Evidence

A blend of methods is used to ensure effective capture of robust evidence relating to the three components of the HSST programme:

  • Acquisition and application of specialist scientific knowledge up to Consultant Clinical Scientist level;
  • Mastery and practice of higher clinical and scientific skills, including professionalism, and the values, behaviours and attitudes expected of leaders in healthcare science; and
  • Ability to make a significant contribution to knowledge generation and innovation in healthcare science service and practice.

The strategy specifies Standardised Assessment – used by the NSHCS and stakeholders to assess competence in core skills and knowledge domains as part of a decision about fitness to practise; and Workplace based Assessment – the assessment of activity in the workplace mapped against the Higher Specialist Scientist Standards of Proficiency and referenced to the curriculum.

Routes through the HSST programme

There are two routes through the HSST programme:

  • Route 1 (physiological sciences, physical sciences and clinical biomedical engineering, clinical bioinformatics); and
  • Route 2 (life sciences). All trainees must demonstrate achievement of the curriculum learning outcomes, but the means by which this is documented and assessed are different.
Programme component Route Assessment components Assessment tools Administrative responsibility Component weighting
Mastery of scientific content  1 Professional doctorate (PD) As required by the HEI provider of the PD HEI 100%; must pass either the PD or FRCPath to receive the Certificate of Completion for the HSST from the NSHCS
 2 FRCPath, with an option to take selected, or all, components of the PD FRCPath RCPath
Mastery of clinical skills, values and behaviours 1 Workplace-based assessment (WPBA)

Demonstration of scientific and clinical skills

Evidence of activity in the workplace submitted for assessment in the e-portfolio.

NSHCS Independent Assessment of Professional Skills (IAPS)

Workplace, recorded and assessed in the e-portfolio and monitored by NSHCS.

NSHCS in collaboration with Medical Royal Colleges (MRCs) and Professional Bodies (PBs).

100%; must have a satisfactory portfolio of evidence of activity from the workplace showing that all of the HSSR SOPs have been met, and either gain a ‘pass’ in the NSHCS assessment or FRCPath to receive the Certificate of Completion for the HSST from the NSHCS.
2 WPBA

FRCPath

Evidence of activity in the workplace submitted for assessment in the e-portfolio.

FRCPath

Workplace, recorded and assessed in the e-portfolio and monitored by NSHCS.

RCPath

Contribution to innovation 1 Innovation in Clinical Science (ICS) project Innovation Proposal report and presentation to a lay panel. MAHSE and NSHCS in collaboration with employers, MRCs and PBs.
2 Contribution to innovation, service improvement, patient safety or quality management in healthcare science Complete full research project, if not using previous PhD or FRCPath Part 2 as exemption MAHSE and NSHCS in collaboration with employers, MRCs and PBs.