Haematology Clinical Science
The examinations for Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists in Haematology are designed to assess a trainee’s knowledge, skills and behaviour in the fields detailed in the Higher Specialist Training Curriculum for Clinical Scientists in Haematology. Possession of FRCPath in Haematology is increasingly a requirement for appointment to a Consultant Clinical Scientist post in Haematology.
‘Clinical Scientist’ is a title protected by statute, and can only be used by individuals registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Candidates for the FRCPath examinations for haematology clinical scientists should be HCPC-registered.
Clinical Scientist training is now structured through the Scientist Training Programme (STP). Entry to this programme in England and Wales is managed through the National School for Healthcare Science (NSHCS, http://nshcs.org.uk/stp-recruitment), and can either be directly as an external candidate through the NSHCS recruitment process, or through the in-service route, where applicants (usually Biomedical Scientists) are sponsored by their employer. In Scotland and NI candidates follow very similar programmes towards an equivalence process (see below).
Learning is delivered through approved and accredited three years of workplace-based training, with the first year in a range of settings before specialisation in the last two years of training. Scientist trainees are also required to undertake a specifically commissioned master's degree in their chosen area.
There are a number of other routes to HCPC registration as a Clinical Scientist. The Association of Clinical Scientists (http://www.assclinsci.org/acsHome.aspx) assesses candidates who have gone though non-standard training in the UK and have worked in Laboratory medicine for a minimum of 6 years. Similarly, the Academy for Healthcare Science (AHCS, http://www.ahcs.ac.uk/) has developed an equivalence assessment process for scientists who have undertaken training, hold qualifications and/or have considerable professional experience, and who wish to show that these are equivalent to the STP programme.
Individuals who have trained outside the UK can make direct application to the HCPC for registration.