Clinical scientist workforce


22 / 1 / 2015 Midnight

The national scientist training programme (STP) is designed to train clinical scientists of the future. The overall aim of the STP is to attract, select and retain the very best people to clinical scientist posts.

The 2016 recruitment process opened on 14 January 2016. 

If you are an individual interested in future STP courses or have a query relating to eligibility, course location or any other matter, please contact NHS Careers on 0345 60 60 655 or visit the NHS Careers website.

Further information is available below:


Timetable for 2016 STP recruitment

Commissions confirmed January 2016

National advertisement and applications 

14 January 2016 
National short-listing (professional panels) February/March 2016
National interviews (Birmingham)

April 2016

National allocation, offers and upgrading process

May 2016

Employers informed of outcome of offers and

local employment processes

May to July 2016
Trainees commence September 2016

Updates on the recruitment process will continue to be posted on the National School of Healthcare Science website.

The STP programme

NHS trusts, working in partnership with Health Education England - working across the north east and higher education institutions, offer a number of training posts in the following areas of healthcare science:

  • Life sciences.
  • Physics and engineering.
  • Physiological sciences.
  • Clinical Bio-informatics.

Successful candidates join a three year full-time or part-time fixed term integrated training programme of work-based and academic learning, whilst undertaking a university accredited master’s degree in their chosen specialism.

Trainees are employed by an NHS trust where they will be required to undertake a range of rotations, working in different departments (and possibly different trusts), before specialising in the last two years of training. After this period of training, successful trainees will be issued with a Certificate of Attainment from the Academy for Healthcare Science (AHCS), leading to eligibility for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a clinical scientist.  

The scheme ensures consistency across the country. There is a single national timetable for recruitment along with national guidelines for the recruitment and selection process, which include a national assessment centre to ensure all candidates involved are treated fairly and equally.

Further information

The National School of Healthcare Science has a suite of information to assist employers and departments hosting a trainee in 2016.

Implications for employers


Employers offering STP placements should contact their healthcare science lead to discuss the recruitment process. Outline job descriptions have been developed and these should be amended to match the requirements of the training posts being offered.

A single core person specification has been developed, which is central to maintaining consistency and fairness in the selection process and is used as the basis of selection at the short-listing and assessment stages.

Training placements

Trusts should consider their ability to deliver quality placements to trainees. A suitable placement should provide a range of development opportunities that match the appropriate work-based training curriculum. Employers can contact Health Education England - working across the north east for further guidance on STP training.

A training and support infrastructure should also be in place to ensure that trainees can complete the requirements of their training. This will mean the availability of experienced work-based trainers who can supervise and assess the practice of trainees. Employers may need to work with other trusts to provide the full range of experience required and become part of a rotational programme.

If a trust wishes to offer a placement, they must inform Health Education England - working across the north east so that funding can be arranged and compliance with the requirements for training can be checked.

Trainees on older training programmes

Employers who provide training to existing clinical scientist trainees currently on the previous four or six year training routes have a responsibility to notify the National School of Healthcare Science (NSHCS), so trainees can to obtain a National Scientist Training Number and guidance on the various training and support opportunities available.

Regulation of clinical scientists

Successful STP trainees wishing to use the protected title and practice as a clinical scientist must register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). They will be able to access routes to statutory regulation as a clinical scientist through the Academy for Healthcare Science (ACHS).

Trainees who entered STP in 2012 and beyond will be able to apply to the ACHS for the Certificate of Attainment on successful completion of their full training programme, leading to eligibility for registration with HCPC as a clinical scientist. The National School of Healthcare Science will support and facilitate this process.

The AHCS will put in place a process for those successful STP trainees who commenced training prior to these arrangements (in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012/13). The Academy will also be putting in place a process for those people already in the healthcare science workforce who wish to apply for regulation as a clinical scientist through the equivalence assessment process.

Workforce planning for future clinical scientists

Trusts should consider the type of clinical scientist roles which are required to deliver future services to patients. Workforce planners should work with the healthcare science workforce to identify the service requirements and feed this information into regional plans. The local MSC lead for healthcare science should be able to support trusts in the planning process.

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