Key information

  1. Reference: ST0220
  2. Date updated: 14/02/2024
  3. Level: 4
  4. Route: Health and science
  5. Regulated occupation: No

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Details of the occupational standard

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Higher Technical Qualification

Higher Technical Qualifications (HTQs) are designed to be delivered within a course of education. Some Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours may be more safely and reliably delivered in workplace settings, so may not be fully covered by the HTQ. Some qualifications will deliver additional content or added depth and breadth through, for example, use of specialist learning environments, work placements or innovative teaching methods. Check with the qualification provider if you require further information on coverage.

Occupation summary

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. They perform a wide range of routine technical and scientific procedures, with minimal supervision, within one of the Divisions in HCS (2), following specific protocols and in accordance with health, safety, governance and ethical requirements. The clinical scientific environment determines the context of the HCS Associate work/role.



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

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

K3: probity and honesty in all aspects of your professional practice Back to Duty

K4: the importance of involving patients/the public in HCS and in making choices about their care Back to Duty

K5: the principles underpinning the promotion of mental health and well-being Back to Duty

K6: active listening, observation and the use of appropriate language and feedback Back to Duty

K7: best practice in giving an oral presentation Back to Duty

K8: approaches to effective problem solving Back to Duty

K9: critical reflection in helping maintain and support the quality and safety of patient care Back to Duty

K10: good mentoring practice, using underpinning theories of mentoring to support this Back to Duty

K11: good appraisal and performance review & the skills required to prepare an action plan Back to Duty

K12: legislation/policies relating to health and safety at work and your responsibilities Back to Duty

K13: best practice in infection control practice and local protocols Back to Duty

K14: risk assessments, including dissemination of findings and implementation of outcomes Back to Duty

K15: quality management/improvement/audit and communication skills within the area of practice Back to Duty

K16: underpinning clinical science (e.g. anatomy, physiology, pathology, pharmacology, etc Back to Duty

K17: genomics, clinical bioinformatics/personalised medicine Back to Duty

K18: principles and practice of equipment management Back to Duty

K19: requirements for drafting of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) Back to Duty

K20: critical evaluation of the evidence base that underpins your technical practice Back to Duty

K21: a range of different data presentation methods appropriate for the audience/circumstances Back to Duty

K22: practical skills teaching frameworks; assessment methods & assessment of practical skills Back to Duty

K23: the principles underpinning the practical training of others in techniques and procedures Back to Duty

K24: 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 Back to Duty

K28: the key factors influencing dignity/rights/privacy/confidentiality of patients/colleagues Back to Duty

K29: appropriate technical investigations for relevant clinical conditions Back to Duty

K30: the governance and ethical framework applied to audit and its contribution to patient care Back to Duty

K31: the delivery of high quality service outcomes/continuous improvements Back to Duty

K32: the benefits of research to the critical evaluation of practice Back to Duty

K33: the principles of developing and introducing innovation into practice Back to Duty

K34: The principles of leading teams/individuals based on the healthcare NHS Leadership Model. Common models, and examples of leadership and team-working 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: develop partnerships with patients/carers/families Back to Duty

S4: promote mental health and well being Back to Duty

S5: convey information to agreed protocols to the public, patients, carers, colleagues, including giving and receiving feedback Back to Duty

S6: use technology to present information orally Back to Duty

S7: critically reflect on your technical/non-technical practice Back to Duty

S8: work within the limits of your personal competence/keep up-to-date Back to Duty

S9: support the CPPD of junior colleagues and respond constructively to appraisal/feedback Back to Duty

S10: maintain a safe and healthy working environment Back to Duty

S11: train junior staff in relevant health, safety/security practices, including infection control and participate in risk assessments Back to Duty

S12: lead quality management technical audit processes as required Back to Duty

S13: where appropriate, perform a range of equipment management Back to Duty

S14: skills, e.g. fault-finding/preventative maintenance/calibration/repair Back to Duty

S15: participate in drafting Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) Back to Duty

S16: make reasoned decisions to initiate/continue/modify or cease using techniques/procedures, reflecting SOPs and senior input Back to Duty

S17: recognise problems and seek technical solutions to them Back to Duty

S18: analyse/interpret/record/present accurately HCS technical data Back to Duty

S19: supervise/teach/assess practical skills to junior team members Back to Duty

S20: take responsibility for the care you provide and its impact on Back to Duty

S21: patients, including safeguarding, if involved in direct patient care Back to Duty

S22: obtain and document appropriate consent in line with protocols Back to Duty

S23: protect patient/carers confidentiality and privacy Back to Duty

S24: deliver high quality technical clinical procedures in the investigation/management of patients Back to Duty

S25: participate in audit and/or service improvement programmes Back to Duty

S26: communicate the outcome of audit, service improvement Back to Duty

S27: undertake appropriate audit/research/innovation activities which Back to Duty

S28: support quality improvement in your area of work Back to Duty

S29: plan/assess the work of a team and individuals within it Back to Duty

S30: lead where appropriate and work effectively within the HCS team Back to Duty


B1: You will be compassionate; honest; conscientious and adhere to the standards of GSP which sets out for the standards of behaviour/practice/personal conduct that underpin the delivery of HCS appropriate to the role/work undertaken. Back to Duty

CertHE Healthcare Science Associate (Level 4)

Qualification type: HTQ

Qualification level: 5

Applicant: Birmingham City University

Awarding body: Birmingham City University

Approval date: 08/07/2022

Occupational pathway: Not applicable

Placement: Yes

Aligned occupational standards

ST0220 Healthcare science associate

Diploma: Healthcare Science Associate (Level 4)

Qualification type: HTQ

Qualification level: 4

Applicant: NCFE/CACHE

Awarding body: NCFE/CACHE

Approval date: 08/07/2022

Occupational pathway: Not applicable

Placement: No

Aligned occupational standards

ST0220 Healthcare science associate

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