Specialist Training Program


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STP and IRTP Expression of Interest (EOI)

An EOI process was conducted in November 2016 to identify new STP (Specialist Training Program) and IRTP (Integrated Rural Training Pipeline) positions. The EOI submissions were assessed by Jurisdictions and RACS against the STP Operational and Priority Framework and the IRTP objectives. The Commonwealth Department of Health determined a list of suitable positions based on this assessment. Hospital settings who submitted an STP or IRTP 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.

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 by the relevant Specialty Board and meets RACS accreditation criteria.

Integrated Rural Training Pipeline (IRTP) - General Surgery

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 better funding new places to help meet student demand. RACS has been allocated a minimum of four IRTP posts for 2018. The Government requires that IRTP-funded positions are occupied by trainees who spend a minimum of 66% of their SET program in a rural location (Australian Standard Geographical Classification - Remoteness Areas 2-5) and demonstrate a genuine commitment to working in a rural area at the completion of their training. Due to this requirement, the IRTP is only applicable to the specialty of General Surgery.

STP / IRTP Funding Amount

Commonwealth funding is provided to successful facilities at a level of $100,000 (ex GST) per FTE for each RACS accredited training post. Posts in rural locations may also be provided with rural loadings of up to $20,000 (ex GST) per FTE. It should be noted that this program provides a funding contribution towards an accredited training position and does represent complete cost coverage.

Funding Criteria

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

  • be located in Australia
  • be accredited  for Surgical Training or undergoing accreditation by RACS. 
  • be allocated a SET trainee.
  • be a new post representing a genuine expansion of training (not previously filled, or funded).
  • be supported by the relevant Jurisdiction.

Additional IRTP Funding Criteria

In addition to the above requirements, IRTP-funded positions must also:

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.

Contact and Information

For further information please refer to the Department of Health STP website, or contact the RACS Training Projects Department via email at stp.admin@surgeons.org or phone +61 3 9249 1243.