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Bsc Hons + Equivalency vs PTP

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December 09. 2010
Janice Tew

If there is an option for students with a standard BSc (Hons) degree to be recruited as a HCS if they have some equivalency (?work experience + portfolio) what is the incentive for us to employ people from the PTP program?

Currently there is no incentive for us as a trust to offer work based placements as the funding offered by our SHA (£44 per week per student) is not sufficient to cover the costs of that training.

What is the incentive for students? The PTP will be quite vocational and potentially less open to employment in other professions than a BSc (Hons). It will also be significantly more expensive for a the student as they work based training may prevent them from working during holidays etc.

Does anyone have any opinions on this as I can basically see the PTP becoming a white elephant.

December 13. 2010
Robert Simpson

I can see this being an issue as well, particulary in the life sciences. I had imagined a there being a part time route from PTP through to HCS and Accredited Specialist Experteese, similar to the ad hoc route most Biomedical Scientists follow now but improved formally recoginsed and structured. That and there being new roles in e.g. the community which would provide a diferent career path to those currently in existance.

This would in my thinking provide flexibility to suit local needs. Without clarity on equivelence though I can't get a good feel for how things are going to work - could anyone from the MSC team update/clarify?

 

   If there is an option for students with a standard BSc (Hons) degree to be recruited as a HCS if they have some equivalency (?work experience + portfolio) what is the incentive for us to employ people from the PTP program?

Currently there is no incentive for us as a trust to offer work based placements as the funding offered by our SHA (£44 per week per student) is not sufficient to cover the costs of that training.

What is the incentive for students? The PTP will be quite vocational and potentially less open to employment in other professions than a BSc (Hons). It will also be significantly more expensive for a the student as they work based training may prevent them from working during holidays etc.

Does anyone have any opinions on this as I can basically see the PTP becoming a white elephant.

 

December 15. 2010
SuzieN

Previously Robert Simpson wrote:

I can see this being an issue as well, particulary in the life sciences. I had imagined a there being a part time route from PTP through to HCS and Accredited Specialist Experteese, similar to the ad hoc route most Biomedical Scientists follow now but improved formally recoginsed and structured. That and there being new roles in e.g. the community which would provide a diferent career path to those currently in existance.

This would in my thinking provide flexibility to suit local needs. Without clarity on equivelence though I can't get a good feel for how things are going to work - could anyone from the MSC team update/clarify?

 

   If there is an option for students with a standard BSc (Hons) degree to be recruited as a HCS if they have some equivalency (?work experience + portfolio) what is the incentive for us to employ people from the PTP program?

Currently there is no incentive for us as a trust to offer work based placements as the funding offered by our SHA (£44 per week per student) is not sufficient to cover the costs of that training.

What is the incentive for students? The PTP will be quite vocational and potentially less open to employment in other professions than a BSc (Hons). It will also be significantly more expensive for a the student as they work based training may prevent them from working during holidays etc.

Does anyone have any opinions on this as I can basically see the PTP becoming a white elephant.

 

 

December 15. 2010
SuzieN

I will break the response into a number of threads

 

 

Q: If there is an option for students with a standard BSc (Hons) degree to be recruited as a HCS if they have some equivalency (? work experience + portfolio) A: by HCS we are referring to Healthcare Scientist.  Yes definitely. The premise of recruitment to the STP programme is that you need a good first degree. It is based on competitive entry via a national selection process and therefore either candidates from the PTP programme (which of course has a BSc as part of it and is an HEI led programme at PTP) or those graduates with a standard BSc can apply to STP. The national advert for entry to the 2011 STP programme will be out early in 2011. Equivalence will serve other purposes within the programme – i.e. an example at STP would be a candidate with no BSc but a wide portfolio of work and professional based learning who wished to apply for entry to the STP programme via an equivalence route.

 

The above reply is based on your question about a healthcare Scientist (HCS) rather than a Healthcare Science Practitioner (HCSP). Someone with a regular science degree can become a Practitioner or equivalent without doing a PTP programme, but they would need to develop the competencies to fulfil the role. A premise of MSC is that repeating things unnecessarily is wasteful of precious recourses.

 

Q: What is the incentive for us to employ people from the PTP program? A: Post completion of the PTP programme students will have a BSc (Hons) and 40 wks of NHS experience across a theme, and then in year 3 in a specialism. This amount of work-base experience should be attractive to employers and over something above what a standard graduate can offer. This experience and assessed competencies should enable a HCSP to be more useful in the workplace more quickly than a standard graduate who will need to gain NHS experience and competence once employed.

 

 

Q: Currently there is no incentive for us as a trust to offer work based placements as the funding offered by our SHA (£44 per week per student) is not sufficient to cover the costs of that training. A: Historically there never had been an incentive. The NHS generally does grow the future workforce supply and hosting and educating students is often a rewarding part of being an NHS professional. Evidence from the MSC Genetics Pilot is that departments do feel they benefit from having trainees around, but it’s hard to quantify beyond this.

 

 

Q: What is the incentive for students? The PTP will be quite vocational and potentially less open to employment in other professions than a BSc (Hons).It will also be significantly more expensive for a the student as they work based training may prevent them from working during holidays etc. A: I think this question has been covered in the answer above and its all about employability

 

 

The UK Way Forward policy document answers many of these questions comprehensively, in relation to points raised during the consultation period – it’s worth a read.

 

December 15. 2010
Mike Bosomworth

I may have misunderstood some of these arguments so please accept my apologies if I have.

I don't see how an anyone who has completed the full time PTP and will therefore already have significant debt, will then be able to afford to go into the supernumerary STP. The PTP is going to be an issue because whilst employment prospects may be good and may be are the key words in the current environment, they are not guaranteed.

Whilst it may run counter to MSC thus far I do not think it is too late to consider a part-time route. For Life Sciences this could utilise, with a bit of tweaking may be, current part time BSc in Biomedical Science etc. Students woiuld then be able to 'earn and learn' and may get some support from their employers as some do now. In addition, if the stduents could pay their fees through a salary sacrifice scheme, then they would not be paying tax, national insurance etc on that element of their salary. If buying a bike or leasing a car can be done as a salary sacrifice why not tuition fees?

 

They could then go on to compete for the STP, hopefully at that stage debt free.

December 15. 2010
Dan Smith

The usefulness of the PTP programme will vary from Division to Division depending on where we are startting from. In Pathology the choice's will include a Graduate from a BMS Degree, which has included some placement time, (1 model is 12 months after year 2), a Graduate from a BMS degree without placement time, a Graduate from a general Science degree which will need some "top-up" knowledge, a graduate from a PTP programme, an overseas qualified. I am not yet confident that a PTP graduate is always the right answer. Those BMS degrees which were reliant on SHA funding will be disrupted by the change but most were viable degrees before funding was provided in recent years and Universities will presumably continue to market them if they see a potential case, with more than 50% of graduates always ending up outside the NHS.

In terms of incentive for a Trust to take placement students, the enviroment has changed significantly from the beginning of the programme when we were in a period of significant shortage of staff, recruitment problems, planned expansion of both staffing and workload. We are now facing at least 3 years of stand still funding, a planned reduction in staffing and surplus of applicants for any posts. When the trade-off was long placement but we got some work out of students, employers were happy to take placements. In the present structure of PTP there will be no trade off of additional work from the students, and so the model may not appeal to employers focussed on Cost Improvement programmes and the bottom line.

I have at least 2 Lab Managers saying do not want to touch with a bargepole.

In an enviroment of a shrinking NHS a degree with employability outside as well as inside the NHS may appeal more to potential graduates.

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