Specialist Training Program


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Specialist Training Program (STP)

The Specialist Training Program (STP or Program) is an Australian Commonwealth Government initiative designed to extend vocational training for specialist registrars to a range of settings beyond traditional metropolitan teaching hospitals, with an emphasis on training in regional, rural and remote areas, and private facilities, and to improve the quality and distribution of the future specialist workforce.

RACS administers the Program and the funding of eligible training positions on behalf of the Commonwealth.

For more information on STP, please see the STP Operational Framework on the Department of Health website.

STP Expression of Interest (EOI) - funding for new 2020 positions

The Department of Health has announced that an Expression of Interest (EOI) process for NEW STP positions for 2020 will open from 9am (AEDT) Wednesday 17 October 2018 closing at 5pm (AEDT) Tuesday 20 November 2018. This EOI process is managed by the Department of Health and not RACS and may be accessed here from the opening date.

The STP provides:

  • Annual trainee salary support of $105,000 for training posts in expanded settings outside traditional public teaching hospitals. Expanded settings is defined as being either in a rural location or having a minimum 0.5 FTE private training component. STP salary support funding can only be used as a salary contribution for RACS trainees allocated to the position.

  • Rural Loading funding of up to  $25,000 for trainee expenses in regional, rural, and remote settings.

  • Private Infrastructure and Clinical Supervision (PICS) allowance, of up to $30,000 per annum for clinical supervision in a private setting and private infrastructure.

STP Eligibility Requirements

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

  • be located in Australian Statistical Geography Standard - Remoteness Areas 2-5*; or

  • have a minimum 0.5 FTE private training component*; and

  • be newly accredited or undergoing accreditation by RACS; and

  • be supported by the RACS and state health jurisdiction;

  • be allocated a trainee for 2020; and

  • be a new position representing a genuine expansion of training (not previously filled, or funded). This could be an additional position at an existing accredited teaching hospital.

*Only posts representing a minimum of 0.5 FTE in these settings will be eligible to lodge an EOI.

Due to the Department of Health workforce considerations, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery (OHNS) positions are excluded from this EOI funding round.

RACS Accreditation

Hospitals wishing to access STP funding MUST submit an accreditation application with the relevant SET Board by the following dates. It is recognised that this may require hospitals to complete an accreditation submission before the funding application outcome is known. However failure to apply for hospital accreditation will render the hospital ineligible to be considered for funding.


Accreditation Deadline


General Surgery

31 March 2019

General Surgeons Australia

Orthopaedic Surgery

1 February 2019

Australian Orthopaedic Association


31 March 2019

Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand


1 March 2019

Neurosurgical Society of Australasia

Vascular Surgery

31 March 2019

Australian and New Zealand Society for Vascular Surgery
(refer to 'contact us')

Cardiothoracic Surgery

31 March 2019

Board of Cardiothoracic Surgery

Paediatric Surgery

31 March 2019

Board of Paediatric Surgery


Specialist Training Program (STP) Office

Email: stp.admin@surgeons.org  

Phone +61 3 9276 7467

Please refer to the Department of Health website for further information about STP.