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This apprenticeship standard has been approved for delivery by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education.  However, starts on the apprenticeship will only be possible once a suitable end-point assessment organisation (EPAO) has given an ‘in principle’ commitment to the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to deliver assessments on this apprenticeship standard. Once the ‘in principle’ commitment has been approved by ESFA, funding for apprentice starts will be permitted and this message will be removed

Overview of the role

Collect, analyse and provide expert interpretation of clinical and specialist scientific data and make key judgements and decisions.

Clinical Scientist

Details of standard

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in the healthcare service delivery environment, although some Clinical Scientists also work in academic research, public health and teaching, or in the medical equipment industry. Clinical Scientists are registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and have a specific scientific knowledge in a healthcare environment. This apprenticeship standard is available to individuals in professions which would be eligible for HCPC registration as a Clinical Scientist, which is a protected title.

The broad purpose of the occupation is to collect, analyse and provide expert interpretation of clinical and specialist scientific data and make key judgements and decisions about complex facts and clinical situations. Clinical Scientists communicate scientific and clinical information to ensure that the benefits to patients are maximised and the risks minimised. Where appropriate, Clinical Scientists instruct others to take action, taking into account the wider clinical resource implications of the decision. Clinical Scientists apply their knowledge to improve patient care in all clinical contexts, through the safe application of complex science, engineering or technology. Clinical Scientists lead innovation, research and development directed towards improving human health, and participate in education and training. For example, conducting research in new diagnostic and/or treatment techniques, developing new devices or processes, implementing and translating scientific research and advances into routine clinical practice and raising awareness of their role with the general public. They have a key role in assuring the quality of clinical scientific services.

Clinical Scientists work across the whole patient pathway and breadth of healthcare environments in a range of scientific areas, including but not limited to:

• Bioinformatics – collecting and analysing complex data systems
• Life sciences – examining, investigating, diagnosing and treatment of disease, including decontamination science, pathology, genetics and reproductive science
• Physical sciences and engineering – applying physical sciences and engineering to a large range of clinical services
• Physiological sciences – evaluating the performance and functionality of the body’s organs using technologies and specialist equipment to diagnose abnormalities, and to direct, and in some cases, provide therapeutic intervention and long-term management and care.

Further information about the areas above, is available from NHS Careers and the National School of Healthcare Science at https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/explore-roles/healthcare-science/roles-healthcare-science .

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with a wide range of healthcare professionals in the healthcare sector including medical and nursing staff, allied health professionals and pharmacists, as well as patients, carers and relatives. They may also interact with other organisations such as professional and government bodies (Health and Safety Executive, Care Quality Commission and the Environment Agency), equipment manufacturers and their engineers, pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies and university academics.

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for making clinical decisions, if appropriate, and providing scientific advice to patients, clinicians and other healthcare professionals that affect patients in many clinical contexts. Some Clinical Scientists deliver interventions in patient treatment and may be responsible for patient management. They would normally act independently within the bounds of their knowledge and scope of practice and would report to a more senior clinical scientist, such as a Consultant Clinical Scientist, who might be their head of department. Some Clinical Scientists may also advise trusts and national bodies on policy issues. They may supervise other staff assigned to support the services being provided.

Typical job titles include:

Clinical scientist Individuals undertaking this occupation must be registered with the hcpc as a clinical scientist (a protected title)

Entry requirements

Typically, entry requirements are a 2:1 or 1st class honours degree or integrated master’s degree in a pure or applied science subject relevant to the specialism. Alternatively, a 2:2 honours degree with a higher degree in a subject relevant to the specialism would be suitable. Examples of relevant degrees are listed on the NSHCS website. Apprentices who successfully complete a HCPC approved apprenticeship programme will be eligible for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council as a Clinical Scientist.


Occupation duties

Duty

KSBs

Duty 1 Work autonomously, safely and effectively within the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) regulated standards of proficiency for practice for clinical scientists, take professional accountability for and understand the limitations of own practice.

K1 K2 K3 K18 K20

S1 S2 S21 S22 S23 S24 S25

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5

Duty 2 Apply knowledge, relevant guidelines and judgement to complex clinical and scientific situations to inform decision making, and make decisions, as appropriate, to ensure effective patient-centred care.

K3 K4 K5 K6 K21

S3 S4 S5 S6 S12 S26

B1 B2 B4

Duty 3 Collect, process, analyse and critically evaluate raw data from a variety of sources in different forms in the context of clinical science and interpret the results to formulate a response which, for clinical practice/reporting data, takes into account the prevailing clinical and specialist scientific context.

K3 K5 K6 K7 K21

S3 S4 S5 S6 S12 S26

B4

Duty 4 Develop, optimise, evaluate, validate and verify new or existing scientific, technical, diagnostic, monitoring, treatment, therapeutic procedures.

K1 K3 K4 K5 K6

S1 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S12 S21

B2 B4

Duty 5 Instigate investigative techniques to solve problems and/or find the source of errors in a wide range of healthcare systems, devise and implement strategies to correct them and/or mitigate their effect where appropriate.

