Healthcare science

Woman in science lab
The healthcare science (HCS) workforce is a key part of today's modern healthcare team, with over 52 specialisms involved in approximately 80 per cent of patient diagnosis, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation.

This section provides background information on the education and training arrangements and the registration and regulation of this part of the workforce, along with the benefits of promoting science careers opportunities to your local community.

Please note that NHS Employers no longer has a programme of work to support employers in relation to healthcare science. Any queries related to the education and training or regulation of the scientific workforce should be sent to the appropriate body responsible for that area. Health Careers can also provide information on related career options. 

Modernising Scientific Careers 

The Modernising Scientific Careers (MSC) programme was designed to improve and streamline the education and training of the healthcare science workforce. Introduced in 2008, it continues to address some of the historic difficulties that faced the workforce in terms of education and training, skill mix and workforce planning.
The career levels are as follows:

  • healthcare science assistant and associate
  • healthcare science practitioner
  • clinical scientist
  • consultant clinical scientist (comprehensive guidance for the recruitment of this part of the workforce is available in our employer led recruitment section).
You can find out more about the training routes and education and training programmes on the National School of Healthcare Science website. 

Regulation and registration of healthcare scientists

The Academy for Healthcare Science is the UK wide organisation responsible for supporting the development of consistent regulation for the HCS workforce and implementing a system of equivalence. The Academy works alongside the professional regulators and societies, helping to ensure that healthcare science is recognised as one of the key clinical professions in the health and care system.

Promoting healthcare science as a career

By effectively promoting healthcare science careers, employers are able to attract and develop individuals, helping to secure workforce supply. 


While much of the marketing of careers is led by Health Careers, there is lots that organisations can do to raise awareness of healthcare science and champion the profession, including taking part in Healthcare Science Week which typically takes place in March each year. 

Think Future

The NHS Employers Think Future campaign was designed to help employers bring young people into the workplace and the dedicated website section contains a wide range of tools and resources. 

NHS Employers poster

Our healthcare science career promotion poster was designed to help individuals understand the breadth of careers available and can be displayed in busy areas, especially during Healthcare Science Week. 

Shared learning 

You can find out what other organisations have done to support healthcare science week in previous years and healthcare science apprentices by using the healthcare science filter in the case studies and resources section of the website. 

Healthcare Science Week 2017

Healthcare Science Week 2020

Healthcare science week provides a yearly opportunity for the science workforce to promote their professions, share innovation and inspire the next generation of healthcare scientists.

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