STP Monthly Memo (November 2021)

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

Filed under
STP Monthly Memo 2021
Publication type

Message from your STP Training Programme Directors, Namir Al Hasso, Dr EMma Bowers, Dr Jo Horne, Jane Lynch and Aarti Makan

Welcome to this month’s memo. My name is Dr EMma Bowers and I am one of the newly-appointed Training Programme Directors for STP. I have started working with the School at the same time that the 2021 cohort of STP trainees started their roles. This means that I am in a similar situation to new trainees and learning the ropes of a new role. Personally, I’m finding it difficult to form professional relationships when the only means available to me is via MS Teams. My main piece of advice to any of you in the 2021 cohort is to work hard to build up your networks, be this your university course cohort, your trust’s STP trainees or your departmental networks. Building networks always requires time and energy, but in the current online environment they take much more time and energy. These are networks that will serve you well throughout your STP training and your healthcare science career.

The memo reminds everyone of the need to attend all university lectures and activities. Remember, university lectures are no longer optional (as they were in your undergraduate days), attending them is a compulsory part of your job role together with your work-based training. By attending university you are also developing those all-important networks (killing two birds with one stone, or for the healthcare science alternative, imaging two patients with one scanner!). Those of you in the 2020 cohort should start to think about your MRP (not quite the early bird gets the worm, but more the organised trainee healthcare scientist steps through the MRP). Make sure your rotational competencies are signed off as far as possible; ensure that you have initiated your Multi Source Feedback evaluation via the Clarity system (which is linked to from your OneFile homepage) and get a review date in the diary with your training officer.

Here’s hoping November is not great weather for ducks (my penultimate bird idiom) but full of opportunities for you to soar with the eagles.


Information for 2nd years

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

We are mindful that the usual expected indicators of progression will need to be reviewed against the impact of the pandemic highlighted by trainees and their training officers in their evaluation forms and outcomes from the MRP will reflect this.

Training plans will be absolutely key to managing training at this time. We advise that trainees and training officers meet regularly so training goals can be reviewed and flexed according to access to provision that is possible at any time and contingencies can be considered in order that a suitable level of programme progression is maintained. This may entail amending plans for rotations and specialist training and thinking of alternative and innovative ways to carry out assessments and achieve the required competencies.

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

National Education and Training Survey (NETS) is now open

The National Education and Training Survey (NETS) is now open and will be available until 30th November. It takes just 6-10 minutes to complete and is the only national survey open to all trainees working and training in healthcare services across England.

You know and understand the learning environment in which you work and train better than anyone else and your feedback is important in helping us to identify when things are working well and when they could be improved. The NETS is an opportunity to say what you think about the quality of your education and training, including areas of good practice.

Response data will be published in January 2022, and we will use it to continue to improve your experience, as well as that of future healthcare science trainees.

We encourage all our STP trainees to take part in this survey, as your responses are valuable to us, and we are listening to you.

You should have received an email invitation to complete the survey from on Tuesday 2 November. This email contains a personalised link to the survey pre-populated with your training programme information. If you have not received this email and personalised link, please check your email spam folder before contacting the NETS Project team at to request a new personalised link.


Training recovery resources

During the COVID-19 pandemic, significant numbers of healthcare scientists in training have been redeployed to COVID-facing settings, or had learning opportunities cancelled, resulting in a substantial impact on experiential learning and curriculum completion.

To support trainees and trainers get training back on track, resources have been made available on the NSHCS website to help support delivery of individualised recovery plans, outline flexible training options and provide comprehensive wellbeing information and signposting.

All trainees and trainers are strongly encouraged to arrange 1-2-1 conversations to discuss training and wellbeing. This can take place in the form of interim reviews with educational supervisors, or a separate interaction as appropriate.

Click here to find guidance, information and resources to assist with training recovery


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.


Training support podcasts

We are developing a series of podcasts to provide guidance and support on a range of different themes for trainees. Our series of podcasts currently covers the following topics:

  • mental health
  • maternity leave
  • training with disabilities

The podcasts are recorded with trainees who share their experiences on the programme. If you would like to be involved in the production of these podcasts and share your experiences, please email the school at

We hope these podcasts will be a helpful additional resource.

Click here to listen to our training support podcasts


Training support drop-in sessions

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

The drop-in sessions are offered on a regular basis and are themed to maintain focus for particular areas of support or guidance.

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

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

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

  • 24th November – Training support, scientific support

Click here to find our drop-in sessions timetable and event joining links


Compassionate and positive cultures in the NHS: a series

Anti-bullying week 2021 will be taking place from Monday 15 – Friday 19 November and this year’s theme is ‘one kind word’. The NHSE/I Civility and Respect team will be running a series of events throughout November to promote kindness and help support civility and respect in the NHS to help colleagues:

  • Understand what kindness, compassion and a positive culture look like
  • Spread awareness of civility and respect and empower NHS staff to help eliminate bullying and harassment
  • Understand what support is available to promote civil and respectful workplace environments
  • Access diagnostic tools to help organisations benchmark and take action

The events will run on the following dates:

  • 16 November 12:00 – 13:00 – How behaviours can impact on individuals, teams and organisations
  • 23 November 12:00 – 13:00 – Support for NHS Staff to Speak
  • 30 November 12:00 – 13:00 – The role of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in creating a positive culture

These sessions are open to all NHS staff.

Click here to find out more about the events and register your attendance


Wessex and West Midlands trainee network virtual event

The Wessex and West Midlands trainee networks are hosting a STP virtual networking and games night on Tuesday 23rd November 2021 starting at 7pm.

This event will be hosted on Zoom and will give current trainees a chance to meet other trainees from across the country. The Zoom link will be sent the day before the event, if you are interested in attending please email to register for the Zoom link.


Information for training officers

Annual monitoring now live

All departments accredited on or before 31st March 2021 are now asked to complete their annual monitoring return.

Annual monitoring is a requirement of accreditation. If you do not complete your annual monitoring, this may affect your accreditation status. It will be taken into account when allocating the training contracts for the following year, following on from the Expressions of Interest process.

Annual monitoring is done through a short and simple electronic form that, in most cases, should take no more than 20 minutes to complete. We ask for details of any changes that may influence or affect the delivery of training. These include:

  • Notification of any difficulties encountered in delivering the STP programme
  • Outcomes for trainee(s) who have completed the programme

Please ensure that the form is returned by Friday 3rd December 2021.

If you have any questions or need your unique survey link please e-mail the Accreditation Unit at


Change in department circumstances

If there has been any significant change since your department was first accredited that could affect the quality of training provided, please complete a notification form and return it to the Accreditation team at

Your information will be reviewed and we will contact you if any further action is required.

Click here to access the change notification form for work-based providers


Update on the 2022 delivery for the STP in Clinical Microbiology

We recognise the particular pressures that microbiology has been under over the last 18 months. Both revising a curricula and preparing to deliver a new programme pose challenges which would be difficult to meet between now and September 2022. We will be working with our microbiology colleagues to have the revised curriculum in place for delivery in September 2023.  Trainees entering the programme in 2022, will continue to use the existing curriculum.


Future Train the Trainer events

Are you interested in attending the next series of Train the Trainer events? Please complete our short survey to register your interest in attending one of the future events.

Click here to express your interest in joining the waiting list (link no longer active)


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)