Employing a HSST Trainee

What you need to know when employing a trainee on the Higher Specialist Scientist Training programme.


Getting started

Posts are commissioned by employers through the Local Office of Health Education England (HEE) either as a new post created specifically for the purpose of training (direct entry) or as an in-service post, through an already existing clinical scientist post.

Posts can only be commissioned within those departments that meet our accreditation requirements. Employers will be required to demonstrate to both the commissioners and us that they meet the requirements of the HEE Quality Framework and can deliver the specific requirements of the HSST. The commissioning process occurs annually usually starting in the autumn of the year preceding appointments.


Responsibilities of the employer

You must ensure the HSST trainee has a balance between providing services and providing access to educational and training opportunities. Service work undertaken should support learning opportunities, education and training opportunities, and should not be compromised by the demands of regularly carrying out routine tasks or out-of-hours cover that do not support learning and have little educational or training value.

An allowance of 52 days each year protected time, used flexibly for academic studies and which excludes the time spent attending residential sessions at the HEI or other time attending conferences or on placement outside the host laboratory.

HSST trainees are mentored or supervised by someone of consultant or equivalent standing within the employing department and with the support of others across the department and within the wider organisation. We provide HSST Train the Trainer events for those undertaking HSST supervision.


What to do if you wish to employ a trainee

You need to contact your local Health Education England (HEE) office and speak to the healthcare science lead. There may be specific conditions that your department needs to have in place before agreeing to commission a trainee post. You must also inform your lead scientist and Trust education and training lead of your plans to employ a HSST trainee.

You can find details about your local healthcare science lead below.

Name HEE area office Telephone
Jennifer Boughen
Katrina Oates
Alternative email:
East of England n/a
Sarah Peel
Please send email to both addresses
London n/a
Maxine Kwofie
Alternative email:
Midlands (East and West) 0121 695 2500
Sally Drew North East, Yorkshire and Humber 07920 834506
Greg Martin
Can also cc. Nicholas Fowler-Johnson for information
North West n/a
Shakira Greaves South East: Kent, Surrey, Sussex, Wessex, Thames Valley n/a
Helene Fouquet South West (includes Salisbury) 01454 252726
Christine Love
HEIW recruitment to STP
Wales 01445 848548
Robert Farley Scotland 0131 656 3230
Peter Barbour
Professor Ian Young
Northern Ireland n/a

Last updated on 23rd September 2021