Specialist Training Program (STP)

The Specialist Training Program (STP) provides support to enable medical specialist trainees to rotate through an expanded range of settings beyond traditional public teaching hospitals, in pursuit of becoming a fellow of a recognised specialist medical college

Page last updated: 01 December 2016

Emergency Medicine Program (EMP)
Integrated Rural Training Pipeline (IRTP) Initiative – STP
Online Expression of Interest (EOI) Process
More Information


From 1 January 2010 the STP became the single Commonwealth grants support program for specialist training.

The two main aims of this program are to:

  • enhance workforce distribution by providing specialist registrars with training opportunities in rural areas and areas of workforce shortage; and
  • increase specialist training capacity and quality by providing educational opportunities in settings where registrars will work once they obtain Fellowship, such as private hospitals, specialists’ rooms and community health settings.

The STP is delivered through twelve (12) specialist medical colleges under funding agreements with the Department. The colleges are:

  • Australasian College of Dermatologists (ACD);
  • Australasian College of Sport and Exercise Physicians (ACSEP);
  • Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA);
  • Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators (RACMA);
  • Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP);
  • Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS);
  • Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG);
  • Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO);
  • Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP);
  • Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR); and
  • Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA).

The number of specialist training places funded by the STP from 2010 to 2017 is:


The STP has now reached its targeted 900 training places.

The level of funding available for training posts is a salary contribution of $100,000 (ex GST) per FTE per year. Posts in rural locations may also be provided with rural loadings, of up to $20,000 (ex GST) per FTE per year.

In addition to establishing specialist training posts, the program also provides funds for a range of support activities, including developing system wide education and infrastructure support projects to enhance training opportunities for eligible trainees

The STP Operational Framework provides a history, aims and objectives, and governance of the program as well as information on activities and earlier application rounds.

Emergency Medicine Program (EMP)

There are two major initiatives under the EMP:

The Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM) is funded to deliver:

  • an additional 22 emergency medicine specialist training posts each year over four years from 2011, reaching the current total of 110 ongoing places in 2015;
  • the Emergency Medicine Education and Training (EMET) programme that enables ACEM Fellows to provide training in emergency departments in regional and rural areas to non-specialist medical staff, including trainees, nurses, paramedics and local GPs; and

The Emergency Department Private Sector Clinical Supervision (EDPSCS) provides funding to private hospitals to support the employment of new private sector clinical supervisor /staff specialist training coordination positions in each of the funded private hospitals.

  • the EDPSCS is currently delivered through eight private hospitals under funding agreements with the Department.

Integrated Rural Training Pipeline (IRTP) Initiative – STP

The government announced the IRTP on 15 December 2015, in the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook. The initiative, at a cost of $93.8 million over four years, will contribute to building a sustainable Australia-trained future medical workforce for regional, rural and remote communities.

The IRTP will have three components;

  • the establishment of up to 30 new training hubs;
  • a Rural Junior Doctor Innovation Fund; and
  • 100 new places over two years in the STP targeted specifically to rural locations.

The additional 100 STP posts will be focused at rural areas and implemented over two years. Fifty posts have been allocated for 2017 with a further 50 to be allocated for 2018. Including these new rural places will increase the total number of ongoing STP places to 1,000 by 2018.

Minister Ley has determined the allocation of the 2017 posts to the 10 colleges participating in 2017.

The Department is liaising with the specialist colleges about proposed models of training specifically, so that they are designed to enable a trainee to complete the majority of their training within a rural region (66%); that trainees selected for IRTP-funded posts must show a commitment to working in a rural area; and that the college’s proposed training model should show a clear, organised training pathway for the trainee.

Online Expression of Interest (EOI) Process

The EOI process is for hospitals and other providers (training settings) that are interested in participating in the STP, EMP and / or the IRTP is now closed.

The EOI process will be used to assist participating medical specialist colleges to:

  • address unfilled posts in the STP and EMP; and
  • identify potential training sites for the new IRTP posts for 2017 and 2018, noting that some sites for 2017 have already been agreed.

The EOI is not a formal departmental application process or request for proposal. A set number of training positions has not been identified in this process, as it will vary between colleges. Not all colleges have unfilled positions.

The process is an opportunity for healthcare settings outside traditional metropolitan teaching settings to consider participation in the STP and to put forward a case for potential support. This includes existing sites who are interested in expanding their current placements.

Training settings interested in developing an EOI should consider the Operational and Priority Framework that has been updated to guide this process. This sets out the core eligibility requirements. The Framework will also help to guide EOI assessments by colleges and state and territory health departments. Further information about assessments will be provided as part of the EOI documentation.

In general, specialist medical colleges will make a decision regarding the outcome of the EOIs. However, some colleges may choose to seek the department’s final approval of their recommendations.

All applicants will be notified of the outcome of their EOI/s in early 2017.

More information

Specialist College Presidents and CEOs Contact Details
Note: this contact list is for the specialist medical colleges currently funded under the STP, EMP and IRTP.

For further information about the STP, EMP or IRTP email specialist.training@health.gov.au.