p_dianne
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Hi guys.

After some thought about my future, I've decided on becoming a Clinical Scientist.

Situation:
-Biomedical graduate (2:1) IBMS Accredited
-No lab work experience apart from lab sessions at uni
-Unemployed since graduation (moved to Philippines for 4 months to help family business) now back.

Questions:
-What is the next step into becoming a Clinical Scientist after graduating.
-Do I need to do STP or can I go straight into a Trainee Clinical Scientist post?
-(Stupid question) Lab experiences, where do I get them? I've been struggling on how to get experiences because most of the time they want someone who already has experience.
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National Careers Service
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(Original post by p_dianne)
Hi guys.

After some thought about my future, I've decided on becoming a Clinical Scientist.

Situation:
-Biomedical graduate (2:1) IBMS Accredited
-No lab work experience apart from lab sessions at uni
-Unemployed since graduation (moved to Philippines for 4 months to help family business) now back.

Questions:
-What is the next step into becoming a Clinical Scientist after graduating.
-Do I need to do STP or can I go straight into a Trainee Clinical Scientist post?
-(Stupid question) Lab experiences, where do I get them? I've been struggling on how to get experiences because most of the time they want someone who already has experience.
Hi there,

Firstly, well done on getting a 2:1 in biomedical science, that's a great achievement.

You could apply for trainee biomedical scientist positions if your degree gives you HCPC registration. You'll find these on the NHS jobs site, jobs.nhs.uk, however bear in mind that these positions might not come up very often and will be fairly competitive. With that in mind, it would really further your prospects to do the STP as the next step in your career. This would give you access to many more opportunities and give you the chance to gain some valuable expreince. You can find out info and apply on the following link...

nshcs.hee.nhs.uk/programmes/stp/

In terms of work experience, contacting university hospitals would usually be a good way to go, however, at the moment its unlikely that many will be in a position to offer work experience. The STP is work-based learning though, so for people who complete that, looking for other work experience isn't necessary.

Hope this helps, let me know if you have any further questions - Mark
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njones28
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(Original post by National Careers Service)
Hi there,

Firstly, well done on getting a 2:1 in biomedical science, that's a great achievement.

You could apply for trainee biomedical scientist positions if your degree gives you HCPC registration. You'll find these on the NHS jobs site, jobs.nhs.uk, however bear in mind that these positions might not come up very often and will be fairly competitive. With that in mind, it would really further your prospects to do the STP as the next step in your career. This would give you access to many more opportunities and give you the chance to gain some valuable expreince. You can find out info and apply on the following link...

nshcs.hee.nhs.uk/programmes/stp/

In terms of work experience, contacting university hospitals would usually be a good way to go, however, at the moment its unlikely that many will be in a position to offer work experience. The STP is work-based learning though, so for people who complete that, looking for other work experience isn't necessary.

Hope this helps, let me know if you have any further questions - Mark
Hi, I'm in a similar position however I've been a registered Biomedical Scientist for 2 years already. I'm aware that there is 3 routes, one stemming from working as a biomedical scientist, however it's a bit confusing on how to gain the experience required. I'm confused as to how to gain the training (and if I could get funded training and MSc) through these routes, are positions advertised on national schemes or would I have to contact these schemes so that I could apply for the hospital that I work in? From initial research it looks like I can only get training through the STP route, and only apply for a certificate with evidence of training from the IBMS or Academy of Healthcare Sciences. The STP route is extremely competitive and I do not possess an MSc, would happily self-fund, but if theres another way of gaining both the training and a funded MSc then that would be much better!

Thank you
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National Careers Service
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(Original post by njones28)
Hi, I'm in a similar position however I've been a registered Biomedical Scientist for 2 years already. I'm aware that there is 3 routes, one stemming from working as a biomedical scientist, however it's a bit confusing on how to gain the experience required. I'm confused as to how to gain the training (and if I could get funded training and MSc) through these routes, are positions advertised on national schemes or would I have to contact these schemes so that I could apply for the hospital that I work in? From initial research it looks like I can only get training through the STP route, and only apply for a certificate with evidence of training from the IBMS or Academy of Healthcare Sciences. The STP route is extremely competitive and I do not possess an MSc, would happily self-fund, but if theres another way of gaining both the training and a funded MSc then that would be much better!

