HSST Monthly Memo (August 2021)

Our monthly memo for HSST trainees and supervisors features relevant news, helpful tips, opportunities to promote healthcare science and FAQs.

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HSST Monthly Memo 2021
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Message from Dr Owen Driskell, HSST Training Programme Director

There have been pauses and adaptations in all walks of life over the last 18 months or so. The Tokyo Olympics 2020 is over a day short of 12 months after it was due. There were achievements of many sorts in all colours and with them stories of the wider achievements of those that did not make the top three in their chosen disciplines. The School, with the support of the wider healthcare science community, has adapted and continued to deliver assessments for healthcare scientists and the professions they represent.

One such assessment is the IAPS for the non life scientist HSSTs. This newsletter highlights some important tweaks we have made to the showcase submission for the IAPS.

The showcase described is a selection of evidence from OneFile. Your development journeys are collected in OneFile as a requirement, for all HSSTs, to complete the programme. They represent a body of evidence that you either are or will become very proud of. They are the podium for your achievement over the course of your HSST. A way for others to recognise your achievement and the achievement of others who helped put you there.


IAPS important dates for 2021

The IAPS will take place between Monday 29th November 2021 to Friday 10th December 2021.

To be able to sit the IAPS assessment you will need to submit a showcase of your OneFile evidence. This means that all Standards of Proficiency must have been signed off by your Workplace Supervisor, three months prior to the assessment. Therefore, if you are considering sitting the IAPS in November/December 2021, you will need to have full sign off on OneFile by Wednesday 8th September 2021.

Please meet with your workplace supervisor to discuss with them the most appropriate time to undertake the IAPS and plan accordingly.

Click here to view the important dates for the IAPS


Change to the way you showcase evidence from your e-portfolio for IAPS

Ahead of the forthcoming IAPS events, we have made a change to the way in which you select and showcase evidence from your e-portfolio to share with your IAPS assessment panel.

Previously, ahead of their IAPS, we have asked HSST trainees to select five existing OneFile submissions from their portfolio as their showcase, which is shared with their assessment panel.

Ahead of the forthcoming IAPS event, in order to help you to sell yourselves better and more clearly to your assessors, you will be asked:

  • to make five new submissions inside OneFile, in a new ‘showcase’ module, one for each of the five domains of the Standards of Proficiency
  • to provide some narrative about the evidence that you wish to showcase against each of the domains.

In making your submissions inside this new ‘showcase’ module, we do not expect you to submit new work or new evidence. Rather, this is a way in which you will be able to draw together and summarise existing evidence from your portfolio and match it against a specific domain as a solid example of work that evidences how you are meeting the standards of that domain. In asking you to do this, you will have the opportunity to summarise and contextualise evidence for each domain. We anticipate that this will help your IAPS assessors to understand your work and to use each of the five submissions as the starting point for your IAPS professional conversation about how you feel you have and are performing against each of the domains.

We have provided guidance about how to prepare and submit your showcased evidence on the School website via the link below.

Click here to read our updated guidance about how to book and prepare for the IAPS


Induction events for 2021 cohort

The HSST Induction 2021 consists of two online webinars with online resources, all of which will provide new trainees with an introduction to the programme and key information that will support them during their training. The webinars and resources are a core, necessary part of the programme which all trainees must attend. The resources will be made available before each webinar giving trainees time to read through the information.

Webinar dates:

  • Webinar 1: An Introduction to the HSST on Wednesday 6th October 2021 at 1.30pm
  • Webinar 2: A Trainee’s Perspective on Wednesday 13th October 2021 at 2pm

The Manchester Academy of Healthcare Scientist Education (MAHSE) will be holding their own induction event and will advise you of the date and time separately.

Workplace supervisors are also welcomed to attend the NSHCS HSST induction event, especially if they are new to the role of workplace supervisor and will be taking responsibility for a HSST trainee this year. If you know of any supervisors who may wish to attend, please ask them to email us at before Wednesday 29th September. If workplace supervisors have already attended the HSST Train the Trainer event this year, there is no need to attend the HSST Induction.

Please cascade this information to your colleagues so that the dates can be included in their training plans.

If you do have any questions about the HSST Induction, please email

Click here to find out more about the HSST induction events


Commissioning now open for HSST 2022 intake

Health Education England (HEE) has announced that the commissioning process has opened for the Higher Specialist Scientist Training (HSST) programme for trainees commencing training in 2022.

These are the key dates for the 2022 commissioning cycle for the HSST.

  • w/c 26th July 2021 – Application portal opens
  • 1st October 2021 – Application portal closes
  • October 2021 – Local Health Education England office reviews applications
  • November 2021 – Moderation by National School of Healthcare Science
  • w/c 23rd November 2021 – Letters to organisations confirming commissions

If you have any questions regarding the commissioning process, please email


Meet the School's training support team

We offer regular drop-in sessions which provide a means through which trainees and training officers can speak to members of the School directly to access their expertise and guidance.

The drop-in sessions are offered on a regular basis and are themed to maintain focus for particular areas of support or guidance.

The discussions are confidential and usually offered on a 15 minute basis per person. Any issues not resolved or requiring follow up will be logged and further meetings arranged to address unresolved issues.

Click here to find out more about our drop-in sessions

Below are the dates for our upcoming drop-in sessions:

  • 25th August – Training support, scientific support
  • 29th September – Training support, scientific support
  • 27th October – Training support, scientific support
  • 24th November – Training support, scientific support

Click here to find our drop-in sessions timetable and event joining links


HSST Interruptions

We continue to offer the opportunity for trainees on the HSST to apply for an interruption to their training if the pandemic is having a significant impact on their ability to engage with or progress through the training. This process has been a major success in offering flexibility to trainees who have been required to take leading roles in supporting the response to the pandemic and keeping services running.

Click here to find more information on applications for interruption to training (Expired link)


RCPath Trainees' Research Medals

RCPath Trainees’ Research Medals are awarded annually for outstanding research work undertaken by pathologists or scientists in training.

The awards are open to all junior pathologists or scientists registered with the College or a UK Regulatory Council for training purposes during the year the submitted paper was published. The article must either have been either published or accepted for publication by a peer-reviewed journal.

Applications are invited from trainees who are first author or first joint author on single original research papers published between 1st July 2020 and 30th June 2021.

Please encourage any trainees who you think could be eligible to submit their research by Friday 3rd September.

Click here to find more information on the Royal College of Pathologists’ Research Medals scheme


Further bursaries available to fund Faculty of Clinical Informatics membership for healthcare scientists

Following the successful bursary scheme in 2020, where a total of forty seven bursaries for Faculty of Clinical Informatics membership were awarded, including two Fellows, seventeen Members and twenty eight Associates, the Faculty of Clinical Informatics (FCI) and Health Education England’s National School of Healthcare Science (NSHCS) are pleased to announce further bursaries are available to fund Faculty membership for healthcare scientists working in or interested in clinical informatics.

We will fund a year’s membership of the FCI to successful applicants. The bursaries are initially aimed at those who are enrolled on, or are alumni of, the National School of Healthcare Science Scientist Training Programme or Higher Specialist Scientist Training Programme, but there will be funding for other NHS Informaticians to take up membership, including Topol Fellows.

​​​​​​​Click here to find the Faculty of Clinical Informatics Membership or Associate application form


Missed a previous edition of the HSST Monthly Memo?

We’ve published copies of the Monthly Memo for STP trainees and training officers on our website.

Click here to view previous editions of the HSST Monthly Memo

Last updated on 26th September 2022

This publication is part of HSST Monthly Memos (2021)