Questions about the STP

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What is the Scientist Training Programme (STP)?

The Scientist Training Programme is a three-year programme of work-based learning, supported by a University accredited master’s degree. Click this link for further details about the STP.

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.
A breakdown of the competition ratios for direct entry posts is available.

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. Further information is available on 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 this 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 School recruitment team are not the recruiting office for posts available in Scotland and Northern Ireland. However there are separate training schemes available.

Are there STP opportunities in Wales?

The School recruitment team are not the recruiting office for posts 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 School. 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 specialism 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 School are unable to confirm the University provider. The university provider is determined by the employing organisation and confirmed by Health Education 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, Health Education England (HEE) commissioner for further advice.

What type of job might I expect to obtain at the end of my training?

There are a wide range of clinical scientist roles to choose from within any chosen specialism. Your experiences on the STP will help you decide what type of scientific job you may wish to apply for upon completing your training.

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.

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.

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.