Applying to the programme

Last Updated: 21st August 2020

Follow these steps to help you through the application process for the HSST.

Application steps

These steps can be used for both direct entry and in-service applications, which are both made via the online application portal Oriel.

Click to go to Oriel

Step 1 - Register on the online application portal, Oriel

  • Create your Oriel user account via the ‘not a registered user’ option. You can create your account as early as you like but you will only be able to apply once the vacancy goes live.
  • Please do not have Oriel open in more than one tab within a single browser. Doing so will cause accidental data changes to be made when a save occurs in one of these tabs. We would also like to recommend that users access Oriel through Internet Explorer (Internet Explorer 11 or Internet Explorer Edge).
  • After you have created your user account, fill in some personal details via the ‘proceed to applicant registration’ option. This will save you some time when completing your application as the information you enter is used to automatically populate parts of your application form.

Step 2 - Search for a vacancy

  • Login to Oriel
  • Click on the vacancies tab and under ‘specialty’ select Higher Specialist Scientist Training Programme, next under ‘post type’ select healthcare science. Make sure you select the correct post type as there will be two to choose from; one for the direct entry and one for the in-service entry.
  • If you are an in-service applicant you will have been nominated by your current NHS employer and will have received a code from your employer, which you will need to complete your application form.
  • Direct entry applicants don’t require a code for their form.

Step 3 - Check the opening and closing dates

  • The application opening and closing dates will be published when the HSST opens for the 2020 intake.

Step 4 - Complete your application and choose your post location and preferred specialism

  • Your application will require personal, academic, work experience, employment and equality and diversity details. You will also be required to complete a set of questions to demonstrate your suitability, understanding and motivation for applying to the programme.
  • Direct entry applicants have a choice of one specialism however you can choose multiple locations/employers as is available. If you are shortlisted and invited to interview you will then be asked to choose your preferred location/employer.
  • In service applicants have to choose their specialism but not their location . You are only eligible to apply for the post that is being sponsored by your current employer. You will have to provide evidence that your employer has given permission for you to apply to the programme. You will also have to email copies of your academic qualifications to before the closing date.

Fitness to practise

If you answer ‘yes’ to any of the ‘fitness to practise’ questions you will need to send supporting information to before the closing date.

Guaranteed Interview Scheme

This scheme is a committment to guarantee an interview to any applicant with a disability, who meets the minimum entry criteria for the HSST (as defined in the Equality Act 2010). If you are a disabled applicant wishing to apply under the GIS, please make sure to tick the ‘yes’ box on the online application form which refers to the scheme and also send evidence of your qualification to 


If you are an ‘in-service‘ applicant you will go straight through to interview where you will provide evidence that you have achieved the entry criteria.  

If you are a ‘direct entry‘ applicant you will proceed to shortlisting if you have been successful in the application stage. Once shortlisting has been done you will receive one of three emails via Oriel: 

  • Interview - this means you will be invited to interview. You will have five working days from the date you receive the notice for interview, to confirm acceptance by booking an interview time online. 
  • Shortlist reserve -  this means you are on the reserve list and could be called for interview if any of the shortlisted candidates withdraw. This could happen at short notice so you must be prepared to attend when asked. 
  • Shortlist unsuccessful - this means that you have not been shortlisted and your application will not progress any further.