STP Monthly Memo (April 2021)

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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STP Monthly Memo 2021
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Message from your STP Training Programme Directors, Jane Lynch and Namir Al Hasso

We hope that all trainees and training officers are keeping well and have managed to get some downtime during the Easter period. The NHS COVID-19 vaccines delivery plan is going well. Hopefully this is our way out towards a normal way of life and return to some normality..

To make the completion process clear for third-year STP trainees and their training officers we have recently published a flowchart showing routes to completion on OneFile. The flowchart can be viewed or downloaded by visiting this webpage. (expired link)

We want to thank everyone who completed the short survey about training during COVID-19. Your input is greatly appreciated. It provides us with valuable and vital data to steer our approach and we aim to publish this data soon. We will address the challenges that you raised if we have not already done so. As we mentioned in previous communications and recent webinars the School plans to host series of drop-in sessions for trainees and training officers to facilitate individual discussions to address some of the challenges raised by some of you in this survey. If any trainee is facing urgent, challenging situations and finds it difficult to solve at the local level, we ask you to email the School directly at

The first virtual online Train the Trainer sessions for 2021 have now been completed. In these sessions we discussed the STP programme in general, assessing evidence in the workplace and training support. We invited previous STP graduates to share their experience which was well received by the attendees. The next session is taking place in June and further details are included in this memo.

We are here to help if you need us. There is support available within your Trust or University, but we are happy to help with queries or concerns or to signpost you in the appropriate direction.

Best wishes

Jane and Namir and


School launches drop-in sessions for trainees and training officers

Following discussions with trainees and training officers, the School is seeking to expand and continue to develop its communications and offer of support for training. One of the tools we are developing and trialling is the offer of regular drop-in sessions which will provide a means through which trainees and training officers can speak to members of the School directly to offer their expertise and guidance.

The drop-in sessions will be offered on a regular basis and will be themed to maintain focus for particular areas of support or guidance including:

  • Accreditation – to offer advice and guidance on training plan requirements, trainee support in the workplace, training officer expectations, departmental changes, impact on accreditation and training and how to prepare for new trainees
  • Assessment – support and advice about final assessments, including sessions with a specific focus on IACC/IAPS/professional discussions and other assessment activities to be developed
  • Digital systems – including use of OneFile or any other systems related to the training and provided through the School
  • Recruitment and commissioning – for employers considering taking trainees including timelines, expressions of interest processes and expectations around recruitment and accreditation activities
  • Scientific advice – rotation and training planning queries, academic programme queries, completion of programmes, progression issues, professional relationship concerns
  • Training support – advice and guidance where there are issues or changes to training needed such as progression, exceptional extenuating circumstances (e.g. extensions, deferral, step off, career breaks or other) health and well being advice and guidance, transfers of training advice, queries around maternity, paternity, parental or adoption leave, professional relationship concerns

Sessions will be advertised in advance via the School Monthly Memo and website so trainees and training officers should attend where they feel the session is relevant or helpful to them.

The discussions will be confidential and usually offered on a 15 minute basis per person. Any issues not resolved or requiring follow up will be logged and further time/meetings arranged to address/resolve where possible.

Click here to find out more about our drop-in sessions (expired link)

Below are the dates for our upcoming drop-in sessions:

  • 28th April – Training support, scientific support, accreditation support
  • 12th May – Assessment support: IACC 2021/ASP professional discussions 2021
  • 26th May – Training support, scientific support
  • 18th June – Assessment support: IACC 2021/ASP professional discussions 2021
  • 30th June – Training support, scientific support

Click here to find our drop-in sessions timetable and event joining links (expired link)


IACC 2021 final assessment

We have published full details on the IACC 2021 assignment and submission. On our website you can find:

  • information about the STP final assessment
  • rationale for the STP final assessment
  • key dates for the IACC
  • information on the format of the IACC
  • guidance on how to structure the critical reflective narrative
  • appeals, policies and regulations for the IACC
  • information on how your IACC will be assessed
  • guidance to understand your IACC result

From Tuesday 20th April the IACC 2021 MS Word template will also be available for download from our website.

