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The HSST handbook

The launch of the Higher Specialist Scientist Training, (HSST) programme is the latest development within the Modernising Scientific Careers (MSC) project. Scientists entering these programmes will, like their medical counterparts, be trained to become the consultants of the future offering a pivotal role to meet the challenges of delivering healthcare “at the limits of science”.

This handbook has been developed by the National School of Healthcare Science (the School), in consultation with stakeholders, to support trainees and trainers. It is intended as an initial guide but recognises that there is a need for each clinical scientist in HSST to contextualise the programme for his or her own service and specialism.

Consultant scientist posts are emerging for the first time in some areas of healthcare whilst in others they are already well established. You are encouraged to share with us, and your colleagues on the programme, your experiences and recommendations to build a repository of best practice for training and assessment across all of healthcare science.

The HSST programme is one that is entirely bespoke to you and your previous experiences. It is unlike other training programmes under the MSC umbrella in that it requires you and your employer to develop an appropriate job plan against the demands of the specialism specific curriculum.

It requires you to achieve a balance between academic learning and work based training. It requires you to decide the level of formative evidence appropriate to meet the demands of summative assessments and this handbook will offer some guidance on this, helping you understand the programme and what is expected of you.

Whilst we use the word trainee for expediency throughout this handbook, we recognise that those on the programme are experienced scientists, with a status equivalent to the specialty doctor in medical training.

Using this handbook

It is important that this handbook is read in conjunction with:

  1. The HSST curriculum available in the National School's Curriculum Library.
  2. The MAHSE handbook, which will be issued to you when you start your course
  3. The guidance about how to use the OneFile e-portfolio service on the School website and the OneFile 'How to ...' videos in the School's YouTube channel.