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The Rural Skills Upgrade Program provides funding for upfront skills enhancement training of physicians who are new or returning to rural practice or members of Locums for Rural BC looking to prepare for the challenges of rural practice in BC.


Training may be obtained prior to commencing work in an RSA Community or prior to providing service to Locums for Rural BC.


Training opportunities available under this program are flexible in timing and may be up 20 days in length per fiscal year and are usually in the form of one-on-one preceptorships.


Funding for courses and conferences is not available through the Rural Skills Upgrade. Locum Physicians may access funding for selected courses through the Rural Locum CME Program. New rural physicians may access funding for selected courses through the New Rural Physician CME Program.




New physicians are eligible for this program prior to or during the first nine months of rural practice. Physicians who are returning to practice after a leave such as parental leave, long-term illness or disability may access the program if they were in their first nine months of practice prior to the leave.


New or returning rural physicians and must have:

  • a formal commitment to practice in a RSA community;
  • a letter of support from the local Chief of Staff that confirms community commitment and their support of the intended training; and
  • a letter of support from the health authority regional medical director (or equivalent)
  • Please review the “Additional Funding Opportunities” section below to explore other programs that may be available to support your training needs.


Physicians who have been practicing in an RSA Community for nine months or longer, should apply through the Advanced Skills and Training Program.


Locum physicians must:

  • be accepted by Locums for Rural BC prior to applying for funding
  • complete a return of service with Locums for Rural BC within one year of completion of training. The return of service commitment must be twice as long as the training commitment and in an eglibile RSA community


To learn more about joining  one of the Rural Locum Programs, please contact Locums for Rural BC.




  • $950 per day stipend to cover income loss, overhead, or tuition
  • reimbursement up to $2,000 for travel costs
  • up to $200 per training day for accommodation, or a boarding cost in the amount of $75 per day


Funds for the Rural Skills Upgrade Program will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.


REAP will not provide funding for courses or conferences, training received outside of BC unless previously approved, or training not relevant to the REAP approved training plan even in cases where other funding sources have been exhausted.


Application Deadline


The application form and all supporting documents must be submitted prior to training, but may be accepted up to one week prior to the end of the fiscal year in which the training began. The fiscal year runs from April 1–March 31.



For program inquiries contact:


REAP Senior Program Assistant
University of British Columbia
#300 – 5950 University Boulevard
Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z3
P: 604 827-1504
[email protected]


For claims and payments contact:


Doctors of BC
#115 – 1665 West Broadway
Vancouver, BC, V6J 5A4
TFP in BC: 1 800 665-2262
P: 604 736-5551
[email protected]


Rural Skills Upgrade Program Guidelines & Policies

View guidelines and policies

To apply for Rural Skills Upgrade Program

Apply here

Additional Funding Opportunities

Emergency Education Program
The Emergency Education Program provides family physicians practicing in smaller rural communities with a three-month, full-time, remunerated fellowship in Emergency Medicine. The Emergency Education Programs provide structured learning that is practical and relevant, offering a unique opportunity for comprehensive skills enhancement in Emergency Medicine.


SRPC’s National Advanced Skills & Training Program for Rural Physicians offers up to 30 days of funding for advanced skills training to rural physicians nationwide who are completing training by March 15, 2024.  Participants must be an SRPC member (or willing to become one) and have been in practice in a rural community for at least 6 months of the past year with a commitment to return.  Further information can be found here.  Please note this funding cannot be combined with a REAP AST or RSU application.

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