Thank you
Hi

It's certainly a competitive industry and, yes, quite hard to figure out the best way in. If you wanted to do an MSc, you should be eligible for a Master's loan through student finance. The eligibility criteria is similar to that of undergraduate funding. If you have an online student finance account, you can apply through that, otherwise just seach 'master's loan' on Gov.uk.

In terms of gaining experience, you will find most jobs within the NHS, including trainee positions, for which it sounds like you're already qualified. Some biomedical scientists also work for organisations such as Public Health England, the National Blood and Transplant Service or the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). You might also find work in other areas, such as food production, pharmaceuticals, private hospitals, research laboratories or veterinary laboratories, so it might be worth doing some research into some of these sectors.

Hope that helps - Mark
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ChooseWisely
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Hello, I am currently in Year 12 and was wondering if you needed an IBMS and/or HCPC accredited degree in order to apply to the STP. I want to become a clinical scientist but my first choice uni is not IBMS accredited. Will I need to find a accredited uni or can I just apply after obtaining my degree?
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(Original post by ChooseWisely)
Hello, I am currently in Year 12 and was wondering if you needed an IBMS and/or HCPC accredited degree in order to apply to the STP. I want to become a clinical scientist but my first choice uni is not IBMS accredited. Will I need to find a accredited uni or can I just apply after obtaining my degree?
Hi there. The most important thing is that it's a degree in a science subject and it not being accredited wouldn't stop you from being able to apply. Bear in mind, however, that it is quite competitive so an accredited degree could give you a better chance of getting accepted.

They have some information about their entry requirements, including a list of accepted subjects here...

nshcs.hee.nhs.uk/programmes/stp/applicants/entry-requirements

Best of luck - Mark
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user28474839
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Just to let you know to get a non- accredited degree checked by ibms it’s £1500 so you’re better off the simpler route of going to a uni already accredited. Also a question from me, is there another way of becoming a clinical scientist aside from the STP because it’s obviously competitive so there must be another route which I can’t really find
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hello12424
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(Original post by user28474839)
Just to let you know to get a non- accredited degree checked by ibms it’s £1500 so you’re better off the simpler route of going to a uni already accredited. Also a question from me, is there another way of becoming a clinical scientist aside from the STP because it’s obviously competitive so there must be another route which I can’t really find
Hi there,

I was just wondering - once you have graduated with a degree, is it indefinetely a requirement that you have it checked by the ibms, when applying for the stp program (to become a clinical scientist)? Because on the list of requirements on the National School of Healthcare Science website I don't see this stated anywhere so am a little confused as to whether this is necessary, as that is a lot of money if it is the case.

I also have the same question, whether the stp is the only way in, as it does seem very competitive so I am wondering whether I even stand a chance of getting into the program at all. Is there a way to increase your chances at all (regardless of whether your degree is accredited or not)?

Thank you
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user28474839
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(Original post by hello12424)
Hi there,

I was just wondering - once you have graduated with a degree, is it indefinetely a requirement that you have it checked by the ibms, when applying for the stp program (to become a clinical scientist)? Because on the list of requirements on the National School of Healthcare Science website I don't see this stated anywhere so am a little confused as to whether this is necessary, as that is a lot of money if it is the case.

I also have the same question, whether the stp is the only way in, as it does seem very competitive so I am wondering whether I even stand a chance of getting into the program at all. Is there a way to increase your chances at all (regardless of whether your degree is accredited or not)?

Thank you
Hiya,

So I literally have the exact same 2 questions as you mentioned - I cant find the exact answers anywhere by anyone but this is what I have found out and should be useful...

