Useful Information


Scottish Forum for Healthcare Science

National School for Healthcare Science

Professional Standards Authority

Health & Care Professions Council

Health Education England

Policy documents

Good Scientific Practice

Healthcare Science Glossary and Abbreviations

This is a glossary of terms, abbreviations and acronyms used in Healthcare Science, education & training and the wider health and care system.

We have used our best endeavours to ensure that this list is as comprehensive and as accurate as possible. If you have spotted anything that is missing, please email us on and we will try to update this list as soon as possible.

AAPT Association of Anatomical Pathology Technology
ABHS Association of Biomedical Healthcare Scientists
ACB Association of Clinical Biochemistry
ACC Association for Clinical Cytogenetics
AAPT Association of Anatomical Pathology Technology
ABHS Association of Biomedical Healthcare Scientists
ACB Association of Clinical Biochemistry
ACC Association for Clinical Cytogenetics
ACE Association for Clinical Embryologists
ACEM Association of Clinical Electron Microscopists
ACPE Association for Clinical Physiology Education
ACPRC Association for Chartered Physiotherapists in Respiratory Care
ACS Association of Clinical Scientists
ADSHG Addison’s Disease Self Help Group
AESP Accredited Expert Scientific Practice
AGIP Association of GI Physiologists
AHCS Academy for Healthcare Science
AHPO Associations of Health Professionals in Ophthalmology
ANS Association of Neurophysiological Scientists (was EPTA)
AoRMC Academy of Royal Medical Colleges
AOSP Association of Ophthalmic Science Practitioners
APT Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK
AQP Any Qualified Provider – organisations providing NHS services that are owned outside of the NHS
ARNS Association of Respiratory Training Nurse Specialists
ART Association for Renal Technologists
ARTP Association for Respiratory Technology & Physiology
ASP Accredited Scientific Practice
AURPO Association of University Radiation Protection Officers
AVR Accredited Voluntary Register – a form of professional registration for those groups not covered by statutory requirements

BAA British Academy of Audiologists (now incorporates BAAT – British Association of Audiological Technicians and BSHT – British Society of Hearing Therapists)
BARS British Association of Retinal Screeners
BBTS British Blood Transfusion Society
BHF British Heart Foundation
BIPP British Institute of Professional Photographers
BIR British Institute of Radiology
BMS Biomedical scientist – a protected title regulated by the HCPC
BNMS British Nuclear Medicine Society
BriSCEV British Society for Clinical Electrophysiology of Vision
BSc Bachelor of Science degree
BSc (Hons) Bachelor of Science degree with Honours
BSCN British Society for Clinical Neurophysiology
BSE British Society of Electrocardiography
BSHAA British Society of Hearing Aid Audiologists
BSH British Society for Haematology
BSHI British Society for Histocompatability and Immunogenetics
BLF British Lung Foundation
BTEC Business and Technical Education Council – an awarding body for vocational qualifications
BTS British Thoracic Society

CBD Case-based discussion
CCG Clinical Commissioning Group – part of the healthcare commissioning system in England
CCSTP Certificate of Completion of Scientist Training Programme
CEng Chartered Engineer
CF 2-4 Career Framework 2-4 – Healthcare Science assistant and associate roles
CMAS Clinical Movement Analysis Society
CMGS Clinical Molecular Genetics Society
CoA Certificate of Attainment
CoC Certificate of Competence
CoE Certificate of Equivalence
CP Clinical Physiologist
CPA Clinical Pathology Accreditation
CPD Continuing Professional Development
CPhys Chartered Physicist
CPPD Continuing Professional & Personal Development
CQC Care Quality Commission
CRadP Chartered Radiation Protection Professional
CRB Criminal Records Bureau – now replaced by the Vetting and Barring Service (VBS)
CS Clinical Scientist
CSci Chartered Scientist
CSO Chief Scientific Officer

DBS Disclosure and Barring Service
DH Department of Health – the English government department responsible for health
DOP Direct observation of practise

EA Environment Agency
EngTech Engineering Technologist
EP Education Provider
ETSG Education & Training Scrutiny Group – a subgroup of HCS ING responsible for the oversight of curriculum and accreditation decisions for the MSC programme
EU European Union

