STP Monthly Memo (March 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 wish all our trainees and training officers well. Hopefully everyone is seeing an improvement in the situation in their workplace as COVID-19 numbers fall and the vaccination process progresses so well.

Thank you to all of you who have completed our survey and/or the Mid-term Review of Progression for this year. These are important ways to communicate your progress so we understand the impact of COVID-19 on everyone.

For training officers, we are continuing with our Advanced Train the Trainer sessions, which seem to be well-received. We recently appealed for help with shortlisting the applications for next year’s recruitment and were really pleased with the response with a fantastic number of volunteers. The curriculum review is ongoing. Many specialisms have already been out for peer review, but keep a look out for those specialisms still to be reviewed.

We recently held webinars for trainees and training officers – one for final year trainees on the completion process and IACC 2021, and one focussing on Health and Wellbeing. Recordings of these are available on the website for those not able to watch live. We will also be holding some drop-in support sessions to provide some individual support and advice to trainees. Details will be available on the website shortly.

For second year trainees, we are currently reviewing the MRP submissions, and we note the concerns raised. The information provided in these will be invaluable in our discussions regarding next year’s completion process and what support we need to put in place to ensure as many trainees as possible can complete on time and enter the workplace as safe, threshold Clinical Scientists. As training disruption to this cohort has again been significant, and the future is still uncertain, we have taken the decision that we will again offer the IACC in 2022. We will keep you informed as decisions are made, and in the meantime, please continue to complete your training as much as is possible under the circumstances.

For first year trainees, we understand that the experience you expected may not be quite what is happening and we know that most of you will be attending lectures virtually rather than in person. As lockdown lifts, we see a light at the end of the tunnel and a return to a more normal learning experience. Completion is still a long way off but we will be looking to ensure any disruption to your training is considered and mitigated for when this comes round.

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.

Take care,

Jane and Namir and


Training during COVID-19 survey

In response to the training challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, last Spring we asked all trainees to complete a short questionnaire to allow us to better understand the disruption they faced. We would like to repeat this survey now to understand the challenges trainees are currently facing.

Understanding the variability in training disruption is essential to allow us to respond appropriately, adapting our numerous processes, including the MRP and completion, to ensure no trainees are inadvertently disadvantaged.

We appreciate you taking the time to fill this in.

Click here to complete a short survey about your training during COVID-19


IACC 2021 final assessment

We can now announce the submission dates for the new 2021 IACC. The deadline for submission of the critical reflective narrative component of the IACC will be Thursday 17 June 2021. The resubmission date for STP 2021 completers, should they need to retake their IACC, will be Monday 25 October 2021.

Full details on the IACC 2021 assignment and submission will be published on Friday 19 March 2021.

Click here to view the details about the format of the final assessment


IACC 2020 - re-submission date for STP 2020 completers

The re-submission dates for STP 2020 completers who need to retake their IACC have been amended and will now be Thursday 8 July 2021 and Monday 25 October 2021.

Click here to view the details about the format of the final assessment for 2020 STP completers (expired link)


Previous webinars

Last month Jane Lynch and Namir Al Hasso, the Training Programme Directors for the Scientist Training Programme, held a webinar providing guidance for STP trainees and their training officers on completion and final assessment.

Click here to find the recording of the webinar on completion and final assessment


Redeployment of trainees

We recognise that healthcare science trainees will be an important part of the response and recovery to the pandemic. However this should not be to the detriment of their training.

Trainees can be redeployed if there are benefits in relation to their ongoing learning and this can be incorporated into their training plans but we would not expect them to be redeployed for prolonged periods or into roles that do not enhance their learning and development.

Training should continue wherever possible so as not to disrupt the future workforce pipeline. If trainees are being asked to be redeployed or to take on service support roles that do not meet their learning objectives then please contact the School for further advice.


Training support

As we move further into Spring, the Government roadmap has given us some hope for the easing of restrictions and for a sense of normality to return. However, it remains a difficult time and we wish to remind trainees of the support available to them throughout their training.

Introducing our new training support case manager

As part of the ongoing support the School is providing, the role of training support case manager was created, and we would like to take this opportunity to introduce Katherine Bayley who joined the School in January 2021. Katherine works with experts in healthcare science education and training to ensure professional support advice and guidance is available to trainees and training departments.

