Consultant clinical scientist guidanceĀ 


Consultant clinical scientists make a very important contribution to high quality, safe and effective patient care through technological advances, innovation and improved interaction and communication with clinical teams and patients. 


Hundreds of clinical scientists are working at very senior levels and unlike medical consultant roles, there is inconsistency across the scientific specialties and within trusts, in terms of what they do and how they are appointed.

Higher Specialist Scientist Training (HSST) seeks to train and develop an increased number of very senior consultant clinical scientists who can lead the development of new research, technology and practice working within multi-professional clinical teams to deliver quality improvement, innovation and world-class outcomes for patients. These training programmes are now under way and it is important employers understand and are prepared for the appointment of these consultant scientists when they emerge from training programmes or successfully complete equivalence with the Academy for Healthcare Science.

It is important that there is consistency in understanding the new consultant clinical scientist role and that employers can be assured that they are recruiting and developing expertise in a way that reflects the vision for healthcare science and modernising scientific careers. 

This guidance includes high-level and detailed role definitions, role descriptors, suggested appointment and appraisal processes as well as illustrative examples and evidence for a review of current national job evaluation profiles.

Click through the various sections below to find out more about this workforce and the process for appointing them.

Employment Structure

There are a range of roles undertaken by consultant clinical scientists in various settings and organisations. This employment structure diagram demonstrate examples of the employing organisations across the health system along with a range of roles undertaken, from clinical scientific lead to local and regional commissioning roles. 

Generic role descriptor and person specification

The generic role descriptor and person specification have been designed to provide employers with a template which helps with the development of local job descriptions for consultant clinical scientists. It includes the essential principles contained within good scientific practice which explains the standards and values that an individual should apply throughout their healthcare science career across all levels of practice.

Illustrative examples

In this section you can read short summaries of what consultant clinical scientists do, along with detailed examples of how this is put into practice.

Appointment process

This guidance is designed to complement employing organisations' standard appointment process for senior staff. Applying it locally will help to ensure consistency across the healthcare science disciplines, in line with the NHS Constitution and our employment check standards. 

Appraisal process

Consultant clinical scientists make an important contribution to high quality and safe patient care through new advances, improved interaction, better communication and innovation. This process guidance has been developed to provide good practice advice on the appraisal process. 


Read the frequently asked questions and answers for employing organisations recruiting consultant clinical scientists.

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