So on the government website, it says to become a clinical scientist you have to be signed up with the HCPC. In order to sign up with the HCPC you have to complete a HCPC approved course/ training and the first one I found was ibms accredited as it has everything covered require for it to meet HCPC standards

So from that I’m drawing you need to do ibms accredited degree (or other HCPC approved course) to practice as a clinical scientist in the future. As for the STP, its work based learning where the training is accredited so it should be approved by hcpc (not sure tho on that one) but other than that, I don’t know alternative ways to become a clinical scientist other than through the STP.

Sorry for the long essay lol but hope that was helpful and hopefully someone can let us know about stp
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kester.t_
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Hey I’m in year 13 and also looking towards doing STP and HSST so I can become a consultant microbiologist.

I’ve applied for biological sciences at university of Leicester and microbiology at university of Nottingham (both of which are not accredited by ibsm I think).

How would I get a HCPC registration and what are the competition levels like for STP for someone who would have just graduated.

Are there STP equivalent programmes or degrees that I could do that would still make me eligible for a HSST or must I only do STP.

How competitive is STP and HSST and are there any resources I can use to better my chances of being accepted once I’m in university?
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user28474839
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(Original post by kester.t_)
Hey I’m in year 13 and also looking towards doing STP and HSST so I can become a consultant microbiologist.

I’ve applied for biological sciences at university of Leicester and microbiology at university of Nottingham (both of which are not accredited by ibsm I think).

How would I get a HCPC registration and what are the competition levels like for STP for someone who would have just graduated.

Are there STP equivalent programmes or degrees that I could do that would still make me eligible for a HSST or must I only do STP.

How competitive is STP and HSST and are there any resources I can use to better my chances of being accepted once I’m in university?
Hiya-

I just replied to the person above and I’m in year 13 looking to become a consultant immunologist - I can’t find anything other than the STP which will allow us to be registered clinical scientists so I have the same issue here. But I have outlined above why I think ibms is important however can you tell me how you can get by it without doing an ibms degree and like how you’re planning to register with the hcpc after your degree? xx
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hello12424
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(Original post by user28474839)
Hiya,

So I literally have the exact same 2 questions as you mentioned - I cant find the exact answers anywhere by anyone but this is what I have found out and should be useful...

So on the government website, it says to become a clinical scientist you have to be signed up with the HCPC. In order to sign up with the HCPC you have to complete a HCPC approved course/ training and the first one I found was ibms accredited as it has everything covered require for it to meet HCPC standards

So from that I’m drawing you need to do ibms accredited degree (or other HCPC approved course) to practice as a clinical scientist in the future. As for the STP, its work based learning where the training is accredited so it should be approved by hcpc (not sure tho on that one) but other than that, I don’t know alternative ways to become a clinical scientist other than through the STP.

Sorry for the long essay lol but hope that was helpful and hopefully someone can let us know about stp
Hi,

Thanks for much for replying - it's good to find someone that's looking for the same information as me, because this is stuff is really hard to find despite spending ages looking through their websites and all.

Thanks for sharing what you've found, that does make sense. I also contacted the National Careers Service and the National Healthcare Careers Service - both, having looking into it, and taking into consideration everything I said, couldnt find that having an ibms accredited degree was a requirement to join the stp and become a clinical scientist, just that it had to be a relevant degree (like what it says on the stp website). I was a bit sceptical, so they suggested I email the HCPC themselves to find out, which I have done today, so hopefully they come back with a definite response.

I sort of came to the conclusion that maybe, to get into the stp an accredited degree is not required, as completion of the program itself allows you to register with the hcpc. This is because, if you compare the requirements to become a biomedical scientist with a clinical scientist on the National Careers Service website, the requirement of an accredited degree is only mentioned for Biomedical scientist, because the pathways for both careers are different from each other.

