) must be completed with two signatures – one a company director and the other a company director or company secretary. It is important that the Execution Pages are signed by directors of the company. Signatures must be hand written to comply with Sections 126 and 127 or the Corporations Act 2001.
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18. Is there more information on the internet?

Information about the PICS allowance is available at RACMA’s website at:
www.racma.edu.au

Further information can be obtained by contacting DoHA at: www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/work-spec
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19. Who should I contact at RACMA for further information?

Christine Cottrell is RACMA's National Project Manager for the PICS project and can be contacted at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
You can also contact the following PICS Account Managers:

Anna Medvedeva - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Sarah Thompson This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

All of the RACMA PICS team can be contacted by telephone on 03 9824 4699.


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Last Updated on Monday, 23 January 2017 17:34