Occupation profile

The Healthcare Science (HCS) Associate workforce supports the work of HCS Practitioners and Clinical Scientists in performing high quality, safe diagnostic, therapeutic and monitoring technical and scientific procedures from conception to end of life in job roles
within hospitals, general practice and other settings in the healthcare sector and across all areas of HCS. Healthcare Science Associates perform a wide range of routine technical and scientific procedures, with minimal supervision, within one of the Divisions in HCS.

Healthcare Science divisions comprise of:
• Life Sciences
• Physiological Sciences
• Physical Sciences
• Clinical Engineering
• Clinical Bioinformatics


The clinical scientific environment within which a HCS Associate works, will determine the context of the specific work/role they will undertake, following specific protocols and in accordance with health, safety, governance and ethical requirements.

Healthcare Science Associates work within a multidisciplinary team (MDT) within the limits of their competence, and must seek help and support whenever this is required. They must be aware of the requirements of Good Scientific Practice (GSP), which articulates the standards for the HCS profession and upon which this apprenticeship standard is based.

Using these professional standards, the HCS Associate must adhere to employers’ policies/ protocols to ensure safe, person-centred/consistent practice in HCS working environments, including paying close attention to detail, working effectively within a team and acting as a role model for more junior members of staff.

Professional recognition

On completion of the apprenticeship you will be eligible to join the Academy for HCS’s (AHCS) accredited
Associate Register at Level 4 and other suitable registers.

Details of the Programme

It usually take 24 months to complete this apprenticeship during which you will participate in training, development and on-going review activities. These typically include:
• Study days and training courses
• Mentoring/buddy support
• Completion of workbooks or a portfolio through which you gather evidence of your progress
• Structured one to one reviews of your progress with your employer and/or Dynamic Training

Dynamic Training will support you to complete the Level 4 Diploma in Healthcare Science during the on-programme phase of your apprenticeship.

Your apprenticeship will cover values, behaviours and provide knowledge and core skills for:
• Professional practice and person centred care
• Personal and professional development (PPD)
• Health, safety and security
• Quality
• Technical scientific services
• Clinical care
• Audit/Service improvement
• Research and innovation
• Leadership

Assessment Gateway

Your employer will make the decision as to when you are ready to undertake the end point
assessment. Before going forward for end point assessment you must have:
• Have or achieved Level 2 maths and English
• Achieved the Level 4 Diploma in Healthcare Science
• Completed a portfolio of evidence
• Completed a reflective self-assessment piece to evidence self-development awareness

End Point Assessment

Following successful completion of the Gateway, you will proceed to end point assessment (EPA). The EPA is provided by an independent assessment organisation, chosen by your employer.

Endpoint Assessment Overview

Element 1 Vocational Competence Observation (VCO) = Fail / Pass

Element 2 Professional Practice Test (PPT) = Fail/Pass/Merit /Distinction

Element 3 Professional discussion (PD) = Fail/Pass/Merit /Distinction

For final certification, you must have passed all components in the end point assessment. At the conclusion of the end point assessment, the independent assessor collates the evidence and determines the final grading for the apprenticeship. The grading decision is made solely by the independent assessor.

Endpoint Grading

Fail = Fail any EPA element

Pass = Minimum 3 passes (pass in each element of EPA)

Merit = Merit achieved in either or both elements 2 and 3

Distinction = Distinction achieved in either or both elements 2 and 3

 

Click on the image below to download a pdf version of the Healthcare Science Assistant programme outline