HSST Monthly Memo (August 2022)

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

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Message from your HSST Training Programme Director

Dr Lisa Ayers and Dr Owen Driskell

This month’s introduction is from Dr Lisa Ayers.

Welcome to the August HSST Monthly Memo. We hope you have had some opportunity to enjoy the sunshine of the last couple of weeks.

This month’s memo includes a link to an article in the RCPath Bulletin about HSST and the role of Consultant Scientists and how they work with their Consultant Medical colleagues, demonstrating the complementary nature of these posts and how they contribute to the best patient outcomes.

For HSST supervisors in Physical, Physiological and Bioinformatics there is a call for the Independent Assessment of Professional Skills, an opportunity to contribute to assessment for healthcare scientists at the highest level.

Finally, there is also some information about the expression of interest portal for 2023 entry to the HSST programme. The deadline is 15th September, so if you know individuals who are interested please encourage them to discuss with their Heads of Department as soon as possible.


Information for trainees

Volunteer to support induction day

We are looking for current HSST volunteers to present at the HSST Induction 2022 event. The event will take place on Wednesday 12th October 10am-5pm at the Mercure Manchester Piccadilly Hotel

The volunteer roles are:


We are looking for a HSST to take on the role of host during the day. The host will be responsible for introducing the sessions and the guest speakers.


During the day we are planning to break out into the individual themes and give information on developing effective training plans and the experiences of those on HSST. We are looking for 2 HSSTs from each theme to present in these sessions and answer questions from the new cohort.

This is a fantastic opportunity for HSSTs to present at this national event, to meet the new HSSTs joining the programme and to obtain evidence towards your HSST Standards of Proficiency.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided and your travel expenses covered by the School.

If you would like to volunteer for a role at induction this year please email us at

Completion podcast

This podcast features Louise Ayers, the School’s Head of Programme Support, and Lisa Ayers, Training Programme Director for the HSST.

Lisa and Louise talk about the elements and activities that HSST trainees should be aware of and working towards in order to complete the programme.

Click here to listen to this podcast and make sure you are on track for completing the HSST

IAPS showcase module now active on OneFile

Candidates in the bioinformatics, physical and physiological Sciences do an Independent Assessment of Professional Skills (IAPS) as part of their programme. Part of the IAPS is to produce a showcase of your work demonstrating activity to the five domains of the Higher Specialist Scientist Standards of Proficiency. This is put together in a special module within OneFile. All HSST candidates who are due to do an IAPS as part of the HSST should now have that module added to their OneFile account.

Please get in touch with us if you believe you should be doing the IAPS but don’t have the module.

IAPS showcase deadline

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.

The showcase submission date for the November 2022 IAPS is Monday 22nd August 2022.

Plagiarism and similarity detection in the e-portfolio

At the end of September, we intend to introduce a new similarity detection feature within OneFile. This is an integration of OneFile and Turnitin, which many of you will be familiar with from your work at universities. The feature will simply allow you to see a ‘similarity score’ for any document you upload into OneFile. Turnitin will compare your documents to every other document uploaded by trainees to OneFile and to huge datasets of academic and scientific literature. We will introduce this feature as a tool to support you to produce good quality, professional work and not as a heavy or over-simplistic monitoring of your work. In practice, you will simply be encouraged to check your work’s similarities with other work before you submit it. We will provide clear guidance about the best ways to use this feature before it goes live.

RCPath Bulletin article

Berne Ferry and Lisa Ayers from the National School of Healthcare Science report to the RCPath Bulletin on the successes of the Higher Specialist Scientific Training programme with haematologists and microbiologists from a medical and scientific background reflecting on the benefits of consultant scientist roles.

The article is only available to members of the college.

Click here to view the July RCPath Bulletin


Information for supervisors

Call for recruitment of IAPS examiners

The Higher Specialist Science Training programme is a key programme for supporting the growing establishment of consultant level healthcare scientist practice for the NHS.

Affirmation of this level of practice is an integral part of the HSST. Candidates on the HSST who are not obtaining the Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists (FRCPath) as part of their programme do an Independent Assessment of Professional Skills (IAPS). These are candidates in the bioinformatics, physical and physiological sciences.

Are you from these disciplines and interested in assessing at this higher level? We are looking for professionals of consultant level to examine HSST candidates. We are currently looking for IAPS examiners for the following disciplines: Audiology, Cardiac Science, Clinical Bioinformatics Genomics, Imaging Physics, Neurophysiology, Radiotherapy Physics and Vascular Science. But if you are from any other HSST discipline from the bioinformatics, physical and physiological sciences this call is also for you as your turn will come.

What we are looking for in the IAPS examiners:

  • An HCPC registered healthcare scientist or a specialist on the General Medical Council specialty register or other relevant professional regulatory register
  • A member of their professional body, in good standing in the profession and can demonstrate substantial consultant level experience or equivalent
  • Able to demonstrate awareness of the training standard required of the candidates
  • Able to provide evidence to confirm that their employer and/or departmental colleagues agree to the examiner taking up this role and will facilitate the commitment required
  • Able to demonstrate current and relevant professional development activities
  • Required to demonstrate that they have maintained their Equality and Diversity training (certificate of mandatory training or other course taken within the last 3 years)
  • Those recently retired individuals who are within 2 years of retirement may also be considered if they are able to provide evidence of maintaining their speciality knowledge up to date.

Training is provided (next IAPS training for new Examiners is Monday 10th October 1pm – 3pm) and the next round of IAPS is happening in the weeks Monday 21st November 2022 to Friday 2nd December 2022.

Contributing to this assessment is a contribution to a growing establishment of consultant level healthcare scientist practice for the NHS for the benefit of NHS services and patients.

If you are interested, then please get in touch with the School If you know someone who would fit the description, then we ask that you encourage them to get in touch.

Expressions of interest for 2023 cohort now open

We are pleased to announce that the portal for Expressions of Interest (EOI) for the 2023 Higher Specialist Scientist Training Programme cohort opened on the 1st July and will close on the 15th September 2022.

In previous years we have had additional requests for more EOIs to meet the demand. However, we do not anticipate there being further rounds of requests. Once the portal closes, panels will review the expressions and submit supported requests for funding. The process will allow recruitment to begin in a timely manner, with confirmation of support and funding arriving sooner, allowing your organisations to prepare for the intake of trainees.

We encourage you to submit your EOIs whilst the portal is open.

Click here for the HSST Expression of Interest portal (expired link)

Train the Trainer events

The next HSST Train the Trainer Webinar is on Tuesday, 18th Oct 2022 @ 10:00am.

If you are unable to attend you can request the recording of the webinar and complete an evaluation which will also lead to gaining certification.

Click here to find out more about the event and how to register

PTP Curriculum Review Consultation

The School has been working with the feedback from the PTP Improvement Review which concluded in 2020. We have considered all the feedback and developed a new set of principles which would guide the shape of the Practitioner Training Programme (PTP) moving forward.

We now need your thoughts to ensure these principles meet the needs of the PTP. We are seeking feedback from all stakeholders in the PTP, and we are particularly keen to hear views from PTP graduates.

Click here to complete the short survey on the introduction of new principles to guide the PTP


​​​​​​​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 23rd November 2022

This publication is part of HSST Monthly Memos (2022)