As the Air Force is unable to provide all RAAF Undergraduate Scheme students with the specialised postgraduate training, experience and competencies required to meet their course's competency-based assessment criteria, at the conclusion of the student's studies, they are required to undertake one to two years postgraduate experience in a civilian institution. Undergraduates are required to source and obtain a placement with a civilian institution.
Registration with state boards required for practice will be reimbursed upon production of receipts.
Postgraduate training is required for the following specialisations.
Medical graduates will be required to undertake postgraduate training of two years' duration, including an internship of one year’s duration, prior to registration and post registration residency of one year’s duration, as directed by the medical registration authorities. The second year of residency is to include a three-month term of approved general practice training.
Medical graduates who do not wish to undertake such vocational training for general practice may apply to 'opt out' by making a formal application through UTW1 on the understanding that the Air Force is subsequently absolved of any obligation in respect of vocational training for that individual. Any such applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Legal graduates will be required to complete practical legal training as required for admission as a solicitor or barrister in a particular state or territory. This may consist of 12 months articles or a practical legal training course at a recognised Institution.
Nursing graduates are required to successfully complete two years of post-registration experience (including one year in a graduate program) at a civilian hospital.
Pharmacy graduates must complete pre-registration training as required by their state board. At least six months training should be undertaken in a hospital setting.
Radiography graduates must complete pre-registration training as required by their state radiography board. At least one years' training should be undertaken in a hospital setting.
RAAF Undergraduates are required to source their own postgraduate employment. The majority of students are able to apply through the university/state governing bodies for a placement. It is important to note that, when applying for a position, you are required to inform the hospital that you are a member of the Air Force, and all monies earned are to be paid to Defence.
If you are unable to gain suitable employment, you are required to inform UTW1 so that alternative arrangements can be made on your behalf.
Once a postgraduate placement has been sourced and accepted, a copy of either the signed acceptance letter or the employment contract must be forwarded to UTW1. This must reach UTW1 no later than 4 weeks prior to your employment commencing. Once received it will be forwarded to Defence Pay Centre (DEFPAC) in Melbourne, who in turn will contact the hospital/institution to organise payment arrangements.
For those specialisations that are required to undertake a second year of postgraduate training, you are also required to obtain your own placement for that additional year, and forward relevant contracts/letters within 4 weeks of commencement. You may choose to remain in the same hospital or change to another hospital.
Note: Normal removal entitlements do not apply if you choose to apply for a graduate program (or change during your residency to a new program) that will require you to move. That is, unless previously approved by UTW1 under exceptional circumstance, if you move for residency by your own choice, you do so at your own expense. It is not usual practice to fund removals, especially interstate removals, for civilian placements except in exceptional circumstances.
Salaries and Payment
Air Force continues to be your employer and to pay your salary and allowances. The hospital/health organisations are required to reimburse the Commonwealth for your services by paying Defence any wages or allowances due to you while undergoing postgraduate training.
You are not to initiate administration resulting in your receipt of payment from the hospital/health organisation. Your salary will continue to be paid by Defence. It is in your interest to comply with any other administrative requests made by the hospital, such as time sheets for leave and RDO purposes. Further, while Defence is your employer for the period of postgraduate training, you are not permitted to enter into any salary packaging arrangements through the hospital/institution.
Rates of pay are outlined in the Pay and Conditions Manual.
Medical Salary Reimbursement
Due to the high wages and significant overtime that medical students often undertake during their internship and residency years, Defence has implemented a system which allows medical officers to be re-credited on a quarterly basis any earning from the hospital that is over and above their military salary. For example, if the military salary is $47 000 per year and the hospital salary is $60 000, then you will receive a lump sump of the difference. This additional payment is paid on a quarterly basis but is reconciled over the full year.
Entitlements for Postgraduate Training
Due to the additional salary structure mentioned above, medical graduates do not accrue any annual leave from the Air Force during their internship nor residency.
Completion of Postgraduate Training
On completion of the designated postgraduate training, you will be required to attend the first available Initial Officer Course. If this course is more than two weeks after the completion of your contract, you will be required to take one of the following options:
- posting directly to your first unit, then be released for Initial Officer Course (health specialisations only and on negotiation with personal manager)
- extend your contract to commencement of Initial Officer Course
- undertake work experience at an Air Force establishment prior to commencement of Initial Officer Course.
Leave Audits (with the exception of the medical specialisation)
For all categories other than medical, who are required to undertake postgraduate training, a leave audit will be conducted at the completion of your civilian training. During the audit, the annual leave balance is reconciled to correctly reflect a zero leave balance (based on the presumption that all members have taken their full entitlement during the postgraduate years).
If you were unable to take your full leave entitlements during the postgraduate training period, you are required to submit a statement from your employing hospital/institution outlining the type and amount of leave remaining, which will then be re-credited to your military leave balance.