Entry requirements and skills needed (decontamination and sterile services)

This page has information on the entry requirements and training needed to work decontamination science in the NHS.

Entry requirements

To enter an apprentice role, you’ll usually need GCSE English, Maths and Science at grade 4/C or above, a level 2 vocational qualification or equivalent level of knowledge.

Progression into the education programme which includes the IDSc Technical Certificate and Foundation Degree Decontamination is suitable for apprentice decontamination technicians who have completed an in-house induction training programme – this normally takes 12-18 months so that you are familiar with the processes and procedures involved in the decontamination of medical devices.

To enter a technician role, you’ll need the Institute of Decontamination Sciences (IDSc) Technical Certificate or NVQ 3 Decontamination) or equivalent level of knowledge and experience through decontamination training. 

Find out more about the training you’ll receive for a career as a decontamination science technician.

  • To work in decontamination science, you’ll need:

    • to work effectively as a member of a team
    • a basic interest in science
    • to be able to work accurately under pressure
    • a working knowledge of keyboard and computing skills
    • the ability to follow clear instructions and work to standard procedures
    • an eye for detail
    • flexibility
    • a professional manner
    • good communication skills

    To work at technician level, you’ll need supervisory experience.

    If you're applying for a role either directly in the NHS or in an organisation that provides NHS services you'll be asked to show how you think the NHS values apply in your everyday work.

    The NHS values form a key part of the NHS Constitution.

    Find out more about the NHS Constitution

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