Message from your STP Training Programme Directors
Namir Al Hasso, Dr EMma Bowers, Dr Jo Horne, Jane Lynch and Aarti Makan
This month’s message is from Aarti Makan:
Hello all, welcome to the August STP memo. My name is Aarti Makan. I am an Audiologist and Speech-Language Therapist and have been employed by Health Education England (HEE) London since 2014. It’s only while writing this intro I realised that I officially joined the National School of Healthcare Science (NSHCS) team exactly one year ago as an STP training Programme Director & Regional Healthcare Science Dean. I say ‘officially’ as although I have been based in London, I have worked collaboratively with our NSHCS team since commencing my role with HEE.
Looking back at my first year with HEE in 2014, my first project was to develop a pan-London Healthcare Science STP trainee network. Together with a group of enthusiastic STP trainees (and support from their training officers and training centres), we held a few initial meetings on the value of a trainee network and hosted a welcome event for London STP trainees, with printed versions of an STP welcome pack. This small group of STP trainees engendered an enthusiasm amongst their peers and the meetings flourished into a self-sustaining STP trainee network. I am so excited and proud to see new trainees, each year, continue hosting their own website, developing their own newsletters, hosting socials, events, and running an STP buddying scheme. The London STP trainee network attend our HEE HCS education, training and workforce network, and feed into all relevant workstreams in HEE London. It has been so rewarding to support the network, and observe how trainees enhance their personal, professional, and leadership development and how they form strong support systems with trainees who are potentially future colleagues. I encourage STP trainees in all regions to grab the opportunity to develop a network and be a part of your regional Healthcare Science community – we will be happy to share any resources we have to support this.
As we now end the 2021/22 academic year our memo provides information and guidance for all those STP trainees completing the programme, detailing the key changes for completion in 2022 following the COVID-19 pandemic. There is access to a recorded webinar detailing what you need to do to complete the programme.
As we approach the 2022/23 academic year, our memo provides valuable information and dates for drop-in sessions for training officers on planning for the new curriculum. We have released new dates for Train the Trainer events and we kindly request that you save the date Tuesday 1st November for a collaborative event with all stakeholders involved in Healthcare Science education and training. Finally, a gentle reminder that if you are considering taking trainees in 2023, the Expression of Interest closing date is 15th September 2022 – so get those applications in and please note the new criteria for in-service applicants.
I look forward to our continued collaboration in educating and training our future Healthcare Science workforce.
Information for third year trainees
Guidance on completion 2022
Completion is fast approaching for our final year trainees. Now that most of you have sat your IACC and completed your MSc we hope that you are focusing on completing the final tasks for your OneFile so that you can successfully exit the STP. All the information and guidance on completing can be found on the School website.
The key dates for completion of the STP are:
- Raise concerns/queries regarding sign off of the e-portfolio to the School – End of August 2022
- Last date to submit an EEC application – 26th August 2022
- Complete the Data Audit – August to September 2022
- STP completion deadline (excluding those with approved extensions) – 5pm 19th September 2022
All the information and guidance on completing can be found on our website.
We want to give you an update on the next stages for completion so you know what to expect and can keep an eye out for communications from us.
- Data Audit and Exit Survey, week commencing 22nd August – online link sent to your preferred email address. This data is required for certification and HCPC registration purposes.
- Declaration of Scientific Competence, week commencing 29th August – OneFile sign off. Online link sent to your Training Officers by email. Only required if rotations or specialist modules are not going to be complete by the deadline on OneFile (completion routes 3, 4 or 5).
- STP completion deadline, 19th September – OneFile will be suspended from the deadline. You will retain viewing but not editing rights from this point. If you were unsuccessful at your IACC attempt you will still be expected to meet the OneFile completion deadline.
- Quality Checking, from 20th September – School will review all OneFile accounts and cross reference with MSc and IACC outcomes to determine completion status.
- STP Outcomes Released, from 26th September – you will receive confirmation of completion outcomes via email.
