Scientist Training Programme – IACC Trainee Guidance v2 (2021)



The IACC 2021 is the final assessment component of your Scientist Training Programme completion. This assessment takes the form of a critical reflective narrative supported by evidence from your e-portfolio (OneFile) and an interview.

Detailed guidance for the critical reflective narrative is available together with guidance on the marking criteria. You can also download a copy of the MS Word submission template.

Your submission will be assessed by an assessment panel that will take a view on a provisional pass/fail outcome following review of your reflective narrative, supporting evidence and panel interview.


The critical reflective narrative

The template

You must use the most recent version of the MS Word submission template for your critical reflective narrative. When referring to the AHCS (2012) Good Scientific Practice domains, please make sure to use the 2012 edition of the guide.


Any evidence you cite in your critical narrative must be signed-off in OneFile by the IACC submission date. You can also draw on additional evidence you have uploaded into OneFile. Examples include workplace assessments (e.g. DOPS, OCE, MSF and CBD), relevant evidence from your academic programme and other forms of evidence from supervisors or third parties that recognise a contribution or skill you have made during your training.

You should cite evidence that is relevant, proportionate and persuasive in supporting your narrative.

Citing evidence

The syntax for citing competencies and workplace assessment (DOPS, OCE and CBD) in your narrative is shown below.

  1. To cite competency 3 in module SCC110 (Introduction to Healthcare Science and Clinical Leadership) use SCC110:3
  2. To cite a workplace assessment use the module code and the assessment code e.g. SLS100:OCE1 (Clinical Biochemistry Investigation of Major Organ Function, OCE1)
  3. Reference to your training plan, if relevant and if you have chosen to include one, should be to the version in the annex in your narrative

Using unsigned evidence of critical reflection

As an exception, you may refer to, but not cite, unsigned submissions within your e-portfolio to demonstrate your developing critical reflective practice. Assessors will not consider references to unsigned submissions for the purpose of determining your recognition of the scope of your own competence. Examples of citing unsigned evidence:

  • unsigned SCC110:3
  • unsigned SLS100:OCE1

Assessors will focus on the evidence you have cited from your e-portfolio and the context within which you have cited it, including your optional training plan.

Citations do not count towards the 3500 word limit for your narrative.

Training plan annex (optional)

If you choose to submit a copy of your training plan please add it as an annex at the end of your narrative. This allows the assessment panel to view your training plan at the time of your submission and allows you to continue to use and update your plan during the assessment period. View our guidance on what is expected in your training plan.

This annex will not count towards the 3500 word limit for your narrative.


Submitting your narrative

You will be sent a link (and username and password details) two weeks before the submission deadline to the online system where you must upload your critical reflective narrative. In addition to these login credentials, you will also receive a simple step-by-step guide showing you how to upload and submit your MS Word document.

The submission system will be open for the two week period immediately prior to the submission deadline and will close on the deadline. You can upload newer versions of your critical reflective narrative up until the deadline. The latest submission before the deadline will be the one which is assessed.


Panel interview

You will be invited to attend a 45 minute panel interview to discuss your critical reflective narrative. We will notify you of the date of your interview at least six weeks in advance. The notification will be sent to your work email address held on record by the School. Please make sure your contact details are up to date. If you have not received notification of the date and time of the panel interview, please email

Due to the complexity of organising the interview panels and ensuring there are no conflicts of interest it is not possible to alter your interview date or allow you to change dates with another candidate. If you are unable to attend your interview you will need to wait until the next opportunity to take the IACC 2021. Key IACC dates are available in the STP trainees section. You must notify the School in advance and submit an Extenuating Circumstances application. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee any application will be accepted.

The assessor panel will comprise three specialist assessors one of whom will be appointed lead assessor. The Lead Assessor will lead the panel interview which will last 45 minutes. You need to follow any direction given by the Lead Assessor regarding the conduct of the panel.

The assessors will review your narrative and cited evidence and identify and agree aspects of your narrative they wish to discuss with you. The interview will take a semi-structured interview approach and each assessor will have the opportunity to ask you questions. The questions to determine readiness to practise will cover each of the five Good Scientific Practice domains and your global statement. You can ask for clarification where the meaning of any question is not sufficiently clear.  You and the assessors may make reference to your training plan, if included, and cited evidence in OneFile. You may suggest to assessors where they can find additional, relevant evidence that supports your answers to any questions within your OneFile portfolio for assessors to consider.

