Guidance about elective requirements for STP trainees completing between 2021 to 2023

The elective period has been challenging for trainees to complete during the pandemic, the details below set out the current requirements for STP trainees completing the programme.


The aim of the elective period is to facilitate a broader experience of healthcare and/or the practice of Healthcare Science in a cultural and/or clinical setting that is different from the usual training environment. We want to emphasise the great value of planning and completing the Elective module for all STP trainees. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it challenging for trainees to plan and complete the experience, therefore we have outlined below the current elective requirements for each completion year.

For trainees completing the programme in 2021 and 2022

Whilst the School recognises the elective beneficial to the training journey, it will not be mandatory to complete all elements in order to exit the programme in 2021 and 2022. Our response to the pandemic included agreeing with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) some flexibility in requirements for completion, but trainees should ensure that, where possible, they complete as many of the programme learning outcomes as they can (including the learning outcomes connected with the elective if possible).

For current second years (ie those completing in 2022), although you may opt not to take the full length of elective specified in the programme, you should as a minimum be able to show evidence of your discussions with your training officer about what would be reasonable and feasible in current circumstances. You should do what you can to address the elective-related competencies and ensure that there is evidence of your reflection on OneFile.

For trainees completing the programme in 2023

For current year one trainees, who would not normally be planning the elective until the mid-to-late point of their second year, we do not expect elective options to be so restricted in the coming years and so would expect the requirement to complete an elective to be achievable. At present, we would encourage trainees to plan and organise their elective experience as it may be mandatory to complete the programme in 2023. However, the School will continue to monitor the pandemic situation, and we will update our 2023 completion criteria as required if the pandemic situation changes.

Further information on the elective including advice on duration and timing is available in our statement from 7th December ‘Update on the Scientist Training Programme Electives‘.

Last updated on 3rd September 2021