COVID-19: STP training officer information

Information for STP training officers during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.


Latest statement

Statement updated 2nd November 2020

Update on STP final assessment

The National School in HEE, like other education and government institutions, continues to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on its responsibilities and in particular on the training of, and completion by, current 3rd year STP trainees.

In light of the continued difficulties involved in running face-to-face events, and also to progress with potential assessment innovations suggested by senior scientists and assessment experts during an OSFA Visioning day held in January 2020, we would like to provide you with an update on the format of the STP final assessment for 2021.

  1. The 2021 mock OSFA and summer OSFA assessment events have been cancelled.
  2. Currently, Education and Assessment experts in the National School and in HEE are working on the design of an alternative STP final assessment for trainees scheduled to complete in 2021. This will retain the successful elements of the IACC. Further details will be released in December pending HEE, HCPC and national senior scientific colleagues’ approval.

Previous statements

2nd September - HCPC Temporary Register to remain open to end of November 2020

Statement updated 2nd September 2020

HCPC Temporary Register to remain open to end of November 2020

We have discussed with the HCPC the proposed closure of the temporary register for Clinical Scientists and Biomedical Scientists. We are pleased to inform you that the HCPC have agreed to extend the register to end of November 2020.

The HCPC should also be contacting registrants directly but we wanted to make you aware that this agreement has been reached as soon as possible.

18th August - Understanding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

Statement updated 18th August 2020

Understanding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

Here at the School we want to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, on the education and training of year 1 and 2 STP trainees and training officers. To help us determine the impact, we would be grateful if you could complete a brief survey. The information you provide will enable us to explore whether any adjustments to training outputs are needed.

Thank you for taking the time to complete this short survey. The deadline for completion of the survey is Monday 31st August 2020.

Survey for training officers of STP trainees – Years 1 and 2

3rd June

Statement updated on 3rd June 2020

If your trainees are working from home at the instruction of your employer, the Trust should provide them with the equipment needed to continue training. This should not continue indefinitely and trainees should be returning to the workplace as soon as possible subject to risk assessment. Training should be continuing even if it is different as a result of the changes arising from Covid-19.

Trainees are employed members of staff on an equal footing with other employees. The Learning Development Agreement (LDA) signed by the Trust at the point a training place is assigned, and the accreditation to train awarded by the National School of Healthcare Science, requires the resources required to deliver the workplace based training are provided. This should include any IT equipment normally needed for the role.

11th May

Statement updated on 11th May 2020

We know you are worried and dealing with the impact of covid-19 on your education, training and personal lives. The National School working in collaboration with the universities, want to reassure you that our unified aim is to support you to continue your training; to complete your portfolio, clinical and academic work; and enable you to complete your training programme within the planned timeframe, and continue with your professional career. We understand that covid-19 has had an impact across all years of training and the school and the universities are working to ensure that no one is disadvantaged as a result. The arrangements universities are putting in place are with the agreement of the National School. Although in the first instance we have had to focus on the processes to support completing trainees and admission to the programmes in 2020, we are thinking about all of you at an earlier stage in your training, and how best to support you going forward.

The National School is in frequent contact with the HEIs, and the work of accrediting workplace training providers and supporting trainees who come to us with issues or concerns continues.

Please continue to review the usual communications from the universities and the School on our websites, by email and social media, for regular updates and information about joint webinars and Q & A sessions.

These are certainly unprecedented times and everyone is having to adapt at a pace and scale we have not previously seen in clinical and academic services. We want to thank all STP and HSST trainees for your professionalism and resilience, the very characteristics of clinical scientists.

30th March

Statement updated on 30th March 2020

Healthcare scientists of all specialties are playing a vital role in the battle against COVID-19. The testing of potential COVID-19 patients is developed, assessed, performed and interpreted by healthcare scientists. Scientists such as clinical engineers are working flat out on the rapid deployment and configuration of additional ventilators and other newly acquired equipment. Physiological Scientists, including Critical Care, Cardiac and Respiratory scientists are playing a vital role in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with COVID-19.

In response to the need for significantly more clinical scientists to be available to the NHS over the next few months we are supporting efforts to allow final year trainees to progress into service as soon as possible. We are working with the Academy for Healthcare Science (AHCS) to swiftly establish a method that will enable final year clinical science trainees to be placed on a temporary register in order to progress into positions in service.

We are hearing many stories of how scientists in adjacent specialties, such as medical physicists, who manage imaging and scanning equipment and services, are working long hours to support their clinical engineering colleagues in the setting up of new and redeployed equipment. Healthcare science apprentices have made changes in their roles to work beyond their current contracts in sterile services to support decontamination in laboratories.

We are working closely with the Chief Scientific Officer’s office in NHSE to identify the transferrable skills of healthcare scientists across the many specialties so that healthcare scientists can be upskilled and redeployed against the virus.

24th March

Statement updated on 24th March 2020

HEE and the NSHCS understands and values the significant contribution that all HCS STP colleagues, trainees and training officers, make to the delivery of care for patients. In these exceptional circumstances, we all recognise that significant changes may need to be made to planned training, including novel methods for delivery of academic material and disruption to rotational placements. We wish to reassure you all that the unique nature of current circumstances will be taken into account when assessing progress against curricula during this time.

The NSHCS is reviewing processes in training programme management to minimise risk across all aspects, from recruitment to assessment and completion and to mitigate against any negative impact on trainees’ progression. If learning opportunities to gain required competences are frustrated by events e.g. an exam or mandatory course is cancelled. We will be continuously liaising with Employers, HEIs, and other stakeholders and will provide regular updates as the situation changes.

STP trainees are embedded in departments and are Trust employees – we expect that they should continue in their current workplace unless managers and supervisors are unable through staffing absence or risk assessment to support them. If either of these (or another reason) is the case, then consideration should be made by the Trust employing department to re-deploy these staff to support other clinical activity elsewhere or if this is not appropriate then to look at allocating additional study time. Many HEIs are providing learning online and trainees could use this time to access this and to meet learning outcomes through self-directed learning where possible.

Last updated on 31st August 2021