Message from your Training Programme Directors
Namir Al Hasso, Dr EMma Bowers, Dr Jo Horne, Jane Lynch and Aarti Makan
This month’s message is from Dr Lisa Ayers, our Interim Head of the National School of Healthcare Science.
Welcome to the June Monthly Memo and a huge thank you to you all for welcoming me into the role of Interim Head of the National School of Healthcare Science. It is an exciting opportunity to work across the breadth of healthcare science training and education programmes, something I have been passionate about for my whole career in the NHS.
It has been a changing time for us, but I want to reassure that due to the amazing teams at the National School of Healthcare Science, we are still here for you and it is very much business as usual. The recruitment and assessment season is upon us. Thank you to all of you who contribute to these complex processes and make it possible to bring trainees into the programmes and assist them to complete at the other end. The numbers of these trainees has grown rapidly over the past few years and everyone has adapted to support this growth, demonstrating how recognised and valued this workforce has become. I look forward to working closely with all of you over the coming months to ensure this continued success.
Information for year three trainees
Final assessment 2023 guidance
On our website we have a set of guidance that explains the requirements for the IACC. It provides detailed guidance for the critical reflective narrative and preparing for the interview.
The panel interview will now allow 1 hour to cover 2 unseen case-based discussion scenarios, as well as the usual interview questions about the critical reflective narrative.
Due to the complexity of organising the interview panels and ensuring there are no conflicts of interest it is not possible to alter your interview date or allow you to change dates with another candidate. The interview window is 3rd to 14th July 2023.
Completion 2023 information and guidance
You should be at the latter stages of your training plan, be submitting or have already submitted your MSc research project, be preparing for your IACC interview and have outlined how you will achieve the completion of your e-portfolio.
For those of you who have experienced disruption to your training due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are routes to completion of your e-portfolio that will provide some flexibility.
Key Dates for Completion of the STP – not including those with extensions or deferrals:
- IACC critical reflection submission deadline – 12pm 13th June
- IACC Interviews – 3rd to 14th July
- Raise concerns/queries regarding sign off of the e-portfolio to the School – June to August
- Last date to submit an EEC application for extension of training – 23rd August
- Complete the Data Audit – August to September
- STP completion deadline (excluding those with approved extensions) – 5pm 18th September
If you have an approved extension or deferral of training then your timeline will be subject to those set out in your approval letter or confirmation email.
All the information and guidance on completing your programme can be found on our website.
Information for year two trainees
Completion 2024 information and guidance
Following the recent Midterm Review of Progression (MRP), the School has considered the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on training and has updated the completion requirements for those trainees completing in 2024. The intent is to return as far as possible to standard completion and as a result the requirements have been updated from previous years.
You and your Training Officer must take note of these requirements. The mandatory completion requirements include:
- IACC exit exam pass
- MSc in clinical science pass
You should be aiming to complete 100% of the portfolio and only the impact of COVID-19 on rotations will be an accepted reason not to complete the portfolio in full. A signature from a HCPC registered Clinical or Biomedical Scientist will be needed if the rotations are not completed.
As in previous years, completion of the elective module is not mandatory for completion of the programme but you should be aiming to include this in your training plan where it is possible to do so.
Further information and guidance are available on the School website. Please read this carefully and discuss your plans with your Training Officer.
Information for year one trainees
Changes to the assessment of trainees on the new STP curricula
The School has published an updated announcement about changes to the assessment of STP trainees on the new curricula. The key points in the announcement are:
- The School will create and support a unified set of standards for the performance and conduct of all assessments required by our curricula, with a particular focus on the conduct of work-based assessment. With their introduction, trainees, trainers and assessors will be working to a set of national standards for the conduct of all assessments. We aim to publish the standards by the end of September 2023.
- There will be a new STP final assessment for 2025. The final assessment will be different from the IACC. The new final assessment will include a standardised, structured, professional discussion. We aim to provide trainees, trainers and assessors with further details about the new final assessment by the end of September 2023.
- We intend to introduce a revised and streamlined model of progression monitoring which will set trainees minimum and realistic targets for progress on their OneFile e-portfolio for key points in the programme.
- We have decided NOT to introduce external assessment in the workplace. Following extensive exploration of the feasibility of external assessment in the workplace, we have decided NOT to proceed with it as part of the redesign of assessment under the new curricula.
Individual professional development module guidance
The individual professional development is a new compulsory module for the 2022 curriculum and beyond. Your training allowance cannot be used to cover costs associated with the independent professional development module.
While the curriculum sets out the baseline skills and knowledge you’ll need to work as a Clinical Scientist, everyone and every workplace is different. This means there might be something that you need to support your training that’s not included in the curriculum or your training plan. This module gives you an opportunity to work on an area of your practice that is just about you.