After the interview, the panel meet to form a judgement on your readiness to practise after considering your written narrative, the supporting evidence, and your interview.


Marking criteria

Check the detailed marking criteria; you are expected to demonstrate your readiness to practise based on your critical reflective narrative and your interview. Please use these to check that your writing addresses criteria for critical reflective writing, self-advocacy and supporting evidence.

You must pass each of the five Good Scientific Practice domains and the global statement and meet the summary criteria. You must demonstrate that:

  • you have the ability to recognise the scope of your own competence and to self-regulate to ensure safe practice
  • you have the ability to ensure appropriate standards and patient safety are maintained at all times

The assignment will be judged on a pass or fail basis.


Incident reporting

If an incident occurs within the panel interview an incident report is usually created. You can initiate an incident report or it can be raised by the assessors, the Service User Representatives observing the panel or the School staff supporting the interview panel. All incident reports are submitted to the Examination Board for consideration.

The incident report will be a brief statement that describes the issue, any remedy or solution offered during the panel interview and any impact on the assessment process.

If you are submitting an Incident Report please complete the incident report online form.


After the interview

After you have finished your interview we will send you a short evaluation form to complete asking about your experience of the technical and administrative aspects of the interview.

If you have any questions or concerns and want to provide any feedback and comments you may have about the process, you can submit your feedback in writing by emailing within 2 days of your interview. Please use ‘IACC 2021 feedback’ in the subject line of your email.


Confirmation and notification of results


The assessor panel makes a provisional recommendation of pass or fail on your assessment. These recommendations are considered by the Exam Board along with any incident reports and feedback from the members of the Board including observers, lead assessors and subject experts. The Exam Board may adjust some recommendations when taking this feedback into account.

The Ratification Board considers recommendations from the Examination Board. The consideration assists the Head of the National School of Healthcare Science in deciding the ratified outcome for each trainee.


You will be notified of the outcome of your IACC 2021 by email, normally within seven working days of the Ratification Board. The notification is in the form of a candidate report from the Head of the National School of Healthcare Science and a copy is sent to your training officer. An indicative date for the release of results will be published on the School website.


IACC resits

You have a maximum of three attempts to pass the STP final assessment within a two-year period.  The two-year period starts with the date you first attempt the IACC 2021 and excludes any breaks from your training recognised by the School.

You will receive supportive, constructive feedback from the assessors that will advise you on the areas you need to address for your resit attempt. The feedback will address your readiness to practise and will be aligned to the assessment criteria and sub-assessment criteria.

If any issues were not fully explored within the limited time available during the panel interview assessor feedback will aim to make clear which elements relate to the panel interview and which are solely related to the documents.


Trainee support calls

You can contact the School to request a support call with a Training Programme Director (TPD).  Please email your request to Support calls can be helpful where the meaning of the assessor feedback is unclear, or to discuss approach to transition or resitting the IACC 2021.  We strongly advise you to seek a TPD support call if you have to resit the IACC 2021.

You are normally expected to resit the IACC 2021 at the next available opportunity; details about dates are available in the STP trainees section.  If you are taking a break from the STP approved by the School, you may not attempt the assessment during this break.


Applications to defer the IACC 2021

You can apply to defer the date for taking or resitting your IACC 2021, using the Extenuating Circumstances Policy.

Any applications to defer an IACC 2021 assessment must be supported by independently verifiable documentary evidence of unavoidable circumstances that significantly and adversely affect your ability to engage with the IACC 2021 assessment process.  Please apply early. Your application will be considered in confidence by a committee and not all applications to defer the IACC 2021 assessment are upheld.


Appeals and complaints

You should make any appeal or complaint using the appropriate policy, within the time limits of those policies.

Issues related to the delivery of assessment or the ratified outcome of the IACC 2021

Please submit a complaint if your issue relates to the delivery of the assessment where that delivery has adversely affected your assessment.

Please submit an appeal if your request relates to a review of the decision making leading to the ratified outcome of the IACC 2021, including discussion within Examination Boards and Ratification Boards.  You may request the minute from each Board to assist in preparing an appeal; appeals against the academic judgment of the assessors will not be accepted.

Priority of complaints and appeals procedures

Where you raise both a complaint and an appeal, the complaint will take priority.


You must submit your appeal and/or complaint within 20 days of receiving your result (candidate report). Please email your appeal or complaint to with ‘IACC appeal’ or ‘IACC complaint’ in the subject line.

Last updated on 27th September 2021

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