Home > News & Events > Background to the HSSR Consultation

Background to the HSSR Consultation

Background information on the role of the Academy, the AHCS Register, routes to Registration


These pages provide supplementary information to support the consultation on Standards of Proficiency for Higher Specialist Scientists.


The Academy for Healthcare Science (AHCS) brings together a wide variety of scientific disciplines in healthcare across the UK into a united voice for Healthcare Science.  One of our key tasks is to uphold professional standards across Healthcare Science.

The AHCS believe it is vital to establish an appropriate and effective system for registration and regulation across the whole Healthcare Science workforce which supports the delivery of safe, high quality services to improve outcomes for patients. By ensuring healthcare staff are of a high standard, we ensure safe and effective services for patients whilst providing broader assurance for the public and commissioners of services.

The Academy believes that delivering a coherent and comprehensive regulatory framework for the profession is crucial for public safety.  The changes brought about through Modernising Scientific Careers have been a major change for the education and training of everybody working in Healthcare Science. For the first time there is a coherent training and education framework across the whole of the Healthcare Science workforce to support a clear regulatory framework.

About the Academy Register – Practitioner part

The Academy has established a register which currently operates for Healthcare Science Practitioners who are not regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as biomedical scientists.  This register is open for applications and we have applied for Accreditation by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care (PSA) of our Practitioner register.  If successful this quality mark demonstrates that we meet the Professional Standards Authority’s high standards in governance, standard-setting, education and training, management of the register, complaints handling and information.

Routes to registration

As a general principle, for whatever level of practise Healthcare Scientists work at, there will be two routes to registration, namely:

1. Completing an approved  education and training route (see below). These programmes currently include the Practitioner Training Programme (PTP), Scientist Training Programme (STP) and the Higher Specialist Scientist Training Programme (HSST). Having successfully completed all of the components of the education and training programme (which includes meeting the workbased learning outcomes), individuals are then either eligible for an Academy Certificate of Attainment for applying to HCPC for Clinical Scientist registration or to apply to register with us.


2. By the formal assessment of prior education, training and experience against the relevant requirements for registration. After having been successfully assessed against these requirements, individuals are awarded a Certificate of Equivalence by the Academy which then enables them to either apply to register with the HCPC (as a clinical scientist) or apply to register with the Academy.


Higher Specialist Scientists

The Higher Specialist Scientist Training programme is a five-year work based programme supported by an underpinning part-time doctoral level programme. HSST will deliver expert and senior scientists to work with medical colleagues and clinical teams. Their scientific expertise and leadership will provide important benefits and added value to patients

Clinical scientists have been employed in the NHS for over 40 years as consultant clinical scientists. A recent review of consultant clinical scientist appointments in the NHS in England and Wales identified more than 600 in this role. These very senior clinical scientists provide clinical scientific advice and care alongside medical consultants and are involved across the healthcare spectrum.


Note: Approval of Training Programmes

The AHCS approves training programmes leading to registration to ensure that they meet the AHCS Standards Of Education and Training. It does this by ensuring that training programmes are accredited to those standards by the Lead local Education and Training Board (LETB) for Healthcare Science – Health Education West Midlands, via the National School of Healthcare Science and the National Commissioner for Healthcare Science education, HEE England

Bottom Avatars


Join A RegisterSearch A Register