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Careers in Healthcare Science

Healthcare scientists make a real difference to patients every day. They are involved in 80% of all clinical decisions in the NHS and developing some of the most amazing clinical and technological advancements.

And the best part? You could be one of them.

Healthcare Science Assistant and Associate

Healthcare science assistants work towards vocational qualifications, often apprenticeships are used as a training route. Healthcare science associates are commonly trained through a higher level apprenticeship, foundation degree or diploma. Many organisations are familiar with developing their wider support workforce using these education routes and already have arrangements in place. Through MSC a national learning and development framework has been developed, once implemented the modular framework will provide a national learning structure for assistants and associates with vocational awards and qualifications.

Healthcare Science Practitioner

Healthcare science practitioners are now trained through NHS approved and accredited BSc honours degrees through the Practitioner Training Programme (PTP) in various themes of healthcare science. Offered by a number of Universities across England, the programmes include academic learning and work based training. The 50+ week work based training element, supported by competency based learning guides, is spread over three years, involving broad scientific training in the first two years with an increasing focus on a chosen specialism during year three.

Clinical Scientist

The Scientist Training Programme (STP) is a three year programme of work based learning, underpinned by a University accredited master's degree. Trainees are employed by an NHS Trust for the duration of the programme and will be required to spend time in a range of settings, before specialising in the last two years of the programme. The STP national recruitment process is managed by the National School of Healthcare Science and begins at the start of each calendar year, typically with an advertisement placed in the New Scientist and is supported by Health Careers.

Consultant Clinical Scientist

The Higher Specialist Scientist Training (HSST) is a five year programme available to registered and experienced clinical scientists who wish to train and become eligible to apply for consultant clinical scientist posts. The programme is equivalent to the standards of training undertaken by medical postgraduate trainees. You can join the programme either as a direct entry (apply for a new post) or as an in service entry (nominated by your current employer). 

Accredited Scientific Practice (ASP) Programmes

The Accredited Scientific Practice (ASP) integrates both academic and work based learning and assessment. Being led by workforce and employer need the ASP will enable the workforce to undertake further specialist training as part of their employment, gaining specialist skills without the requirement to advance to the next level of the career framework. Initially the programmes will be planned based on advice from employers, professional bodies, senior scientists and through national requirements. Neurophysiology and medical physics expert (MPE) are the first programmes to be launched as an ASP programme.

Visit Health Careers

More information about healthcare science careers can be found on the Health Careers website.

National job profiles

The NHS consists of similar roles throughout the country which share common features. To ensure consistency in these roles they are matched against national job profiles which also help to determine which Agenda for Change pay band they should sit in. A national job profile is based on the job description, person specification and related additional information of a particular role. They are produced by the Job Evaluation Group (JEG) and are available on the NHS Employers website. Also available at NHS Employers is the job evaluation handbook, pay and conditions circular and the NHS terms and conditions of service handbook.

The recently updated national profiles for healthcare science are now available.