Registering as a Clinical Scientist in Scotland, Wales and N Ireland

The title “Clinical Scientist” is protected by law in the UK. It can only be used as a job title by people who appear on the Health Professions Council register.

The Health Professions Council (HPC) was created by a piece of legislation called the Health Professions Order 2001. It is a distinct organisation which registers healthcare workers in many branches of the health service. The HPC sets standards of professional training, performance and conduct for thirteen professions, including Clinical Scientists. They hold a register of health professionals that meet their standards.

The Association of Clinical Scientists (ACS) assesses and certifies applicants to allow registration with the HPC. It is a separate, umbrella organisation acting on behalf of all the branches of Clinical Science in the UK . “The aim of the ACS Certification process is for the candidate to satisfy the assessor that he/she has the appropriate basic qualifications and length of experience to be awarded the Certificate of Attainment, and that the training programme and period of supervised practice has enabled the candidate to achieve all of the competences required for registration as a Clinical Scientist, as defined in the competency sets for the appropriate modality.” The competences cover seven different aspects of Clinical Science and these are Scientific, Clinical, Technical, Research & Development, Communication, Problem Solving and Management Competencies. Further details can be found at

Becoming a Vision Scientist

Application has to be under Route Two for the Association of Clinical Scientist (ACS) Certificate of Attainment. This route is for modalities which do not have formal pre-registration (formerly called Grade A) training. Criteria you must meet;

- a minimum of 3 years under supervision working in the modality of clinical science plus another 3 years in some other activity e.g. PhD, MTO, BMS etc (but relevant to your subject), to make a total of 6 years.
This period of six years postgraduate training does not have to be continuous.

- possess a 1st or 2nd class honours degree in an appropriate subject for your branch of clinical science (no approved courses but it must be appropriate).  Applicants without this basic degree requirement but which is superseded by an appropriate MSc or PhD may also apply.

- obtain clinical experience under the supervision by someone already on the HPC clinical scientist register or the GMC medical register. The supervisor must be in a field relevant to your modality.

- ensure that training is applicable to one of the set modalities listed in the documentation and recognised by the ACS.

- you must produce evidence in a portfolio to satisfy two ACS assessors that you meet the competences laid down for Clinical Scientists (see Once accepted as satisfactory you must attend an interview in the UK with the assessors.

If successful at interview you will receive an ACS Certificate of Attainment which is the acceptable approved UK qualification for registration. You then submit this as the approved route to registration to HPC for state registration under the UK application route.