Clinical Scientist Pre-registration Training

Our postgraduate scientist trainee cohort includes Pre-Registration Clinical Scientists and Practitioner-Level (graduate) staff undertaking advanced-practice scientist development. They are all issued with a National Training Number, develop attributes on our Common Core List [PDF] and are subject to Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP) monitoring.

For Clinical Scientists, we commission around 20 supernumerary trainees annually to ensure that NHS Scotland has a direct entry pathway for able science applicants. Training involves either 3-year Scientist Training Programme (STP), or if no STP is commissioned within Scotland for that discipline an equivalent M-level programme. Service are invited to express interest for training posts in Autumn each year, with posts generally advertised in the Spring. Post are recruited within each discipline using the same process as all other positions within NHS Scotland. Anyone interested in securing a Clinical Scientist training position should review the NHS Recruitment site and the NES website for any positions available.

Further information for current postgraduate Healthcare Science trainees can be found on our Information for Trainees page.

Training in Scotland

Supernumerary Clinical Scientist trainees are NHS employed, commissioned in Scotland by NES. Trainees join a 3-year postgraduate-level scheme to develop competencies necessary to meet the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) standards.

In-service Clinical Scientist trainees may be directly supported by NHS Boards.

Recruitment in other parts of the UK is administered by the National School of Healthcare Science.


STP trainees are subject to continuous assessment, recorded on the National School of Healthcare Science's Online Learning and Assessment Tool (OLAT). STP Trainees must complete specified rotations in their STP theme, pass the relevant Clinical Science MSc and pass their Objective Structured Final Assessment (OSFA).

Non-STP trainees must demonstrate equivalence to STP learning outcomes by means of a portfolio and viva voce. More information on the various equivalence routes can be found on our Equivalence Routes and Support page.

Scottish Medical Physics & Clinical Engineering Training Scheme (SMPCETS)

The Scottish Medical Physics & Clinical Engineering Training Scheme (SMPCETS) is currently closed for trainee applications. However, expressions of interest from service will be sought in Autumn 2022 and recruitment for the 2023 intake will begin in early 2023. Advertisements will be posted on the NHS Scotland jobs website, where full details of the application process will be documented. Please keep an eye on the website for up-to-date information.

Last updated: November 10, 2023