About the Scientist Training Programme FAQs

Common questions and answers about the Scientist Training Programme.

What is the Scientist Training Programme?

The Scientist Training Programme (STP) is a three-year programme of work-based learning, supported by a University accredited master’s degree. You can find the full details on the ‘About the STP Programme’ section of the website.

What is the structure of the course?

The curriculum for the programme is comprised of a series of core and scientific modules. Each of these modules is made up of academic learning and work-based learning and training. Click this link to view full details of the STP curriculum and modules.

Where will I be trained whilst on the programme?

As part of your application, you will be asked to choose where in the country you want to train. This is referred to as your ‘sub-preference’ choices. If you are successful in shortlisting, your sub-preferences, along with your shortlisting rank, will determine the training location to which you are allocated for interview. You can find all available posts and locations within the applicants section of the website. This information is updated regularly to reflect any changes throughout the application process.

Are there STP opportunities available in Scotland and Northern Ireland?

The NSHCS recruitment team are not the recruiting office to posts available in Scotland and Northern Ireland however; there are separate training schemes available.

Are there STP opportunities in Wales?

The NSHCS recruitment team are not the recruiting office to posts available in Wales. Further information about the training programme in Wales can be found on the Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) website.

Can I attend open days to find out more about the training?

Yes, some employers do hold open days and will confirm details with the NSHCS. You will find details of the STP Open Days in the events section of the website.

How much travel is involved in the STP?

You may have to travel to other training centres to fulfil parts of the programme. These could be in different parts of the country and you may have to spend weeks at a time there. Whether you have to travel to complete your rotations will depend on the specialty and whether your host employer has the facilities to provide all the training aspects.You will also have to travel to the university to complete the master’s degree. The amount of travel involved for this will depend on the university and course you attend.

Which University will I be attending? What are the course dates and will the classes be online or virtual?

The STP is a national training programme to which, the recruitment team are unable to confirm the University provider. The university provider is determined by the employing organisation and confirmed by NHS England commissioners. It is not based on location or proximity of available posts. You would be expected to travel where required to complete the academic elements of the course.

Will I have to contribute to the academic tuition fees?

No; the tuition fees for the academic part of the training programme are fully funded.

How much will I be paid whilst on the training programme?

During your time on the three year programme you will be salaried at AfC Band 6 per annum. You can find details of the current AfC Bands on the NHS Employers website.Funding for any additional expenses is entirely a local decision and should be discussed and agreed with the commissioner, and managed by the employer.

Is there any additional financial support available, other than the salary?

Funding to support travel and accommodation at university or other events may be available. However such funding is at the discretion of the employer and may be subject to local availability. You should contact the relevant department or Local Healthcare Science NHS England commissioner for further advice.

I am currently working in a Band 6 role within the NHS. Do I keep pay progression on the STP?

You, would need to speak to the Trust HR department as funding is only provided to the minimum salary point.

If you already work in the NHS will your pension scheme remain unaffected? Will the Band 6 wage increase with regular NHS agenda for change pay rises and inflation?

You would need to speak with the NHS pensions department with any pension queries. The salary will increase with any agreed pay changes.

Can I obtain professional registration by completing the STP?

The School is responsible for issuing a Certificate of Completion for the Scientist Training Programme (CCSTP). The certificate confirms that a trainee has met all the relevant mandatory completion criteria for the programme and that they are fit to practice. The School is the education provider for STP therefore issuing the CCSTP will also mean that trainees are eligible to apply directly to the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) for registration as a Clinical Scientist.

Am I guaranteed a job at the end of my training?

There is no guarantee of employment on completion of the STP. However, you will be eligible to apply for any suitable clinical scientist posts once you have obtained registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). If you are an in-service trainee, your ongoing employment continues as normal.

Does STP accommodate maternity leave ?

Yes, you can view further information on the NSHCS website.

When I have graduated from the STP will I have a recognised international qualification?

Master’s degrees from a Higher Education Institute are recognised academic qualifications under the European Qualifications Framework and is a component part of the award made on successful completion of the STP.

Can I complete the STP part-time?

Currently the STP is a full-time 3 year training programme only.

Will I need to work evenings, weekends and Bank Holidays?

This will be determined by the employer.

Who gets a place on the STP?

A range of people have been successful in being appointed to the STP. In addition to high standards of scientific ability, what they have in common is an enthusiasm for science, aspirations to be leaders in healthcare science and a focus on delivering high quality and compassionate care for patients. Above all else our successful applicants demonstrate the right values and behaviours integral to providing safe and effective healthcare science services to patients and the public. Click this link to see a breakdown of the competition ratios for direct entry posts.

Will we be bonded to the NHS after we complete our STP?

There is no tie in with the NHS for trainees who undertake the STP.

Can I transition to STP from my current Master's degree without a gap?

This is your decision. You may want to speak to other trainees regarding their experiences.

Are we able to apply for university/ private student accommodation in the place we are working?

You would need to speak with the relevant University to discuss this query.