Specialist Training Program


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Specialist Training Program (STP)

The STP is a Commonwealth Government initiative designed to provide opportunities for medical specialist trainees to rotate through an expanded range of settings beyond traditional public teaching hospitals, with an emphasis on training in rural areas and in private settings.

RACS manages the funding of 73 STP positions across 8 specialties. Each position has been accredited for training by the relevant RACS Specialty Board.


Integrated Rural Training Pipeline (IRTP)  

Expression of Interest (EOI) for new 2019 positions is now closed.

The IRTP is a targeted expansion of the Commonwealth Government Specialist Training Program (STP), which aims to help retain medical graduates in rural areas by better co-ordinating the different stages of training within regions, and funding new places to help meet student demand.

The IRTP involves the creation of 100 new training posts over 2016-2017 (across participating medical Colleges) targeted specifically to rural locations. These new training positions are designed to enable the trainee to complete the majority of their Fellowship training within a rural region, with only limited metropolitan rotations as necessary.

Regional Training Hubs

  • 26 Regional Training Hubs have been established by the Department of Health to build capacity across different levels of medical training and to work with local health services to help stream students through the rural pipeline.
  • They are required to liaise with hospitals seeking to participate in IRTP and are also encouraged to liaise with Colleges to ensure that College accreditation requirements are met. 
  • Hubs will be expected to work with RACS and the Specialty Boards to assist in identifying potential trainees and develop training options in rural areas.
  • The administration and management of IRTP-STP posts remains the responsibility of RACS and the Specialty Boards.

STP-IRTP Eligibility Requirements

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

  • be located in Australian Statistical Geography Standard - Remoteness Areas 2-5.
  • be a new post representing a genuine expansion of training (not previously filled, or funded). This could be an additional position at an existing accredited teaching hospital.
  • be accredited by for Surgical Training or undergoing accreditation by RACS.
  • be allocated a SET trainee.
  • be supported by the relevant Jurisdiction.

In addition, trainees rotating through the IRTP positions

  • must demonstrate a genuine commitment to working in a rural area at the completion of their training (not necessarily the area in which their training takes place).
  • must complete the majority of their training (minimum 66%) within a rural area (ASGS RA 2-5).

EOI Applications via the Regional Training Hubs

Applications for the EOI process are co-ordinated and submitted by Regional Training Hubs via the Department of Health website. The Regional Training Hubs will collaborate with local healthcare settings and submit EOIs on their behalf.

The IRTP EOI process closes at 5pm (AEDST) on Thursday 5 October 2017.

All new IRTP positions must meet all eligibility requirements and be accredited for training by the relevant RACS Specialty Board.


STP / IRTP Funding Amount

Commonwealth funding is provided to successful facilities as follows (all amounts are annual, per 1.0 FTE and exclude GST):

  • Salary contribution of $100,000
  • Rural Loading $20,000
  • Up to $30,000 for Private Infrastructure and Clinical Supervision (PICS*) support activities.

    (*PICS allowance provides funding support for clinical supervision and training infrastructure for private sector STP training. Funds are provided to the training setting to assist in the provision of a high quality training environment for both trainees and supervisors).

Reporting Requirements for Funded Positions

Participants must submit Progress Reports, along with an invoice for the duration of their STP Agreement. A final report will be required at the end of the funding period.

All reports and invoices must be submitted as per the below schedule to stp.admin@surgeons.org.

STP Reporting Schedule



Due Date

Progress Report 12 and

Progress Report 13

End of Term 2 2016

Start of Term 1 2017

28 February 2017

Progress Report 14 and

Progress Report 15

End of Term 1 2017

Start of Term 2 2017

14 August 2017

Progress Report 16

End of Term 2 2017

9 February 2018


End of Project

2 March 2018

STP Invoicing Schedule

Invoice Due                                    

Salary Support for Specialist Trainees*

Posts Attracting Rural Loading*


January 2017



End of Term 2 2016

February 2017      



Start of Term 1 2017

August 2017



Start of Term 2 2017

January 2018



End of Term 2 2017

*All amounts are GST Exclusive

Please note that invoices will only be processed after the relevant Progress Reports have been submitted and accepted by RACS.


Training Projects Department

Email: stp.admin@surgeons.org 

Phone +61 3 9249 1243

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