Last Updated: 5th September 2019

Healthcare Science Apprenticeship Programme Update

The draft level 6 standard available for review and comment

Healthcare Science (HCS) Assistant (Level 2)

The Level 2 Apprenticeship for HCS Assistants was accepted by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills [BIS] at the end of last year. In order to implement the Level 2 Standard, an End-Point Assessment (EPA) had to be developed and approved by Ministers. This has now been achieved and will appear on the BIS website within the next few weeks. The Level 2 Diploma which underpins the Standard will be ready in September 2016 when it is anticipated the Standard will then be launched.

Healthcare Science (HCS) Associate (Level 4)

After extensive review and consultation, the apprenticeship standard for HCS Associates (Level 4) was submitted to BIS and has now also received ministerial approval. It will shortly appear on the BIS website. Work on the Level 4 EPA and Level 4 Diploma is on-going and it is anticipated that this standard will be ready for implementation during 2017.

Healthcare Science (HCS) Practitioner (Level 6)

An Expression of Interest (EOI) for higher apprenticeship standards at Level 5 for HCS Senior Associates (underpinned by a Foundation degree) and Level 6 for HCS Practitioners [HCSPs] (underpinned by the BSc (Hons) Practitioner Training Programme (PTP) or an approved Biomedical Science degree). BIS has not yet indicated whether either or both of these will be approved, but whilst that process takes place there is a Draft Level 6 Apprentice Standard for HCSPs which is now available for discussion, review and comment.

What is needed from you now

For information and comparison there is available the already approved Level 4 Standard for HCS Associates so that you can be satisfied that the role described at each of these levels is appropriate, different and well-defined. Please note that an apprenticeship standard is applicable to all those undertaking it at that level, but the particular context/role is determined by the employer and learner within the context of a specific HCS environment and specialism. The Level 4 Diploma, for example, enables the knowledge/competences of a HCS Associate to be identified through a broad and comprehensive curriculum reflecting the specific HCS specialism; the PTP/BMS undertaken by the learner identifies the context and competences of their work and role as a HCSP/BMS.

Stakeholders are requested to consider the draft, discuss as appropriate with colleagues and send any comments to sheard49@gmail.com as soon as possible. Your comments and views about the proposed will be very much appreciated and will help ensure that the Level 6 Standard is fit for purpose in your organisations. Please send back your comments as track changes or as very specific comments. The standard cannot be more than 2 pages (Font: Arial 12), so we are somewhat constrained as to the level of detail that can be included. If you have any questions, please get in touch with Shelley Heard.