I'll try to find out more information, and I am sorry for the essay too
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user28474839
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(Original post by hello12424)
Hi,

Thanks for much for replying - it's good to find someone that's looking for the same information as me, because this is stuff is really hard to find despite spending ages looking through their websites and all.

Thanks for sharing what you've found, that does make sense. I also contacted the National Careers Service and the National Healthcare Careers Service - both, having looking into it, and taking into consideration everything I said, couldnt find that having an ibms accredited degree was a requirement to join the stp and become a clinical scientist, just that it had to be a relevant degree (like what it says on the stp website). I was a bit sceptical, so they suggested I email the HCPC themselves to find out, which I have done today, so hopefully they come back with a definite response.

I sort of came to the conclusion that maybe, to get into the stp an accredited degree is not required, as completion of the program itself allows you to register with the hcpc. This is because, if you compare the requirements to become a biomedical scientist with a clinical scientist on the National Careers Service website, the requirement of an accredited degree is only mentioned for Biomedical scientist, because the pathways for both careers are different from each other.

I'll try to find out more information, and I am sorry for the essay too
That’s great - glad we could come to some conclusion haha. It will be interesting to find out what the hcpc tell you and also do you know if stp is the only route for a clinical scientist?
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hello12424
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(Original post by user28474839)
That’s great - glad we could come to some conclusion haha. It will be interesting to find out what the hcpc tell you and also do you know if stp is the only route for a clinical scientist?
I'll let you know what they say when they get back to me.

But unfortunately no, I don't have any idea whether there is an alternative route instead of the stp - maybe I will send the hcpc a second email regarding that and see if it helps. I literally have no idea where else to get this information from, but surely it would be weird if that was the ONLY route available, when there's so many people interested in applying for this role.
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Pleiotropic
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Hi, current clinical scientist here. You don't need an accredited degree, as you say that's just for BMSs and clinical science is a different route. They are both HCPC registered but as different careers. The usual way is to go through the STP to get accreditation but there are equivalence schemes (I think STP equivalence details are on the AHCS - academy for healthcare science - website). Most people who do this work as BMSs first and it is a lot trickier as its very self-directed. You can also get onto the STP directly from being a BMS via the in-service route but that relies on your trust supporting that. Any route will likely take a few years after your degree.
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user28474839
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(Original post by Pleiotropic)
Hi, current clinical scientist here. You don't need an accredited degree, as you say that's just for BMSs and clinical science is a different route. They are both HCPC registered but as different careers. The usual way is to go through the STP to get accreditation but there are equivalence schemes (I think STP equivalence details are on the AHCS - academy for healthcare science - website). Most people who do this work as BMSs first and it is a lot trickier as its very self-directed. You can also get onto the STP directly from being a BMS via the in-service route but that relies on your trust supporting that. Any route will likely take a few years after your degree.
Thank you for the insight into that! - So essentially you don’t need the accreditation for Clinica science whatsover but you do need it to become a biomedical scientist and there are equivalence programmes for the stp which is good to know - thanks again
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kester.t_
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(Original post by Pleiotropic)
Hi, current clinical scientist here. You don't need an accredited degree, as you say that's just for BMSs and clinical science is a different route. They are both HCPC registered but as different careers. The usual way is to go through the STP to get accreditation but there are equivalence schemes (I think STP equivalence details are on the AHCS - academy for healthcare science - website). Most people who do this work as BMSs first and it is a lot trickier as its very self-directed. You can also get onto the STP directly from being a BMS via the in-service route but that relies on your trust supporting that. Any route will likely take a few years after your degree.
Thank you for that, what are the requirements for AHCS and how are the competition ratios for it and does completing it allow you to apply for HSST?
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Pleiotropic
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The AHCS equivalence route is self-directed, so you essentially have to prove that your experience is equivalent to the STP. This means that there isn't competition as such, because you could theoretically get equivalence at any time. This might seem like it's easier but in practice it's much more difficult because you need to show that you have the equivalent knowledge to a masters degree in a specialist area, extremely relevant lab experience and a thorough knowledge of how that area works. This means that it's almost entirely biomedical scientists in a specific discipline who gain equivalence to the STP in the same discipline. At least in biochemistry I'd say that currently well over 90% of clinical scientists come through the STP route (either as in-house or direct applicants) and as an "out-sider" to the NHS the STP is probably the easier route in, despite the high competition.

