STP Monthly Memo (December 2021)

The STP Monthly Memo includes the latest programme updates, events and key resources for STP trainees and training officers.

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STP Monthly Memo 2021
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Message from your STP Training Programme Directors

Namir Al Hasso, Dr EMma Bowers, Dr Jo Horne, Jane Lynch and Aarti Makan

Welcome to the last issue of the STP Monthly Memo for 2021. We hope that all trainees and training officers are keeping safe and that your training journey is progressing in the right direction. We hope that first year trainees have settled down in their new departments and have started the learning experience well.

The Midterm Review of Progression (MRP) for our second year trainees will take place in mid-January 2022. To avoid delays and complications for your progression we encourage trainees to ensure that the National School has your correct email address and up-to-date details for your training officer. We will continue to offer regular drop-in sessions in the new year. These sessions are open for all our trainees in all stages of their training and all training officers and we treat all conversations confidentially. We encourage you to utilise these sessions to raise any issues or challenges you are experiencing.

The month of December is a great time to reflect on the past year, with many people around the world making New Year’s resolutions about changes they want to make in the following year. We would like to wish a very Happy Christmas to those of you who are celebrating it and a peaceful and prosperous New Year to you all.


Information for all trainees and training officers

Festive period opening times at the School

Over the festive holidays the School will be available as outlined below:

  • Monday 27th December – Closed
  • Tuesday 28th December – Closed
  • Wednesday 29th December – Friday 31st December – Reduced staff so responses may take longer than usual
  • Monday 3rd January – Closed
  • Tuesday 4th January – Normal opening hours resume

OneFile forms during the festive period

Due to staff work schedules during the holiday period, any forms sent to the School via OneFile requiring a “centre monitor” action may take up to 5 working days to action, instead of the usual 2-day turnaround we aim for. Please keep this in mind if you send us anything between 20 December and 31 December. We should be back to normal turnaround times from 4 January.

Click here to find out how to contact the National School


Information for year 2 trainees

Midterm Review of Progression for Year 2 STP Trainees

We conduct a review of STP trainees’ progression approximately halfway through the programme. The MRP is intended as a supportive and facilitative process. As the pandemic has caused an unprecedented level of disruption, we feel that a review is a high priority as trainees continue through year 2 on programme to ensure that they are supported to negotiate any issues and barriers that may have been caused due to COVID-19.

The MRP will take place in mid-January 2022 to allow sufficient time for trainees to implement agreed support measures as necessary and be able to move on to year 3 in an optimal position. We advise that trainees and training officers note this period in their calendars as it is mandatory for both to participate in the review process.

  • MRP opens Thursday 13 January 2022 at 9:00am
  • MRP closes Monday 14 February 2022 at 5:00pm
  • MRP outcomes released Week commencing Monday 21 March 2022
  • MRP support meetings held April 2022

If you have any queries or concerns, please email

Click here to find our guidance on the Midterm Review of Progression (MRP)


Information for all trainees

Supporting the vaccination programme

You will have heard the recent news about the identification of the Omicron variant and the expansion of the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

We know that many of you are already working on the Bank, with your local NHS organisation’s Staff Bank, but for those of you who have not already done so, we are asking you to consider registering with the Bank and take up paid opportunities in support of this vaccination programme.

Registering with the Bank may provide you with opportunities to supplement your income during your studies, while giving you valuable experience and understanding of working in a healthcare environment which could enhance your training. However, it is important that this opportunity does not impact detrimentally upon your studies, or on your other personal circumstances.

Click here to view the full statement on supporting the vaccination programme

Changes in your training – please make sure the School is aware

It is important the School be made aware of any changes to your training which may impact on your ongoing progression, participation or completion of the programme. The School will co-ordinate with commissioning teams and universities to make sure all organisations involved in your training are aware of the latest position to ensure you receive appropriate advice and support so that your training programme can be managed effectively. This applies to all trainees in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Examples of circumstances in which you or your training officer must notify the School:

  • Statutory leave – we will need to know the dates of intended leave (maternity, paternity, parental, adoption leave) and any flexible arrangements requested on return so that your programme and training plan can be reviewed and your revised completion timeline confirmed.
  • Long term sickness absence – any period of sickness over 6 weeks or more should be confirmed with the School or if there are multiple short term absences that trigger local employer policies. It is an opportunity to seek advice about processes that can support your training, such as the Exceptional Extenuating Circumstances policy, and to seek support from the training support team in the School to discuss matters with you and your training officer in more detail. Click here to find the Exceptional Extenuating Circumstances policy.
  • Changes to your training officer/supervisor – this needs to be updated in OneFile but the School also needs to know for accreditation purposes and to ensure that we are communicating with the right people at the right time about your training. Click here to find the change notification form.
  • Decision to leave the programme – it is important that you get in touch with the School if you are considering leaving the programme, particularly if this is as a result of issues with your training. Try to speak to us early to get advice and support so that you can determine if leaving is the right choice for you. We will always support your decision to leave but if we can help with any issues that are influencing that decision then we would like to know to see if we can resolve them with you.
  • Transfer of training or early employment – there is a policy for this so please review and submit an application as soon as you receive the offer, or earlier if possible, so the School can review and confirm if your training can continue to be supported in your new department. Click here to find the transfer of training policy.

Any changes of the above nature should be communicated to and the relevant team in the School will advise you.

University attendance

Reminder to all trainees, that attendance at scheduled live/face-to-face lectures and tutorials, even if online, is an expectation of the programme. If you are unable to attend for a valid reason, please ensure that the university and your employer are aware.


Courses and events

Planning an STP open day

Throughout December and January several hospital trusts hold open days for university students or graduates who are interested in a career in healthcare science to find out more about the NHS Scientist Training Programme (STP).

If you are planning an open day please send us the details by email to so we can promote the event on our website.

Click here to find out more about the STP open days.

Clinical Multiple Breath Nitrogen Washout Training Course on 24 March

This course is suitable for Respiratory Physiologists, Physiotherapists, Respiratory Nurses, Adult and Paediatric Respiratory Specialists, trainees and AHPs wanting to perform Multiple Breath Nitrogen Washout in adults and/or children.

Click here to find out more about the course and register.


Information for training officers

Annual monitoring

The annual monitoring process is a requirement of your accreditation. Thank you to the departments who have taken part and completed this process.

If you have not done so already, please could you complete the questionnaire by 31st December 2021. This helps us to gather important information about your department. Not doing this may affect your accreditation status and it will be taken into account when allocating the training places following on from the Expressions of Interest process for 2022.

You were sent an email containing the link. Please contact the accreditation team on if you would like us to resend the link. Trainees do not need to complete this process.

New Year lunchtime updates: planning for the new curriculum

In the new year we’ll be running a number of lunchtime updates to help for you plan for a new trainee starting in September 2022.

Each half hour sessions will focus on an area which has changed in the new curriculum. These sessions will be supported by guidance, coming to the website soon.

  • Thursday 13th January 12-12.30 – The new curriculum and the accreditation process
  • Thursday 20th January 12-12.30 – Competencies and work-based assessments, followed by an open drop-in session
  • Thursday 27th January 12-12.30 – Rotations
  • Thursday 3rd February 12-12.30 – Core modules

Click here to find out more about our lunchtime update sessions.

Training support drop-in sessions

We offer regular drop-in sessions which provide a means by which trainees and training officers can speak to members of the School directly to access their expertise and guidance.

In the new year we will be holding a number of drop-in sessions for anyone who will be hosting a trainee on the new curriculum in September 2022. The drop-in sessions will be an open Q&A forum and will involve staff from our curriculum and accreditation teams.

The drop-in sessions will take place on:

  • Thursday 20th January 12:30-1:30pm
  • Thursday 17th February 12:30-1:30pm
  • Thursday 24th March 12:30-1:30pm

Click here to find out more about our drop-in sessions

Future Train the Trainer events

As we have not run an STP Train the Trainer since the summer, we have built up a waiting list. Everyone on that list has now been invited to one of the two series of Train the Trainer that will take place during February-March 2022.

We then plan to run further Train the Trainer in May 2022 so sign up now to get on the list for the May series.

Click here to express your interest in joining the waiting list


​​​​​​​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 9th March 2022

This publication is part of STP Monthly Memos (2021)