Allied Health Rural Generalist Workforce and Education Scheme

 AHRGWES 2019 - 2021


 Project Information 
Project Name  Allied Health Rural Generalist Workforce and Education Scheme (AHRGWES) 
Project Description 

The purpose of the project is to contribute to the outcome of the AHRG pathway as a formal and nationally recognised pathway for allied health professionals’ career development across all service sectors. Implementation involved two streams of work:

  • Implementation of 40 allied health rural generalist training positions within private and non government organisations in rural and remote Australia. 
  • Building mechanisms to establish
 Project Managers  Gemma Tuxworth; Rhiannon Memery 
 Project Sponsor  Assistant Secretary; Rural Access Branch, Health Workforce Division; Commonwealth Department of Health


   Baseline Actual Variance
 Start Date 01/07/2019 20/09/2019 (date of contract execution) 82 days
  02/12/2021 (date project team commenced) 155 days 
Finish date 30/06/2021 30/06/2021 (project funding ceases) 0 days
    30/09/2021 (transition phase) 93 days)
Budget  $3.1 million    


Through managing and executing the AHRGWES project, SARRAH supported private and non-government organisations across rural and remote Australia to implement allied health rural generalist training positions, commencing their workforce development journey on the AHRG Pathway. This project built on the formative work of QLD Health, and subsequent AHRG Pathway implementation in other state health jurisdictions.

Internal reports

The project funding and schedule concluded June 30, 2021. An internal project closure report has been finalised. Summary recommendations are found in Table 1 below.

The following internal reports are available.

Project Closure Report: Allied Health Rural Generalist Workforce and Employment Scheme [Executive Summary]

For a full copy of the the Project Closure Report: Allied Health Rural Generalist Workforce and Employment Scheme please email 

Table 1: Summary of the lessons and recommendations from SARRAH’s AHRGWES Project Closure Report



Stakeholder engagement 

Distribution of training positions during AHRGWES implementation was not evenly spread across jurisdictions and sectors. It is unclear whether this is because of poor stakeholder engagement and/or lack of organisation ‘readiness’ or demand for this workforce initiative.

The project team recommends that future project iterations consider whether full jurisdiction and sector representation is the appropriate approach when assessing, prioritising and allocating training positions; and that promotional and marketing strategies are optimised to reach all sectors and jurisdictions. 

Project management 

The project management team found several necessary elements of AHRGWES implementation to be resource intensive, particularly with regards to assessing and allocating training positions (and the associated impacts on commencement and completion), onboarding and supporting organisations and trainees and managing reallocations of positions and resources for training positions that do not complete.

The project team recommends that future project iterations adopt internal strategies and processes that facilitate early uptake of participants; as well as take steps to optimise the organisation and trainee understanding of the AHRG Pathway to smooth the on-boarding process and set clear expectations of all levels of participating organisations.

AHRG Pathway level 

The project team made several observations regarding the two available AHRG Pathways. A preference of trainees and organisations toward the Level 2 pathway was observed, however due to cohort size and limited pathway completion at project close, these observations are viewed with caution. Additionally the project team observed issues with timing for trainees undertaking the pathway. Those doing the Level 1 pathway found it unrealistic to complete the pathway within the suggested 12 months. Some of those doing the Level 2 pathway found balancing work and other commitments difficult. The independent external evaluation may discover more about these issues.

The project team recommend that future projects implementing the AHRG pathway ensure that budget builds and deliverables allow flexibility for a preference for either pathway level depending on the relevant demand. Additionally future program guidelines review the current timelines and rules for completion to make these more achievable for trainees undertaking the pathway.

Monitoring and evaluation 

The independent external evaluation will add depth and detail to this project closure report contributing to the evidence for the AHRG Pathway. It is anticipated that lessons learned and recommendations will become more evident as the evaluation continues.

The project team has observed areas of interest for further investigation that would potentially add depth to the evidence base. These areas include understanding the market drivers for AHRG Pathway demand; factors that influence trainees that do not commence or withdrawal from the pathway; other potential measures or proxy measures of rural allied health services; and the attitudes of the allied health sector towards allied health rural generalism.

External evaluation and report.

An external evaluation is currently being conducted by KBC Australia. This evaluation report is due June 2022.