K3 K4 K5 K16

S2 S10 S11

B4

Duty 6 Utilise evidence-based practice to adapt and embed new methodologies in routine scientific or clinical practice to drive forward science improvements in healthcare.

K1 K6 K7 K16 K21

S1 S7 S9 S12 S13 S14 S16 S19 S26

B4

Duty 7 Communicate and/or explain information which may be complex, contentious or sensitive, effectively to a diverse range of audiences, including colleagues, service users and the public, taking into account relevant prior knowledge to further their understanding at a level appropriate to their needs.

K8 K9

S15 S24

B1 B2 B4

Duty 8 Adapt clinical and scientific practice to meet the needs of different groups and individuals.

K1 K3 K8 K9 K10

S1 S15 S27

B1 B2

Duty 9 Work effectively as part of a multidisciplinary team to ensure integrated patient-centred care.

K8 K9 K10

S2 S15 S19 S27

B1 B2 B4

Duty 10 Direct the management and further development of processes, systems and/or devices, to ensure continuous improvement, and their safe and effective use in the healthcare environment.

K1 K3 K11 K12 K13 K21

S1 S3 S16 S18 S21 S26

B1 B4

Duty 11 Design, implement, maintain and apply quality control and assurance techniques across clinical, scientific and technological activities across the healthcare environment, to ensure that a given intervention is fit for purpose.

K1 K12 K13 K21

S1 S8 S17 S18 S23 S24 S26

B4

Duty 12 Design, lead and undertake research and development projects and communicate results and conclusions.

K3 K4 K5 K7 K8 K14 K21

S4 S5 S12 S13 S14 S15 S16 S19 S22 S26

B4 B6

Duty 13 Supervise, train and/or lead others in own area of practice as appropriate, including setting and monitoring outcomes.

K1 K3 K4 K8 K11 K15

S1 S15 S20

B2 B6

Duty 14 Establish, maintain and promote a safe and sustainable working environment conducive to safe clinical and scientific practice.

K1 K13 K17 K21

S1 S7 S21 S26

B1 B2 B4 B5 B6

Duty 15 Drive service improvements and innovation, including effective use of resources and identification and implementation of change management initiatives, to ensure sustained optimal delivery of current and future clinical scientific services.

K6 K8 K12 K13 K18 K21

S6 S7 S9 S15 S16 S18 S23 S26

B4

Duty 16 Record, maintain and handle clinical and scientific results and information, ensuring accuracy, integrity and security.

K1 K19 K21

S1 S24 S26

B1

Duty 17 Use continuing professional development (CPD), as required, for HCPC registration. Keep up to date and engage with current research and evidence-based practice.

K1 K6 K7 K20

S1 S12 S13 S14 S25

B1 B4


KSBs

Knowledge

K1: The Health and Care Professions Council standards of proficiency for clinical scientists; codes of conduct for relevant professional bodies; appropriate legislation and statutory frameworks and employers’ policies and procedures. Back to Duty

K2: Limits of own scope of practice, knowledge and skills, including strategies for time and resource management. Back to Duty

K3: The underpinning clinical and scientific principles relevant to the specialism and associated practice. Back to Duty

K4: Anatomical, physiological and biochemical functions of the human body appropriate to the specialism. Back to Duty

K5: The analytical methodologies and techniques appropriate to the specialism and the performance and limitations of those methodologies. Back to Duty

K6: Current and emerging procedures relevant to professional practice. Back to Duty

K7: Information and data searching methodologies eg literature searching, patient data searches, search algorithms. Back to Duty

K8: Communication strategies within a healthcare context, including conflict management techniques, and the need to provide individuals with appropriate information. Back to Duty

K9: The differing needs and rights of individuals. Back to Duty

K10: The structure and function of health and social care services, including the composition of the multidisciplinary team and the role of the Clinical Scientist within it, relevant to scope of practice, and the need for effective partnership working, as appropriate. Back to Duty

K11: Leadership and management techniques and strategies appropriate to practice. Back to Duty

K12: Accreditation, quality systems and relevant quality standards, appropriate to the specialism. Back to Duty

K13: Audit methodologies, quality control and quality assurance techniques, reporting mechanisms and corrective action techniques. Back to Duty

K14: Strategies and methodologies for conducting effective research, including research ethics and statistics. Back to Duty

K15: Learning and development strategies, including giving and receiving feedback, appropriate to practice. Back to Duty

K16: Scientific and clinical investigation strategies and problem-solving techniques, appropriate to practice. Back to Duty

K17: Health and safety techniques relevant to areas of practice and the importance of maintaining own safety and that of patients, colleagues and the public. Back to Duty

K18: Change management theory in relation to innovation and service improvement, appropriate to practice. Back to Duty

K19: The concepts and limits of confidentiality, the principles of information governance and the processes and procedures for managing records and other information. Back to Duty

K20: The importance of continuing personal and professional development and the role of critical reflection in maintaining fitness to practise. Back to Duty

