Specialist Training Program


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STP and IRTP Expression of Interest (EOI) - NOW OPEN

The STP Expression of Interest (EOI) Application Round for 2017 and 2018 positions is now open and will close at 5pm (AEDT) on 30 November 2016.

Specialist Training Program (STP)

The STP is a Commonwealth Government initiative designed to provide opportunities for medical specialist trainees to rotate through an expanded range of settings beyond traditional public teaching hospitals, with an emphasis on training in rural areas and in private settings.

For the first time since 2013, hospital settings have an opportunity to apply for funding via the STP. The Expression of Interest (EOI) is aimed at providing the colleges with new 'Reserve List' posts that will be used to fill current vacancies. Generally a training post vacancy will be replaced by a post in the same specialty. 

Integrated Rural Training Pipeline (IRTP) - General Surgery

The IRTP is a targeted expansion of the Commonwealth Government Specialist Training Program (STP), which aims to help retain medical graduates in rural areas by better co-ordinating the different stages of training within regions, and better funding new places to help meet student demand. RACS has been allocated a minimum of four IRTP posts for 2018.

Funding Amount

Commonwealth funding will be provided to successful facilities at a level of $100,000 (ex GST) per FTE for each College accredited training post.   Posts in rural locations may also be provided with rural loadings of up to $20,000 (ex GST). It should be noted that this program provides a funding contribution towards an accredited training position and does represent complete cost coverage.

Funding Criteria

To be eligible to be considered for STP funding, a hospital position must:

  • be accredited by RACS for Surgical Training or will be commencing the accreditation process in 2017. If a hospital is considering applying for STP funding for 2018 please contact the relevant Specialty Board as soon as possible regarding completing the accreditation requirements.
  • be allocated a SET trainee.
  • be a new post representing a genuine expansion of training (not previously filled, or funded).
  • be supported by the relevant Jurisdiction.

Eligibility to apply for funding is open to both new hospitals that have not previously hosted an accredited SET position, and to existing sites who are interested in expanding their current placements.

Additional IRTP Funding Criteria

In addition to the above requirements, IRTP-funded positions must also:

It is also a condition of funding that the trainees occupying the IRTP positions complete the majority of their training (minimum 66%) within a rural region and demonstrate a genuine commitment to working in a rural area at the completion of their training. Due to this requirement, only General Surgery positions are able to participate in the initiative.

STP Priority Settings

The priorities for the 2017 EOI process are consistent with previous STP funding rounds:

  • The private health sector: For the purposes of the STP, training sites which can be defined as eligible private sector settings are those which do not derive their operational funding directly from a state or territory government.
  • Regional, rural and remote areas: Settings located in Australian Standard Geographical Classification - Remoteness Areas 2-5.

Eligible settings will be ranked by RACS in accordance with these priorities and the level of Jurisdictional support, and then added to the 'Reserve List'.

A focus on 2018 positions

While the online system allows settings to apply for positions commencing in 2017 or 2018, it is unlikely, due to the timing of this process, that new hospital positions will be accredited for a position commencing in 2017. RACS therefore recommends that settings only apply for 2018 funding, unless they have previously contacted the relevant SET Board and have been accredited for SET training for this new position.

Expression of Interest Process

An EOI process has been established by the Department and will be used to assist Colleges to identify potential training sites for the new IRTP posts for 2017 and 2018. The EOI is now open and is available to new training sites and to existing sites who are interested in expanding their current placements. The EOI will close at 5pm (AEDT) on 30 November 2016.

Interested hospitals should complete an EOI via the Department of Health STP website, and should also contact the relevant Specialty Board as soon as possible to commence the hospital accreditation process.

At the conclusion of the EOI, the Jurisdictions will make an assessment of the submissions, followed by RACS. Settings will be notified of the outcome of their EOI submission in early 2017, noting that any offer of STP or IRTP funding would be conditional on the position being accredited by the relevant Specialty Board.

Contact and Information

For further information please refer to the Department of Health STP website, or contact the RACS Training Projects Department via email at stp.admin@surgeons.org or phone +61 3 9249 1243.