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Specialist Training Program (STP)
The Department of Health STP and IRTP Expression of Interest (EOI) is now closed.

The Government has extended the Specialist Training Program (STP) to cover the 2017 academic year on the same basis as 2016. The specialist medical colleges will be allocated the same number of training posts and the funding levels for the various components of the program will remain at 2016 levels.

The STP seeks to extend vocational training for specialist registrars into settings outside traditional metropolitan teaching hospitals where trainees can obtain skills and benefits from learning experiences to meet the professional standards required of their discipline that are not generally available in conventional training arrangements.

Aims and Objectives
The aims and objectives of the STP are to:
  1. increase 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. supplement the available specialist workforce in outer metropolitan, rural and remote locations; and
  3. develop specialist training arrangements beyond traditional inner metropolitan teaching settings:
  4. with rotations to accredited training posts in health care settings that include private hospitals; specialists’ rooms; clinics and day surgeries; Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service (ACCHS); publicly funded health care facilities which can provide training opportunities not previously available, particularly in areas of workforce shortage (such as regional, rural and community health settings); and non-clinical settings (such as simulated learning environments);
  5. with training in these settings fully integrated with and complementing training occurring at the major public teaching hospitals; and
  6. that provide training for Australian specialist trainees, overseas trained doctors (OTDs) and specialist international medical graduates (SIMGs) in pursuit of Fellowship of the relevant College within the boundaries of Australia.
The aims and objectives of the Program must be achieved without an associated loss to the capacity of the public health care system to deliver services.

Integrated Rural Training Pipeline (IRTP)

On 15 December 2015 in the 2015 Mid-Year Economic Fiscal Outlook, the Department of Health established the Integrated Rural Training Pipeline (IRTP) for Medicine. This initiative will help to deliver a sustainable, Australian-trained future medical workforce for regional, rural and remote communities.

The Project comprises three linked and complimentary components:
a. Regional Training Hubs: to build capacity across the different levels of medical training based at existing Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training Program sites using the network of 18 Rural Clinical Schools and 12 University Departments of Rural Health (UDRH). Once established from 2017, Regional Hubs will be designed to enable students to continue rural training past university into postgraduate medical training, helping to identify available places and match students with appropriate training opportunities across various medical specialties.

b. Rural Junior Doctor Training Innovation Fund: to foster the development of new ways of rural junior doctor training with a targeted investment to enable rural-based interns to spend time in general practice, building on the rural training networks for junior doctors that are funded by the state and territories.

c. IRTP Specialist Training Program (STP) places: a targeted expansion to the STP initiative providing new rurally based specialist training places, as described further below. The IRTP-STP measure will allocate 50 new posts in 2017 and another 50 in 2018. This will enable the Specialist Training Program to provide 1,000 ongoing places by 2018.

Reserve Lists
Training settings that lodged an EOI in 2016 and are assessed by the colleges and jurisdictions to be potential suitable STP posts will be placed on the Reserve List to be managed by the relevant specialist medical college. Posts on the Reserve List may be funded in the event that a successful post does not go ahead in 2017 or 2018. The colleges will be responsible for managing the Reserve List in consultation with the Department.

Unsuccessful EOIs
There is no appeals process. Decisions are final. Organisations which have not been added to the Reserve List through the EOI process, may seek feedback from the Colleges. Noting that decisions will have been made on a complex range of considerations. These considerations include the support of a post by both the jurisdiction and the relevant College.

STP Reporting Requirements and Templates

As per the terms of the STP Funding Agreement, all Posts need to submit progress reports periodically.

FTP Funding and Administration Agreement Reporting

Due date Report Funding Agreement Reference Payment Date
13 January 2017 STP & IRTP Candidate Privacy and Consent Form Annexure B N/A
13 January 2017 Progress Report Annexure D March 2017
28 February 2017 Candidate Annual Training Plan   N/A
June Candidate In-Training Assessment Report   N/A
14 July 2017 Progress Report Annexure D August 2017
November Candidate In-Training Assessment Report   N/A

Rural Loading supplementary funding

Training posts that are located in a rural or regional setting may be eligible for up to $20,000 (GST exclusive) per 1.0FTE, per annum in supplementary funding to cover any additional costs incurred by the trainee. Australian Standard Geographic Classification (ASGC) Remoteness Area (RA) status can be determined by visiting the DoctorConnect website:

These STP posts have been acknowledged by DoH as regionally based and eligible for Rural Loading prior to claim.

Activities that could be supported by Rural Loading (please note these examples do not cover all activities):

Equipment – videoconferencing or teleconferencing, i.e. does the Post have unmet or difficultly meeting the communication needs of the Training Post?

Travel costs – accommodation/rent subsidies, flights, car mileage, travel costs associated with relocation.

Training program requirements – training activity costs and travel and accommodation associated with those costs.

For more information

Contact Valerie Ramsperger at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or at the National Office on 03 9824 4699

For further information regarding the STP or IRTP, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or go to the Department of Health website:

Enquiries regarding STP at RACMA should be directed to Valerie Ramsperger at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or contact 03 9824 4699.

Acknowledgement: The Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators has received Australian Government funding under the Specialist Training Program.
Last Updated on Friday, 02 December 2016 10:09