Courses and programs

Psychiatry Training Program

The NSW Training Experience - Information for Trainees

Psychiatry training in NSW equips trainees to make a difference to the lives of a diverse range of people and their support networks.

Trainees start their journey at hospitals across NSW Health, working with people that have mental health challenges/disorders in a supportive, multi-disciplinary team context under the supervision of an experienced Staff Specialist.

Trainees' development and learnings are guided by opportunities in metropolitan, regional and rural centres, which provide experience with local communities as they progress through Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) training requirements.

Choosing Psychiatry - Career Pathways and Opportunities

In collaboration  with the RANZCP Psychiatry Interest Forum, HETI hosted a virtual event that showcased the breadth and diversity of psychiatry careers in NSW.  The recording of the session can be viewed below.

Benefits and Strengths of the NSW Psychiatry Training Program

The NSW Psychiatry Training Program offers trainees a coordinated, networked approach to training that brings together the health system, hospitals, Medical College and experienced doctors to ensure that the on-the-job training available in NSW is the best on offer in Australia.

The joined up, collaborative approach that underpins the NSW Psychiatry Program means that trainees are welcomed into hospitals, departments and clinics across NSW and supported by Network staff, doctors and other health professionals committed to sharing their knowledge and skills.

RANZCP is responsible for assuring the quality of training experienced by trainees and the certification of specialists in Psychiatry.

Requirements of Psychiatry Training

Junior Medical Officers in NSW can apply and if successful, commence training to become a psychiatrist with the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) Fellowship Program provided they have:

  • Successfully completed a medical degree
  • Completed at least one year (FTE) of general medicine training
  • Current general registration as a medical practitioner in Australia or New Zealand.

The Psychiatry training program involves 5 years (FTE) of training which occurs across three stages:

  • Stage 1 (12 months FTE)
  • Stage 2 (24 months FTE)
  • Stage 3 (24 months FTE)

Further information about Stages of, and sub-specialty training as part of the RANZCP Fellowship training program, including entry prerequisites, selection criteria and requirements, can be found on the RANZCP website.

How Training Networks Function to Benefit Trainees and Services

There are 5 Psychiatry Training Networks in NSW and each is governed by a Network Governance or Training Committee (NGC/NTC). All Networks are managed by a Network Director of Training (NDoT) and supported by an Education Support Officer (ESO). The five Networks are:

Trainees benefit from the Networked approach where each Network provides a complete RANZCP accredited program including Stage 1 and Stage 2 (Basic) training and completion of Stage 3 (Advanced) training.

Each Network optimises the quality of training available at each site and ensures the equitable distribution of trainees across the Network. As trainees rotate through the different terms of the Psychiatry training program, they are exposed to a broad range of sub-specialty areas and learn through clinical and individual supervision, dedicated teaching time and RANZCP examination preparation sessions. Trainees will work in both city, regional and rural hospitals in the course of their training.

Information about each Psychiatry Training Network, including teaching supports and the education program is available by contacting the Network Director.

How to be a Psychiatry Trainee in NSW

Join a Training Network – Recruitment

Recruitment into Psychiatry training is a collaborative venture of NSW Local Health Districts and Specialty Networks, the Psychiatry Training Networks and the RANZCP. Trainees in NSW can join a Training Network through the annual medical recruitment process for a length of training contract, during the annual medical recruitment campaign led by the NSW Ministry of Health. A requirement for joining a Psychiatry Training Network is selection into the RANZCP Fellowship training program, further information on this program, including entry, can be found on the RANZCP website.

The Annual NSW Health Psychiatry Centralised Recruitment process is open to all eligible medical doctors who are seeking to enter the Psychiatry Training Program. Any Stage 2 Trainees who require additional time beyond their original contract must apply through AMR if they have not obtained a contract through local recruitment processes before the AMR campaign.

If you are a current trainee in a Network and are looking to change Networks, it is recommended that you contact the Network Director of your preferred Network to seek information on term availability and how this fits into your remaining training requirements.
Please refer to the NSW Ministry of Health information portal for updates and further information on Annual Medical Recruitment.

Vacancies in Training Networks may occasionally exist outside of the annual recruitment campaign (July-October) and are managed on a Network by Network basis through advertisements on Information regarding the opportunities and training available within each Network can be obtained from the Network Director of Training, the Education Support Officer.

Online Recruitment Information Session

An online information session was held on Tuesday 26 July 2022.  Below is the recording of that session.  Information in relation to the topics covered can be found at:

  • Rural Training - Northern NSW LHD - 3:11
  • Rural Training - Orange Health Service -  14:29
  • Sydney West and Greater Southern Psychiatry Training Network -  24:42
  • Hunter New England Psychiatry Training Network - 43:36
  • Sydney South West North Coast Psychiatry Training Network - 56:04
  • South Eastern Sydney Illawarra Psychiatry Training Network - 1:14:10
  • Northern Sydney Central Coast Psychiatry Training Network - 1:25:15
  • Recruitment Process - 1:39:15

Join the College – Selection

To qualify for accredited positions within Networks, Psychiatry trainees need to also join the RANZCP. You can find details of the College’s selection process for the Fellowship Program on the RANZCP website.

Select an FEC (with links to academic and education support in NSW)

Trainees need to select a Formal Education Course (FEC) as a component of their training in addition to Networked training opportunities. In NSW, 3 organisations run RANZCP accredited courses:

HETI Higher Education
Learning Pathways Unit

T:  02 9844 6111


Hunter New England Training in Psychiatry (HNET)
HNET Medical Education Support Officer

T:  02 4033 5157


The University of Sydney Brain and Mind Centre
Trudy Stone, Student and Academic Manager

T:  02 9114 4048


Both HETI Higher Education and the University of Sydney Brain and Mind Centre provide the additional option of completing these programs within a TEQSA accredited Postgraduate Masters course framework. The University of Melbourne also offers a Master of Psychiatry.  Their student support team can be contacted on 03 8344 0149.

It is recommended that trainees explore each of the above training program options to determine which provider will best meet their individual needs.