Specialist Training Program

The Specialist Training Program (STP) seeks to extend vocational training for specialist registrars into settings outside traditional metropolitan teaching hospitals, including regional, rural and remote and private facilities. The program aims to improve the quality of the future specialist workforce by providing registrars with exposure to a broader range of healthcare settings. STP also aims to have a positive influence on future workforce distribution.

Page last updated: 17 October 2018

Overview

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

The Specialist Training Program funded under the Health Workforce Program fund - Annexure A2 – Medical Training includes three complementary streams:

  • Specialist Training Placements and Support;
  • Integrated Rural Training Pipeline (IRTP) – Specialist Training Program; and
  • Tasmanian Project

The aims and objectives of the STP are to:

  1. enhance the capacity of the health care sector to provide high quality, appropriate training opportunities to facilitate the required educational experiences for specialists in training;
  2. support quality training posts that build the overall training capacity in the system, by extending specialist training into new “expanded” healthcare settings; and
  3. contribute to improving medical workforce distribution.

From 2018 the STP will be delivered through thirteen (13) specialist medical colleges under funding agreements with the department. The colleges are:

  • Australasian College of Dermatologists (ACD);
  • Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM);
  • Australasian College of Sport and Exercise Physicians (ACSEP);
  • Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA);
  • College of Intensive Care Medicine (CICM);
  • 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 2018 is:

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

360

518

600

750

900

900

900

950

1077*

*Inclusive of 100 IRTP placements and emergency medicine training posts.

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 outlines the aims, objectives, outcome parameters and governance of the program as well as updated information on funding activities and earlier application rounds.

Expressions of Interest (EOI) processes are held by the department approximately every two years. If you are interested in participating under the STP please contact your relevant specialist medical college to register your interest. The colleges will be informed first of upcoming EOI processes.

Review of the Specialist Training Program and Emergency Medicine Program

In 2015 the Government announced the Review of the Specialist Training Program (STP) and Emergency Medicine Program (EMP) through a process of consultation with specialist medical colleges and other stakeholders. The Review has now been completed by the department and is available:

The Government has accepted the recommendations of the review and decided to continue its investment into the STP with funding being provided to specialist medical colleges until 2020.

Expression of Interest

An expression of Interest (EOI) round for the STP will be open from 9am Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT) Wednesday 17 October 2018, for a five week period and close at 5pm (AEDT) Tuesday 20 November 2018.

This EOI will be used to expand college reserve lists available under the program. This EOI will be targeted at the following colleges and only target rural and private settings:

    • Australasian College for Emergency Medicine
    • Australasian College of Sport and Exercise Physicians
    • Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists
    • Royal Australasian College of Physicians
    • Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
    • Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists
    • Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists
    • Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists
    • Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia
  • On completion at the five week period, EOI’s will be assessed by the appropriate specialist medical colleges and the relevant jurisdiction to insure they are suitable for STP funding.
  • If an EOI is deemed suitable, the EOI will be placed on a Reserve List to be managed by the relevant specialist medical college.
  • Posts on the Reserve List may be funded in the event that a position becomes available under the program. The colleges are responsible for managing their reserve list in consultation with the department.
  • Posts supported by organisations that have not been added to the Reserve List through the EOI process, may seek feedback from their respective college.
  • Decisions are final and there is no appeals process.

If you wish to participate in the 2018 EOI, please complete the following steps:

1. Register an account on the Account Registration - 2018 STP EOI page. Once your account registration is submitted an email will be sent with a password setup from no-reply@iapply.com.au

Please make sure you check your spam/junk folders if your email hasn’t arrived within 30 minutes after submission.

2. Use your log on details (email and password created) to register your Expression of Interest – 2018 STP EOI to complete the STP EOI process. On successful submission of an EOI you will be emailed a receipt.

Please check your spam/junk folders if your email hasn’t arrived within 30 minutes after submission from no-reply@iapply.com.au

Please contact Postgraduate.Training@health.gov.au if you have further questions about the process.

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 (GST exclusive) over four years, will contribute to building a sustainable Australia-trained future medical workforce for regional, rural and remote communities.

The IRTP has three components:

Twenty-six regional training hubs have been established under the IRTP to work with local health services to help stream students through the medical training pipeline. A regional training hub is a team of people at an established Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training Program location, dedicated to integrating medical training opportunities for medical students, junior doctors and specialists trainees within their catchment area.

Fifty posts were allocated for 2017 (through 10 colleges) with the remaining 50 to be allocated in 2018. Including these new rural places will increase the total number of ongoing STP places to 1,077 by 2018.

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, or IRTP email Postgraduate.Training@health.gov.au.