About STP

In 2020 and 2021, the Australian Government funded the College to develop a STP promotion campaign.

Hear our doctor's share their own experiences of the STP in the full video series, In our own words.

“As a junior doctor working in an Indigenous community, I had a bit of an epiphany when I realised that a lot of the things that drew me to international health and global health were actually present in our backyard.”
— Dr Anna Holwell
Alice Springs Hospital

Watch the series

Funding through this program supports accredited training settings to establish and expand Specialist Training positions.

The program aims to grow the specialist workforce in these areas long-term:

  • regional, rural and remote areas*
  • the private health sector
  • non-hospital settings like aged care, community health and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical services

The STP team is responsible for the administration of funds. All education and curriculum requirements are determined and monitored by each RACP speciality area.

At a minimum, positions must include 50% training in a rural or private setting. Full-time (FTE) positions in metropolitan settings are not eligible for STP funding.

There are 3 types of positions:

  • STP | New Specialist Training positions within Australia of up to 1 year, with at least 50% of training in any of the listed expanded settings. All training must occur at accredited training settings, including rotations.

  • The Tasmanian Project | A Commonwealth initiative to support specialist fellowship training in Tasmania. We currently manage 14 of these positions.

  • Integrated Rural Training Pipeline Initiative (IRTP) | A further extension of STP, the IRTP provides 100 training positions across all medical colleges. We currently manage 19 of these positions. Settings must meet these criteria:
    • Trainee must spend 66% of total training time (or 2 years) in a rural setting*.
    • Setting must be accredited (main and rotation settings).
    • Trainee must show a commitment to working in a rural area.

The Australian Government Department of Health (DoH) sets and monitors our targets for positions. Priority is given to FTE positions in settings that help meet these targets.

Only accredited training settings and rotations are eligible to participate. The DoH determines eligibility criteria and assesses if these settings meet the criteria as part of EOI submissions to join the program. We report back to the DoH on performance.

See the STP Operational Framework for more on the program.

* Regional, rural and remote areas are those with Australian Standard Geographical Classification Remoteness Areas (ASGS-RA) status of 2-5. The DoH announced this will change to the Modified Monash Classification. Determine your remoteness area at DoctorConnect.


DoH | Australian Government Department of Health

EOI | Funding application rounds are referred to as expressions of interest (EOIs). When applications are open, you can submit your application via the Department of Health.

RACP Assessment Forum | A group of RACP education staff and Fellows tasked with assessing applications according to criteria set out in the Educational Imperative Selection Criteria Form.

RACP Educational Imperative Selection Criteria Form | RACP STP selection criteria used to determine the educational merit of the new position. This form must be completed and submitted as part of the online EOI submission.

Reserve List | The list of successful EOI applications. These applications fulfill all qualifying criteria as determined by the DoH, State or Territory health departments and the RACP STP Assessment Forum.

STP Operational Framework | DoH guidelines for the STP program.

Recruitment FAQs

What type of trainee is suitable for an STP post?

Basic trainees can only be placed in posts approved as Basic Training positions.

Advanced Trainees can only be placed in posts approved as Advanced Training positions.

Suitable trainees:

  • dual training trainees if they’re still training for that specialty *
  • overseas trained physicians completing peer review training or top-up training

Unsuitable trainees:

  • overseas trainees looking to complete a rotation in Australia before returning to their country of origin
  • individuals on short term training not registered with us
  • trainees registered with other colleges

* For example, a dual training trainee in neurology and cardiology can be placed in a cardiology position if they’re still completing Advanced Training in Cardiology, even if they completed neurology training and are a Fellow.

Can I recruit a Basic Trainee instead of an Advanced Trainee?

A Basic Trainee can be recruited only if the original funding agreement is for that training level.

If the STP funding is for an Advanced Training position and there are difficulties recruiting an Advanced Trainee, report the post as vacant immediately.

We must seek permission from the STP Advisory Group before placing a Basic Trainee in an Advanced Training position. The site must be accredited for Basic Training for this request to be considered and the position cannot be for more than 1 year. Contact us to learn more.

What happens if I can’t recruit a trainee?

If you’re unable to recruit a trainee for an upcoming rotation, advise us immediately. We can provide advice on how to recruit for the next rotation.

We’re required to manage vacant posts and ensure they’re filled at all times. Where posts are vacant for more than 6 months, the STP Vacant Post Policy applies.

Do I need to recruit a replacement for a trainee going on maternity/personal leave?

Yes, STP does not fund maternity or other long-term leave.

The DoH advises that if a post is to be unfilled for more than 6 months, another trainee should be recruited to the post.

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