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 Dr EMma Bowers:
I write this introduction to our monthly memo with much sadness, as we have just received the announcement of the death of HRH Queen Elizabeth II. After the energy and excitement of the Induction Day on the 6 September, we are now in official mourning. This does, though, give us time to reflect on the meaning of service, care for others and compassion exemplified by the Queen over her lifetime, which we too hope to share.
It was great welcoming those of you who attended the Induction Day in person, but I would like to use this monthly memo also to welcome those of you who were unable to attend, to STP and the NSHCS. If you couldn’t attend, please work through the presentations that will be added to the website, as a lot of vital information was provided on the day. Hopefully, everyone who has just started STP has now reflected on the induction course (or indeed, on not attending the induction course if you couldn’t attend) and met and had an extensive meeting with your Training Officer as we recommended at induction.
Those of you entering your second year, I recommend that you get all ends left from your first year rotations tied up as soon as possible, if you haven’t already done so, so that you can start concentrating solely on your specialism.
If you are entering your third year, you should now be a dab hand at juggling your work-based competencies, your MSc project and the last bit of your academic study.
If you have come to the end of your final year, I hope you have finalised your OneFile status before you have read this memo. Congratulations to those of you who passed your IACC. Those of you who are resitting, I hope you have taken up the opportunity for a support call to maximise your success next time.
I have now been in post as long as everyone entering your second year, so I hope, like me, you have come fully to understand your role and how you fit into the Healthcare Science profession. I hadn’t realised that, this year, not only would we be welcoming a new cohort of STP trainees, but also a new King and the start of the Carolean age.
Information for first year trainees
Online induction events
As part of the 2022 induction package for all new trainees we will also be hosting a series of online webinars. These webinars will provide more detailed guidance on different elements of the Scientist Training Programme and we encourage all new trainees to attend every session. If you are unable to attend the live session, they will all be recorded and shared on our website afterwards.
The pre-reading will be circulated closer to the time but please do keep the dates in your diaries and register your attendance.
- Getting to know the OneFile e-portfolio service: Tuesday 4th October at 4pm
- Understanding work-based assessments – OCEs, DOPs, CBDs, competencies, good practice examples: Thursday 13th October at 4pm
- Progression through the programme: Wednesday 16th November at 4pm
- Staying on track – managing your workload, your mental health and wellbeing: Thursday 8th December at 4pm
OneFile e-portfolio accounts for new trainees
We expect to be able to provide new STP trainees with their login details for the OneFile e-portfolio between September 28 and September 30. In order to be able to set you up with an account, we need you to have responded to the request for information that you were sent after the Induction Day.
If you are still to respond to that request, we need you to do this by the end of the day on September 21. Please look for an email entitled ‘NSHCS STP 2022 – Request for Registration and OneFile Information’, which contains a personalised link to the form you need to complete.
Information for all trainees
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.
Share your top tips for new trainees
We are working with other healthcare training professions on a campaign all about supporting people who are starting a new healthcare training course.
We thought this would be a great opportunity to share some of the information you wish you knew when you started, along with tips and tricks which you have learnt throughout your course which would be helpful to new students. Below are some ideas about the type of information we think it would be good to share:
- What do you wish you knew on your first day?
- Top tips for new students
- Placement top tips/what are ten things I should bring on my first day on placement
- My favourite/most memorable takeaway from the first semester at university
If you’d like to share your top tips with new trainees please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and the relevant team in the School will advise you.
Information for training officers
Planning for the new curriculum
We sent all training centres expecting a new trainee an email durig 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 22nd September 12pm to 1pm
- Thursday 27th October 12pm to 1pm
- Thursday 1st December 12pm to 1pm
Click here to find the drop-in session joining links
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.
Click here to view the curriculum tracker for Microbiology
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 – Who do trainees inform of a change of personal details?
A – Personal records must be kept up-to-date with the employing Trust, on the e-portfolio and with the School.
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.
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.