Training, development and registration (blood sciences)

The education and training you undertake will depend on the level at which you are working.

Training and development

Your training depends on your level of entry.

Healthcare science associate or assistant

Once in post, as a healthcare science associate or assistant you’ll work towards relevant healthcare science QCF/NVQs and foundation degrees (or equivalent) while you’re working. These are underpinned by an awards and qualifications framework.


Phlebotomists' training will usually be entirely on the job and include learning to take blood from different patient groups including children and the elderly. The aim of this programme is to provide you with the necessary theoretical and practical knowledge in phlebotomy. As a student you’ll undertake various objectives such as:

  • the role of phlebotomy within the pathology department
  • the importance of professional standards and codes of practice
  • the methods of blood collection
  • the aspects of blood taking and the requirements for different sample tubes and labelling protocols
  • anatomical and physiological considerations in choosing appropriate sites for venepuncture
  • the health and safety aspects of phlebotomy.
  • After training you may be awarded a Royal Society for Public Health Certificate of Competence which will allow you to work without close supervision.

NHS Practitioner Training Programme

To enter via the NHS Practitioner Training Programme (PTP) you’ll need to take a full-time (usually three-year) accredited integrated BSc degree in healthcare science (life sciences) at university. At least 50 weeks of workplace-based training in the NHS is included in these programmes. For the most up-to-date list of accredited BSc healthcare science degrees, please use our course finder. Applications for full-time courses are made through UCAS.

NHS Scientist Training Programme

If you’re a graduate entering the NHS Scientist Training Programme (STP) you’ll be employed on a fixed-term, salaried training post and will study towards a relevant Master's degree qualification in clinical science (blood sciences).

Programmes are supported by the development of workplace-based assessment tools, assessment of equivalent learning and the development of academic careers.

Find out more about the entry requirements, skills and interests required to enter a career in blood sciences.

  • Continuing professional development

    No matter what level you are working at, as part of your development you will be expected to do continuing professional development (CPD) to show that you are keeping up to date with the policies and procedures in your area of work.

    Find out more general information about professional development

    Accredited Scientific Practice- development opportunities for healthcare science staff

    Accredited Scientific Practice (ASP) provides an additional route for your ongoing professional and scientific development as part of the healthcare science (HCS) workforce. ASP allows employers to develop bespoke, responsive, short course programmes to meet training needs within the HCS workforce. ASP programmes provide you with a quality assured, rigorously assessed qualification which can lead to voluntary professional registration with the Academy for Healthcare Sciences (AHCS).

    An ASP programme involves work based learning with academic study of modules from the National School of Healthcare Science (NSHCS) portfolio programmes. Access to an e-portfolio is provided to record learning in the workplace while associated academic study is completed independently through an accredited university provider. In some cases, completion of academic study may also lead to an award of a postgraduate qualification from the university provider.

    Read more about ASP on the NSHCS website.


    Many healthcare science roles including clinical scientists, require registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

    For registration as a clinical scientist, you’ll need to hold an Academy for Healthcare Science (AHCS) Certificate of Attainment granted upon completion of the MSC Scientist Training Programme or AHCS Certificate of Equivalence.

    Read more about the Academy's Certificates on its website.

    For those parts of the workforce not regulated by the HCPC, professional voluntary registers are in operation.

    Find out more about the Academy's voluntary register for healthcare science practitioners.

    Please check individual job vacancy details for information when applying.

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