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The Specialist Training Program

The Specialist Training Program (STP) is a Federal Government initiative aiming to expand specialists training opportunities outside traditional public teaching hospitals. It provides yearly salary support for each full-time equivalent (FTE) training position, subject to an annual indexation, with the employer responsible for covering any gaps and additional employment expenses. Successful full time posts with a 100% private rotation, may receive extra funding through Private Infrastructure and Clinical Supervision (PICS) funds, up to $30,000 per year (pro rata). This allowance supports activities like administrative and educational assistance, as well as supervisor development training, ensuring effective supervision for STP-funded trainees.

Posts with rotations in areas classified MMM2-MMM7 under the Modified Monash Model (MMM) are eligible for a Rural Support Loading (RSL) of $25,000 per year (pro rata). RSL funds can be used for educational coordination, trainee-related costs (e.g., textbooks, relocation, accommodation etc.), and expenses associated with outreach clinics during specialty training.

Eligibility

For a training post to be eligible for STP funding, at least 50% rotations of the training post must be in health care settings beyond traditional metropolitan public teaching hospitals, this includes:

  • Private hospitals
  • Specialists’ rooms
  • Clinics and day surgeries
  • Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service (ACCHS)
  • Publicly funded health care facilities such as regional, rural and community health settings classified MMM2-MMM7
  • Non-clinical settings (such as simulated learning environments)

Trainees in private settings will also need to apply to Service Australia to obtain a Medicare provider number as a specialist trainee prior to starting their placement. Their applications must include a completed verification of approved training placement form, which must be signed off by the trainee’s supervisor and RANZCO CEO.

The Integrated Rural Training Pipeline (IRTP)

The Integrated Rural Training Pipeline (IRTP) is also a Federal Government initiative designed to boost the number of trainees and specialists in rural and regional areas (i.e. MMM2-7). Governed by the STP Operational Framework, the IRTP program also provides yearly salary support for each full-time equivalent (FTE) post, covering trainee salary and additional loading support (ASL) for RSL and PICS activities with the employer responsible for covering any gaps and additional employment expenses.

Unlike the STP, IRTP funding can be used to fund training posts in metropolitan public hospitals provided that the trainee completes a minimum of 60% of their training in a MMM 2-7 area.

For more information on the background of STP, please see the STP Operational Framework.

Funding

RANZCO has been contracted by the Commonwealth to manage STP and IRTP funding for Ophthalmology Training and currently administers 19 STP and 3 IRTP positions.

Funding is offered based on the availability funds and priorities set and updated by RANZCO. Presently, these priorities focus on support for new training posts in areas of unmet need and facilitation of essential metropolitan hospital training for regionally based trainees.

Application rounds are generally scheduled in March of each year. For more information, see the DoHAC site and contact RANZCO at stp@ranzco.edu.

Last updated: May 28, 2024

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RANZCO acknowledges our First Australians, the Traditional Custodians of the land
on which we live and work, and pays respect to Elders past, present and emerging.
Gadigal people of the Eora Nation are the traditional custodians of the land
where the RANZCO head office is located.
In recognition that we are a bi-national College, we also
acknowledge the Rangatiratanga of Māori as Tangata Whenua
and Treaty of Waitangi partners in Aotearoa New Zealand.