About the training program

  • The NSW Public Health Training Program is a three-year full-time workplace-based training program in public health coordinated by the NSW Ministry of Health.

  • ​Trainees rotate through a series of supervised six-month work placements within the NSW health system.

    Trainees develop skills and knowledge in a range of competency areas outlined in the NSW Public Health Training Program Competency Framework.

  • ​Most traineeships are based in the Sydney metropolitan area. Trainees complete work placements within the NSW Ministry of Health, NSW health services, NSW health pillars (e.g. Cancer Institute NSW), and affiliated population health organisations.

    Trainees may be offered the opportunity to undertake a placement in a rural or regional area of NSW. 

  • ​No. If you successfully complete the program, you will receive a certificate of completion from the NSW Ministry of Health.

    The traineeships are also recognised for the training of medical graduates towards Fellowship of the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians.

  • It is your responsibility to find a job after your traineeship ends. Around 95% of program graduates find work in public health related roles, and about three-quarters are employed by NSW Health immediately after completing the program.


  • ​The traineeships are open to people who have:

    • a masters or doctoral degree in a public health field
    • at least three years of full-time equivalent health-related employment 
    • the right to work in Australia. You must be an Australian Citizen or permanent resident or a New Zealand citizen with a current New Zealand Passport, or a citizen of another country with an appropriate visa that allows you to work in Australia.
  • ​The traineeships are open to people who have:

    • current general registration as a medical practitioner with the Medical Board of Australia
    • a masters or doctoral degree in a public health field
    • at least three years of full-time equivalent health-related employment including at least two years of clinical experience
    • the right to work in Australia. You must be an Australian Citizen or permanent resident or a New Zealand citizen with a current New Zealand Passport, or a citizen of another country with an appropriate visa that allows you to work in Australia.
  • Yes. You must hold current general registration as a medical practitioner with the Medical Board of Australia. 

    You are not eligible to apply for a medical traineeship if any of the following apply to you:

    • you hold provisional registration as a medical practitioner with the Medical Board of Australia
    • you are registered as a medical practitioner overseas, but are not registered to practice in Australia
    • you have previously held general registration with the Medical Board of Australia, but you are not currently registered
    • you are a registered health practitioner other than a medical practitioner. This includes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners, Chinese Medicine Practitioners, Chiropractors, Dental Practitioners, Medical Radiation Practitioners, Nurses, Midwives, Occupational Therapists, Optometrists, Osteopaths, Paramedics, Pharmacists, Physiotherapists, Podiatrists, and Psychologists.
  • ​You can apply if you hold a masters or doctoral degree that includes study in a range of public health areas, including epidemiology and biostatistics, and quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. You must be able to demonstrate that your qualification has a substantial public health component.

    The traineeships build upon the theory, methodology and values of public health practice that can only be obtained through postgraduate study in public health. 

  • ​No. You must provide an official academic transcript showing that you have successfully completed your degree. If you have completed your degree but it has not yet been conferred, you can provide an unofficial transcript along with proof that you are eligible for award of the degree.

  • In this context 'health-related employment' includes but is not limited to clinical experience, health research, health policy, health management, planning and development of health services, and health promotion.

    To be a competitive applicant, you must have already developed:

    • an understanding of disease
    • an understanding of the context for meeting the healthcare needs of patients and their families, and
    • an awareness of the complexities involved in providing an equitable health service, and in developing robust public health solutions.

    Employment in administrative and sales roles within the health sector is considered less directly 'health-related', as it does not usually provide the same depth of knowledge of these issues and it will not adequately prepare you for these traineeships.

  • No. You must have at least three years of full-time equivalent health-related employment.

  • Yes. There is no requirement to have health-related experience within Australia, but you will be expected to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the Australian healthcare system.

  • You can apply if you are an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, New Zealand citizen with a current New Zealand Passport or if you hold a valid work visa that gives you permission to work in Australia for the duration of the role. This does not include bridging visas.

    You must include evidence of your right to work in Australia in your written application. 
  • ​No.

  • ​No. The traineeships are very competitive, and there is no shortage of Australian applicants. You must hold a valid work visa at the time of application. We cannot sponsor you and we cannot offer you employment unless you already hold a valid work visa.

  • ​Yes. All NSW Health workers are required to have completed a primary course of a TGA approved COVID-19 vaccine prior to commencement with NSW Health OR provide an approved medical contraindication certificate.

