Entry requirements for in-service applicants


What is an 'in-service' trainee?

In-service trainees are existing NHS employees who are already working in a recognised scientific specialty. In-service applicants may enter the STP and complete the training in their current workplace. Existing NHS employees can also apply for a direct entry training post but would need to resign from their current post if offered a training place. They would have to follow the direct entry guidance for applying to the STP.

In-service trainees remain in full-time employment in their department for the duration of the training.  Salary support is provided by Health Education England (HEE). Further contact details can be found on the HEE website.


Educational requirements for in-service posts

To be eligible for the STP as an in-service applicant you must meet the educational requirements, as follows:

  • A 1st or 2:1 in either an undergraduate honours degree or an integrated master’s degree, in a pure or applied science subject. The degree subject must be relevant to the specialty for which you are applying. Science degrees related to medicine may also be considered suitable for some of the specialties.


  • A 2:2 honours degree in any subject plus a higher degree in a subject that is relevant to the specialty you wish to apply for.

You must also match the person specification for the role.


Further entry requirements for in-service applicants

The School recognises that there may be in-service applicants who possess appropriate professional experience but do not meet the academic entry requirements for the STP.

For 2023 recruitment, any in-service applicant who is unable to apply for equivalence via The Academy for Healthcare Science or Association of Clinical Science, will be considered for entry to the STP if:

  • The proposed training centre is experienced, i.e., they have successfully trained at least one trainee to completion of the STP.
  • The proposed in-service STP trainee can demonstrate they are able to enrol on the designated MSc by passing the relevant university’s APEL entry requirements.
  • The expression of interest (EOI) for the post is successfully agreed.
  • Trust recruitment and selection processes have been followed.

This option is only available for in-service applicants and does not apply to direct entry applicants.


Providing evidence

Following the expression of interest process and prior to the opening date of the in-service vacancy on Oriel, the training centre and applicant need to provide the following evidence to the School Recruitment Team:

  • The training centre is experienced and has a successful track record in training STP trainees to completion.
  • The proposed in-service STP trainee has in writing from the relevant HEI that it will allow them entry onto the MSc course, providing the expression of interest for an STP trainee is successful.
  • Any other required documentation requested by the School Recruitment Team.

Discussions with the university should be held, and the evidence from the university received prior to the EOI being submitted. If not already known, the name of the relevant programme director and the university that offers the academic portion of the STP can be obtained by emailing nshcs.mscrecruitment@hee.nhs.uk.


Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) requirements

If the proposed in-service STP trainee cannot meet the APEL requirements for the designated STP MSc, or the training centre has not already successfully trained a Clinical Scientist via the STP route, then the proposed trainee cannot enter the programme. If the training centre is unhappy with the decision made by the university about APEL, then it will have to follow the university’s relevant appeal process. The university APEL processes are completely independent from the School.


Support from your employer

As an in-service applicant you need the support of your employer in consideration of current and future workforce needs. You do not have any choice regarding post location or specialty and can only apply for the training place for which your current employer is sponsoring you. Your employer will provide confirmation of support and an in-service application code. You must enter this code when applying for the post. You must also send copies of qualifications throughout the application window to ensure eligibility.

If you do not meet the above entry requirements, you will not be able to proceed with your application to the STP.


STP in-service decision making process flowchart

Content from 'STP in-service decision making process' flowchart

Q. Does the proposed in-service STP candidate meet entry requirements for direct entry STP candidates?

A. Yes – Complete expression of interest (EOI) as normal for this proposed in-service STP candidate.

A. No – Go to next question.

Q. Has the training centre successfully trained an STP trainee before?

A. Yes – Speak to the relevant HEI. Go to next question.

A. No – An EOI for this proposed in-service STP candidate cannot be submitted.

Q. Is the HEI prepared to put in writing to the School that they will accept the proposed in-service STP candidate onto the Master’s programme if the EOI is successful?

A. Yes – Complete EOI as normal for this proposed in-service STP candidate. Make sure the paperwork from the HEI has been sent to the School.

A. No –  An EOI for this proposed in-service STP candidate cannot be submitted.