This module is very different to the others in the curriculum. The focus is on you and as there are so many options it can be difficult to know where to start. Everyone’s experience of the module will also be different so it’s tricky to compare what you’re doing to others. There’s no one right way to complete this module but there is one thing that will be the same for everyone: you’re working on your ability to reflect on your own skills and knowledge, identify where there are gaps and work on addressing those gaps. This is an important professional skill which is why we’ve introduced this module. Your learning won’t finish when you complete the STP.
So what are you going to work on? This is about you and your practice. To give you some ideas, you can find some examples curated by the National School staff on our website.
Information for all trainees
Reflective practice guidance
We have developed guidance for trainees and training officers on reflective practice, specifically to support the rotational modules of the new curricula.
It includes specific guidance for trainees to make the most of their observations during rotations as well as questions to support trainees with their reflections. These questions provide a framework to support the trainer in assessing these competencies.
This guidance includes suggestions from trainers who attended the reflective practice workshop at the National School of Healthcare Science Collaborative event on 27 March 2023. The resources from this workshop can be found on the Learning Hub.
Exceptional extenuating circumstances applications
Due to the increased number of EEC applications received at each month’s Training Management Panel, the submission deadline has been amended.
These changes are effective for the July 2023 panel onwards and are as below:
Panel date – Wednesday 5 July
- Last submission date – Wednesday 21 June
- Likely outcome date – Wednesday 12 July
Panel date – Wednesday 2 August
- Last submission date – Wednesday 19 July
- Likely outcome date – Wednesday 9 August
Panel date – Wednesday 6 September
- Last submission date – Wednesday 23 August
- Likely outcome date – Wednesday 13 September
Information for training officers
Help us to shape the new STP assessment strategy
We are looking for STP trainers and training officers to help us to shape the new STP assessment strategy for trainees on the new curricula. With the advent of the new STP curricula, the School is engaged in extensive work to review and revise standards and expectations for training and assessment for all trainers and trainees involved in the STP.
The STP assessment strategy, for all trainees on the new curricula, involves:
- the creation and support of a set of national standards for the performance and conduct of work-based assessment
- the design of a new final assessment
- a redesign of the way in which training progression is reviewed
We intend to establish a steering group for each of these strands of work. Each group will meet two to three times in the coming months. Each meeting will last for approximately two hours. At each meeting the School will bring its ideas for the revision of assessment in these areas and seek feedback on specific aspects of the proposals.
Prior to finalising and launching the new STP assessment strategy we want to ensure that the changes that we introduce have been co-designed by colleagues across the healthcare science community. The standards for the conduct of work-based assessment will launch in September with the final assessment and progression review components following along closely afterwards.
If you are interested in helping us to shape the new STP assessment strategy, please complete the short expression of interest form linked to below. Upon receipt of expressions of interest we will aim to create meaningful and representative groups to take this work forward.
Newcastle University employer liaison event
Newcastle University will be holding an annual Employer Liaison Event which will be an opportunity for you to hear from staff involved in the delivery of our MSc Clinical Science and learn about updates to our programme.
The event will be held online via Zoom on Wednesday 18 October 2023.
Click here to find more information about the Newcastle University employer liaison event
Clinical Pharmaceutical Science Training Officer Network
Would you like to be part of a Pharmaceutical Science Training Officer Network?
Megan Longworth (CPS Training Officer at Liverpool) would like to create an opportunity to share best practice, compare experiences, discuss rotations or any other challenges you might be facing.
The inaugural network meeting will be on Tuesday 27 June 2023 from 14:00-15:00. This network is hoping to support people involved in delivering STP training across the whole Pharmaceutical Science curriculum.
Please contact Megan for more information on email@example.com
Click here to find out more information about the Clinical Pharmaceutical Science Training Officer Network meeting (expired link)
Planning for the new curriculum: drop-in sessions
We are hosting more drop-in sessions for anyone who will be involved in hosting a trainee on the new STP curriculum from September 2022.
The drop-in sessions will be an open Q&A forum. Our next sessions are:
- Thursday 29 June 12pm to 1pm
- Thursday 27 July 12pm to 1pm
Click here to find the drop-in session joining links.
Next Healthcare Science Education and Training Collaborative meeting
Our next Healthcare Science Education and Training Collaborative meeting will be online on Tuesday 7 November 2023. More details, including the agenda and registration link, will be available on our website soon.
Managing your trainees
We have created a section on our website providing answers about issues ranging from study leave to funding.
This month’s featured FAQ is:
Q – Is it acceptable to the School for a department to appoint (to a permanent post) a trainee who has not yet completed their training?
A – Yes if departments are able to support the completion of training there should be no problem. It is worth speaking to the local education office about the possibility of protecting the trainee’s training budget for the last few months to ensure that they are employed by you at the end of the training period. This may not always be possible but certainly worth exploring with your local commissioner. The School would suggest caution for the trainee as it is quite challenging to swap from a pure training role to one that may have different competing demands. However, other departments in this position have been able to strike a sensible workable balance where necessary. The trainee would need to submit a transfer of training request form and relevant evidence detailed in the transfer of training policy.
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.