HSST Monthly Memo (January 2024)

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

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Information for trainees

Annual review of progression

We are continuing to review and prepare outcomes from this year’s annual review of progression (ARP). Outcomes will be shared with trainees and their supervisors very shortly.

Once we have released the outcomes we will be in contact with trainees where we have identified that support and advice from the School might be helpful or needed and we will be working closely with our University colleagues to ensure trainees receive a collaborative response that considers both academic and workplace challenges. Where issues have been identified support will be available via two routes:

  1. Support call – this is optional and offered only if the trainee feels it would be of benefit. If not, no further action is needed.
  2. Support meeting – this requires attendance by the trainee, training supervisor with one of the School’s Training Programme Directors and a representative from the University where appropriate. Other members of the School may also attend to provide subject matter expertise depending on the issues impacting on the individual’s progress.

Click here for more information about annual review of progression


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

​​​​​​​The IAPS Assessment – What is it and how does the assessment work?

The IAPS is the final examination for the HSST programme. This examination is only for trainees on the HSST programme under the following science themes: Physiological Sciences, Physical Sciences & Physiological Sciences. The IAPS runs twice a year, in May and in November. Further details and upcoming dates of the IAPS assessment can be found on our website.

The IAPS consists of three elements:

  1. A pre-professional discussion element. At this stage a candidate submits a showcase of their portfolio mapped to the good scientific practice domains.
  2. Professional discussion Element 1. This is where the candidate is expected to review a specialist or service-based paper and have a discussion with the panel. The examining panel choose the specialist paper for the discussion and prepare questions prior to the discussion on the day of the assessment as part of their pre-assessment deliberations.
  3. Professional discussion Element 2. The candidate will have a panel interview with three panel examiners from their individual specialism where they will be assessed on how they meet the higher specialist scientists’ standards of proficiency. The examining panel will have reviewed the candidate’s showcase in advance of the assessment and will prepare questions based on the showcase information submitted for each of the 5 domains. Once the assessment is completed, they will hold a post-assessment discussion to evaluate if the candidate has been able to demonstrate their ability to work at consultant level against each domain. The panel will produce a feedback report which advises the candidate of their outcome.

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

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


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 12th February 2024

This publication is part of HSST Monthly Memo (2024)