Registration, Fees and Leave

Registration and Employment 

Trainees selected to the Training Program will be automatically registered with the RACS in accordance with the RACS Trainee Registration and Variation Policy. Trainees must keep the Board up to date with their contact details at all times.  Changes can be sent to set.neurosurgery@nsa.org.au.

Trainees are required to notify the Board of any illness, injury or impairment that may impact on their ability to undertake or complete the Training Program. This notification must be made in accordance with the RACS Ill, Injured and Impaired Trainees Policy. 

Trainees are required to notify the Board in writing within 2 business days of any material change to their employment or medical registration status during their SET Program. For avoidance of doubt, this includes but is not limited to: 

  • details of the commencement and outcome of any disciplinary action taken by the employer;
  • details of any restrictions, conditions, cautions or reprimands placed on the trainee by the employer;
  • details of the suspension or termination of employment;
  • the recording of any undertakings, conditions or cautions on a trainee’s medical registration; and 
  • the expiry, suspension or cancellation of the trainee’s medical registration. 

 
The Board Chair or nominee may suspend a trainee from the SET Program in the following circumstances:

  • Where misconduct procedures have commenced in accordance with Regulation 3.4.5 (Misconduct Procedures); or
  • Where dismissal procedures have commenced in accordance with Regulation 3.5.3 (Dismissal Procedures); or
  • Where the trainee is subject to an investigation by the employing authority, regulatory authority and/or the RACS; or 
  • Where there has been a material change to a trainee’s employment or medical registration status which impacts on their ability to fully participate in the SET Program.   

In the event of suspension, the trainee will be advised in writing as soon as practicable after the decision is made including the reason for the decision and any term or conditions attached to the suspension.  The suspension of the trainee will continue to operate until it is removed by the Board Chair or nominee. The Board Chair or nominee may remove a suspension if the reason for the suspension has been removed or reversed. 

Fees paid by a trainee during a period of suspension are not refundable.  Any period of suspension exceeding four weeks will not be counted towards the minimum training time for the trainee’s Training Program level.

Download the Training Program Regulations here

Training fees


Surgical training fees are approved by the RACS and the NSA each year and are published on the websites.  Invoices are issued prior to the commencement of the training year. The RACS is responsible for invoicing and collection of fees. Trainees who fail to pay outstanding monies owed to the RACS or the NSA will be dismissed in accordance with the RACS Surgical Education and Training Fee and the Specialty Surgical Education and Training Fee policies. 

 The Training Program annual training fee has two components; one component to the RACS and the one component to the NSA.  For the 2018 training year, the fees are as follows:

  • Australian Full Training Fee - RACS Component:  $3,545 (Australian dollars)
  • Australian Full Training Fee - NSA Component:  $3,545 Australian dollars)
  • New Zealand Full Training Fee - RACS Component: $3830.43 (New Zealand dollars)
  • New Zealand Full Training Fee - NSA Component: $3830.43 (New Zealand dollars)
Trainees undertaking part-time clinical training will be charged a reduced fee. Trainees who are not in clinical training (interrupted, deferred, suspended, exam pending) will not be charged a fee by the NSA, but will be charged a fee by the RACS. These fees can be found on the RACS website  (click here to view the RACS fees). All training fees above, including the NSA component, are invoiced by the RACS.

In addition to the above, fees are charged for compulsory courses and examinations which form part of the Training Program requirements. These fees are charged by the RACS and can be found on their website (click here to view the RACS fees).

Applicants to the Training Program are required to pay a registration fee to the RACS and an application fee to the NSA. These fees can be found in the selection registration and application section of this website (click here to view the selection registration and application fees).

Leave 

Trainees undertaking full-time training are entitled to a maximum of four weeks leave per three-month rotation subject to approval by the employing authority.  Trainees undertaking part time training are entitled to the pro-rata equivalent. Periods beyond this may result in the rotation being deemed unassessed and not be counted towards the minimum training time for the trainee’s SET Program level.

The maximum leave entitlement is inclusive of, but not limited to, combined annual, personal, compassionate, parental, study, conference and carer’s leave. 

Deferment and Interruption

New trainees wishing to defer commencement on the Training Program to complete a higher research degree relevant to neurosurgery must be undertaking the higher degree at the time of application for selection.   The maximum period of deferment that will be granted for higher degree research is 12 months.  Additional periods of interruption to continue the higher degree research will not be granted.

Existing trainees wishing to interrupt their Training Program to undertake a higher research degree relevant to neurosurgery may apply for interruption following satisfactory completion of one year of the Training Program. The application must be submitted prior to 1 May in the year prior to the proposed commencement of the interruption.  

Approval of interruption is at the discretion of the Board. The application should address, and the Board may consider the following: 

  • Whether there have been any performance concerns;
  • The topic of the research and research degree;
  • The level of support from the current surgical supervisor:
  • The level of support from the institution in which the research is proposed; and
  • The trainee plan for maintenance of surgical skills during interruption. 

Research interruptions should ordinarily occur during Intermediate Training. Applications for interruptions outside Intermediate Training must demonstrate strong performance in all areas and strong support from the current surgical supervisor and proposed research institution. 

Existing trainees wishing to interrupt their SET Program for other circumstances including ill-health and parenting can apply at any time in writing to the Board. In circumstances of ill-health a medical certificate for the proposed period of interruption must be provided.  

Interruptions will usually be granted in 12 month increments to coincide with the training years.  

Download the Training Program Regulations here

Flexible Training

The Board fully supports the concept of part time training while recognising the complexities in arranging the logistics to make the Training Program feasible.  The Board is unable to guarantee that part time accredited training positions can be identified and requests fulfilled.  The Board is currently working with accredited institutions to establish a list of possible flexible training positions.