Australian Medical Assistance Teams (AUSMAT) are multi-disciplinary health teams incorporating doctors, nurses, paramedics, logisticians and allied health staff including environmental health staff, radiographers and pharmacists.
They are designed to be self-sufficient, experienced teams that can rapidly respond to a disaster zone to provide lifesaving treatment to casualties, in support of the local health response.
AUSMATs can be deployed within state, nationally or internationally. This will be in conjunction with a large cache of medical and self-sufficiency equipment that is stored in the NT, and is pre-packed ready for multiple health disaster scenarios.
The NCCTRC works on a regular basis with government agencies, in particular, EMA-AGD, DFAT, AusAID and the Department of Health, as well as the office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Training and equipment familiarisation for international response must be of the highest standard, which remains the focus of AUSMAT training at the NCCTRC.
If you are interested in registering with AUSMAT, please follow the link below.
When the time is closer for the training, application review panel is convened to assess the applications applied through the web portal.
Frequently asked questions
What is AUSMAT?
The Australian Medical Assistance Team (AUSMAT) is a World Health Organization (WHO) accredited Emergency Medical Team (EMT) capability managed by the National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre (NCCTRC) for the Australian Government Department of Health. AUSMAT is an exciting initiative which leads the way in civilian medical team preparedness and response to sudden onset disaster, medical or humanitarian emergency, domestic or international. An AUSMAT is made up of medical professionals including physicians, registered nurses, allied health and paramedics, and non-medical members such as logisticians that deploy to disasters or health responses at short notice. A jurisdictional representative from each state and territory maintains AUSMAT team members on a national database. An AUSMAT Australian Government activated response may be an Australian domestic deployment or international deployment with varying lengths of deployment..
What are the pre-requisites to join AUSMAT?
Medical Practitioners – post Fellowship
- General Surgery
- Intensive Care
- Rural General Practitioner
- Infectious Disease
- Tropical Medicine
- Public Health
Registered Nurse – Speciality Post Graduate qualifications (min of 5 years post qualification)
- Critical Care
- General ward (Med/Surg.)
- Aeromedical Retrieval
- Rural and Remote
- General ward (Med/Surg.)
- Midwifery (note must have dual RN/RM)
Paramedic - with advanced skills (Min. of 5 years operational with current Authority to Practice post qualification)
- Intensive critical care paramedic
- Rural or Remote practice
- Aeromedical Retrieval
- Extended care paramedic
Clinical pharmacist - Hospital acute care (min of 5 years post grad qualification)
- advanced skills and +/- vaccination accreditation
- Emergency or Critical Care
Radiographer - Hospital acute care (min of 5 years post grad qualification)
- advanced skills and +/- ultrasonography
Laboratory scientist - Hospital acute care (min of 5 years post qualification)
- advanced skills including blood transfusion and +/- microbiology
Occupational therapist - Hospital acute care (min of 5 years post qualification)
- advanced skills in trauma and rehabilitation care +/- Burn and hand therapy
Physiotherapist - Hospital acute care (min of 5 years post qualification)
- advanced skills in trauma and rehabilitation care +/- Emergency or critical care
Public Health – Medical, Nursing, Environment Health, Epidemiology
- minimum of 5 years professional practice post qualification
Health Logistics - Emergency services background with additional relevant skills and / or trade certificate qualification
- Dangerous goods
- Water and Sanitation
- Fork lift
- Cert III First Aid
- Emergency Management / ICS
Previous experience with Australian Defence Force or other military organisations is highly regarded.
Jurisdictions may also have additional prerequisites for AUSMAT membership. It is highly recommended that you contact the AUSMAT representative in your jurisdiction to discuss any specific requirements prior to creating a profile.
Essential attributes of AUSMAT candidates:
» Evidence of recent clinical or technical currency
» Current Australian Citizen Passport + 6 months
» Current Australian driver’s license
» Current Working with Children Card or equivalent
» MIMMS qualification - MiMMS/HMiMMS
» Ability to work and live in austere environments
» Vaccination and serology to deployment standards (or intention to obtain per the National Health Emergency Management Subcommittee (NHEMS) endorsed AUSMAT vaccination schedule if accepted)
» Absence of medical conditions requiring refrigerated medicines, specialised diets or frequent monitoring (such as drug levels or coagulation profiles or immunosuppression)
» Ability and support to be released from employer at short notice for deployment - for a minimum of 2 weeks consecutively
Desirable attributes of AUSMAT candidates:
» Current experience in more than one clinical /technical skill area or currency
» Spoken languages proficiently other than English
» Experience working in the developing world/remote or Indigenous populations
» Person able to work in a team environment with demonstrated flexibility and sense of humour
» Ability to drive a manual vehicle
» HMIMMS / MIMMS Advanced
» Cert III First Aid (non-medical / nursing / professional groups
How Do I Become an AUSMAT Member?