- Registration with the HCPC, from 17th October – if you have completed the STP and submitted the data audit then your information will be forwarded to the HCPC. You must allow a minimum of 10 working days from the date you receive confirmation of completion before contacting the HCPC to give the School and the HCPC time to process your data. Please contact HCPC for any queries regarding registration: https://www.hcpc-uk.org/registration/ or email@example.com
- Hard Copy Certificates, October 2022 onwards – will be sent up to 4 weeks following digital confirmation of your completion. Certificates will be sent from a third party provider and so you must complete the data audit to give us the most up to date contact address for your certificate.
Information for all trainees
Plagiarism and similarity detection in the e-portfolio
At the end of September, we intend to introduce a new similarity detection feature within OneFile. This is an integration of OneFile and Turnitin, which many of you will be familiar with from your work at universities. The feature will simply allow you to see a ‘similarity score’ for any document you upload into OneFile. Turnitin will compare your documents to every other document uploaded by trainees to OneFile and to huge datasets of academic and scientific literature. We will introduce this feature as a tool to support you to produce good quality, professional work and not as a heavy or over-simplistic monitoring of your work. In practice, you will simply be encouraged to check your work’s similarities with other work before you submit it. We will provide clear guidance about the best ways to use this feature before it goes live.
Submit your STP research project abstract for the School website
On the National School website we maintain a collection of abstracts of STP trainees’ research projects. This collection allows the wider healthcare science community and future generations of trainees to learn about your good work. We would like to update this collection with a fresh set of abstracts from trainees completing the programme this year.
Please could you take a few minutes to supply us with details about your research project by completing the brief form linked to below? All submitted abstracts will be published on the School website in the coming months.
Click here to submit your research project abstract (expired link)
Transfer of training
Following a number of recent enquiries, we want to remind trainees and training departments of the criteria for which transfers of training will be considered.
The allocation of trainees to departments at recruitment stage is based on the preferences trainees select during the recruitment process. In accepting a post in a preferred location, the expectation is that the commitment will be to that department and location for the duration of the training. Whilst we appreciate that settling into a new environment, town and city can be a challenge, we do not expect trainees to request transfers following acceptance of a training post unless there are significant changes that were unforeseen prior to commencing the programme which mean training cannot be completed in the original department.
Transfers of training will only occur under very exceptional circumstances and in accordance with the School’s policy. Any trainee or training department considering applying for a transfer must review the policy in the first instance to determine if they meet the transfer criteria and then contact the School to discuss things further. No trainee or department should arrange to transfer their training without making an application to the School via the policy. Failure to do so may mean that continued participation on the programme is prohibited and it is at the discretion of the School and the commissioning organisations as to whether a transfer will be supported.
The Healthcare Science workforce is relatively small, capacity to train is maximised, posts are offered based on workforce need/planning and we cannot guarantee that it is possible to move trainees, even when there are grounds to do so. Trainees must accept that transfers to a preferred location not achieved during the recruitment process will not be supported and that the offer is made in good faith and on the understanding that trainees have researched and considered the potential impact any relocation may have in terms of their support network and health and wellbeing.
There are lots of support options available to trainees to consider before thinking about a transfer of training. Please review the School’s website for further advice and guidance and get in contact at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any concerns about your ability to remain with your current department so we can make sure you have accessed all of the support options available to you.
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 in 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 supervisor 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 email@example.com and the relevant team in the School will advise you.
Information for training officers
We look forward to welcoming your new trainees to our induction day on Tuesday 6th September at the ICC, Birmingham.
Registration and networking will be open from 9am with the event starting at 9:30am. The event is expected to close at approximately 4:30pm.
Click here to find the full agenda for the day (expired link)
Planning for the new curriculum
We sent all training centres expecting a new trainee an email during the summer. We included all the information you need to get started with the 2022 curriculum. The email is a great resource to share with everyone involved in supporting the trainee on the programme.
