Section menu

Annual review of progression

The School will conduct an annual review of progression (ARP) towards development as consultant clinical scientists (CCS) with all trainees on the Higher Specialist Scientist Training (HSST). The review for trainees in their last year of training (year 5) will pertain to their readiness to meet their pathway specific completion and exit criteria. Participation in the ARP is a mandatory requirement for all HSST trainees and their workplace supervisors.

The ARP will be conducted in October/November of each year – please refer to section below for an indicative timeline for the next ARP. Trainees and workplace supervisors will be notified 4 weeks in advance of the launch of ARP each year.

The ARP is intended as a supportive and facilitative process and will:

  1. Provide a formal opportunity for trainees and their workplace supervisors to evaluate and indicate to the School trainees’ progress on programme as appropriate to their stage of training and identify any concerns/issues/barriers that need to be addressed to facilitate progression.
  2. Ensure that each trainee receives an independent evaluation of their progression.
  3. Give confidence to trainees, workplace supervisors and commissioners that training is being monitored, and that support and advice is being offered as appropriate.

The evidence that will inform the review will comprise:

  • Trainee’s self-evaluation of engagement and development the HSST programme and their progress to date.
  • An evaluation by the trainee’s workplace supervisor of their trainee’s engagement with the HSST programme and their progress to date.
  • Portfolio evidence demonstrating achievement against the HSS Standards of Proficiency (SoPs).
  • Engagement and progress on the academic component as appropriate to the trainee’s pathway through and stage of programme.
  • Evidence of completion of a multi-source feedback exercise/360 appraisal recommended to inform their professional development.

Please note: access to the trainee and workplace supervisor evaluation forms will be available near the time of each year’s ARP.

The range of outcomes and descriptors from the review is available here.

The School recommends that trainees and their workplace supervisor schedule a meeting pre-ARP to review the training plan and discuss progress, and also a post-ARP meeting to discuss the outcome and update the training plan as appropriate.

ARP and the Independent Assessment of Professional Skills (IAPS)

For trainees on the Physical, Bioinformatics and Physiological Sciences pathways, a satisfactory outcome from the ARP is a pre-requisite for entry to the Independent Assessment of Professional Skills (IAPS).

Follow up from the ARP

The ARP is intended as a supportive and facilitative process for trainees and their workplace supervisors. The School will follow up as informed by the review evidence, comments/concerns/issues highlighted on the evaluation reports and outcome decision. The following list provides examples (but is not restricted to) of follow up from the review:

  • Actions from trainee and workplace supervisor relating to the training plan and/or MSF
  • Actions from trainee relating to engagement/progress on academic component/s
  • A non-compliance form to be completed by trainee and/or workplace supervisor if they have not engaged with ARP. Non-compliance is viewed as a serious transgression and a justification will be required for review by the School and if appropriate, HEE commissioners.
  • Support and advice provided by the NSHCS to help address highlighted issues/concerns/barriers and which have not been possible to resolve locally in discussion with employer, HEI or other.
  • Actions requested of the employer/training department or MAHSE where evidence indicates justified serious issues with the provision of workplace training opportunities or academic components of the programme.
  • A request for trainee and/or workplace supervisor to attend an ARP panel meeting to agree actions to facilitate progression where evidence indicates serious concern/barriers relating to the trainee’s progress. The panel will be formed as appropriate to the evidence and may comprise but is not restricted to representatives from the School, speciality senior scientist, MAHSE, AHCS, HEE commissioning group, lay advisor.
  • In exceptional circumstances, with all possible avenues to facilitate progression exploited, if evidence demonstrates that the trainee fails to progress as necessary, they will be supported to exit from the HSST programme.

Resources to support ARP evidence

The following resources and policies relating to ARP are available for trainees and workplace supervisors – other resources will be added as they become available:

A multisource feedback (MSF) tool will be available for trainees by December 2018. Trainees will be alerted when it has been installed and provided with access details.

Annual Review of Progression 2018

ARP opens Thursday 25 October 2018
ARP closes Monday 26 November 2018
ARP outcomes released Week commencing 7 January 2019
ARP support panel meetings scheduled during the period Monday 14 January – Thursday 31 January 2019

For this year’s review, it is noted that trainees may not have had access to a multisource feedback (MSF/360) tool; this will be taken into account in relation to the review of progression and any follow up actions required.

Questions or queries regarding the ARP

In the first instance, we would appreciate receiving any questions or queries regarding the ARP by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. General responses that will be helpful to all will be responded to globally; questions/queries of a more specific nature will be responded to individually as appropriate.