All trainees are expected to complete as much of their e-portfolio as possible, and it is recognised that in many departments Training Officers and trainees are now in a position to facilitate completion of all competencies and work based assessments.
For completion in 2024, trainees will be permitted to complete less than a 100% of the e-portfolio under the following conditions:
- As a result of impact of COVID 19 on training during the rotations.
- Where the elective has not been possible to arrange or complete.
Trainees and Training Officers are reminded that the amended pathways are an option only to recognise the disruption to training caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. They should be accessed by exception when trainees are unable to complete rotation competencies and assessments during their training, or where completion of the rotations would be at the expense of specialist training.
Trainees will be required to complete 100% of their specialist modules irrespective of the impact of COVID-19 on training. Completion of the elective module is not mandatory for completion but is encouraged for experiential learning purposes if it can be accommodated within the timeframe. Any competencies or assessments that cannot be completed must be discussed and agreed with Training Officers, including providing evidence to satisfy Training Officers that lack of completion is due to COVID-19.
We have not provided minimum levels of competencies to be completed. As disruption is variable we believe that the Training Officer is the best placed person to understand the disruption and this is recognised by the need for sign off/counter sign off by an individual with HCPC registration as a Clinical or Biomedical Scientist. Training Officers should only sign off trainees who they believe to be safe and ready to enter practice as newly registered Clinical Scientists. Click this link for guidance on providing a declaration of competence.
For trainees unable to complete their portfolio due to reasons other than COVID-19, please contact the School to discuss alternative options.
In response to the challenges posed by the very variable disruption to training caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the School liaised with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), Health Education England (HEE) and trainees and Training Officers to ensure that completion pathways were attainable and that all trainees were treated fairly and not disadvantaged. Whilst all elements of the current curriculum were considered to be appropriate and important, it was recognised that, during the pandemic, it was not possible for all trainees to access all competencies and training opportunities, and that this disruption was variable across specialisms, cohorts and training departments. Reasons for this include trainees and Training Officers being redeployed or working remotely, services paused, social distancing policies or pressures of work. The aim was to facilitate completion for trainees that could demonstrate their readiness to practice, ensuring that patient safety was protected and that trainees could enter the workplace safely as entry-level Clinical Scientists.
For trainees completing in 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023, amendments were made to the completion pathways including a new final assessment (the IACC) and the requirement of a “sign-off” by a HCPC registered Clinical or Biomedical Scientist, attesting to the trainee’s readiness to practice where trainees were not able to complete 100% of their e-portfolio due to COVID-19. Module ‘SCC110:Introduction to Healthcare Science, Professional Practice and Clinical Leadership’ was considered to be attainable despite the disruption due to COVID-19 and therefore completion of this module remained mandatory. It was considered that ‘SCC121: Elective Module’’would be difficult to organise and, whilst the learning outcomes for this module are considered very beneficial to trainees, making this module non-mandatory allowed more time to be devoted to specialism training.
In deciding on completion requirements for 2024, we worked with colleagues in professional bodies and lead station/curriculum writers where appropriate and considered whether all competencies and work based assessments were a) accessible and b) essential for performance of the specialism. We recognised that trainees were at an earlier stage of training at the end of the pandemic and rotations were difficult to complete, and so the completion pathway for 2024 has taken this into account.
Following this year’s Mid Term Review of Progression (MRP) we have considered the completion requirements for those graduating in 2024. For this cohort, there is still some disruption to training, but this is improving, particularly in the specialist modules. Rotations were disrupted. We have provided advice to trainees and Training Officers regarding flexibility of these modules, both in terms of length of rotations and ways to deliver and assess them, and we are pleased to note that many trainees have been able to complete their rotations and these have been signed-off. We recognise the hard work that has gone into this, and the knowledge and experiences gained will undoubtedly benefit all-round development as a Clinical Scientist. However, we are aware that for some trainees access to some rotational competencies and work based assessments has still not been possible to date, and completing these in the final two years will come at the expense of the specialist training. The requirements for completion have been updated to reflect the changing impact of COVID-19 on training.