New Healthcare Science apprenticeship shortlisted for national award

“This programme develops our connections with partners and has been built to create a flexible, resilient and patient-focused workforce.”

Ian Davies, Lecturer in Biomedical Science

A degree apprenticeship developed by Staffordshire University to meet demand for healthcare training has been shortlisted for a prestigious award.

Staffordshire University established the Healthcare Science Practitioner Degree Apprenticeship after the Apprenticeship Levy was introduced last year and designed the course through close collaboration with a range of regional and national NHS partners.

Just months after launching, the degree apprenticeship has been nominated in the “Excellence in Education Delivery” category at the industry-renowned Chief Scientific Officer's Healthcare Science Awards.

Ian Davies, Lecturer in Biomedical Science, leads the course. He said: “For some time colleagues in the health service have approached us about part-time training for staff who are in service and want to work towards a formal qualification.

“This programme develops our connections with partners and has been built to create a flexible, resilient and patient-focused workforce.”

The course is designed to provide apprentices with the knowledge, skills and behaviours to apply for registration as a biomedical scientist working within a clinical pathology laboratory setting. On completion, the apprentices graduate with a BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science degree.

“We wanted to offer something slightly different. We looked at what we already do and how we could develop that into online and blended learning – things that make it more flexible for an employer.” Ian explained.

“It is the same as our existing Biomedical Science degree but the learning process is tailored for their environment. It is more flexible - rather than the traditional day release route most of the course is online or delivered through work-based learning.”

Apprentices from Healthcare Trusts across the Midlands, North West and Yorkshire are enrolled on the course including employees from Royal Stoke University Hospital.

The apprenticeship has also been shortlisted in the “Inspiring the Next Generation of Biomedical Scientists” category in the Advancing Healthcare Awards which take place in April. This was a joint submission between Staffordshire University and colleagues at University Hospitals of North Midlands.

Katie Berger, Pathology Quality and Training Manager at University Hospitals of North Midlands, commented: “By working closely with us as an employer Staffordshire University were able to provide a degree that allows students to learn and take credit from the work that is undertaken within the laboratory but back it up with knowledge and support gained from modules and practical elements at the university.

“Without the strong support and drive of Ian Davies to set up a degree that perfectly meets the requirements of the employer there would be a group of staff who would not have the opportunity they have today to study whilst working and become the next generation of Biomedical Scientists.”
The winners of the 2018 Chief Scientific Officer's Healthcare Science Awards will be announced at a special Awards Ceremony and dinner attended by HRH The Princess Royal on Monday 5 March at the Royal Society in London.

Staffordshire University is celebrating National Apprenticeship Week (5 – 9 March) by inviting employers and apprentices along to its Stoke and Stafford campuses for a range of activities highlighting the merits of 'earn to learn' degrees. Find out more here.


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