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Questions about the Scientist Training Programme

In addition to the 'most popular' frequently asked questions below, we recommend that you read through the full STP 2019 Frequently Asked Questions and the STP 2019 Guidance for Applicants. We also recommend that applicants read through all of the information on the STP Join a programme webpages. 

How to differentiate between practice and real online aptitude tests?

Practice tests are clearly indicated as such in red wording at the top left corner of the screen. Before commencing the real aptitude test make sure you have exited the practice section and all open browsers and additional tabs are closed. You must make sure that you are in the correct section before commencing your final test for submission. Please note that the web browser software could be affected by more than one window being open.

How do I obtain the in-service code?

If you are an in-service applicant, this will have already been agreed with your current NHS employer and your employer will have already been sent the in-service code which they will forward to you. If this is not the case please ensure you have selected the correct vacancy.

What is the recruitment process?

All applicants (direct and in service) will answer a series of questions and complete aptitude tests that will ascertain their suitability to progress to the application stage. Those candidates who pass the online aptitude tests will progress to the next stage of the recruitment process. Direct entry applicants who successfully submit an application and pass the online tests will be considered for shortlisting and will be notified of the outcome via email or text. In service applicants will not be subject to shortlisting and will progress to interview following successful completion of their online tests.

Interviews will be held on a national basis and allocations to posts will be offered as soon as possible after all interviews have been completed.

What do I need to be eligible for the STP?

You must have an honours degree (1st or 2:1) in a pure or applied science area relevant to the specialism you are interested in, to be eligible for the STP. Make sure that you review the job description and person specification to ensure you match the skills and knowledge required for the specialism you wish to apply for. Further information is available on entry requirements and degree relevance in our entry requirements section.

How should I complete the online aptitude tests?

All applicants (direct and in service) must submit their application online via Oriel. You must then complete a numerical and logical reasoning test online once your application has been submitted. There is a minimum pass mark for each online test. If you do not meet this benchmark, your application will not proceed further. Meeting this minimum pass mark does not guarantee that you will be shortlisted for the interview stage.

For further details and dates about applications and the online tests please refer to our applying to the programme section.

What end date should I put for current employment as I am still in post?

You should put an end date of August 2019 as the STP starts in September 2019.

Click on the tabs below for further information about the Scientist Training Programme.

Are there STP opportunities in Wales?

Recruitment to the Scientist Training Programme in Wales is being managed and coordinated by Wales. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (Education and Contracting Manager, Shared Services Partnership, Workforce, Education and Development Services) for further information.

Can I attend open days to find out more about the training?

Yes; some employers and departments hold open days that give you a good opportunity to find out more about the scientist roles you are interested in. 

How long does the training programme last?

The STP is a three year, full time, work place based training programme during which participants also study part time for a master’s in clinical science.

Which universities offer the accredited master's programme?

The university providers will be confirmed once recruitment to the 2019 intake commences, early next year.

How much academic input will there be included in the programme?

The STP is approximately two thirds work based training and one third academic training. While in the workplace we recommend that 80% of your time is spent on work based training and 20% of your time is spent on academic work.

Will I have to contribute to the academic tuition fees?

No; the tuition fees for the academic part of the training programme is fully funded.

Is there any additional financial support available, other than the salary?

Funding to support travel and accommodation at university or other events may be available. However such funding is at the discretion of the employer and may be subject to local availability. You should contact the relevant department or Health Education England Local Team for further advice.

Are current healthcare employees eligible for the programme?

Yes they are; please refer to the in service information about the programme.

If I have previously applied to the STP can I apply again?

Yes you can, however if you have previously relinquished or been removed from the programme you must state this in your application. This will be reviewed and a decision will be made on whether your application can proceed. This may involve discussions with other key stakeholders for example the Higher Education Institution (HEI); you will be contacted for consent should further information be required. 

Is the programme looking to recruit new or more experienced graduates?

The national shortlisting panels will judge which applicants closely match the person specification. The focus is on whether an applicant has the required skills, knowledge and experience and this could have been gained in a number of different ways. Successful applicants might have a variety of relevant qualifications, experience and potential, and in the past the cohort of successful applicants has included both new graduates and those with more experience. 

Is there an age limit for the programme?

No there is not an age limit for the STP.

Is the training programme right for me?

The STP offers a fantastic opportunity for people who are looking for a fulfilling career in healthcare science. It is important that you consider your application to the programme carefully. You must be committed to a career in healthcare science and to providing high quality scientific services to patients and the public. Entry onto the programme is extremely competitive and therefore you should be prepared to be measured on your commitment to the programme and on your understanding of the expectations placed on Scientist trainees as part of the selection processes. 

Read through the information on this website about the STP and explore the specialisms in more detail on the Health Careers website. 

What scientific specialism should I apply for?

Your chosen specialism should be relevant to your choice of future career and your academic qualifications. Read more about the individual specialisms at the Health Careers website and the curricula at the Curriculum Library.

What kinds of people get a place on the STP?

A range of people have been successful in being appointed to the STP. In addition to high standards of scientific ability, what they have in common is an enthusiasm for science, aspirations to be leaders in healthcare science and a focus on delivering high quality and compassionate care for patients. Above all else our successful applicants demonstrate the right values and behaviours integral to providing safe and effective healthcare science services to patients and the public. 

How much travel is involved in the STP?

You may have to travel to other training centres to fulfil parts of the programme (rotations).  These could be in different parts of the country and you may have to spend weeks at a time there. Whether you have to travel to complete your rotations will depend on the specialism and whether your host employer has the facilities to provide all the training aspects.

You will also have to travel to the university to complete the master’s degree.  The amount of travel involved for this will depend on the university and course you attend.

How much will I be paid during the training programme?

Your salary will be at Circa. £26,000 per annum. Funding for any additional expenses is entirely a local decision and should be discussed and agreed with the commissioner and managed by the employer. We strongly urge that applicants contact any potential employers regarding additional expenses early on in the process to ensure that they are able to make an informed decision when choosing their choice(s) of specialism(s) and location/employer(s). 

When I have graduated from the STP will I have a recognised international qualification?

Master's degrees from a Higher Education Institute are recognised academic qualifications under the European Qualifications Framework and is a component part of the award made on successful completion of the STP.

Am I guaranteed a job at the end of my training?

There is no guarantee of employment on completion of the programme.  However, you will be eligible to apply for any suitable clinical scientist posts once you have obtained registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). If you are an in service trainee, your ongoing employment continues as normal.

What type of job might I expect to obtain at the end of my training?

There are a wide range of clinical scientist roles to choose from within any chosen specialism. Your experiences on the STP will help you decide what type of scientific job you may wish to apply for upon completing your training.

Can I obtain professional registration by completing the STP?

You will be eligible to apply for registration with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) on completion of the STP and on award of the Certificate of Attainment by the Academy for Healthcare Science (AHCS).

After completing some of the more recent STP specialisms, you are able to apply for an AHCS Certificate of Equivalence. The Award of the Certificate of Equivalence will also make you eligible to apply to the HCPC for registration as a clinical scientist. More information is available about the Academy's certificates

Are there STP opportunities available in Scotland and Northern Ireland?

Yes; there are separate training schemes available in Scotland and Northern Ireland.