Good training planning

For a trainee good training planning sits at the heart of successfully negotiating the five-year HSST programme.


It is driven and informed by the content of the particular Learning Outcomes (LO) of the discipline-specific curriculum and its content must meet the Academy’s Standards of Proficiency (SoP).

The training plan will produce evidence from work undertaken in the workplace, from the academic content of the HEI programme and, for Life Science trainees, from the requirements of the Royal College of Pathologists examinations. Each piece of evidence submitted for assessment should reference the LOs of the curriculum and formally map to the SoP.

Training planning should grow by design over the period of the programme, being more detailed in earlier years and referencing an outline for future years, which should be updated and modified in detail year on year. Effective training planning will:

Establish training goals:

  • against the specialist curriculum content
  • against what is possible with the job plan
  • against what is required for the programme components (DClinSci, FRCPath etc)
  • against the required programme outcomes

Develop the content by:

  • planning progression over the five years
  • designing the outputs and evidence
  • outlining the structure over the five years
  • establishing a timeline for progression
  • making time for preparing for training

Specifically define:

  • items for assessment
  • tools for recording evidence
  • support from colleagues
  • gap analysis

Each training plan is a bespoke programme particular to the individual trainee and the environment they work in, discussed and agreed with you, their workplace supervisor. It needs to take account of the job plan and any assigned roles and routine clinical responsibilities and needs to strike the right balance between the requirements of routine service and of progression through the HSST programme.

A training plan should include:

  • objectives set to facilitate personal development and with time set aside for training
  • assessments designed and mapped to match progression through the programme against both the LOs of the curriculum and to meet the Academy’s SoP
  • provision of supervision and monitoring of a trainee’s educational experience
  • regular training planning reviews.

OneFile, the online e-portfolio, provides a means whereby training plans can be recorded and signed off.