Healthcare Science Apprenticeships

An apprenticeship is a job with training. It enables someone to develop and demonstrate the knowledge, skills and behaviours they need to perform effectively in a particular occupation. The occupation is defined in the apprenticeship standard (Institute for Apprenticeships, 2017).

Three Standards have been developed by a Trailblazer group for Healthcare Science:

Level 2 – Healthcare Science Assistants (published October 2015)

Level 4 – Healthcare Science Associates (published May 2016)

Level 6 – Healthcare Science Practitioners (published January 2017)

Apprenticeships must last a minimum of 12 months and include 20 per cent structured off-the-job training before the end-point assessment takes place, to develop competence in an occupation.

The end-point assessment takes place when apprentices have completed their on-programme training and is mandatory. The end-point assessments are undertaken by an independent assessment organisation, which must be on the Register of Apprentice Assessment Organisations held by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA). The assessments must follow the published end-point assessment plans, also developed by the Trailblazer Groups (see links above).


What is the Academy’s role?

All organisations undertaking end-point assessments must be quality assured by another approved organisation. The Academy has been formally recognised by the Institute for Apprenticeships as the External Quality Assurance provider for the three published healthcare science apprenticeship standards: Healthcare Science Assistant, Healthcare Science Associate, and Healthcare Science Practitioner (for non-integrated programmes).  We are in the process of finalising the operational details of the external quality assurance process and will be working with the End Point Assessment Organisations to establish the timeline for External Quality Assurance activity.

There are currently two organisations approved by the Education and Skills Funding Agency to undertake end point assessments (EPAs) in healthcare science:

National School of Healthcare Science – can undertake the EPAs for the level 2 Healthcare Science Assistant apprenticeship, the level 4 Healthcare Science Associate apprenticeship, and the level 6 Healthcare Science Practitioner apprenticeship (where the degree is a non-integrated degree). See further information at: http://www.nshcs.hee.nhs.uk/join-apprenticeships/apprenticeships


The National School of Healthcare Science

The National School is also a key source of information for employers and potential apprentices in Healthcare Science.


Statement released by IfATE on the 16th March 2020:

“The Institute understands the unique challenge that Covid-19 presents to the delivery of apprenticeships and that its impact is widespread.  We are working closely with the Department for Education to develop a comprehensive and complete set of measures that permit professional discretion so that individuals are protected and disruption is minimised, whilst safeguarding the quality of apprenticeships, should it not be possible to extend the length of an apprenticeship.  We anticipate providing detailed guidance this week.”

If you have any queries regarding forth-coming End Point Assessments, please follow the below link for further guidance:

https://nshcs.hee.nhs.uk/coronavirus-covid-19-information/end-point-assessments/


Functional Skills Qualifications – Temporary COVID-19 flexibility announced

IfATE has announced temporary flexibility relating to Functional Skills (FSQ) and the re-sequencing of the End Point Assessment (EPA) process to enable gateway to be passed and the EPA to be taken before the FSQ calculated result is received: https://www.instituteforapprenticeships.org/covid-19/recent-announcements/new-end-point-assessment-flexibility-for-calculated-functional-skills-qualifications/