FDS Faculty of Dental Surgery
FOM Faculty of Occupational Medicine
FPM Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine
FPH Faculty of Public Health

GSP Good Scientific Practice

HCS Healthcare Scientist(s)
HEEAG Health Education England Advisory Group
HEE Health Education England – the body responsible for education and training within the health and care system in England
HEFCE Higher Education Funding Council for England – funds undergraduate university courses in England
HEI Higher Education Institution – typically a University
HCPC Health Care Professions Council – the organisation that runs the statutory registers in Healthcare Science
HCS ING Healthcare Science Implementation Network Group
HCSNI Health and Social Care Northern Ireland – the government department responsible for health and care in Northern Ireland
HCSPB Healthcare Science Programme Board
HIMP Health Improvement Programmes
HNC Higher National Certificate
HSE Health & Safety Executive
HSST Higher Specialist Scientific Training
HSSR Higher Specialist Scientist Register

IBMS Institute of Biomedical Science
iCEPSS Improving Quality in Clinical Engineering and Physical Science Services – a service accreditation system in the Physical Sciences and Biomedical Engineering
IEng Incorporated Engineer
IHEEM Institute of Healthcare Engineering and Estate Management
IM (Professional Body) Internal Moderators
IMI Institute of Medical Illustrators
IMPT Institute of Maxillofacial Prosthetists and Technologists
IPEM Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine
IPS Institute of Physiological Sciences
IQIPS Improving Quality in Physiological Diagnostic Services – a service accreditation system in the physiological sciences
ISAS Imaging Services Accreditation Scheme
ISO International Standards Organisation
IV Internal Verifier

LAT Local Area Team – part of the commissioning system run by NHS England
LETB Local Authority and Training Board – the local arms of Health Education England

MHRA Medicine and Healthcare Regulatory Agency
Mini-CEX Mini Clinical Examination
MoD Ministry of Defence
MPE Medical Physics Expert
MSc Master of Science – a masters-level degree
MSC Modernising Scientific Careers
MSCP Modernising Scientific Careers Programme
MSF Multi-source feedback

NHS National Health Service
NHS England national body commissioning health services in England
NOS National Occupational Standards
NPDAG National Professional Diagnostic Advisory Group
NRCT National Respiratory Training Centre
NSHCS National School of Healthcare Science
NSF National Service Framework – a government policy for care in a particular disease or condition area

OIA Ophthalmic Imaging Association
OLAT Online Learning and Assessment Tool
OSCE Objective Structured Clinical Examinations
OSET International Organisation of Societies for Electrophysiological Technology
OSFA Objective Structured Final Assessment

PASG Pharmaceutical Aseptic Services Group
PB Professional Body
PBEC Professional Bodies Education Committee
PE (Professional Body) Practical Examiner
PHE Public Health England
PPI Patient/Public Involvement
PSA Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care (previously CHRE) – the organisation that oversees the regulators in health and care
PTP Practitioner Training Programme

QA Quality Assurance
QAA Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education
QAF Quality Assurance Framework
QC Quality Control
QM Quality Management

RCOA Royal College of Anaesthetists
Royal College of General Practitioners
Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
Royal College of Ophthalmologists
Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
Royal College of Pathologists
Royal College of Physicians
Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
Royal College of Physicians of Ireland
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
Royal College of Psychiatrists
Royal College of Radiologists
Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
Royal College of Surgeons of England
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Registration Council for Clinical Physiology
Register for Clinical Technologists
Rehabilitation Engineering Services Management Group
Radiation Protection Adviser
Royal Society of Biology
Tech Registered Science Technician
Registered Scientist
Radioactive Waste Adviser

SCCT Society for Critical Care Technologists
SCoR Society of Radiographers is the trade union and professional body for the diagnostic imaging and radiotherapy workforce in the UK
SCST Society for Cardiological Science & Technology
SEPA Scottish Environmental Protection Agency
SET Standards of Education and Training
SoP Standards of Proficiency
SRP Society for Radiological Protection
STP Scientist Training Programme
SVT Society for Vascular Technology

UKAS The United Kingdom Accreditation Service is the sole national accreditation body recognised by government to assess, against internationally agreed standards, organisations that provide certification, testing, inspection and calibration services
UKRG United Kingdom Radiopharmacy Group

WBA Work Based Assessors
WDC Workforce Development Confederation