Assessment criteria for the IACC 2020

This overview provides you with details of the assessment criteria for the Independent Assessment of Clinical Competence (IACC).


This information relates to the 2020 IACC and is for reference only.


On receiving the submission from the trainee, there will be a first stage check to ensure that it adheres to the criteria stated in the ‘Requirements for the IACC submission’ document.


Assessing the IACC submission

Assessors have been nominated by the Lead Station Writer for the trainee’s specialty to assess IACC scripts.  All nominated assessors will receive training in assessing IACC scripts.

It is expected that each submission will be a personal and individual account directly reflecting the trainee’s personal understanding and acknowledgement of their own stage of development and insight to meeting the challenges presented when entering the workforce as a newly qualified Clinical Scientist.

The independent assessor will make an objective holistic assessment based on the trainee’s self-advocacy of their readiness to practise as a safe and competent newly registered, threshold Clinical Scientist in their specialty.  The assessor will use the following indicators to guide their assessment and arrive at a pass or fail judgement.  The indicators are provided as guidance; there are no weightings attached to each indicator or scoring of each section of the narrative.


Assessment of the trainee’s IACC submission must be carried out bearing in mind the notion of the minimal competence expected of a newly qualified, threshold Clinical Scientist in their speciality.

Assessment indicators

Readiness to practise indicators:

  • The trainee has recognised and addressed the essential aspects central to their specialty
  • The trainee has recognised their own limitations and scope of expertise in the central aspects
  • The trainee has shown insight on how they will meet the challenge of the expectation of them from their future employer to ensure safe practice and no harm comes to patients from their actions
  • Statements of fact are accurate and supported by portfolio evidence citations – there are no expectations of a specific number of citations to portfolio evidence, however, it would be appropriate to see a substantial number of citations relevant to the important aspects of the critical reflection narrative
  • The trainee is positively critical about their current and future development
  • The trainee recognises their continuing development needs through an understanding of future expectations of their role and responsibilities
  • The trainee demonstrates an understanding of the practice and behaviours that uphold and advocate the standards expected of a Clinical Scientist

Negative indicators

  • Evidence of unsafe practice
  • Lack of patient consideration or awareness
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Critical reflection indicators

The narrative goes beyond description only

  • The critical reflection is in the context of their own clinical practice and stage of development i.e. not based on a theoretical view of a clinical scientist
  • Expectations and assumptions made by the trainee about their training programme have been recognised and considered, particularly where these expectations have not been met
  • Usual assumptions and actions that would be expected of the newly qualified
  • Clinical Scientist by their employer have been considered and the challenges they pose have been addressed
  • There is honesty about themselves, their understanding of their role and stage of development
  • Any attitudinal response to their situation guides the reflection on how they will meet the challenge posed in their future role as newly registered clinical scientist
  • Overall, the critical reflection gives confidence that the trainee will be practising to the standard required as a safe and competent Clinical Scientist

Negative indicators

  • Purely descriptive report
  • Blaming of others/not taking responsibility for own actions
  • Statements that indicate lack of integrity or honesty

Good Scientific Practice (GSP) domain indicators

  • Please refer to the AHCS Good Scientific Practice (GSP)*
  • There is recognition of the values and principles of each of the GSP principle domains and attention is paid to addressing any gaps in meeting these aspects – trainees should select to emphasise any of the expectations described under each principle domain as appropriate to their critical reflection on readiness to practise
  • Each of the GSP principle domains is equally important; each should be addressed and therefore, assessed at the level expected of a newly qualified Clinical Scientist e.g. Clinical Leadership – there should be evidence that the trainee is able to deliver their role at the expected level ensuring the delivery of good practice, it is not expected that they would, at this stage in their development, be high performing leaders.

Negative indicators

  • None or limited reference to the GSP domains
  • Domains not addressed equally or sufficiently

*The GSP describes the generic practice across the entire healthcare science framework.  For STP, the GSP is contextualised in the STP curriculum to the requirements set out in the HCPC Standards of Proficiency for Clinical Scientists.


L7 indicators

  • The narrative is logical and coherent, with clear conclusions and goals arising from the critical reflection.
  • The narrative reflects L7 cognitive skills
  • Writing skills or style is not the focus for this assessment. It is important that the narrative conveys a comprehensible intention to meet the behaviours, attitudes and skills of a newly qualified employee in their workforce.
  • Spelling and grammar are not specifically being assessed but the intended meaning must be clearly conveyed.

Negative indicators

  • Incoherent writing style, hard to follow
  • Lack of clear conclusions
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Last updated on 31st August 2021