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NHS Education for Scotland

A skilled and sustainable workforce for a healthier Scotland

Healthcare science

We support the training and development of postgraduate scientist staff and other key groups in the healthcare science workforce.

View our guide to healthcare science disciplines and sub-disciplines

Commissioning of training

View details of our clinical scientist pre-registration training

Our postgraduate scientist trainee cohort includes Pre-registration Clinical Scientists and Practitioner-level (graduate) staff undertaking advanced-practice scientist development.

View the latest recruitment to supernumerary training for clinical scientists (new page to replace Clinical Scientists)

For Clinical Scientists, we commission around 20 supernumerary trainees annually to ensure that NHS Scotland has a direct entry pathway for able science applicants.

Training involves either 3-year STP or an equivalent M-level programme.

Other postgraduate scientist's we support also have a National Training Number and develop attributes on our Common Core List. All postgraduate scientist trainees are subject to an Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP) monitoring.

Quality monitoring

View quality management of postgraduate training details on the Knowledge Network

NES Healthcare Science is developing basic deanery-like oversight to monitor and quality management training. Our role is in partnership with the Academy for Healthcare Science and with the National School for Healthcare Science.

Oversight of trainees, trainers and workplaces is an important new role for NES Healthcare Science. Standards of Education and Training for STP Clinical Scientist trainees require we satisfy the Academy of Healthcare Science that admissions and practice placement of trainees in Scotland are secure. We must also assure the National School for Healthcare Science that our work-based training environments are monitored and approved.

Combined, our role with that of AHCS and NSHCS is designed to assure that STP training in Scotland is subject to an equivalent quality framework to elsewhere in the UK.

Our approach is to extend this oversight to all HCS training. For STP training, the principles below are mandatory. For other postgraduate-level trainees and practitioner grades, the principles are good-practice.

Continued professional development (CPD)

NES Healthcare Science supports NHS staff who deliver workplace-based training and assessment


Our interactive one-day course introduces generic skills for trainers supporting workplace learning. It is an ideal opportunity to learn alongside other HCS colleagues and has been used as a bolt-on for subsequent discipline-specific training.


This one-day course builds on Train-the-trainer and is focused on the root causes and remediation of trainees in difficulty. The course is aligned with NES quality management of practice placement and applies to all grades and levels of HCS training.

Whilst our trainer offer is generic, these programmes are valid evidence of trainer preparation when for example service is undergoing accreditation – such with UKAS.

To access these courses

Search for, register, then apply via NES Portal. (Filter using "HCS" under your face-to-face learning. Guide)

Alternatively, contact us at if you are interested in a programme in your Health Board area.

Advisory group

NES has an Advisory Group to act as its expert group on a range of HCS education and training matters. Generally, it meets annually to critique NES Healthcare Science activity, and to highlight workforce priorities.

The group comprises representatives of the three healthcare science strands, education sector, workforce and government stakeholders.

Minutes of advisory group

28th February 2020

External links

Related publications

Contact us

Go to Turas Learn for further learning on healthcare science

Go to Turas Learn website

Last updated: 24/09/2020

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