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Progress on the Higher Specialist Scientist Register

An update on the delivery of the national register for Higher Specialist Scientists, operated by the Academy for Healthcare Science, including the plans for equivalence and early implementer processes.


The Modernising Scientific Careers 5-year Higher Specialist Scientist Training (HSST) programmes were launched in 2014/15 and the first Clinical Scientists in HSST have commenced training. Curricula for 22 HSST programmes are available for 2015/16.


The Academy for Healthcare Science (AHCS) will hold the Higher Specialist Scientist Register (HSSR).  Eligibility to apply for entry on to the AHCS HSSR will be open to:

(i) Clinical Scientists who hold a Certificate of Completion of HSST (CCHSST) issued by the National School of Healthcare Science


(ii) Clinical Scientists holding a Certificate of Equivalence (CoE).

The CoE is an award granted to an individual by the AHCS upon successful completion of an assessment process against the outcomes of the MSC HSST Programme. The CoE, similar to the CCHSST, also confers eligibility to apply for entry on to the AHCS HSSR.


Standards of Proficiency for Higher Specialist Scientists

The AHCS is progressing the work needed to open the HSSR and has recently published the Standards of Proficiency for Higher Specialist Scientists.

The Standards of Proficiency will be used to assess applicants who are seeking to demonstrate their equivalence to completion of HSST. The AHCS has also submitted an application to the Professional Standards Authority to extend its accredited register to add Higher Specialist Scientists (HSS), specifically those working at consultant level.


2015: HSST Equivalence Early Implementer Programme

The process underpinning the award of the CoE will be tested in an Early Implementation Programme. This will see a small number of experienced clinical scientists being assessed against the Standard of Proficiency by two trained assessors (one professional and one lay). The application process to join the Early Implementation Programme is expected to be published by the AHCS shortly.


2016: Full Launch of the HSST Equivalence Process

A review of the Early Implementer Programme will inform the formal launch of the Equivalence process. We anticipate this to commence in Spring 2016.


If you have any particular queries about the operation of the HSSR and equivalence processes please contact:

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