K21: The application, implementation and security of digital technology within the healthcare environment as appropriate to the specialism. Back to Duty

Skills

S1: Interpret, apply and comply with legislation, statutory frameworks, professional codes of practice and guidance. Back to Duty

S2: Work within limits of personal and professional competence, justify and take responsibility for own actions and seek advice when required. Manage time, resources and workload effectively. Back to Duty

S3: Apply relevant clinical and scientific knowledge in the clinical context, to inform own decision making, and that of service users, as appropriate. Back to Duty

S4: Select and perform, if required, the appropriate analytical technique relevant to the given data set. Back to Duty

S5: Assess and interpret the results of data analysis, report appropriately in accordance with the clinical and scientific context and recommend further investigations where appropriate. Back to Duty

S6: Identify emerging clinical, scientific, analytical, diagnostic, monitoring, treatment and therapeutic procedures, as appropriate, and adapt practice accordingly. Back to Duty

S7: Develop, introduce or modify procedures and techniques to improve service delivery, as appropriate. Back to Duty

S8: Compare procedures and techniques against references or baseline and take action, as appropriate. Back to Duty

S9: Assess and evaluate new technologies prior to their routine use. Back to Duty

S10: Select, and if necessary develop, the appropriate methodology(ies) to investigate the problem or source of error. Back to Duty

S11: Take appropriate action to correct problem or source of error based on the results of the investigation. Back to Duty

S12: Search and critically appraise scientific literature, including literature on new and emerging technologies, and other sources of information. Back to Duty

S13: Implement suitable evidence gathering strategies. Back to Duty

S14: Evaluate evidence to inform professional practice. Back to Duty

S15: Determine existing levels of knowledge, select the appropriate methodology(ies) and approaches in accordance with individuals’ needs, and use appropriate forms of communication with a diverse range of audiences, including colleagues and service users. Back to Duty

S16: Lead projects to successful completion within agreed and defined timescales eg audits, research projects Back to Duty

S17: Set, maintain and apply standards, and undertake quality control and assurance techniques. Back to Duty

S18: Undertake audit and take appropriate actions to ensure quality of processes/procedures. Back to Duty

S19: Present data and/or research findings to peers, in appropriate forms. Back to Duty

S20: Facilitate learning and provide feedback to others, as appropriate. Back to Duty

S21: Undertake risk assessments to identify and manage sources of risk in the workplace. Back to Duty

S22: Select the appropriate equipment and methodology(ies) to ensure safe working practices, in accordance with relevant guidelines and legislation. Back to Duty

S23: Maintain an effective audit trail and initiate service improvements. Back to Duty

S24: Keep accurate and comprehensive records and manage information in accordance with relevant legislation and guidelines. Back to Duty

S25: Reflect on and critically review practice and identify areas for personal and professional development. Back to Duty

S26: Use digital systems in a manner appropriate to function and clinical scientific context. Back to Duty

S27: Work in partnership with others to build sustainable professional relationships. Back to Duty

Behaviours

B1: Be open, honest, compassionate, act with integrity at all times, observe duty of candour and maintain confidentiality. Back to Duty

B2: Be respectful, non-judgemental and engage with people in an inclusive and non-discriminatory manner. Back to Duty

B3: Maintain good character as outlined in professional Code of Conduct and refrain from activities which would bring the profession or organisation into disrepute. Back to Duty

B4: Be adaptable and able to respond professionally to all feedback. Back to Duty

B5: Be prepared to challenge and/or report inappropriate behaviours and practices, using established procedures. Back to Duty

B6: Take a proactive approach to own personal wellbeing, and that of others, reporting concerns as appropriate. Back to Duty


Qualifications

English & Maths

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL.


Additional details

Occupational Level:

7

Duration (months):

36

Review

This apprenticeship standard will be reviewed after three years

Status: Approved for delivery
Level: 7
Degree: non-degree qualification
Reference: ST0893
Version: 1.0
Date updated: 18/11/2020
Approved for delivery: 9 November 2020
Route: Health and science
Typical duration to gateway: 36 months (this does not include EPA period)
Maximum funding: £20000
Trailblazer contact(s): Robert.farley1@nhs.net
Employers involved in creating the standard: SOUTH TEES HOSPITALS NHS FOUNDATION TRUST, Barts Health NHS Trust, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust, Wythenshawe Hospital , Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust Surrey & Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, Sheffield Children’s Hospital, Leeds Teaching Hospitals, Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, University Hospitals, Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals, University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, Kings College Hospital Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, Covance, National School of Healthcare Science, University of Manchester, Newcastle University, Society for Vascular Technology for GB&I, Association of Clinical Embryologists, British Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics, Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine, British Society for Clinical Electrophysiology of Vision Institute of Biomedical Science, NHS Blood and Transplant, Association for Clinical Genomic Science
EQA Provider: Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) (TBC)
This EQA provider is currently going through the approval process with the Institute for Apprenticeships so is unable to help with any queries relating to this standard at the present time. If you need support in relation to any of the content on this page please contact the Institute for Apprenticeships.

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