An overview of the HSST recruitment process

At the National School of Healthcare Science, we manage recruitment to the Higher Specialist Scientist Training (HSST) in England and Wales.


The HSST is a bespoke 5 year training programme which enables clinical scientists to be trained to take on the role of a consultant clinical scientist. All direct entry clinical scientists will be employed on a five-year, full time, fixed term training contract. This is funded at no less than Agenda for Change Band 7.

Appointment to the HSST is through a national recruitment and selection process.  For 2022, the final selection will be made through an online interview to assess:

  • suitability – the degree to which you meet the person specification for a learner on the programme
  • values, behaviours, leadership and management skills to reflect the needs of the programme and the NHS Constitution
  • research, innovation and any scientific experience

The shortlisting and interview stages of the recruitment process are carried out by national panels made up of employers, professional bodies and lay/ medical representatives.


Roles and responsibilities

We communicate all information about recruitment to employers through the Health Education England (HEE) local commissioners in the first instance.

Employers must ensure that:

  • any internal recruitment processes for posts are instigated as soon as the post(s) has been confirmed by the HEE Local Team
  • one or more members of the department are nominated to participate in the shortlisting and interview processes
  • their HR department are aware of the posts, the national process and are engaged from the beginning of recruitment

Last updated on 21st February 2022