Equivalence Routes and Support

What Is Equivalence?

Applicants for equivalence recognition may have a number of years of relevant experience within their disciplines, or have completed a training scheme which does not lead directly to registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). 

Equivalence is when the outcomes of two processes are directly comparable even though the paths to achieving them are different. When equivalence is shown to exist between a new qualification and the qualification or experience an individual already has, repeated education or training becomes unnecessary.

This page gives guidance to the routes available for recognition of prior learning and experience in preparation for higher roles and/or to registration in Healthcare Science.

Candidates considering equivalence, irrespective of funding, are encouraged to engage with NES quality monitoring by first liaising with your departmental training supervisors and acquiring a National Training Number (click HERE for more information).

Equivalence Routes

There are various routes to equivalence supported by professional bodies towards registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) or the Academy for Healthcare Science (AHCS).

The three levels of equivalence are;

  • Higher Specialist Scientist, Equivalence (Consultant Scientist)
  • Scientist Training Programme, Equivalence (Clinical Scientist Training)
  • Practitioner Equivalence


Various professional bodies support equivalence routes such as;

- the Academy for Healthcare Science (AHCS) with the Higher Specialist Scientist (HSS) Equivalence, Scientist Training Programme (STP) Equivalence, and Practitioner Training Programme (PTP) Equivalence routes.

- the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) with the Certificate of Competence by Equivalence or Degree Assessment for further accredited top-up university modules routes.

- the British Academy of Audiology (BAA) with the Pilot of HTS equivalence in Paediatric Assessment.

- and the Association of Clinical Scientists (ACS) with the Certificate of Attainment.

Documents and related links

AHCS Equivalence drop-in sessions

The Academy for Healthcare Science (AHCS) are offering drop-in sessions which provide an opportunity to find out more about the application process, portfolios, interview support, or any other queries you may have. This is not a formal meeting, rather an opportunity for you to ask a quick question and have your answer straight away.

Please click on the following link to access the AHCS website which has the dates of scheduled drop-in sessions:

AHCS Equivalence drop-in sessions

Examples of High Level Statements from AHCS STP Equivalence applications

These anonymised statements are what successful candidates presented first to NES. The statements are used to initiate the process. They help frame that applicant's approach to writing a portfolio and focus on how they meet the standard in language that is understood by assessors.

Documents and related links

Portfolio example

Here is an example of a Portfolio of Evidence which was submitted to achieve the AHCS Certificate of Equivalence.

Documents and related links

NES HCS webinar – Equivalence (17/09/21)

We hosted an “Equivalence – The What’s, The Why’s and The How’s” webinar which took place on Friday 17th September 2021.

Please access a summary of notes from the webinar below:

Documents and related links

Last updated: November 10, 2023