If you meet the minimum eligibility requirements as listed above, you can create a volunteer profile application on the secure AUSMAT database
As per of the registration process you must:
- Meet minimum eligibility requirements
- complete all personal and professional information
- Complete your referee details - this should be your line manager in the first instance.
- Permission from your employer is considered essential for selection in order for release and engagement with AUSMAT training, exercises and deployment opportunities.
- Complete all remaining data - the more information you can provide us the easier it is to for us to evaluate your candidacy.
- Save and submit your application for review
Does creating and submitting an AUSMAT profile guarantee me a position with AUSMAT?
No. The creation and submitting on a volunteer profile via the AUSMAT Volunteer Portal is equivalent to lodging a job application. Your skill set, professional experience and employment history need to be assessed firstly against the minimum eligibility criteria and current AUSMAT requirements.
As AUSMAT is a nationally run program each State and Territory has its own jurisdictional AUSMAT representative and training selection committee for upcoming training courses factoring in priority skill sets for the national AUSMAT cohort and jurisdiction requirements. Applicants who meet their State or Territory’s minimum eligibility will have their details reviewed by the AUSMAT volunteer committee.
The following information will be reviewed:
- Referee checks
- +/- Interview
In addition to the above, consideration will also be given to any high priority skill sets at the time of training.
Successful applicants will be notified and placed on a waiting list for AUSMAT Team Member training.
Unsuccessful applicants will also be notified of the outcome of the review panel and the areas of their application to be addressed and are encouraged to re-apply in the future.
As courses become available states and territories will nominate their selected course applicants, which have been already assessed as suitable for training, to NCCTRC for course place selection and prioritisation
NCCTRC takes into account number of course places, priority skills sets, database openings, balance of state and territory representation on courses and ensuring a variety of skillsets and jurisdictions are represented on each course. As NCCTRC assess nominated applicants for upcoming course there is a requirement to complete a personality profile test as part of training selection process which is administered by Response Psychological.
Selection is confirmed with state and territory jurisdictions, you will receive notification from your state / territory AUSMAT representative in the first instance if you are selected for a place on an upcoming AUSMAT Team Member training course.
If you are not selected for an upcoming training course you may be nominated for future training courses, please liaise with your state/ territory AUSMAT representative for future opportunities and training dates for the next year or as they may arise.
Applicants are encouraged to complete applications with as much detail as possible to help inform suitability and selection for training.
The application process can take some time as the training to become an AUSMAT team member is highly sort after and competitive, in some cases you may not receive correspondence about your application for up to 6 months and it will depend on the availability of upcoming training. Your application status will change to under review as the application is reviewed. Please be patient but if you wish to enquire you can contact your state or territory jurisdiction.
What is AUSMAT Team Member Training?
The AUSMAT Team Member training course is a 5 day course now held in Darwin, NT at the NCCTRC’s local training facility. This is a residential training course and all participants will be accommodated on site during the period of training. This standardised national training is facilitated by NCCTRC and brings together faculty from across Australian and humanitarian trainers to deliver the course represented by a mix of professions and jurisdictions.
Darwin has a tropical climate with two distinct seasons. The wet season is from October to April and the dry season from May to September. The average maximum temperature is close to 32°C all year-round.
The AUSMAT Team Member training course will cover subject areas such as:
- Australian Disaster Framework
- Emergency Medical Teams, health standards and Sphere principles
- Humanitarian systems and international frameworks
- Survival within austere environments
- Safety and security awareness
- Cultural awareness
- AUSMAT resource and equipment familiarisation
- Team operations and dynamics
- Psychological health
- Administrative (Code of Conduct and Conditions of Service)
The course also has a pre-reading component that must be completed prior to attending the course, this is managed through NCCTRC’s eLearning platform which course participants will be given access to.
Successful completion of the AUSMAT Team Member training course is an essential component of preparation for deployment and is mandatory training to be considered for inclusion on an AUSMAT Team.
Applicants that successfully complete AUSMAT team member training will also be required to:
- Complete an annual fitness check (as it applies in each state/territory)
- Maintain medical clearance, a pre-deployment check will be required for deployments.
- Maintain vaccinations and provide serology evidence as requested by NCCTRC Pharmacy team in supporting vaccination assessments.
- Engage in AUSMAT activities/course outside of deployments through national EOIs coordinated by jurisdictions.
