What the program is

The Specialist Training Program helps cover the salaries of trainee specialists in training positions outside the traditional metropolitan teaching hospitals.

It gives participants experience of a broader range of healthcare settings, including:

  • private hospitals
  • specialist rooms
  • clinics and day surgeries
  • Aboriginal Medical Services
  • non-clinical settings.

The program supports training posts through specialist medical colleges, including:

  • 920 training places
  • an additional 100 training posts through the Integrated Rural Training Pipeline
  • supervisor and trainee positions, as well as education and infrastructure, under the Tasmanian Project. 

Aims of the program

The Specialist Training Program aims to:

  • improve the specialist workforce by providing quality training posts in different settings to broaden the participants’ experiences
  • increase the number of specialists working in regional, rural and remote areas.

How the program works

To help cover the annual salary of trainee specialists, we provide colleges with:

  • $105,000 per full-time equivalent position
  • an additional $25,000 Rural Support Loading allowance for training positions in regional, rural and remote areas
  • a Private Infrastructure and Clinical Supervision allowance of $30,000 for training positions in a private sector setting.

Who delivers the training

Training must take place in a facility accredited by one of the 13 specialist medical colleges that have a funding agreement with us.

These colleges set professional standards, accredit training settings and coordinate education and training of future college fellows.

The funded colleges are:

Specialist Training Program operational framework

The operational framework outlines the aims, objectives, outcome parameters and governance of the Specialist Training Program, as well as updated information on funding activities and earlier application rounds.

COVID-19 update

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant disruption to the health workforce. Some trainees might need to be redeployed to areas outside the usual scope of practice.

We understand the need for flexibility, and Specialist Training Program funding will continue.

We ask colleges to keep us up to date with any action they are taking in relation to the pandemic.  

Stakeholder Engagement

The Minister for Regional Health, the Hon Dr David Gillespie MP, hosted a roundtable on 3 December 2021 with all 13 non-GP specialist medical colleges (Colleges) to discuss the maldistribution of specialist doctors in rural and remote Australia and possible avenues to work together to resolve the issues.

A collaborative ‘Call to Action’ was agreed to work towards improving access to quality specialist medical care for all Australians, regardless of their geographic location.

The Outcomes of the meeting can be viewed below:

Eligibility

Specialist training places

Trainees must complete at least half of their specialist training in either:

Integrated Rural Training Pipeline

Under the Integrated Rural Training Pipeline, specialist trainees:

  • must show a commitment to working in a rural area
  • must complete at least two-thirds of their fellowship training (2 years) in a rural area
  • may complete metropolitan rotations, to meet college education and accreditation standards.

Tasmanian project

Funding under the Tasmanian Project supports the training and retention of specialist doctors in the Tasmanian public health system.

Applying for a new training post under the STP

The new post process is the only way that new posts can be approved for funding under the STP. 

The new post process has closed for 2022. For further information on future new post processes, please speak with the relevant specialist medical college.

Contact

Specialist Training Program contact

Contact us for information about the Specialist Training Program.

Postgraduate.Training [at] health.gov.au

View contact

Last updated: 
13 May 2022