Specialist Training Program


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Specialist Training Program (STP)

The Specialist Training Program (STP or Program) is an Australian Commonwealth Government initiative designed to extend vocational training for specialist registrars to a range of settings beyond traditional metropolitan teaching hospitals, with an emphasis on training in regional, rural and remote areas, and private facilities, and to improve the quality and distribution of the future specialist workforce.

The STP provides:

  • Annual trainee salary support of $102,500 in 2018 and $105,000 in 2019 and 2020 for training posts in expanded settings outside traditional public teaching hospitals. STP salary support funding can only be used as a salary contribution for RACS trainees allocated to the position.
  • Rural Loading funding of up to $22,500 in 2018 and $25,000 in 2019 and 2020 for trainee expenses in regional, rural, and remote settings.
  • Private Infrastructure and Clinical Supervision (PICS) allowance, of up to $30,000 per annum for clinical supervision in a private setting and private infrastructure.

RACS administers the Program and the funding of eligible training positions on behalf of the Commonwealth.

For more information on STP, please see the STP Operational Framework on the Department of Health website.

STP Expression of Interest (EOI) - funding for new positions

An EOI process to identify new STP positions was held in March 2018 and has now closed. The EOI submissions were assessed by Jurisdictions and RACS against the STP Operational and Priority Framework. The Commonwealth Department of Health has determined a list of suitable positions based on this assessment. Hospital settings who submitted an STP application have now been advised of the outcome.

The settings that were assessed as suitable for training will be placed on the STP reserve list to be managed by RACS in consultation with the department. Only settings who are accredited for training by the relevant Specialty Training Board will be eligible to be allocated a SET trainee and receive STP funding.

Should the Department of Health announce any future EOI processes for new STP positions, this will be communicated with hospitals and training boards, and advertised via RACS communication and social media channels.

STP Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to be considered for STP funding, a hospital position must:

  • be located in Australian Statistical Geography Standard - Remoteness Areas 2-5; or
  • have a private training component; and
  • be accredited or undergoing accreditation by RACS; and
  • be supported by the RACS and state health jurisdiction;
  • be allocated a trainee for 2019; and
  • be a new position representing a genuine expansion of training (not previously filled, or funded). This could be an additional position at an existing accredited teaching hospital.

Due to the Department of Health workforce considerations, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery (OHNS) positions are excluded from future EOI funding rounds.

RACS Accreditation

Hospitals wishing to access STP funding MUST submit an accreditation application with the relevant SET Board. It is recommended that hospitals commence this process prior to applying for STP funding. The relevant contact details and deadlines for hospital accreditation submissions for new 2020 training positions are provided in the table below:


Accreditation Deadline


General Surgery

31 March 2019

General Surgeons Australia

Orthopaedic Surgery

1 October 2018

Australian Orthopaedic Association


Please contact the Board of Urology

Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand


April 2019 (please contact the Board of Neurosurgery for exact date)

Neurosurgical Society of Australasia

Vascular Surgery

April 2019 (please contact the Board of Vascular for exact date)

Australian and New Zealand Society for Vascular Surgery
(refer to 'contact us')

Cardiothoracic Surgery

Please contact the Board of Cardiothoracic Surgery 

Board of Cardiothoracic Surgery

Paediatric Surgery

Please contact the Board of Paediatric Surgery

Board of Paediatric Surgery



Training Projects Department

Email: stp.admin@surgeons.org 

Phone +61 3 9276 7467

Please refer to the Department of Health website for further information about STP.