- NCCTRC encourages cache familiarity at the Darwin Head Quarters (HQ) 5 Lancaster Road Eaton Darwin Airport, to assist in development and knowledge of equipment. Local NT team members are engaged and encourages to familiarise with the cache (where possible and applicable to team role) and should interstate team members find themselves in Darwin they are encouraged to contact the centre for a visit firstname.lastname@example.org
The NCCTRC attempts to conduct Team Member training annually however this is subject to outside influences such as those experienced in the COVID-19 pandemic (lock downs, lock outs, travel restrictions, faculty release etc.) and significant deployment operations.
Specialist AUSMAT Courses
The NCCTRC also conducts specialised courses such as:
- AUSMAT Surgical
- AUSMAT Leadership
- AUSMAT Logistics
How does my personal information get used and will it be shared with other parties?
Your Personal Information (including your health information) will be used by your local AUSMAT Coordination team and the NCCTRC to:
- Manage and administer the Database including the creation and maintenance of user accounts in the national AUSMAT database.
- allow you to access the Database;
- assess your eligibility and suitability for Deployments, training opportunities and exercises
- Facilitate deployments, including preparatory steps such as advising you of education, training, vaccination requirements, planning travel and logistics and for packing of personnel specific kits and uniforms.
- Contact with next of kin (NOK) during deployments.
- contacting you post-deployment, in connection with wellbeing check-ups and debriefs;
- facilitate the issuance of deployment specific documentation such as, but not limited to, international visas, international driver’s licences, border entry forms and Authority to Practice (ATP) documentation of the host country; and
- Facilitate other NCCTRC administrative activities in connection with AUSMAT, including process improvements in our management of AUSMAT and the recording and reporting of information regarding personnel (including the number of trained personnel, deployable status statistics, skill sets and skills mix information and statistics), the currency of participants’ personal information in the AUSMAT database, further training requirements and priorities
When AUSMAT is activated for deployment, details of the selected deployment team may be shared with other jurisdictions and/or selected Commonwealth Departments i.e. Commonwealth Health, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), National Emergency Management Australia (NEMA) and other third parties. . This sharing of information will relate to deployment specific tasks and regulatory documentation requirements of the host country.
The NCCTRC may also use or disclose your Personal Information where required or authorised to do so by law.
Do I get paid for being an AUSMAT Member?
The short answer is no. Being an active AUSMAT member (with an approved database profile) is voluntary however, in the event you are deployed, the NCCTRC will reimburse your employer the cost relating to the salary and approved allowances for the duration of the deployment, travel days, post deployment stand down days and quarantine period if required. The entitlements will differ for domestic and international. When deploying, your employer is required to continue to pay an ongoing fulltime salary. Any applicable ‘AUSMAT’ allowances will be paid post deployment.
Team members should not be on leave without pay and should not be taking annual leave for an Australian Government AUSMAT deployment. Your jurisdiction can assist to facilitate these matters in the first instance as deployment release is arranged. Any issues can be flagged to your jurisdiction and also to NCCTRC for assistance as needed.
In layman’s terms this means that you continue to get paid from your primary employer as normal, but in a full time equivalent (FTE) capacity if not already, for the duration of the deployment and any applicable allowances are paid upon your return.
Deployment conditions will be outlined in the deployment EOI at the time of call out for the deployment. Queries relating to the specific deployment conditions should be relayed to your state or territory administrator prior to submission of an EOI.
The NCCTRC will follow up to ensure team members are paid by employers and will assist with calculation of entitlements. The NCCTRC will ensure that employers are reimbursed for salary and AUSMAT allowance costs that have been paid to the deployee. This ensures that neither the AUSMAT member nor their employer are out of pocket.
How does AUSMAT get activated?
The call for an AUSMAT deployment may come at any time as a response to a sudden onset disaster, medical or humanitarian emergency, domestic or international.
The activation of an AUSMAT is made when a request for assistance is received by the Australian Government from a local government authority for a domestic response or foreign government authority for an international response or in response to a World Health Organization (WHO) call out for Emergency Medical Teams (EMTs). All international AUSMAT responses require final approval to be given by the Australian Foreign Minister for deployment.
Upon request for international assistance, approvals and requests to states and territories are coordinated through the Health National Health Emergency Management Sub-Committee (NHEMS) and Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) for representatives and collective Chief Health Officer (CHO) considerations. Australian Government Department Health, National Emergency Management Australia (NEMA), Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), and DFAT Post (in country) and NCCTRC will coordinate as required to plan and deliver an appropriate and timely AUSMAT response.
Domestic deployments are coordinated through Australian Government Department of Health, NHEMS, AHPPC, NCCTRC and NEMA for formal tasking under emergency response plans.
