What is considered good evidence for the STP work-based training provider quality standards


The list below provides some guidance on what you as a training provider, should supply as evidence when completing your STP Self-assessment form for Accreditation. The numbers against the items listed below relate to the numbers shown against each of the quality standards on the application form.These examples of good evidence relate to the Accreditation quality standards in the STP self-assessment form for work-based training providers.

1. Organisation chart with roles and responsibilities

You can provide outline charts at different levels, e.g. trust and directorate. The one we need to see the most is the immediate department. It should:

  • show the structure, with a name and title against each post
  • identify the training officer
  • include the trainee and show the trainee’s line
  • show management arrangements
  • show who in the department is a registered clinical scientist

2. Training policy identifying how the trust/department supports healthcare science training

The department’s training policy should show the arrangements for all trainees. For the Scientist Training Programme we will be looking to confirm that the policy embodies the particular requirements of the scheme such as supernumerary status, rotations, the online portfolio, the assessments, the university component, the protected study time, the Mid-term Review of Progression, the final assessment and the roles and responsibilities of the various individuals responsible for delivering the training.

3. Specimen training plan

This is one of the most critical documents for us. The training plan is how we know that the department is properly prepared for the trainee, understands the programme and has all the building blocks in place. Click here to view an example of a training plan together with a checklist to help you create a training plan. You can also take a look at our guidance on good training planning for STP trainees.

The plan should show in some detail:

  • The rotations. It is your responsibility, not the trainee’s, to arrange the rotations, and they should all be firmly arranged before the trainee starts, with dates, supervision arrangements, contact details and an indication of the learning that will be delivered.
  • For the physiological sciences, pay particular attention to the rotation ‘Clinical Assessment and Investigation’. It involves a lot of people and needs careful planning.
  • At least in outline, the first year of the specialist training showing how the key learning outcomes will be met, and who will deliver it and assess it. There should be milestones to allow you to evaluate progress.
  • The arrangements for supervision of a master’s level research project. You won’t know all the details in advance. Supervision arrangements will depend on the choice of research topic, but we need to be assured that you will be able to find a suitably qualified and experienced research supervisor. Liaise with your hospital’s Research and Development leads to ensure the project gets trust ethical approval and ideally act as the project’s sponsors. If this is not possible, what arrangements would you propose?
  • Arrangements to embed patient and public involvement in the training. This is to be provided as a stand-alone document; see item 36.

The training plan is the document we most frequently question in an application – more often than not, we go back to the department and ask for the plan to be developed further before we can confirm accreditation. So it is worth giving it careful attention at this stage.

4. Note of any quality manuals, quality statement or similar documentation used by the Department

This is self-explanatory.

5. Evidence of attendance at train the trainer and confirmation that learning has been cascaded

We do not need certificates of attendance but if you have one please send it. The important questions for us are:

  • Has at least one member of staff who is still in the department been to the event? If not, please send an email requesting a place at the next available event.
  • Have they shared their understanding of the programme with other staff? If not, confirm that there is a plan in place to do so.

6. For the Training Officer who has overall supervision of the STP trainee

This is another critical document and unless it is completed and counter-signed, we cannot confirm accreditation.

The qualifications, experience and skills of the training officer are one of the most reliable indicators of trainee experience and success in the programme. Download and complete the document ‘Evidence of meeting requirements for STP Training Officer Role‘. You should also take a look at the person specification for the role, and the guidance on completing this form. This form has to be signed off by the head of department.

7. For all other staff involved in any significant extent in training

This applies to any staff who will be taking on a significant amount of training and particularly assessment. We do not ask for full CVs, but we need to see that the majority of the people involved have experience of delivering training and assessment. If you would prefer to use a template, download the ‘Education and training qualifications form‘.

8. Statement giving brief details of support at trust level for training

For example, courses available in supporting and mentoring trainees, providing feedback, and having difficult conversations. This information should be available from your trust’s Education and Training/Learning and Development team.

9. Schedule of meetings with other STP training officers in the trust or externally

If you do not already have this to hand, send a proposed schedule.

10. Examples of STP trainee meetings, including internal trust STP trainee networks, regional trainee networks

This information may be available from your trust’s Education and Training/Learning and Development team, your trust Lead Scientist, or your regional office of Health Education England. If this is your trust’s first trainee, please send proposals.

11. Note of any staff CPD aimed at supporting education and training

This is self-explanatory.

12. An example of improvement as a result of your own internal review

This is self-explanatory.

13. Schedule of education meetings within the department (include any regular meetings where trainee progress is reviewed, or where staff reflect on their training practice)

This is self-explanatory.

14. Identify staff actively involved in NSHCS events

For example, recruitment shortlisting or interviewing, assessing, attendance at any national groups such as Themed Boards, participation in other NSHCS activities such as accreditation visits You may also include professional body activities/positions held, and any other activities that represent healthcare science in external forums or raise the profile of healthcare science.

15. Relevant extracts from Trust policies (re Fitness to Practise)

Can be omitted if any other departments in your trust already have accreditation for the Scientist Training Programme.

