The nature of education and training for Healthcare Science varies according to the role and speciality of practice. Entry to each level of the workforce can be summarised as follows:
Healthcare Science Role
Education and Training
|Healthcare Science Assistant and Associate||Development of this level will be supported by a national Learning and Development framework with vocational awards and qualifications. The framework is designed to provide maximum flexibility for support roles specific to local employer needs.|
|Healthcare Science Practitioner||Practitioners at this level undertake a BSc (Hons) degree with integrated work based training the Practitioner Training Programme (PTP). This is a 3 year undergraduate Bachelors Honours degree programme providing the underpinning knowledge and skill development. A minimum of fifty weeks of work based training and assessment is included in the programme to ensure individuals are fit for purpose on graduation and can meet the requirements for regulation.|
|Healthcare Scientist||At this level, scientists undertake a Masters in Science programme with linked work based training the Scientist Training Programme (STP). This is a 3 year employment-based, NHS-commissioned pre-registration education and training programme. It incorporates two components which are very closely aligned: (i) an MSc in Clinical Science with a defined research and innovation component and (ii) structured and nationally specified work based training beginning with a rotational training programme to develop a broader skill and knowledge base.|
|Consultant Healthcare Scientist||This level of training is under development in collaboration with Medical Royal Colleges. Higher specialist scientific training (HSST) will comprise a five-year doctoral level programme to include research, innovation, leadership, and specialism-specific clinical scientific content. This advanced programme will equip the Clinical Scientist with skills for their future senior and complex roles as clinical scientific experts, as clinical leaders and directors and innovators, and for some, as Consultant Clinical Scientists.|
The structure of training varies across the four UK countries. In England, the ‘Modernising Scientific Careers’ programme has resulted in a comprehensive framework for training. Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have adopted similar structures. Specific information about the training in a particular UK country can be obtained from the relevant education providers or employing organisations.
Quality Assurance of Education and Training
The commissioning of education and training for health and care professionals in England is undertaken through Health Education England (HEE). The lead Local Education and Training Board (LETB) for healthcare science is within the West Midlands.
The AHCS role in the quality assurance of education and training is in development, working in partnership with the constituent Healthcare Science professional bodies, Health Education England and the National School of Healthcare Science.
The main priorities are to ensure that quality assurance is robust and that there is a smooth transition from existing arrangements for all stakeholders.
The AHCS as an ‘approved education provider’
The Academy for Healthcare Science has been an HCPC ‘approved education provider’ since October 2012. This recognises the Academy’s central role in the system for education and training in healthcare science and provides the route to statutory regulation for trainees completing appropriate Modernising Scientific Careers courses or going through Equivalence.
AHCS is an HCPC approved education provider for two programmes:
- Certificate of Attainment. This is awarded on successful completion of an STP programme where trainees have an MSc certificate from an MSC accredited HEI and a Certificate of Completion of Scientific Training (CCST) from the NSHCS
- Certificate of Equivalence. When equivalence is awarded by the AHCS on successful demonstration of equivalence to the output of the STP programme
- HCPC Standards of Proficiency for Clinical Scientists (pdf, 76kb)
- HCPC Standards of Proficiency for Biomedical Scientists (pdf, 83kb)