Guidance on completing the STP accreditation application form

These useful notes will make completing your accreditation application much easier.


Sending your form and evidence

When sending in your application form and additional evidence, please create a document headed with the name of the trust/department/consortia and list all of the items included in your submission. The last column on the application form which is called ‘Item number’ can be used to make sure the title in your document matches the item number the evidence relates to in the application form.

Example format

Oxbridge NHS Trust/Genetics Laboratory/Clinical Bioinformatics (Genomics)

Evidence for accreditation

Item 1: attached, titled ‘1 – structure plans’

Item 2: attached, titled ‘2 – training policy’

Item 3: attached, titled ‘3 – training plan’

Item 4: statement:

The department has an overarching quality manual which includes bioinformatics. The quality documents held by the department are as follows…

You may sometimes submit several documents for a single item. For example, you might want to send for Item 1 a Directorate structure and a department structure. In that case, label them 1(a) and 1(b).

If, for one of the reasons mentioned in the form, you are exempt from providing a certain piece of information/evidence, please list it as ‘Item 30: exempt’.


Part A - Domain 1: education/training quality

1.1 Departmental staff, including senior grades, contribute to maintaining the quality of education and training

Item 1

It is helpful to provide outline charts showing trust directorate, however, the one we need to see is the immediate department. It should show the structure, with a name and title against each post, identify the training officer and include the trainee and show the trainee’s line of management and who in the department is a registered clinical scientist.

If you are in a consortium, please provide the structure of the consortium and the structures of the departments within the consortium.

1.1 Department has clear quality standards

Item 2

The department 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.

Item 3

Don’t forget to attach your training plan showing:

  • how placements are planned and confirmed
  • the staff involved: training officer, other trainers/supervisors/assessors
  • supervision arrangements including actual or proposed supervision for the research project, including arrangements for research sponsorship
  • preparation of colleagues to support training
  • induction/orientation pack for your department

More detailed information is available in the Training Plan section.

Item 4

Note of any quality manuals, quality statement or similar documentation used by the Department for example if your department is UKAS exempt.

1.2 Training programmes reflect relevant national guidance

Item 5

Demonstrate that at least one member of staff has attended the School’s STP training for trainers session and confirmation that learning has been cascaded to colleagues. Please provide copies certificates of attendance. If staff have not attended, please send an email to the School requesting a place at the next available event and confirm that there is a plan in place.

1.3 Department can deliver professional training to high standard. Staff development includes supervision and delivery of training

Item 6

Completion of the document ‘Evidence of meeting requirements for STP Training Officer Role form’, is a requirement for accreditation.

Item 7

For all other staff involved in any significant extent in training, Please use the ‘Education and Training qualifications form’. You can include CVs as additional evidence, we need to see that the majority of the people involved in the delivery of training and assessment.

Item 8

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.

1.4 Training staff reflect on experience and are committed to continuous improvement of training process

Items 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13

Demonstrate a schedule of meetings with other STP training officers in the trust or externally, schedule of education meetings within the department (include regular meetings where trainee progress is reviewed, or where staff reflect on their training practice), this could include 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 of what you intend to do.

1.5 Staff contribute to national training initiatives

Item 14

Identify staff actively involved in Schools events such as recruitment shortlisting or interviewing, IACC assessing, attendance at any national groups such as Themed Boards, participation in other NSHCS activities such as accreditation visits. You can find out how more in our Get involved section.

1.6 There is a process for dealing with concerns about students’ profession-related conduct (fitness to practise)

Item 15

You may want to include relevant extracts from Trust/organisation policies to summarise the Trust/organisations appraisal process. support at trust level for training. For example, courses available in supporting and mentoring trainees, providing feedback, and having difficult conversations.

Item 16

Summary of Trust/organisation appraisal process including capability procedure (UKAS exempt).

1.7 There is effective communication, partnership and inter-professional team working, including liaison with university providing the academic component of the STP

Items 17 and 18

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.

Item 19

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.


Part A - Domain 2: planning and resource management

2.1 Clear training strategy and annual plan linked to national and local policy. Clear lines of accountability for the management and governance of work-based education.

Items 20, 21 and 23

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 plans and career pathways for your science workforce e.g., whether the trust employs scientists in consultant roles.

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?

2.2 Physical resources to support students/learners (chairs, desks, workspace). Technical equipment and IT facilities including on-line journal access

Item 24

Demonstrate that the department has adequate facilities and equipment to accommodate STP trainees allowing them to work virtually, if necessary, for example in times when there may be a pandemic.

2.3 Learning opportunities are at the right level and provide opportunities for multi-professional working

Item 25

Write a statement confirming that STP trainees will receive training in audit, risk assessment, research / statistical skills, and incident reporting. When and where will this training occur.

2.4 Prompt feedback to trainees

Item 26

An example of how trainees are informed of progress e.g., verbal, or written feedback for a trainee and how this is documented so there is an auditable trail of actions taken and follow up. This should be evidenced through training planning or past examples of feedback and action plans. If you have not yet had a trainee, you can use an example from another training programme. Experience shows us that there is frequently a lack of engagement between the university and the workplace. The least we would expect to see is evidence 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.

2.5 Feedback from trainees is collected and action plans agreed - Refer to 2.4

Refer to 2.4 above.

2.6 All trainees whether direct entry or in-service are released (and given protected study time) to undertake all aspects of the training programmes

Item 27

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.


Part A - Domain 3: Health and Safety, Equality and Diversity, PPI

3.1 Policies and procedures reflect health and safety legislation and equality of opportunity. Safety is maintained. Risk is managed

Items 28 and 29

We would normally expect this to be covered by the department 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.

Item 30

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

3.2 Diversity, inclusion, and equality of opportunity

Item 31

We would want to see the department’s 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. The School also has Conscious Inclusion training that can be completed to reduce bias in the workplace. We recommend you complete this training.

3.3 Appeals / complaints / concerns

Item 32

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

3.4 Disclosure and Barring Service, Independent Safeguarding Authority, and occupational health clearance processes

Item 33

We would normally expect that DBS checks will be required, because the trainee should be getting clinical contact with patients. Please provide a statement of this and the outcomes of the checks.

3.5 Where students/trainees may engage clinically with service users, appropriate consent is obtained

Item 34

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.

3.6 Programmes respect the rights and needs of service users and colleagues

Items 35, 36 and 37

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. We would normally expect to see a plan for STP trainees detailing the sort of contact they will have with patients and the public outside the day-to-day clinical setting. The aim would be for the trainee to understand the whole patient experience and to be able to explain to patients how clinical science contributes to their treatment.

The sort of activities we would envisage here are:

  • talks to disease-specific patient and carer groups
  • STEM ambassador activities
  • participation in ward rounds
  • clinics
  • visits to primary care

Part B - The HEE Quality Framework

Domain 1: learning environment and culture

Please do not send any attachments relating to this section.

The aim of this part of the form, is to prompt reflection and ensure you understand the framework and its requirements. Comments are only needed if you have assessed yourself as not meeting, or working towards, one of the requirements. If that is the case, then please inform us of what you will do to meet the requirement.


Part C - The signature

The form must be signed by your Head of Department and counter-signed by someone from the next tier of management up, or higher. We will not evaluate any application unless both signatures are present.

What needs to be signed

  • application form – signed and countersigned as indicated
  • training officer form – signed by the training officer and countersigned by the Head of Department

Last updated on 6th September 2023