The email includes information on the phases of the curriculum, which are a new component of the 2022 curriculum. The phases are there to guide training and help trainees meet progression requirements The rotation modules make up the first phase of training, to be completed in the first year. When the trainee is ready, you can start to work on the phase 2 modules to the end of the second year of training and then onto phase 3 to completion of the programme. The phase in which each module is located is shown in the curriculum library. Some modules in the core curriculum haven’t been assigned a phase of training and should be considered throughout training. These modules need to be completed by the end of the programme.
All the information can be found on our website.
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 in September 2022. The drop-in sessions will be an open Q&A forum.
Our next sessions are:
- Thursday 25th August 12pm to 1pm
- Thursday 22nd September 12pm to 1pm
- Thursday 27th October 12pm to 1pm
- Thursday 1st December 12pm to 1pm
Curriculum Review update: Microbiology STP curriculum ready for peer review this month
The Microbiology Curriculum Review Group are making great progress developing the new Microbiology STP curriculum.
With Lead Editor Rob Shorten, the Review Group are considering and redrafting the rotation and specialty modules which will form the Microbiology STP curriculum.
We expect to have the new curriculum content available later this month for your thoughts and comments. When it’s ready for review, we’ll be in touch with everyone involved in delivering the microbiology STP. Keep an eye on our Curriculum Tracker and Twitter as well.
PTP Curriculum Review Consultation
The School has been working with the feedback from the PTP Improvement Review which concluded in 2020. We have considered all the feedback and developed a new set of principles which would guide the shape of the Practitioner Training Programme (PTP) moving forward.
We now need your thoughts to ensure these principles meet the needs of the PTP. We are seeking feedback from all stakeholders in the PTP, and we are particularly keen to hear views from PTP graduates.
Managing your trainees
Once you have a trainee it is important to make sure that the training placement is a success, both for you and your trainee.
As a training officer there are a number of responsibilities throughout the trainee’s training.
Knowledge and understanding of the programme
- Attend the School Train the Trainer and other training opportunities as available.
- Review and become familiar with the curriculum. Click here to view the Curriculum Library.
- Disseminate training requirements locally making sure those involved in the training are aware of the requirements of the programme/curriculum.
- Familiarise yourself with the assessment, progression and completion requirements of the programme and any other relevant School policies.
Planning and preparation
- Prepare the training plan incorporating all required elements of the programme.
- Undertake training and become familiar with the use of the e-portfolio. Click here to find our guidance and videos for training officers using OneFile.
- Provide guidance on suitable evidence working with other trainers/assessors.
- Ensure planning reflects the supernumerary status of the trainee and does not include them in staff head count or service rotas.
- Facilitate time to study for the masters degree, preparation for the exams and completion of the e-portfolio. We suggest a minimum 80:20 split between training and protected study time, in addition to time to attend university lectures or assessments. Where and when the study leave is taken to be negotiated between trainee and department.
Supervision, support and progression
- Get to know your trainee so that you can provide professional and emotional support. Undertake wellbeing reviews to give a safe space for your trainee to discuss any concerns and to help you recognise if your trainee is anxious or stressed. Signpost to wellbeing support available in the organisation e.g. Occupational Health and Employee Assistance programmes. Click here to find out about the main sources of support for you.
- Meet with your trainee regularly. Have 1:2:1s to discuss progress, review the training plan and provide feedback to develop your trainee. Remember, communication and collaboration are key. Once a month is good practice. Meet more regularly if needed.
- Ensure your trainee receives employer and departmental induction, working with other departments if trainee rotates to ensure appropriate support.
- Make sure there is regular communication and collaboration between you, the trainee and all those involved with training including the academic provider.
- Ensure that your trainee understands the programme of workplace-based assessment and assessment outcomes. Click here to find our guidance on work-based assessments.
- Ensure that your trainee understands the completion requirements of the programme and ensure the training plan supports completion. Click here to find the 2022 completion information and guidance. Click here to find the 2023 completion information and guidance.
