HSST Monthly Memo (April 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

Here we are in April, with a brightening in the weather and another busy month including preparations for the IAPS in May. In this issue we highlight the support that the School is committed to providing you with. We also highlight some of your responsibilities and keeping the School and your universities informed of your progress. It is important to look after your wellbeing and to recognise when you need to seek support. Any problems you face should be raised early so that solutions can be sought. Please get in touch.


School launches drop-in sessions for trainees and training officers

Following discussions with trainees and training officers, the School is seeking to expand and develop its communications and its support for training. One of the tools we are developing and trialling is the offer of regular drop-in sessions which will provide a means through which trainees and training officers can speak to members of the School directly to offer their expertise and guidance.

The drop-in sessions will be offered on a regular basis and will be themed to maintain focus for particular areas of support or guidance including:

  • Accreditation – to offer advice and guidance on training plan requirements, trainee support in the workplace, training officer expectations, departmental changes, impact on accreditation and training and how to prepare for new trainees
  • Assessment – support and advice about final assessments, including sessions with a specific focus on  IACC/IAPS/professional discussions and other assessment activities to be developed
  • Digital systems – including use of OneFile or any other systems related to training and provided through the School
  • Recruitment and commissioning – for employers considering taking trainees including timelines, expressions of interest processes and expectations around recruitment and accreditation activities
  • Scientific advice – rotation and training planning queries, academic programme queries, completion of programmes, progression issues, professional relationship concerns
  • Training support – advice and guidance where there are issues or changes to training needed such as progression, exceptional extenuating circumstances (e.g. extensions, deferral, step off, career breaks or other) health and wellbeing advice and guidance, transfers of training advice, queries around maternity, paternity, parental or adoption leave, professional relationship concerns

Sessions will be advertised in advance via the School Monthly Memo and website so trainees and training officers should attend where they feel the session is relevant or helpful to them.

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

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

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

  • 28th April – Training support, scientific support, accreditation support
  • 26th May – Training support, scientific support
  • 30th June – Training support, scientific support

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


STP shortlisting reminder

We are most grateful to everyone who has stepped up to support us at what we know is a difficult time for all our colleagues in the NHS. We have been completely stunned by the support the healthcare science community has given us.

Now that we have just under two weeks remaining of the shortlisting window we wanted to remind all shortlisting volunteers that all scoring needs to be completed by Friday 30th April.

Currently just over 70 per cent of applications have been scored. If you are yet to complete your scoring it would be helpful if you could complete scoring at your earliest opportunity.

The recruitment team are here to assist with any queries you may have. You can email the team at


Training support

How the School will support you during your time on the programme?

We are committed to providing support to trainees and education providers in delivering and completing the training successfully. The School will provide advice and support to trainees and training departments and endeavours to deliver this, where possible, within our remit.

We provide a wide range of services including:

  • curriculum content
  • assessment
  • education
  • digital systems
  • quality management of training

We offer professional support and guidance for trainees and training officers who may be experiencing issues or challenges by providing advice, offering a framework of policies and processes to support changes to training and signposting to support resources.

What policies are available to help me if I need to make a change to my training?

The two main policies that may be able to help you if you are experiencing problems are:

  • Exceptional Extenuating Circumstances policy
  • Transfer of Training policy

Click here to find out more abut how the School will support you during your time on the programme


Transfer of training policy

The NSHCS recognises that in some circumstances the ability for a trainee to remain with the original employer or within the same part of the country may be affected by situations outside of their control or as a result of an employment opportunity within the specialism for which they are training.

The School therefore has a transfer of training policy which trainees and departments can refer to in the event that:

  • a trainee is offered an employment opportunity, usually towards the end of the training, known as early employment
  • there are exceptional extenuating circumstances involving significant and unforeseen changes in their personal circumstances or training environment since their commencement to train

Under these circumstances and in line with the criteria outlined in the transfer policy a trainee may make an application to transfer their training to the School.

It is important that in transferring training that the process be followed and permission sought from the School for the following reasons:

  • to safeguard the quality of training to ensure that the new provider is willing and able to support the training to the standards required of the programme via the School’s Accreditation team
  • to ensure that contact information including that of the trainee and the training officer can be updated so that trainees and departments receive the latest information about the programme
  • to manage the transfer of funding should a trainee move out of their original commissioning region
  • to ensure sufficient supervision and planning is in place to support the trainee to complete the programme successfully
  • to ensure that transfers of training are managed consistently and equitably across programmes

Trainees considering transfer should allow for at least 3 months before intending to move to seek approval from the School. Failure to follow this process may put continuation on programme at risk.

Whilst the policy is written for STP, the same principles will apply to HSST. The School is currently reviewing the policy to incorporate the needs of HSST and a revised version will be published in due course. Until then all trainees should refer to the current policy.

Any questions in relation to transfer of training should be forwarded to

Click here to find the transfer of training policy


Train the Trainer

We are running more virtual HSST Train the Trainer events in June. If you are interested in attending these events, please email the team on with your specialty area.

  • Webinar 1: An Introduction to the HSST – Wednesday 23rd June 2021 at 1:30pm
  • Webinar 2: Work-based Activities – Thursday 1st July 2021 at 1:30pm

Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

Click here to find out more about the HSST Train the Trainer event


Supervision of COVID-19 displaced or shielding trainees online resource

HEE’s E-Learning for Health have produced an online resource for educational supervisors of displaced/shielding trainees which aims to aid, inform and signpost supervisors to key resources as well as define what a displaced/shielding trainee is and how to recognise if this applies to a trainee. It also aims to help supervisors understand generally how to ensure quality of training and progression while the trainee is displaced as well as how to emotionally support the trainee during their displacement.

Click here to view the resource for education supervisors who are supporting displaced or shielding trainees


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 5th December 2022

This publication is part of HSST Monthly Memos (2021)