Specialist Training Placements and Support (STPS)

The Specialist Training Placements and Support (STPS) activity is the core of the initiative, providing financial and advocacy support enabling training settings in regional, rural or remote (MM2-7) locations and in private facilities across the nine surgical specialties to host a Trainee.

The funding model consists of a contribution to the Trainees salary and an additional allowance for regional, rural and remote settings (Rural Support Loading), and an infrastructure and clinical supervisor support fund for private facilities (Private Infrastructure and Clinical Supervision (PICS) funding). 

RACS currently funds and supports 61 FTE, there are currently no vacancies.


STP Funding Amount1   Funding Description 
Trainee salary support   $105,000

Annual Trainee salary support of up to $105,000 (per 1 FTE) per annum per training post. From 2022, the contribution is index annually.

Rural Support Loading $25,000 A rural loading allowance of up to $25,000 (per 1 FTE) per annum per training post to support additional costs in hosting a trainee in regional, rural, and remote (MMM 2 – 7) settings. 
Private Infrastructure and Clinical Supervision (PICS)  $30,000 A Private Infrastructure and Clinical Supervision (PICS) allowance of up to $30,000 (per 1 FTE) per annum per training post to support the delivery of STP in Private facilities.

1 Amounts listed are full allowances for 1 FTE per year per post/position.


How to Apply to the STP Reserve List

The Reserve List Post Process is the only mechanism through which eligible settings can apply to have proposed new posts assessed for program suitability.

The Reserve List Process is held annually over a 16-week period from March, consisting of a 4-week application period and a 12-week assessment period. Applications are only accepted via the Department's the online portal available on the Department of Health's online portal.


How the Reserve List Post Process works

The portal is opened to receive applications during the 4-week application stage. Any applications that are incomplete or not submitted by the closing date and time will not be assessed and disregarded. Applications are first assessed by RACS (including the Specialty Training Boards), then the state or territory health jurisdiction and finally the Department of Health. Outcomes are released to RACS within a few weeks following the end of the official assessment period. In turn, outcomes will then be forwarded to the applicant. Posts that have been found suitable for the STP will be added to the RACS STP Reserve List to await a vacancy in RACS' allocated FTE.

The Department of Health manages ‘the Process’ and is the final approving authority to determine an application’s suitability with no avenue to appeal. 

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Reserve List Post Process - 2023

Timeline Date
Application Period (4-weeks)

Opens: Monday 6 March 2023, 9am AEST

Closes: Friday 31 March 2023, 5pm AEST

Assessment Process (12-weeks) From April 2023
Outcomes Released2

From mid-July 2023

2 Release of the Outcomes is dependant on the Department's processes and the date provided is a guide only.

To register your interest, please email stp.admin@surgeons.org.


Eligibility Criteria

To be considered by the Department of Health for the STP Reserve List, the proposed post must satisfy the below criteria.

 Criteria  Detail
Non-traditional training setting

Rural: a minimum of 0.5 FTE of the training position must be held in an MM 2 – 7 classified location.


Private: a minimum of 0.5 FTE of training is to take place in a private setting. "Private" relates to the facility and its ownership and is not a publicly owned facility treating private patients.

Expansion of Training

Must be a NEW position representing a genuine expansion of training in the RACS Surgical and Education Training (SET) Program and has not been previously filled or funded by another source.

RACS Training Post Accreditation Proposed positions must be eligible and able to be accredited by the relevant RACS Specialty Training Board. We recommend applicants seek advice and an endorsement from the relevant RACS Specialty Training Board to ensure eventual successful accreditation.
Visit the RACS Training Post Accreditation or contact your Specialty Training Board, for more information.
Eligible Specialties

From 2023, all nine surgical specialties are eligible to apply to the Reserve List.

Demonstrate Community Need and Medical Workforce Rebalance and Supply

Each application must demonstrate how the proposed post will support the needs of the community they serve and address the imbalance of supply and maldistribution of the surgical medical workforce.

We encourage reference to the National Medical Workforce Strategy and RACS' Rural Health Equity Strategy Action Plan.


To be considered by the Department, the proposed position must be supported by

  1. RACS
  2. the Specialty Training Board, and
  3. the State or Territory Health Jurisdiction.

It is encouraged that all applications are accompanied with supporting documentation from the Local Health Network, Director of Surgery (or equivalent), and the  Hospital/Group CEO outlining the educational benefits to the Trainee, how this post will address community need and redistribution of the surgical medical workforce. 


Ineligibility Criteria

The following is not eligible for funding under the STP.

  • Public Metropolitan training positions (MM1 Classification)
  • Post-fellowship training
  • General practice training
  • Direct costs associated with accreditation of training posts
  • Post that will be occupied by overseas trainees. 
  • Training posts which are not considered to be a new post


STP Support Projects and Initiatives

RACS design, develop and deliver education and training Support Projects for the purpose of supporting the success and sustainability of delivering specialty training in expanded health care settings. Priority is given to projects that support rural and private posts, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander trainees, and cultural safety training in Indigenous healthcare delivery.

Training More Doctors in Tasmania

The Training More Specialist Doctors in Tasmania activity (Tasmanian Project) aims to increase the number of doctors to become specialists in Tasmania by supporting approved Tasmanian specialty training positions, and the training and retention of specialist doctors in the Tasmanian health system.

The funding allocated contributes to creating sustainable surgical training and supervisory positions for the State and the delivery of high-quality health services to the Tasmanian community.

RACS supports 8.4 FTE across the Royal Hobart Hospital and Launceston General Hospital. There are no vacancies, and the project funding is capped.

The STP team works closely with the Department of Health Tasmania to ensure project compliance and how together we can build a sustainable surgical workforce in Tasmania.

More Information

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

Guidelines, Forms and Resources


Specialist Training Program (STP) office
Email: stp.admin@surgeons.org 
Phone +61 3 9249 1283