Click here to view more information on the Independent Assessment of Clinical Competence


Completion 2021 flowchart

To make the completion process clear for third-year STP trainees and their training officers we have recently published a flowchart showing routes to completion on OneFile. The flowchart can be viewed or downloaded from our website.

Click here to find the flowchart showing routes to completion for STP trainees (2021) (expired link)


Shortlisting reminder

We are most grateful to everyone who has stepped up to support us at what we know is a difficult time for all our colleagues in the NHS. We have been completely stunned by the support the healthcare science community has given us.

Now that we have just under two weeks remaining of the shortlisting window we wanted to remind all shortlisting volunteers that all scoring needs to be completed by Friday 30th April. Currently just over 60 per cent of applications have been scored. If you are yet to complete your scoring it would be helpful if you could complete scoring at your earliest opportunity.

The recruitment team are here to assist with any queries you may have. You can email the team at


Feedback from the Midterm Review of Progression

The School has now completed the Midterm Review of Progression (MRP) for the Year 2 trainees and we wanted to provide some feedback on the key themes and concerns raised.

First and foremost we would like to thank all trainees and training officers who have participated and given us such rich information about your experiences and challenges during the pandemic. We are pleased to report that the vast majority of trainees have been able to progress well and to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in very novel and innovative ways and we would like to recognise the effort that trainees, training officers and departments have put in to try and keep the training on track. Thank you.

As expected the extent of the disruption is hugely variable across specialisms, regions and individual employers and we understand that for some trainees this has been an exceptionally challenging and worrying time. For those trainees who are continuing to battle challenges that are impacting on their progression, the School will be arranging support meetings and support calls to offer advice and guidance and to help trainees get back on track wherever possible.

We have heard loud and clear from trainees and training officers that there is an urgent need to establish the completion requirements for 2022 so that you can effectively plan the remainder of your training and prepare to exit your programmes next year. We will make this a priority and will release further information as soon as we are able.

In reaching a decision on changing the completion requirements for STP there are a number of factors we have to consider including:

  • whether trainees are still able to complete successfully and commence their careers as clinical scientists without significant delay
  • that trainees are ready to practise
  • that the approach is equitable and fair
  • that the approach is sufficiently flexible enough to take account of the variable needs of trainees affected by the pandemic
  • that the completion requirements still meet the standards set out by the regulator for the programme, the HCPC, so that trainees can continue to register with them on completion

This is an incredible challenge and one we want to ensure we consider very carefully. We have deliberately sought information via a number of routes including more recently the training survey to gauge the level of disruption so that we can make informed decisions in identifying a route to completion in 2022. Any decision for completion that falls outside of the standard process has to be reviewed and approved by the HCPC and so we need the evidence to make the case to support trainees and departments before we can ask those questions of them.

We recognise that trainees who were in year 1 when the pandemic started have experienced the most prolonged disruption to their training so we are aiming to determine a completion process that will provide sufficient flexibility to take account of this. This may mean that the approach differs from that for trainees exiting in 2020 and 2021. We anticipate that the requirement to achieve a pass in the Masters of Clinical Science and the final assessment will remain. However the requirements for the e-portfolio will be reviewed with the intent of supporting trainees to complete on time.

We appreciate that it is important that you receive this information as soon as possible and so we wanted to assure you that we are working on that now and will give further information as soon as we are able.


Training support

How the School will support you during your time on the programme?

We are committed to providing support to trainees and education providers in delivering and completing the training successfully. We provide a wide range of services including:

  • curriculum content
  • assessment
  • education
  • digital systems
  • quality management of training

We offer professional support and guidance for trainees and training officers who may be experiencing issues or challenges by providing advice, offering a framework of policies and processes to support changes to training and signposting to support resources.

What policies are available to help me if I need to make a change to my training?