Future training support developments

We are looking at how we can further increase awareness of the support services currently provided by the School, along with some exciting future developments.

Thursday 4th March was an opportunity for the School to meet with the Trainee Representative Group to further explore what support would be most helpful, along with identifying what can realistically be offered with the resources available. During this meeting current examples and ideas for future training support were discussed and feedback from the group was gratefully received. The School values the opportunity to hear as much of the trainee voice on training as possible.

How to get support

Trainees and training officers often ask how to contact us about training support-related issues. The NSHCS inbox is the most appropriate means to raise your concerns or to request a further discussion. This mailbox is only accessible to a small number of staff in the School, members of the Programme Support team, who will review any requests and forward on to relevant staff in the School where that is appropriate. All emails received are treated confidentially. However if people do not wish to disclose full details in an email they can notify us they have a training support issue to discuss and we will give you a named contact who can arrange a call to discuss or follow up with you by email. We appreciate that if there are support issues that often they can be sensitive and so we have processes in place to ensure access is minimised and only those staff who will take forward your concern are made aware of your communication.

If any trainees or training officers need some advice/support, please do explore the useful content on the website or contact us directly if you require assistance at

Click here to find more resources available to trainees and training officers looking for more support


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 introducing yourself (name and position) on 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


What is anxiety, and how can you deal with it?

A study by King’s College London discovered that our anxiety levels are at an all-time high. However, there’s a difference between feeling anxious and experiencing an anxiety disorder.

In this article from FutureLearn you will find information about anxiety, how to notice the symptoms and how to find ways to improve your mental health.

Click here to read the article from FutureLearn (Expired link)


What help is available online for me?

We want you to have the best training experience, but you should also take care of your health and wellbeing. We’ve gathered some resources for you to access online.


  • One You
  • Time to change
  • Burnout
  • Schwartz Rounds

Click here to find out more about the online resources


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


LEEP Leadership Programme

LEEP (Leading through Education to Excellent Patient care) Leadership Programme is a free leadership training programme open to HSST trainees and STP Alumni (in the first instance).

You will attend 4 webinars held on Microsoft Teams and will have to complete a change management project in a group. You will need to be willing to attend all elements of the course and be open to running the course for other attendees, specifically year 2 STP trainees starting from September 21.

The webinars will be interactive with break out rooms for discussion and then feeding back to the whole group. There will also be pre-course material including videos, podcasts and a reflective journal.

Please email with your preferred date for each webinar, your organisation and role by 31st March if you wish to attend.

Click here to find out more about the LEEP Leadership Programme


Gain funding to join the FCI

Interested in working with data and digital to deliver scientific services? Gain funding to join the FCI.

In February we announced a joint venture between the National School and the Faculty of Clinical Informatics (FCI) to fund Faculty membership for healthcare scientists working with data and information to deliver scientific services.

If you have a strong interest in the use of data or the development of digital services within your role as a healthcare scientist, you are definitely eligible to apply for this funding. You do not need to be formally enrolled on a bioinformatics or health informatics programme to qualify.

The current round of applications closes at midnight on March 22. If you would like to develop a connection with other healthcare professionals working with information, technology, data and digital to provide safe, effective and efficient health and care services for the public, please do consider applying to join the FCI.

To apply, please complete the Faculty of Clinical Informatics Membership or Associate application form by midnight on 22nd March 2021.

Click here to visit the FCI website to find out more about the benefits of membership


STP curriculum review update

We would like to express our thanks to all those who participated and contributed feedback in the STP Stakeholder Review.

Input from you is essential to help us develop a curriculum that is patient-centred, scientifically relevant and current. We’re working with our Lead Editors on your feedback and comments to continue to draft the STP curricula for the next generation of Clinical Scientists.

Click here to read the latest on the curriculum review


Promoting healthcare science

It was wonderful to see so many trainees and training officers taking part in Healthcare Science Week earlier this month and adapting plans in line with COVID-19 restrictions.

If you produced any videos or podcasts that promote what you do as a healthcare scientist that you would be happy for us to share on our website please do get in touch by emailing

Click here to share your promotional resources


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

Last updated on 30th September 2022

This publication is part of STP Monthly Memos (2021)