Once you've completed the AHSC route then you are considered identical to someone who's gone through the STP so would be free to apply for HSST if you wanted to. I would say that (again, at least in biochemistry) not many people currently do the HSST and it's not currently required to apply for consultant jobs.
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kester.t_
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(Original post by Pleiotropic)
The AHCS equivalence route is self-directed, so you essentially have to prove that your experience is equivalent to the STP. This means that there isn't competition as such, because you could theoretically get equivalence at any time. This might seem like it's easier but in practice it's much more difficult because you need to show that you have the equivalent knowledge to a masters degree in a specialist area, extremely relevant lab experience and a thorough knowledge of how that area works. This means that it's almost entirely biomedical scientists in a specific discipline who gain equivalence to the STP in the same discipline. At least in biochemistry I'd say that currently well over 90% of clinical scientists come through the STP route (either as in-house or direct applicants) and as an "out-sider" to the NHS the STP is probably the easier route in, despite the high competition.

Once you've completed the AHSC route then you are considered identical to someone who's gone through the STP so would be free to apply for HSST if you wanted to. I would say that (again, at least in biochemistry) not many people currently do the HSST and it's not currently required to apply for consultant jobs.
How long can the AHCS route take on average? And what do you do different during this than to STP? Finally what other ways are there in to become a consultant clinical scientist other than the HSST route and how do you do this, how long on average would it take and what does it require?

Apologies for so many questions I just like to know what I’m getting into
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Pleiotropic
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Don't worry about asking questions, I browsed here a lot here before I applied for the STP which definitely helped me out!

I think for the AHCS route you would usually expect to take a few years (after your undergraduate course), there's guidance on their website (https://www.ahcs.ac.uk/equivalence/e...ence-guidance/). I have to admit I don't know a huge amount about that route but we did have a biomedical scientist who got equivalence in about 3 years. The equivalence route isn't a training scheme so you wouldn't be supported to do it in the same way the STP is, it's a way for people with significant relevant experience to gain a qualification that says they're as qualified as someone who's been through the STP. There's a portfolio of evidence to complete and an interview. The link should lead to the guidelines which will give you an idea of what they expect. The portfolio of evidence will vary from discipline to discipline but might be describing how a test is performed or how to interpret a set of results for example as that's how the portfolio is set out for the STP.

The important thing for progression in most disciplines after the STP (or equivalence route) is to complete the Royal College of Pathology exams (FRCPath). There's a "part 1" which usually is needed to move up to the next grade and then the "part 2" which lets you become a consultant and gives you the letters FRCPath to use after your name. This might vary a bit between areas of pathology but most I know have similar progression (some might insist on the HSST now but I'm not aware of that). When you have the appropriate exam finished you can apply for the next level up. The potential route for biochemistry would look something like:
- 3 years as an STP (trainee clinical scientist - band 6)
- 2-5 years as a senior clinical scientist (band 7) - take FRCPath part 1 exam during this time (you could do the HSST at this stage too)
- 3-10 years as a principal clinical scientist (band 8A/8B) - take FRCPath part 2 exam during this time
- consultant clinical scientist (band 8C/8D/9)

You can stop part way along the progression (and lots of people do) as there are plenty of downsides to being a consultant! There also needs to be a vacancy for you to apply to at each stage so if you're willing to move around the country you're likely to move up more quickly. As you can see there is a real spread in the amount of time to reach a level and although you could theoretically go 7 or 8 years from starting the course to consultant that would be incredibly fast promotion (but not unheard of). At a guess the average is probably about 15 years from the start of training.
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