Statement published on 4th May 2020

We have published information about the alternative to the OSFA exit assessment for STP trainees completing their programme this year.

The alternative to the OSFA exit assessment for STP trainees completing their programme this year will be an activity which we are calling the Independent Assessment of Clinical Competence (IACC).

Independent Assessment of Clinical Competence (IACC)


Statement published on 24th April 2020

In place of the OSFA, trainees will be required to submit a written critical reflection on their clinical competence and readiness to practise, which outlines how their experience and learning to date demonstrate how they meet the standards set out in the Academy of Healthcare Science’s Good Scientific Practice.

Our current plan is that this piece of written work will be submitted by a point in mid-July. Trainees will be given advance notice of the precise requirements of the written assignment in May.

Trainees and their training officers will be provided with further and more detailed guidance about the alternative final assessment next week and beyond.

Previous statements

17th April - draft proposal submitted to HEE

Statement published on 17th April 2020

The School’s planning team has met regularly over the last fortnight and has developed a draft deliverable proposal for STP programme completion including an alternative to the live OSFA. The draft plan has been reviewed and agreed by the Academy for Healthcare Science, as the HCPC’s approved education provider. The proposal is also receiving comments from a representative group of Healthcare Scientists who have been involved with the School’s STP.

The proposal will be submitted, on Monday 20 April, to the HEE Executive team leading on the response to disruptions to HEE programmes caused by the current situation and a meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday 21 April.

We are very mindful that trainees are keen to know more. We are also keen to share the details of what will be required of you for completing your programme so that you have as much time as possible to prepare. However, we want to be as sure as possible that the proposal is robust allowing for a safe and sure completion of programme following the scheduled timeframe. We ask that you bear with us a little longer.

A further progress update will be provided on Friday 24 April.

3rd April - We are considering appropriate options following the decision to cancel the physical live OSFAs event

Statement published on 3rd April 2020

The physical live OSFAs event was cancelled and not postponed. This is to remove any uncertainty about trainees and all our specialists and staff who contribute to the delivery of the event, being required to attend a physical assessment event, under the current uncertainty about the next few weeks and months.

We are conscious that trainees and their Training Officers will be anxious to know what will be required of them instead of the live OSFAs and for completion of programmes. We want to reassure you that our planning team is considering this very carefully, as any proposal must be manageable by all, especially trainees and their training department during these challenging times and it must be acceptable to the healthcare science community. HEE is keen that, if possible, trainees should be supported to complete their programmes, with efforts being made to avoid delays to scheduled completion dates. The School is working to these objectives.

This requires complex planning to ensure that our proposal is fair, transparent, defensible and quality assured. The proposal must be approved by HEE Executive as being in line with other HEE programmes.

HEE has also stated that the training of our next cohorts of the NHS workforce remains important to ensure future continuation of services. Therefore, the advice continues to be that STP trainees make all possible efforts to work towards completing their One-File portfolios and academic components (as guided by their HEI) and that training officers support these efforts as much as possible. However, we do recognise that there may be severe constraints placed upon the ability to train ‘as normal’ due to the essential response to the COVID-19 crisis required from many.

A further update will be provided on Friday 17 April or sooner if we have new news to share.

23rd March - We've made the decision to cancel (not postpone) the live OSFA event scheduled for July 2020

Statement published on 23rd March 2020

To comply with the public health guidance released by the government, and with so many of our healthcare scientists involved in the response to the coronavirus pandemic, Health Education England and the National School of Healthcare Science have made the difficult but responsible decision to cancel (not postpone) the live OSFA event scheduled for July 2020.

The School is now working to determine the best and most efficient way to deal with the impact of that decision on trainees and the healthcare science workforce and to support trainees to complete their programme.

We will provide a further update for you by Friday 3 April. The current advice to final year trainees is to continue progressing through the requirements of your academic programme of study, as guided by your HEI, and of your workplace training and practice as far as is possible within the constraints imposed by your local circumstances.