Key information

  1. Reference: ST0218
  2. Date updated: 14/02/2024
  3. Level: 2
  4. Route: Health and science
  5. Regulated occupation: No

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Details of the occupational standard

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T-Levels logoT Levels focus on vocational skills and can help students into skilled employment, higher study or apprenticeships. Each T Level includes an in-depth industry placement that lasts at least 45 days. Students get valuable experience in the workplace; employers get early sight of the new talent in their industry.

Occupation summary

The Healthcare Science Assistant (HCSA) support workforce contributes to safe patient care across all care pathways 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 healthcare science. HCSAs perform a range of low risk, routine technical and scientific procedures usually within one broad area of HCS, following specific protocols and in accordance with health, safety, governance and ethical requirements. HCSAs work using standard operating procedures, initially under direct supervision but increasingly with experience, under indirect supervision.

Typical job titles include:

Healthcare science assistant



K1: the requirements of the NHS Constitution/GSP for ‘person centred care and support’ Back to Duty

K2: equality and diversity legislation, policies and local ways of working Back to Duty

K3: the importance of probity and the need to be honest in your professional practice Back to Duty

K4: why it is important to get people actively involved in making choices about their care Back to Duty

K5: how to involve patients and the public in HCS Back to Duty

K6: how to promote mental health and well being Back to Duty

K7: how to explain technical terms in language a patient or carer or colleague can understand Back to Duty

K8: how to address barriers to communication and the importance of working well within the multi- professional team (MPT) and the contribution of HCS to it Back to Duty

K9: where to go for help and support about anything related to your work Back to Duty

K10: reflective behaviours and the benefits of self-reflection in helping maintain and support the quality of patient care Back to Duty

K11: the role of appraisal and performance review Back to Duty

K12: how to prepare for and develop an action plan as part of performance review Back to Duty

K13: legislation/policies relating to health and safety at work and your responsibilities Back to Duty

K14: the meaning and implications of ‘risk’ and ‘risk assessment’ Back to Duty

K15: what to do in situations that could cause harm to yourself/others, e.g. critical incidents Back to Duty

K16: the principles of safe lifting and handling of people, equipment etc. Back to Duty

K17: how to handle hazardous materials and substances Back to Duty

K18: the role of quality management/improvement and the regulatory environment to maintain and improve HCS services and the quality standards relevant to your role Back to Duty

K19: the audit cycle and how audit contributes to the maintenance/improvement of services Back to Duty

K20: the scope/range of services within HCS used to investigate/diagnose/treat disease Back to Duty

K21: the evidence base that underpins your technical practice Back to Duty

K22: current UK Resuscitation Council guidelines as well as all mandatory training Back to Duty

K23: how to establish/maintain a safe and effective practice environment based on SOPs Back to Duty

K24: the meaning and importance of ‘duty of care’ and safeguarding Back to Duty

K25: the support available in difficult situations or when a complaint is made Back to Duty

K26: the rights of patients with regard to giving informed consent for treatment when required Back to Duty

K27: confidentiality of consultation/medical records and the limits of the concept of confidentiality, e.g. where self harm or harm to others may be involved Back to Duty

K28: key factors influencing dignity/rights/privacy/confidentiality of patients/colleagues, e.g. age/gender/beliefs Back to Duty

K29: the importance of delivering high quality service outcomes and continuous improvements to benefit patients, staff and health services, especially through audit Back to Duty

K30: the regulatory framework within which research and innovation is conducted, including research ethics and the implications for your role Back to Duty

K31: how you can contribute to research and innovation Back to Duty

K32: the healthcare NHS Leadership Model and its relevance to you Back to Duty

K33: why it is important to be aware of your strengths, limitations and behaviours and how that affects your colleagues and any team within which you work. Back to Duty


S1: never discriminate against patients, carers or colleagues Back to Duty

S2: maintain the highest standards of person centred care, treating every person with compassion, dignity and respect Back to Duty

S3: promote mental health and well being Back to Duty

S4: communicate basic information effectively verbally and in writing to patients, carers and colleagues Back to Duty

S5: work effectively as part of the HCS team and the MPT Back to Duty

S6: reflect on your practice; and keep your knowledge and skills up-to-date Back to Duty

S7: work within the limits of your personal competence Back to Duty

S8: respond constructively to the outcome of appraisal, feedback and performance review Back to Duty

S9: work safely in the HCS work place following safety, and risk management guidelines, taking appropriate action in response to incidents or emergencies Back to Duty

S10: move/position individuals, equipment etc. safely Back to Duty

S11: apply a range of techniques for infection prevention and control Back to Duty

S12: follow quality procedures to meet the requirements of quality  standards relevant to your HCS practice Back to Duty

S13: participate in technical audit as appropriate Back to Duty

S14: provide general non-technical/technical advice, information, guidance to users of HCS services Back to Duty

S15: follow specified HCS protocols and standard operating procedures (SOPs) Back to Duty

S16: take responsibility for the care you provide, including safeguarding, if involved in patient care Back to Duty

S17: obtain verbal consent in line with protocols when you are directly involved in the delivery of a procedure, including explaining the nature and purpose of the procedure Back to Duty

S18: protect patient/carers confidentiality when required Back to Duty

S19: offer suggestions for improving services, providing reasons for these Back to Duty

S20: contribute to research and innovation within the boundaries of your clinical and scientific practice as required Back to Duty

S21: help create the conditions that assist your team in providing a supportive environment for colleagues Back to Duty


B1: You will be compassionate; honest; conscientious and committed and will consistently adhere to the standards of GSP which sets out for the profession and the public the standards of behaviour and practice that must be achieved and maintained in the delivery of work activities, the provision of care and personal conduct of the healthcare science workforce appropriate to the role undertaken. Back to Duty

T Level in healthcare science

Qualification type: T Level

Qualification level: 3

Awarding organisation: NCFE

Approval date: 19/01/2021

Available from: 01/09/2021

Occupational specialism: Assisting with healthcare science

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Aligned occupational standards

ST0218 Healthcare science assistant

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