HSST Monthly Memo (May 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

May has brought another busy month for HSST at the School. We have been running the IAPS for the third time in an online format across four different specialties and over five days. We have also been managing the next round of recruitment for HSSTs which generated a large number of queries and a greater intake than previous years. And also following up on support calls to the ARP for updates.

A huge thank you must go out to the assessors who give up their time to contribute to the IAPS. The success of the programme has further been the impressive commitment of those on the programme and those around them, supporting them. The assessors have fed back that they enjoy hearing about the achievements of the candidates over the course of their HSST.

It has been a difficult past 12 months or more, nonetheless you have been achieving great things. For those who have had their training disrupted we look forward to things getting back on track with your training in the coming months. Remember if there are issues with your training, reach out to the School and the University looking after academic aspects of your programme so we can support you in seeking a solution.


Drop-in sessions for trainees and supervisors

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 offer 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 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:

  • 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


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


Do you have any advice to share?

We are looking to develop and improve awareness of the support available to trainees during their programmes and to offer guidance to training officers so they know where to turn to to offer or seek the appropriate support where it is needed.

We would like to create a number of podcasts with current and former trainees and training officers about their experiences, what worked well, what challenges they faced and how they overcame them. The podcasts will be part of the ongoing development of resources available to trainees and trainers and we feel that your voice will be most powerful in guiding others on the programme in terms of when and how to seek support.

The podcasts will be completely anonymous and managed via informal interview/chat with a member of the School and conducted remotely. We will ensure that the discussion does not make any personal circumstances identifiable but will explore more broadly the key issues experienced and how they were or could be resolved. We will work with you to agree the final product and then will make the podcast available online. We may also use them as an educational resource during our train the trainer and induction programmes to further improve awareness of how to support trainees.

The experiences could be broad ranging from:

  • Training planning
  • Training environment
  • Health and well being and pastoral support
  • Managing statutory leave and training e.g., maternity, paternity, adoption or parental leave
  • Professional relationships
  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
  • Seeking changes to training e.g., extensions, deferrals, step off, career breaks, transfer, early employment
  • Part-time training

If you think you have an experience that you would like to share and could benefit other trainees or trainers then please do get in touch by emailing us at, we would love to hear from you.


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


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)