These FAQ try to answer some of the most common questions we receive about careers in medical physics and engineering. It will be helpful for you if you first read the Overview of Organisations involved in this FAQ section (see below)
Getting started - at school, degree or postgraduate level
Clinical Scientists NHS Training in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland - what is it, how do I get onto it, what do I do if I didn't get on?
Careers in research, universities and industry
Route 2 and equivalence - alternatives to the STP Clinical Scientist Training Programme
Working in the UK / International applicants
The Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) is the UK Regulator set up to protect the public by keeping a register of those health and care professionals who meet agreed standards for their training, professional skills, behaviour and health. In order to work in UK hospitals under the protected title ‘Clinical Scientist’ it is necessary to gain entry onto the (HCPC) register. You achieve this registration by either completing the NHS STP Training programme or by going through an alternative route. If you work in industry or academic research you do not need to be registered.
The National School of Healthcare Sciences implements the NHS healthcare science training programmes and quality assures the training and delivery. In Scotland NHS Education Scotland is responsible for delivering education and training for the healthcare workforce.
The main role of Association of Clinical Scientists (ACS) is to assess those trainees who have not gone through the NHS STP Training whether they are sufficiently qualified for registration as a Clinical Scientist with the HCPC. This assessment can also be done through the Academy of Healthcare Sciences. For more information on this (complex) procedure please see our section on Route 2.
The Register of Clinical Technologists (the RCT) fulfils a similar role to the Health and Care Professions Council. It is an accredited register of clinical technologists working in nuclear medicine, radiotherapy physics, radiation physics, medical engineering, radiation engineering, rehabilitation engineering and renal technology with the aim of protecting the public by advocating statutory, professional regulation for Clinical Technologists.
It is important to note that the rules and standards and procedures for training and registration are set by the organisations listed above. Whilst we try very hard to keep the information we provide here updated you should always check directly with these organisations to ensure you have the most up to date facts.
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