The two main policies that may be able to help you if you are experiencing problems are:

  • Exceptional Extenuating Circumstances policy
  • Transfer of Training policy

Click here to find out more abut how the School will support you during your time on the programme


Transfer of training policy

We recognise that in some circumstances the ability for a trainee to remain with the original employer or within the same part of the country may be affected by situations outside of their control or as a result of an employment opportunity within the specialism for which they are training. We have a transfer of training policy which trainees and departments can refer to in the event that:

  • a trainee is offered an employment opportunity, usually towards the end of the training, known as early employment
  • exceptional extenuating circumstances where there are significant and unforeseen changes in their personal circumstances or training environment since their commencement to train

Under these circumstances and in line with the criteria outlined in the transfer policy a trainee may make an application to transfer their training.

It is important that in transferring training that the process be followed and permission sought from the School for the following reasons:

  • to safeguard the quality of training to ensure that the new provider is willing and able to support the training to the standards required of the programme via the School’s Accreditation team
  • to ensure that contact information including that of the trainee and the training officer can be updated so that trainees and departments receive the latest information about the programme
  • to manage the transfer of funding should a trainee move out of their original commissioning region
  • to ensure sufficient supervision and planning is in place to support the trainee to complete the programme successfully
  • to ensure that transfers of training are managed consistently and equitably across programmes

Trainees considering transfer should allow for at least 3 months before intending to move to seek approval from the School. Failure to follow this process may put continuation on programme at risk.

Any questions in relation to transfer of training should be forwarded to

Click here to find the transfer of training policy


Do you have any advice to share?

We are looking to capture a range of examples of the ways in which you have accessed support or acted to enhance your wellbeing, especially during the pandemic.

We would like to produce a video consisting of clips received from trainees with wellbeing advice and tips for their peers they have found to be useful during the pandemic.

To record your message on your smartphone, please ensure the recording is made in landscape. Other than that we’re just looking for a clip between 10 and 20 seconds long introducing yourself (name and position) and what has helped you through the current pandemic.

We would invite all trainees who want to share their hints and tips to consider submitting a video to


Train the Trainer events

We are running more virtual STP Train the Trainer events in June. If you are interested in attending these events, please email the team on with your specialty area.

  • Webinar 1: Wednesday 2nd June 2021: Introduction to STP Train the Trainer at 11:30am to 1pm.
  • Webinar 2: Wednesday 9th June 2021: Assessing Work-place Evidence at 11:30am to 1:30pm.
  • Webinar 3: Wednesday 16th June : Training Support at 11:30am to 1pm.

Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

Click here to find out more about the STP Train the Trainer events


Supervision of COVID-19 displaced or shielding trainees online resource

HEE’s E-Learning for Health have produced an online resource for educational supervisors of displaced/ shielding trainees which aims to aid, inform and signpost supervisors to key resources as well as define what a displaced/ shielding trainee is and how to recognise if this applies to a trainee. It also aims to help supervisors understand generally how to ensure quality of training and progression while the trainee is displaced as well as how to emotionally support the trainee during their displacement.

Click here to view the resource for education supervisors who are supporting displaced or shielding trainees (expired link)


STP Computing course

The Scientific Computing team from the Royal Surrey County Hospital is running its annual STP Computing Course.

The course provides a comprehensive overview of computing in healthcare and hands-on experience of practical skills transferable back to the hospital workplace. The course will enable Medical Physics STP trainees to complete all ICT-related competencies,  case-based discussions (CBD) and direct observations of practical skills (DOPS) for the STP.

The course will be held at the University of Surrey from 7th to 10th September 2021.

Click here for more information about the Surrey Computing course and what will be covered (expired link)


Online learning resources

We’ve gathered together some online resources to help support your training. Take a look at what’s available for your area.

Click here to view our collection of online learning resources


Competency evidence resources

We’ve created a collection of good competency resources. Take a look at the guidance on producing good evidence and examples.

Click here to view our competency evidence resources


Missed a previous edition of the STP Monthly Memo?

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

Click here to view previous editions of the STP Monthly Memo

Last updated on 5th September 2023

This publication is part of STP Monthly Memos (2021)