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The Australian Government Specialist Training Program (STP) is a Federal Government initiative to increase training posts for specialists outside traditional public teaching hospitals, providing an annual Registrar salary contribution of $102,500 per post in 2018 and increasing to $105,000 in 2019 ongoing.

The STP Operational Framework has been updated and for more information on the background of STP, please view the STP Operational Framework on the Department's website.

The Operational Framework applies to the entire STP which is a set of three initiatives:

  1. Support of 900 training posts through the specialist medical colleges;
  2. The Tasmanian Project that supports the employment of supervisors and Registrars in the Tasmanian public health system; and
  3. The new Integrated Rural Training Pipeline (IRTP) measure that will support 100 training posts by 2018.

The College administers 4 STP Sport and Exercise Medicine posts in settings including private, rural and Aboriginal health settings.
 

Integrated Rural Training Pipeline (IRTP-STP) initiative 

The IRTP initiative is an extension of the existing STP. It will provide 100 positions in 2017 and 2018 (for all medical colleges). The ACSEP has been allocated two IRTP training positions in 2017 and a further position in 2018.

The Integrated Rural Training Pipeline initiative requires Training sites meet the STP aims and objectives as well as the following new IRTP criteria:

  1. The Registrar must spend 66 per cent of the total training time in an RA 2-5 setting
  2. The training post must be accredited
  3. The Registrar must show a commitment to working in a rural area.
     
Rural Support Loading funding

Rural Support Loading (RSL) provides funding of up to $22,500 (ex GST) per STP/IRTP post per annum in 2018. The funding is made available to supplement the additional costs incurred by STP Registrars located in regional and remote Australia, with an Australian Standard Geographical Classification – Remoteness Areas (ASGC-RA) status of 2-5. Remoteness Area status can be determined by visiting the DoctorConnect website

The rural loading provided to ACSEP Registrars is determined by their remoteness category. The amounts below are a guide.

RA1- Nil rural loading

RA2- $15,000 rural loading p/a

RA3- $22,500 rural loading p/a

RA4-5- $30,000 rural loading p/a
 

Private Infrastructure and Clinical Supervision (PICS) Allowance

The aim of the PICS Allowance is to support delivery of the Specialist Training Program (STP) in private sector settings. The Private Infrastructure and Clinical Supervision (PICS) Program provides additional funding for STP posts of up to $30,000 per annum.

The program has been managed for all posts by the Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators (RACMA) until 2017. In 2018 the ACSEP will take over the administration of this funding for their respective STP and IRTP-STP training positions. Transition arrangements are currently in place for all colleges.
 

STP ​Review

In September 2015, the Department of Health began a consultation process about reforms to the Specialist Training Program.

The Department completed the STP Review and the STP Review Final Report was published in 2017.

The Department of Health has announced several key reforms to be implemented from 2018 onwards to ensure the program continues to deliver the best possible outcomes. A key reform is the review of all currently funded STP training positions to ensure each position still meets the aims and objectives of the program.

The ACSEP commenced their review of posts in late 2017 and the review is now complete.  

The STP review criteria are aligned to the STP Operational Framework and the STP Review Guidelines provided by the Department of Health. Training Positions that no longer meet STP aims and objectives will be phased out of the program. 

Generally the key areas to be assessed are:

  1. Contribution to the aims and objectives of STP
  2. Jurisdictional views on workforce need
  3. Past performance of the training position (has site met reporting requirements/delivered excellent Registrar outcomes)
  4. Alignment with ACSEP targets (new targets for rural and remote and private settings)

For more about the College's administration of STP contact g.jackson@acsep.org.au or 03 9654 7672.

Acknowledgement: The Australasian College of Sport and Exercise Physicians have received Australian Government funding under the Specialist Training Program.