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HSSR Standards of Proficiency released for consultation

The Academy has launched a three-month consultation on the Standards of Proficiency for registration of Higher Specialist Scientists. Closing date 8 March 2015.


What are we consulting on?

One of the key objectives of the Academy for Healthcare Science is to provide protection and assurance to the public by operating a register of Healthcare Scientists for those groups not covered by statutory regulation.

The Academy aims to develop its register to include Higher Specialist Scientists in 2015 following further work and discussion with PSA (Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care) and the HCPC (Health and Care Professions Council).  The purpose of this consultation is to seek early views on the Standards of Proficiency that have been drafted.  We will in the future consult on the Continuing Professional Development Standards and the Code of Conduct Standards.  We will also consult and ensure wide stakeholder engagement on the HSST equivalence processes, particularly the information set out in the HSST Equivalence Programme Handbook.

In developing the HSST Standards of Proficiency we spent considerable time identifying the risks posed by Higher Specialist Scientists and the form of standards that might mitigate those risks.  We also ensured the standards complement the HCPC standards and are consistent in language and format with the Academy’s Practitioner Standards.

Much work was carried out previously on the HSST programme by the Professional Bodies and Royal Colleges, individual professionals, service users, the National School of Healthcare Science and the Modernising Scientific Careers team before these standards were developed. This work provides a firm basis on which these standards were built.

More information about the issues and drivers around the Academy’s registration processes is set out in the Background to the HSSR Consultation web page.


What are the Standards of Proficiency for Higher Specialist Scientists?

To be and to continue to be registered with us, registrants must be and be able to demonstrate that they are ‘fit to practise’. By fitness to practise, we mean that someone has the skills, knowledge and capacity to practise safely.

These standards are also used to approve education programmes by ensuring that someone who successfully completes an approved training programme is able to meet these standards. We will also use these standards when we assess whether someone’s education, training and professional practise is equivalent to that required of a Higher Specialist Scientist (that is, we undertake an equivalence assessment, which when successfully completed results in an award of a Certificate of Equivalence by the Academy).

The proposed standards of proficiency and our approach to this consultation is set out in the  Consultation Document on Standards of Proficiency for Higher Specialist Scientists


Responding to this consultation

We would like your input on the proposed Standards of Proficiency to ensure they provide appropriate protection for the public and will be clear and effective in their operation. This consultation runs from 8 December and will close on  23:59 on 8 March 2015.

The best way to respond to the consultation is by completing our online questionnaire .  Other ways to respond are set out in the Consulation Document.


What happens next

Once the consultation period is completed, we will analyse the responses we receive. We will then publish a document which summarises the comments we received and explains the decisions we have taken as a result. This will be published on our website



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