If an AUSMAT deployment is endorsed by the AHPPC, the NCCTRC will be tasked to deploy AUSMAT trained team members, via their jurisdictional AUSMAT representatives and through expression of interest pathways for required skillsets.
The period of deployment notice and deployment duration varies from possible deployment within 6 hours to within a few days, for a deployment period of up to four (4) weeks generally. The lead-time depends on the urgency of the request and response requirements. Typically, AUSMAT deployments are for up to 14 days in country however, they can be longer depending on the circumstances and specific requirements. These details will be included in the deployment Expression of Interest and communicated by your jurisdiction and NCCTRC. Recent COVID related responses have been of longer duration.
National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre (NCCTRC) assesses the scope and required skill mix for each deployment and ensures that team members selected are released and state/territory representatives confirm and approve selections. A team is selected from across Australia to avoid depletion of staff at one particular department or locality. Team selection process considers state and territory nominations and balances selection from jurisdictions with consideration given to relevant skills, experience, seniority / leadership, past deployment experience, newly deploying team members, team gender balance and the tasking at hand.
Expressions of interest and nominations for team members are sought through NHEMS papers, coordinated and disseminated by AUSMAT jurisdiction representatives and will be considered by NCCTRC to formulate a team based on skillsets and response requirements. Details such as the deployment conditions, vaccination requirements and pre-deployment requirements are outlined in the deployment EOI and may differ for each response.
AUSMAT Team members should maintain their database profile to the highest standard of an internationally deployable status and keep their vaccinations records up to date.
What to expect on deployment
Deployment to any type of disaster zone or other health emergency can be a stressful experience for both the deployee and their family. To ensure that all deployees have an understanding of the nature of the deployment, the team objectives, safety, security, team roles, travel and logistics are provided at a comprehensive team briefing held prior to deployment. This may include an internal NCCTRC and AUSMAT team briefing and will always include a whole of government (WoG) team briefing with deployment partners coordinating the team’s deployment. Relevant deployment information is shared with the jurisdictional AUSMAT representatives.
All members selected for deployment will undertake a pre-deployment psychological
screen. The purpose of this screening is to ensure deployees have mentally prepared for the trip, and have spoken with their family prior to departure about the role they are about to undertake.
We also ensure that the Response Psychological team contacts all deployees upon their return and that continuous support is offered for as long as it may be required. Team members will also do a post-deployment mental health screen.
Previous experience tells us that no two responses are the same. Some requests for assistance may be as a result of a natural disaster which has resulted in damage or destruction of local infrastructure or local health capacity. In this scenario it may be the case that a full EMT Type 2* field hospital response may be required. Some requests for assistance may be for a small assessment team in response to an infectious disease outbreak, as we have seen with COVID-19. This type of response will be to offer expert technical, clinical and logistical advice to the host country and team members may be accommodated in a hotel rather than in the field and camping, as they would be with an EMT Type 2 response.
Regardless of the type of response needed, safety and security of all personnel, appropriate accommodation, water and sanitation, food security and equipment and consumables needs are given the highest priority. The NCCTRC maintains a cache of equipment and supplies to ensure that all AUSMAT teams have the capacity and resources available to be fully self-sufficient when responding to an emergency and to scale up or down the response capability to align to the needs.
The NCCTRC understands that family members may have queries or experience difficulties whilst their loved one is away. As part of any deployment, the NCCTRC makes contact with family and friends of those deployed. We do this through a series of email updates to nominated next of kin (NOK) listed in database profiles throughout the period of deployment and will liaise regarding return arrangements so that deployees can focus on the job where communications is limited.
The updates to NOKs include key contact numbers, family and friends are invited to contact the NCCTRC if they have any concerns or queries. Any information your NOK receive from the centre or about deployments is in confidence.
*EMT Type 2 is a fully equipped and staffed field hospital accredited to WHO standards for capability and capacity.
Indemnity and Insurance
During deployments and exercises, AUSMAT members will be covered by either their home state / territory or the Commonwealth, depending on the deployment or exercise location. This will be discussed with team members for each deployment.
Who do I contact for more information?
State and Territory Contacts
For more information please visit the points of contact for each jurisdiction as listed below:
Western Australia - AUSMAT@health.wa.gov.au
Queensland - AUSMAT-QLD@health.qld.gov.au
South Australia - healthAUSMAT@sa.gov.au
New South Wales - MOH-SPRU@health.nsw.gov.au
Australian Capital Territory - HPSOps@act.gov.au
Victoria - EM.Training@health.vic.gov.au
Tasmania - email@example.com
Northern Territory - AUSMAT.firstname.lastname@example.org