STP Monthly Memo (November 2020)

Our monthly memo for STP trainees and training officers features relevant news, helpful tips, opportunities to promote healthcare science and FAQs.

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Message from your STP Training Programme Directors, Jane Lynch and Namir Al Hasso

Welcome to the November issue of the STP Monthly Memo. We hope you are all well and your training is going well.

We understand that the continuing COVID-19  situation is causing variable disruption and we are monitoring and reviewing our advice to both trainees and training officers and putting extra support in place. Over the next few weeks, we will be hosting a series of virtual meetings, bringing together training officers, trainees and other individuals from cognate specialisms who can help in identifying and addressing some of the challenges of rotations and specialist training. We welcome input from those who are experiencing barriers to training and especially those who can identify solutions to these.

We are also aware of your concerns regarding the exit assessment for 2021. We have taken the decision to cancel the OSFAs for next year – it seems a long time to summer 2021 but preparations for OSFAs are extensive and a decision had to be made early in order to allow time to develop an appropriate alternative exit assessment and to communicate this to trainees. This has now been developed – we received very constructive and helpful feedback from trainees, training officers, Lead Station Writers and many others in response to 2020’s exit assessment (the IACC) and this has been incorporated into the planning to ensure we have addressed any concerns raised. Consultations with Lead Station Writers will happen in the very near future and we hope to be able to publish the process in good time for all final year trainees to prepare to take this assessment next summer.


Virtual specialism meetings for STP trainees & training officers experiencing training issues due to COVID-19

We are organising a series of theme meetings with training providers to share best practice, answer questions and provide advice and guidance to trainees and training officers about the challenges of progressing with training during the Coronavirus pandemic. Particularly, we are looking to offer some advice around rotations as this is a very current issue for many.

Life Sciences

  • The Infection Sciences theme meeting will take place on Tuesday 24th November 1-3pm
  • The Genetic Sciences theme meeting will take place on Wednesday 2nd December 1-3pm
  • The Blood Sciences theme meeting will take place on Tuesday 8th December 1-3pm
  • The Cellular Sciences theme meeting will take place on Wednesday 9th December 1-3pm

Physiological Sciences

  • The Cardiac, Vascular, Respiratory & Sleep Sciences Sciences theme meeting will take place on Thursday 26th November 10am-12pm
  • The Neurosensory Sciences theme meeting will take place on Thursday 3rd December 1-3pm


  • The Bioinformatics Sciences theme meeting will take place on Thursday 10th December 10am-12pm​​​​​​​

Physical Sciences

  • The Clinical Engineering theme meeting will take place on Friday 27th November 1-3pm
  • The Medical Physics theme meeting will take place on Friday 4th December 1-3pm. (This meeting will not include Clinical Pharmaceutical Sciences.)
  • The Clinical Pharmaceutical Sciences theme meeting will take place on Friday 11th December 1-3pm​​​​​​​

The meetings will take place on MS Teams and we expect them to last around 2 hours. Attendance will be limited so please sign up as soon as possible to ensure your place.

Click here to find out how you can register your interest in attending one of our meetings


The Midterm Review of Progression (MRP) opens for all year 2 STP trainees and their training officers in January

Participation in the Midterm Review of Progression is a mandatory requirement for all year 2 STP trainees and their training officers. It is intended as a supportive and facilitative process.

As part of the process, all trainees and training officers will be required to complete an individual, separate online evaluation form pertaining to the trainee’s progress appropriate to the trainee’s stage on programme. Access to the applicable trainee or training officer online form will only be made available on launch day – Thursday 14 January and not before.

We recognise the exceptional circumstances that have arisen this year due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and that this may have impacted on training delivery, personal circumstances or both. Please be reassured that this will be taken into account when reviewing trainee progression.

The timeline for the Midterm Review of Progression 2021 for year 2 trainees on the STP programme will be as follows:

  • MRP Opens – Thursday 14 January 2021 9am
  • MRP Closes – Monday 15 February 2021 5pm
  • Outcomes released – Week commencing 22 March 2021
  • Support meetings – April 2021

Trainees and training officers participating in the process this year will be provided with further details individually by email shortly. Should you have any queries, in the meanwhile, please email

Click here to find our guidance for the Midterm Review of Progression


Important information about the STP research project

In March 2020, the Health Research Authority (HRA) and devolved administrations announced their decision to stop reviewing applications for individual undergraduate and master’s student projects until further notice. This is still their position.

