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School invites proposals for new, bespoke training courses

Monday, 17 December 2018

The National School of Healthcare Science is inviting NHS trusts, departments and individual training officers to submit proposals for the content of new Accredited Scientific Practice (ASP) programmes now being offered. ASP offers employers the opportunity to design flexible, bespoke training courses using official curricula from the Scientist Training Programme (STP). These one or two-year courses will allow workplaces and individual departments to fill specific gaps in the knowledge and skills base of their staff with an accredited, rigorously assessed qualification. One programme in Gastrointestinal Physiology has already been approved and completed by a healthcare scientist and the School is now inviting employers to propose new courses by the end of December.

Chris Fisher, Professional Curriculum Manager at the School, said: “ASP puts employers in the driver’s seat. They are able to propose the creation of an ASP specialty for their area of healthcare science and, once this is approved, they can use our extensive library of accredited curricula, which is already being used for the STP, to craft bespoke programmes to meet their staff’s training needs. This offers them a unique level of control over the content that they and their chosen higher education provider will be delivering whilst giving them the overall structure, final assessment and completion service offered by the School. I would urge any departments or trusts who require in-depth training for their scientists in 2019 to look at the information available on our website and get their proposals in.”

Proposals for new ASP programmes can be submitted at any point in the year, but if the intention is for a programme to commence in September 2019, proposals need to be submitted by 31st December. Once new ASP specialties and programmes are approved, applications will be open until the end of April before successful applicants begin their programme in September. They will undertake workplace learning delivered by their employer as well as academic content delivered by the ASP higher education provider.

A final assessment will take the form of several OSFA stations which cover the content of the trainee’s ASP programme; this will take place in June or July. The School will then review the trainee’s OSFA performance as well as their e-portfolio of workplace learning evidenced throughout their time on the programme and make a judgement as to whether they will successfully exit in the autumn.

Berne Ferry, Head of the School, added: “The STP and HSST have revolutionised the way that healthcare scientists are trained and set up for a successful career in the profession. However, we identified that for experienced healthcare scientists, there is a real need for quality training that is far more specific and covering a shorter timeframe than, for example, our three-year STP. ASP is an innovative solution for this need which utilises tried and trusted curricula written by scientists to train the professionals of the future in a highly flexible way which allows departments to add only the content they feel is necessary to meet their training needs. There is nothing quite like this available, so I would urge all scientists to look into ASP and propose new specialties and programmes if they feel it could benefit them.”

Employers can find information about every aspect of ASP in the dedicated section of the School’s website. Any queries should be directed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and will be passed on to our Curriculum Team.