HSST Monthly Memo (February 2024)

The HSST Monthly Memo includes the latest programme updates, events and key resources for HSST trainees and supervisors.

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Introduction from Dr Owen Driskell

Bob Hoskins, renowned British actor, fronted an advertising campaign for British Telecom (BT) back in the mid-nineties, which used the phrase “It’s good to talk”. Quite a clever catchline for a corporation selling you the means to do just that. The reference won’t mean much to some, the dated remnant of which has been made accessible on YouTube, but – it is good to talk.

Speaking with people with experience is invaluable to understanding expectations and perspectives and setting yourself up in the best way possible to meet them. The importance of talking – as a prime way in which we develop, explore, resolve and progress complex issues – runs right through HSST. There are numerous examples where it is beneficial to take the time to talk things through with people.

An important time to talk is when things don’t go to plan. Whilst the training programme is exacting and there are standards that are central to the integrity of the programme that cannot be compromised on, there are ways in which we at the School and colleagues at the universities can support candidates who are facing challenges. There is experience amongst these teams in taking action to try and minimise the impact these challenges have on training. It is always better to do this at the time rather than retrospectively addressing something in the past. So be aware of your circumstances and act when you need to, don’t put it off.

We continually receive feedback from HSSTs about the value of the networks you form amongst yourselves as peers. The conversations between colleagues at conferences and meetings, such as the face-to-face collaboratives, the IAPS Examiner Forums or support calls with the National School, further input into the development of the programme and the individuals within and around it. Talking to the right people is important too as following the wrong lines of communication can delay resolutions to challenges and propagate misconceptions.

Taking the time to talk in these ways reflects the outward-facing nature of the programme and the need for broad thinking, building networks outside of your immediate place of work into wider communities.


Information for trainees

Turnitin and AI writing detection

Trainees and training officers who have recently looked at the similarity reports generated by the Turnitin Checker in OneFile will have noticed that in addition to a similarity score and report, the Turnitin Checker now also generates a score and a report which suggests how much of the text in uploaded documents has been generated by AI.

Trainees should ALWAYS ensure that they review the similarity and AI writing detection reports generated by Turnitin and they will need to be prepared to defend their work with their assessors if it achieves a high score in either report.

If it is clear and obvious from the similarity or AI reports that the work is not the trainee’s and the high scores cannot easily be explained, then assessors should return it to the trainee in OneFile and not sign it off.

The National School WILL reserve the right to refer a trainee to a training management panel if the Turnitin Checker provides repeated evidence of unprofessional practice or clear plagiarism.

Click here to read the guidance for trainees about using the Turnitin Checker in OneFile

Click here to read the guidance for training officers and assessors about using the Turnitin Checker in OneFile

Association for Clinical Genomic Science trainee survey

This survey is for HSST trainees in Genomics, Molecular Pathology of Acquired Disease and Bioinformatics to provide information on their background, their current training and how the ACGS can help them in their training.

It was devised as part of ongoing work by the ACGS Workforce Development Committee to develop a better understanding around the needs of these groups. Your participation is greatly appreciated.

Data will be stored by the ACGS Workforce Development Committee for the purposes of this survey only, and any individual data that are provided will not be shared. A generalised overview, non-region specific, will be shared at the HSST Training Day 2024. No identifiable free-text answers will be included. You may choose to fill out this survey anonymously if you wish. However, providing your name and email address may allow you to receive communication from the relevant ACGS Workforce Development Committee HSST representative in the future. This may include future development of networking and training opportunities.

Click here to complete the Association for Clinical Genomic Science trainee survey


Information for supervisors

Opportunities to become an IAPS Examiner – Physiological Sciences, Physical Sciences & Bioinformatics Sciences

With the increase of HSST trainees joining the HSST programme, our IAPS assessments are growing from diet to diet. We recently held our November IAPS and can report the assessment was our highest intake of candidates to date since the assessments were created.

HSSTs across a wider number of specialisms are approaching completion of the HSST programmes. As a result, we are looking to expand the talent pool of examiners to deliver an increasing number of IAPS. Some recent achievements have been the successful recruitment of examiners for new specialisms such as Urodynamic Science and Neurophysiology.

If you are supporting a HSST trainee, becoming an IAPS examiner can give you further insight into supporting your candidates throughout the HSST programme. It will provide you with a direct understanding of what is expected from your candidates for their IAPS assessments. Workplace supervisors who have become examiners have fed back how beneficial it was to their role as a workplace supervisor.

Click here to read Peter’s experience as an IAPS Examiner

Click here to view further information on the examiner role description and eligibility criteria

Train the Trainer

If you are new to the role of workplace supervisor and will be taking responsibility for a HSST trainee, this event is essential and is part of the accreditation process.

Our next available webinar is on Thursday 18 April 2024 10am to 3pm.

The event will provide:

  • an introduction to the HSST
  • information about the role and responsibilities of a workplace supervisor
  • the opportunity to learn about assessing work-based evidence and giving feedback
  • guidance on the functions and features in the OneFile e-portfolio
  • information on how to support a trainee throughout the programme
  • an awareness of equality and diversity as an educator

Click here to register for the Train the Trainer webinar on Thursday 18 April

Express an interest in sharing your good training practice

In many areas of our work, we receive requests to support trainers in the workplace by connecting them with each other and, in particular, by helping them learn from centres and colleagues that have developed good training practice.

This year the School is hoping to launch a new initiative in which we run regular webinars featuring trainers or trainer networks sharing their practice.

We are keen to share and promote good practice in many different areas. We are particularly keen to share practice that is concerned with training planning, work-based training methods, working with the new STP curricula, supporting reflective practice, generating evidence for training activities, supporting trainees and preparing trainees for their final assessment. We will not limit the scope of the webinars to these topics and are hoping to promote good practice very broadly.

If you or your network have developed practice that you feel could be valuable to share with your peers, please express an interest in sharing your practice via the form linked to below.

Click here to express an interest in contributing to our sharing good practice webinar series

Capturing feedback on the STP curriculum

With the new year, we opened a route to capture feedback on the revised STP curriculum. You can provide feedback through the Curriculum Library. In each page of the revised STP curriculum, you’ll see a feedback option in the Curriculum Library toolbox.

Feedback can be provided by any and all stakeholders of the programme at any time. Although the process is anonymous, we do ask for some information on your involvement with the STP to help us evaluate the process. The feedback process has been designed to collect information on one element of the curriculum at a time to help us process the data and can be accessed as many times as needed to provide feedback on different elements of the curriculum at different times.

Feedback provided will be used in a rolling review process for curricula. The introduction of a rolling review process to maintain the STP curriculum supports our aim to provide scientifically robust, future-proofed curriculum to ensure that our trainees work at the limits of science. Collecting feedback is the first step to inform this process and we’ll provide more information about how rolling review will be carried out soon.

Click here to provide feedback through the Curriculum Library

Provide feedback on a new pathway for the Neurophysiology STP

After much hard work from the stakeholder review group, we are pleased to share with you the draft curriculum for a new pathway to the STP in Neurophysiology in Interoperative Neuromonitoring (IONM). You can provide feedback until 5pm on Sunday 25 February.

Click here to read more about the curriculum and provide feedback (expired link)


Missed a previous edition of the HSST Monthly Memo?

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

Click here to view previous editions of the HSST Monthly Memo.

Last updated on 20th March 2024

This publication is part of HSST Monthly Memo (2024)