    You will be required to show proof of your COVID-19 vaccination status before you are offered a traineeship.

  • Yes. Trainee Public Health Officer roles are classified as Risk Category A under the NSW Policy Directive for Occupational Assessment, Screening and Vaccination Against Specified Infectious Diseases (PD2020_017).

    If your application is successful, you will be required to comply with the requirements of the policy directive. This means that you will be required to provide evidence of protection against the diseases specified in this policy directive. If you are not already vaccinated against the specified diseases, you will need to arrange vaccination at your own expense before you start the traineeship.

    Further information about these requirements can be found at Occupational assessment screening and vaccination.


  • ​No. The training is offered on a full-time basis only.

  • ​You may be able to work from home some of the time. The amount of time you can work from home will vary between work placements and will need to be negotiated with each placement supervisor.

  • ​Yes. Traineeships are only available to people who live in NSW. If you live outside of NSW, you will be expected to relocate to NSW at your own expense. Exceptions may be made for people who live in another state or jurisdiction close to the NSW border who are able to travel to NSW to work.

  • ​Not necessarily. From 2022, you may be able to complete a three-year traineeship within a rural or regional health service.

  • No. Work placements are determined by the senior executive team to ensure they align with the strategic and operational priorities of NSW Health. 

    You will be matched to placements based on your skill levels, learning needs, professional interests and workplace needs.

Applying for a traineeship

  • ​Around 10 traineeships are available each year.

  • There are one or two intakes a year. This can vary from year to year and depends on the number of vacant traineeships.

    New trainees typically start in February or August. Roles are advertised around three months before the start date.

  • ​Traineeships are advertised on websites including jobs.health.nsw.gov.au, SEEK and CareerOne. They are also advertised on this website - see How to apply.

  • The traineeships are paid positions, and you have to apply for them like any other job. You can only apply once the traineeships have been advertised.

    Once the traineeships have been advertised, you can apply online via the NSW Health Jobs portal. There will be a link to this in the job advertisement.

    Complete your application using the online form, and attach:

    • written response to the targeted questions in the job advertisement
    • up to date resume or curriculum vitae including your previous health-related experience
    • full academic transcript for your public health qualification(s)
    • evidence of your right to work in Australia.

    Your application must include all of these documents, otherwise you will not be considered for interview.

    You must submit your application by the advertised closing date and time. Late applications cannot be accepted.

  • ​No. Only applications submitted through the NSW Health Jobs portal can be accepted.

  • ​No. There is no need to include a covering letter, but you can include one if there is additional information you would like us to consider that is not addressed elsewhere in your application.

  • ​No. There is no entry test however the selection process will include a range of assessment activities to help us to determine your suitability for the role.

  • The selection process has several stages. Once all of these stages have been completed, you will either be offered a role or notified that your application was unsuccessful:

    Stage 1 - Initial screening

    Your online application will be considered by a selection panel made up of four or more people, including the person that the role reports to. The panel will review your application against the requirements of the role.

    Stage 2 - Capability-based assessment

    If your application progresses through initial screening, you will be invited to complete two or more capability-based assessments. This is likely to include at least one online test and one work sample activity. Most assessment activities are timed and are computer based.

    Stage 3 - Interview

    The next stage is an interview where you will be asked behaviour-based questions. The interview will involve all members of the selection panel and will last around 30-45 minutes. The interview may be conducted in person or online.

    Stage 4 - Reference checks

    If we invite you for an interview, we will request contact details for two professional referees including your current manager. We will conduct reference checks after the interview if we are still considering you for the role.

    Stage 5 - Other screening checks

    If required, additional screening checks may be conducted, including national criminal record check, identification checks, citizen or residency status, vaccination status and service check (for current NSW Government employees).

  • ​You will find out the outcome of your application once all stages of the selection process have been completed. This will be several weeks after the closing date for applications.

  • ​Yes. Once you are notified in writing that your application is unsuccessful you can request feedback from a member of the selection panel.

  • ​Yes. You can apply as many times as you like. However, we strongly encourage you to seek feedback on your unsuccessful application before reapplying.

Further information

  • ​If you have a question that is not answered on this page, you can contact the Population Health Training Team directly by emailing MOH-PublicHealthTraining@health.nsw.gov.au

Current as at: Friday 8 April 2022