However, this will not prevent anyone completing the Scientist Training Programme. Doing an HRA approved study is not a requirement of the STP and is not normally a requirement of an MSc. Whether HRA approval for a project is required is dependent on the nature of the project itself. A large proportion of STP trainees do projects that do not need HRA approval. All STPs will still be able to do an appropriate project.

Click here to read the full statement about STP research projects


Guidance resources about how to use OneFile

We have published a number of guidance resources about how to use OneFile in the Knowledgebase on the School website. There are different collections of guidance for trainees, training officers and assessors.

Click here to view the OneFile guidance in our Knowledgebase

Additionally, the Knowledgebase contains a growing collection of FAQs about using OneFile.

The most frequently-asked question we receive is:

Q) My submission has been signed off by my assessor, but my competency/ assessment is still showing as ‘Red’ in my portfolio.

A) It is most likely that your assessor did not correctly sign off your submission. In most cases this means the tick-box(es) at the top of your submission, where you indicate the competency/assessment relating to this submission, was left unticked by the assessor. Please ask your training officer to unlock your submission, so that it can be re-assessed with the correct boxes ticked.

Click here to view the OneFile FAQs in our Knowledgebase


Supporting your health and well being

Managing your own health and well being effectively is a hugely important aspect of completing your training successfully and something that you should be mindful of throughout the programme.

During your training, you will get support from a variety of people/organisations. It will be important that you work with all of the education providers involved in order to maximise your training experience and to access the right support where it is needed. There are a number of resources you can access which may assist you in managing your health and well being.

Click here to read more about the support resources available to you


Take part in a promotional project for informatics specialisms

Health Education England (HEE), are developing a repository of case studies from people who’ve developed their careers in informatics. They are particularly looking for a diverse range of people to take part – both in terms of protected characteristics, but also in terms of where they are in their careers (as quite often case studies focus on those in very senior positions, which might not be aspirational to everyone).

Are you are interested in helping with this project? If so, please get in touch with us by Wednesday 25th November by emailing:

Click here to find out how you can take part in this project


Freedom to speak up in healthcare in England programme

The National Guardian’s Office works to make speaking up become business as usual to effect cultural change in the NHS. The office leads, trains and supports a network of Freedom to Speak Up Guardians throughout health in England.

The National Guardian’s Office have launched a training programme available to everyone wherever they work in healthcare and explains in a clear and consistent way what speaking up is and its importance in creating an environment in which people are supported to deliver their best. It will help you understand the vital role you can play and the support available to encourage a healthy speaking up culture for the benefit of patients and workers. The training is divided into three parts. Speak Up. Listen Up. Follow Up.

Click here to access the freedom to speak up in healthcare training programme


The Healthcare Science equality, diversity and inclusion people survey

We are working with the Chief Scientific Officer Office in England to understand your lived experiences working as a Healthcare Science Professional in the NHS and to gather your suggestions on ways to support all our Healthcare Science colleagues to feel valued and respected for their contributions regardless of background.

We are inviting all trainees and training officers based in England to take part in the Healthcare Science equality, diversity and inclusion people survey. This is an all Healthcare Science people survey specifically designed to gather lived experiences of staff from all backgrounds, across all bands and all career levels from new entrants through to leaders in Healthcare Science. Your responses are completely anonymous and will be used to inform Healthcare Science people equality, diversity and inclusion strategy. The survey closes at the end of November and takes 15 minutes to complete.

Click here to take the equality, diversity and inclusion survey (Expired link)


The National Education Training Survey (NETS)

The HEE National Education and Training Survey (NETS) 2020 runs throughout November (3rd-30th). The NETS gives you the opportunity to say what you think about your clinical placement experience. It allows you to say both what you liked and what you think could be improved.  This year, as students may be undertaking clinical placements during pandemic surges, the survey provides an additional opportunity to understand their experience and any impact on the quality of training. The survey only takes 10 minutes to complete and your experiences will help to shape education and training for current and future cohorts of trainees.

Click here to take the National Education Training Survey. (Expired link)


Oriel application system update

Oriel, the application system used in recruitment to the STP training programme, has been updated and a new version (Oriel 2) is now in use. If you wish to save any information you have stored on the system this must be done before Monday 4th January 2021.

Click here to read the full statement from Oriel

Last updated on 9th March 2022

This publication is part of STP Monthly Memos (2020)