16. Summary of Trust appraisal process including capability procedure

Can be omitted if any other departments in your trust already have accreditation for the Scientist Training Programme.

17. Evidence of trainees’ interactions with other departments/professionals (e.g. attendance at multi-disciplinary meetings)

If you have not yet had a trainee, please supply us with your proposals. If you have had a trainee before, please provide some actual examples.

18. Details of other trainees accepted on rotation or placement (this can include trainees on programmes other than the STP)

This is self-explanatory.

19. Evidence of employer liaison with the STP trainee’s university (e.g. exchange of emails with the course leader)

Experience shows us that there is frequently a lack of engagement between the university and the workplace. The least we would expect to see as evidence is that you have introduced yourself to the course leader at the university and provided contact details. Preferably, you will also have attended an employer liaison event at the university.

20. Statement showing how the department’s training plan links with the trust’s forward plans and national policy

Can you demonstrate that training an STP aligns with the trust or organisation’s strategic plans, and wider long-term strategy in the health service? Typically, this might show that you are trying to develop extended roles for clinical scientists or a more science- led service. Often this links to covering extended hours. You might include something about the longer-term forward view and career pathway for your science workforce e.g. whether the trust employs scientists in consultant roles.

21. Description of how the department contributes to the trust’s workforce planning and data collection

This is self-explanatory.

22. Confirmation that department has identified clinical scientist roles

Your organisation chart will show the current position, but please let us know whether there are plans to increase the number of clinical scientist roles.

23. In addition to the documents provided for section 1.4 above show how the department links with the organisation’s Education and Training leads (e.g. placement education lead, learning and development lead) to ensure quality in education and training

We are looking to establish, here, whether your department is ‘on the radar’ for the wider education functions of the trust. For example, does the Education and Training/Learning and Development team invite you to participate in development activities such as leadership and management training? Do you have regular contact with an education lead, or a placement facilitator?

24. Brief description demonstrating that adequate facilities are provided (including library facilities)

This is self-explanatory.

25. A statement confirming that STP trainees will receive training in audit, risk assessment, research / statistics skills, and incident reporting

This is self-explanatory, but please include in your statement brief details of when/where this training will occur.

26. An example of written feedback for a trainee

If you have not yet had a Scientist Training Programme trainee, use an example from another training programme.

27. Written confirmation that all STP trainees (whether direct entry or in-service) will be treated as supernumerary and, in addition, will have at least 20% of their time allocated to private study/portfolio completion, throughout the programme, whether during academic term time or not

We are looking for confirmation that the department understands its commitment to the trainee being supernumerary. The department must be able to deliver its service satisfactorily without the trainee’s contribution.

20% of the trainee’s time must be protected for private study, including university work, reflective writing, reading and portfolio completion. This applies throughout the programme, regardless of whether the trainee is in university term time.

28. Evidence of all internal and external inspection regimes the department is subject to (e.g. service accreditation, ISO), and outcomes from recent inspections or health and safety audits. Brief statement and any reference numbers confirming accreditation: certificates are not required

This is self-explanatory.

29. Confirmation that mandatory training is undertaken by all trainees (simple statement)

We would normally expect this to be covered in induction and be part of the normal requirements for an employee. Remember that the trainee is training for a clinical scientist role: for that reason, we would expect them to complete clinical mandatory training. All we need is a statement confirming this is the case.

30. Evidence of trust and departmental policies on whistleblowing*

Attach the policy, or relevant extracts. In addition, confirm that the trainees will be informed of the Freedom to Speak Up Guardians.

31. Evidence of Trust equality and diversity policy; department commitment to observe equality of opportunity in training*

Attach the policy and supplement it with a statement confirming that your department will meet the requirements of equality and diversity law and policy.

32. Evidence of Trust policies on harassment and bullying; description of how trainees can raise concerns about their training*

Attach the policy if necessary, and add anything else that might help (e.g. reference to Freedom to Speak Up Guardians and any mentoring or buddying arrangements)

33. Confirmation from department that DBS checks are required (or, where this is not the case, Trust statement explaining the reasons)

Provide a statement. We would normally expect that DBS checks will be required, because the trainee should be getting clinical contact with patients.

34. Consent form, or description of the process for obtaining consent. If consent is not in written form, Informed consent policy

This is about patients consenting to be seen by a trainee. Even if no written consent is required, we would normally expect to see some audit trail to confirm that oral consent has been given.

35. Trust Patient and Public Involvement policy e.g. Service Users and Carers policy or equivalent*

For this item, provide the trust-level policy. Implementation of that policy in your department is covered by the following item.

36. Engagement plan for STP trainees showing how opportunities will be provided for interaction with patients (including patient representative groups) and the wider public

This is another of the areas in which we most frequently ask the department for further development. All Scientist Training Programme trainees must have opportunities for interaction with patients and the public, both in clinical settings and in the wider sense – for example, opportunities to attend disease-specific patient groups. Typically, we would expect to see opportunities such as ward rounds, special clinics, open days and science fairs, and STEM ambassador activities.

37. Fitness for practice policy (where appropriate) Evidence of safeguarding for vulnerable service users

This is self-explanatory.