Standards, Rules & Guidance

As  one of our registrants you are expected to abide by the following standards:

  • Good Scientific Practice
  • The standards of proficiency for the your professional group or level of practice
  • Standards for Continuing Professional Development

It is important that you read through all the documentation for each of the standards as you join the register for the first time and remain familiar with the contents to maintain your registration.  Registration is a commitment to complying with these Standards. For more detailed information on the individual standards please see the sections below:

Good Scientific Practice (GSP) sets out the professional standards on which safe and good working practice is founded for all those in the healthcare science workforce. GSP also confirms to employers the standards of behaviour and practice that all members of the healthcare science workforce must be supported to achieve and maintain, both in the NHS and all other sectors and settings.

The standards are essential for all members of the workforce to perform their job role activities, provide safe, effective patient care, and demonstrate their professionalism.

After an extensive review process, the Academy for Healthcare Science (AHCS) has published a revised version of GSP, together with three documents which summarise the changes between GSP 2012 and GSP 2021, an implementation timeline for using GSP, and one providing further reference points.

The following links provide more detail.

Standards of Proficiency

These Standards of Proficiency set out the minimum standard that a person must meet in order to first register and maintain registration with AHCS. The standards are used to guide registrant actions, approve education and training programmes and to assess whether a person’s education, training and professional practice is ‘equivalent’ to that required of a practitioner (that is, we undertake an equivalence assessment, which when successfully completed, results in a Certificate of Equivalence being awarded by the Academy).

The Standards of Proficiency cover three areas:

  1. Professional autonomy and accountability
  2. Skills required for practise
  3. Knowledge of Healthcare Science

You should familiarise yourself with the Standards for the relevant part of the Register before applying. Registration is a commitment to complying with these Standards.

Higher Specialist Scientist Standards of Proficiency

You are also advised to familiarise yourself with the AHCS Fitness to Practise procedure and related documentation and the Terms and Conditions of your registration. The Terms and Conditions of registration can be found by logging into your AHCS registration account and reading the declaration section of your application. This includes but is not limited to your commitments to:

  • Continuing Professional Development to keep your practise up-to-date, safe and effective; and understanding that you may be required to submit this information within 21 days, on request by the Registrar, and provide any other evidence as may reasonably be required;
  • Understanding and complying with the standards expected as a condition of registration
  • Informing the Academy of any change to the informationyou have provided within four weeks of the change, including, but not limited to, changes in name, home address, email address, employer and those related to your good character and health self-declaration;
  • Confirming that you are covered by professional indemnity insurance, either by your employer’s scheme or other appropriate insurance.

More information about maintaining your registration, can be found on the following page:

Standards of Continuing Professional development

Continuing professional development (CPD) is the way in which our registrants continue to learn and develop throughout their careers, so that they keep their knowledge and skills up to date and are able to practise safely and effectively. We set our CPD Standards that every registrant should meet, to ensure that their activities are effective.

CPD helps you maintain or develop your competence and fitness to practise, whether your development needs are:

  • for the purposes of your role or profession;
  • required by your employer;
  • required to meet a specific career goal; or
  • aspirational, to meet your own personal goals.

CPD is an important and essential requirement for registration with the AHCS. If you do not maintain your CPD, you will be removed from the register.

To fulfil the requirement, as a HSS Practitioner Registrant, you must:

  1. Keep a structured record of your continuing professional development (CPD) activity to evidence how you maintain and update your knowledge, understanding and skills in line with changing needs in patient care and service delivery, developments in the evidence base, technological advances, and your job role;
  2. Undertake CPD activities that are a mixture of learning activities relevant to your current or future practice;
  3. Ensure that your CPD has contributed to the quality of your professional practice;
  4. When requested and in a format specified by the Registrar, present a CPD portfolio (a written record, with evidence, of your CPD activities and their impact on your professional practice) explaining how you have met the standards for CPD.

Each year, we audit a random sample of our registrants to make sure our standards are being met. If you are selected for CPD audit, we will write to you and ask you to send us information showing how you have met the CPD standards over the previous two years. The AHCS Registration Rules  also allow for the AHCS Registrar to send a notice to a you, at any time, requiring you to submit your continuing professional development record for inspection within 21 days  of the notice.

Full information can be found in the AHCS Standards of continuing professional development. We have also produced the AHCS CPD Guide  which offers guidance on how to keep a record of your CPD activities and the types of activity that are acceptable.

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