The HSST (Higher Specialist Scientist Training) programme is a five-year programme funded by NHS England to train clinical scientists in the knowledge, skills and behaviours of consultant level clinical scientists.

The aim of the Higher Specialist Scientist Training (HSST) programme is to increase the number of very senior consultant clinical scientists who can lead the development of new research, technology and practice working within multi-professional clinical teams to deliver quality improvement, innovation and world-class outcomes for patients.

It consists of a professional doctorate and workplace learning against the standards of proficiency for Higher Specialist Scientists held by the Academy of Healthcare Science.

Part of the requirements of the programme in some of the HSST specialties is an assessment of that workplace learning in the Independent Assessment of Professional Skills, the IAPS.

We are writing to invite you to nominate colleagues you may know who could contribute in some exciting opportunities to act as examiners to the IAPS in Neurophysiology. The IAPS is the final examination for the Higher Specialist Scientist Training programme (HSST), prior to becoming a Consultant Clinical Scientist. This examination is only for trainees on the HSST programme under the following science themes: Physiological Sciences, Physical Sciences & Biomedical Sciences. The IAPS runs twice a year, in May and in November.

The IAPS consists of three elements:

  1. A pre professional discussion element – the candidate is expected to submit a showcase of their portfolio mapped to the good scientific practice domains.
  2. Professional discussion Element 1 – the candidate is expected to review a specialist or service-based paper and have a discussion about this.
  3. Professional discussion Element 2 – the candidate will have a panel interview with three panel examiners from their individual specialism where they will be assessed on how they meet the specialist scientists’ standards of proficiency.

Further details of the IAPS and the HSST programme can be found here:

IAPS – the HSST final assessment — Higher Specialist Scientist Training programme ( 

Higher Specialist Scientist Training programme ( 

The role of the HSST IAPS Panel Examiner is a highly responsible one in this final, high- stakes independent assessment.

Examiner role:

  • As a member of the IAPS panel examiners will assess HSST candidates via a virtual assessment.
  • The examiner will assess the candidate’s ability to evaluate a research or service-based paper in the specialty and consideration for implementation demonstrating critical reasoning at consultant level.
  • The examiner will also assess the showcase evidence submitted and defended by the candidate to demonstrate that they have met the Higher Specialist Scientist Standards of Proficiency (HSS SoPs) by developing the professional skills and attributes expected of a threshold Consultant Clinical Scientist.
  • Examiners will be provided training prior to the assessments and will be required to attend an Exam Board post assessment.

For further information on the examiner role description and eligibility criteria please follow this link HSST IAPS Panel Examiner — Roles – Get involved (

If you can nominate anyone interested in examining the assessments in this capacity, please respond to this e-mail with their contact information.

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