- Ensure evidence is being submitted and assessed regularly on OneFile, including by other trainers and assessors involved in the training. Support your trainee if there are issues with progression or getting work assessed/signed off.
- Provide adequate training opportunities for your trainee.
- Familiarise your trainee with any networking or peer support opportunities within the organisation or across the region.
- Liaise with the University and/or the School if you have concerns about trainee progress or ability to complete the programme.
- Ensure you and your trainee engage and actively participate in any progression reviews by the School as required of the programme.
- Implement local HR and employment policies e.g., attendance management, performance, appraisal etc.
- Identify and agree any training opportunities or activities that require access to the non pay budget of £2K per annum. Click here to find our guidance on using the educational training support fund.
Managing your trainees
In addition to the guidance links above 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 – What do I need to do before the trainee arrives?
A – When you are planning for your trainee and their training, it will be important that you:
- familiarise yourself with the curriculum via the School’s Curriculum Library, so that you know what your trainee needs to achieve
- try and organise the work-based learning so that it relates to the MSc content and the STP curriculum. This is not always possible as workplace activities and tasks are varied and may not map exactly to the STP curriculum. However, it is worth remembering to take advantage of any opportunities as they arise.
Train the Trainer events
We run Train the Trainer sessions to support training officers that will be taking responsibility for an STP trainee. Attending these events is essential to your training and is part of the accreditation process.
Our next series of STP Train the Trainer starts in October. You must attend all three sessions to complete Train the Trainer.
- STP Train the Trainer Webinar 1: Introducing the STP – Wednesday, 19th October 2022 10.00am – 12.30pm
- STP Train the Trainer Webinar 2: Assessing Evidence in the Workplace – Wednesday, 26th October 2022 10.00am – 12.30pm
- STP Train the Trainer Webinar 3: Training Support – Thursday, 3rd November 2022 10.00am – 12.30pm
Save the date – Tuesday 1 November
We are planning to hold an all-day online event for:
- Training Officers
- Training Centres
- Training Consortiums
- Professional Bodies
- Higher Educational Institutes
It will be an opportunity to find out what the School has done, what we are doing and to influence what we will be doing next.
The School are equally keen to hear what you have done, what you are doing and to work with you and help support you with what you want to do next in education and training.
Entry requirements for 2023 in-service applicants modified
We have modified the entry requirements for in-service STP trainees to potentially include relevant on-the-job-experience.
Training centres can nominate individuals who do not quite meet the direct entry requirement to enter STP if the following conditions are met:
- The training centres are experienced in training STP. They need to have supervised an STP trainee through to successful completion. This is so that the training centre understands the demands placed on a level 7 learner and therefore are confident that the individual they nominate will be able to successfully complete the programme.
- The nominated individual passes the relevant university’s APEL entry requirements, hereby demonstrating that their on-the-job-experience and previous academic qualifications combined are equivalent to the minimum entry requirement for the university to allow the nominated individual onto the MSc course.
Both of these must be evidenced by the training department before the nominated candidate can apply for the STP. All other criteria for an in-service trainee must also be met.
These changes are in place, so can be considered when submitting Expressions of Interest (EOI) for the 2023 STP cohort.
Expressions of interest for 2023 cohort now open
We are pleased to announce that the portal for Expressions of Interest (EOI) for the 2023 Scientist Training Programme cohort opened on the 1st July and will close on the 15th September 2022.
In previous years we have had additional requests for more EOIs to meet the demand. However, we do not anticipate there being further rounds of requests. Once the portal closes, panels will review the expressions and submit supported requests for funding. The process will allow recruitment to begin in a timely manner, with confirmation of support and funding arriving sooner, allowing your organisations to prepare for the intake of trainees.
We encourage you to submit your EOIs whilst the portal is open.
Click here for the STP Expression of Interest portal (expired link)
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.