Professional Registration for Science Technicians and Scientists

HNC Bioscience

By successfully completing some of SQA¿s science-based qualifications, you are only a few steps away to being able to apply for full registration via the Science Council¿s professional registers.

Professional registration can help you by:

  • providing recognition for the role you're in now, as well as a framework to support your future career development
  • providing wider recognition for skills gained through work
  • demonstrating your commitment to employers, colleagues and clients
  • creating a broader community of scientists working across a huge range of sectors
  • and disciplines

Following consultation between the Science Council and its member professional bodies the registration framework has been extended to include those working in technical and higher technical roles since 2012. 

  • The designation Registered Science Technician (RSciTech) is awarded to individuals working in a technical role, who have typically gained an SCQF level 6 (QCF level 3) qualification and are applying this knowledge in their work. 
  • The designation Registered Scientist (RSci) is awarded to individuals working in a scientific or higher technical role, who have typically gained an SCQF level 8 (QCF level 5) qualification. 

The science technician issue

It is clear that if the UK is to remain competitive in STEM industries in the future we will need to improve the supply and quality of science technicians; science technician registration has the potential to make a key contribution.

Without studying the detail of the vast qualifications system, employers seeking to fill technician vacancies are unclear about the knowledge and skills of their potential recruits.  Similarly, technicians switching to new sectors in response to changing economic circumstances struggle to show they have developed the required transferable skills.  

Science technicians undertake a wide range of jobs at different levels, commanding different salaries and assuming varying levels of supervisory and managerial responsibility.

The pathways into technician grade posts are varied, ranging from the traditional academic route, to the more vocational or work-based learning routes, including apprenticeships.  For some, a technician role is an aspiration, for others, it represents a rung on the career ladder to becoming a scientist.

This complexity causes problems in promoting technician roles to young people, resulting in reduced numbers entering the profession. 

What is professional registration?

Whether you¿ve recently graduated and are considering your next career move, or wish to formally demonstrate the learning you¿ve done on the job to those outside of your department, professional registration can give you the competitive edge.

The launch of Registered Science Technician and Registered Scientist alongside the established Chartered Scientist award creates a framework of professional registration across the science workforce.

Registration is awarded by Licensed Bodies, professional bodies of the Science Council, and consists of scientific knowledge, competence and commitment to high standards of professionalism.

What is the Science Council?

The Science Council is a membership organisation that brings together 41 learned societies and professional bodies across science.

By working with and supporting its members, the Science Council aims to advance science and its applications by ensuring that the skills, education and professionalism of the science community are maintained and developed.

What are learned societies and professional bodies ?

Learned societies are organisations that aim to support and advance an academic discipline or profession. Members of learned societies may have a general interest in the discipline or profession, or they may hold a qualification in that field. The majority of learned societies are non-profit organisations which invest heavily in activities to promote their discipline, eg by publishing academic journals and organising conferences. Learned societies that strive to maintain the standards of their profession and represent their members¿ professional interests are identified as professional bodies.

At the moment the Science Council is working with the following eight learned societies and professional bodies to support RSci and RSciTech registration:

Registered Science Technician (RSciTech)

RSITech logoThe professional register of RSciTech (Registered Science Technician) has been developed to recognise the competence of science technicians, promote their status and better support their career progression. To become registered, an applicant must demonstrate competence in five key areas:

  1. application of knowledge and understanding
  2. personal responsibility
  3. interpersonal skills
  4. professional practice
  5. professional standards

Registrants also need to commit to adhering to a code of conduct and a commitment to continuing professional development.

The typical educational standard for RSciTech is a relevant qualification at QCF level 3 or 4/SCQF level 6 or 7. To see which SQA qualifications have been mapped into the RSciTech competences, go to the ¿SQA qualifications mapped into RSciTech¿ section.

Registered Scientist (RSci)

RSci logoThe professional register of RSci (Registered Scientist) has been developed to recognise the competence of scientists, promote their status and better support their career progression. To become registered, an applicant must demonstrate competence in five key areas:

  1. application of knowledge and understanding
  2. personal responsibility
  3. interpersonal skills
  4. professional practice
  5. professional standards

Registrants also need to commit to adhering to a code of conduct and a commitment to continuing professional development.

The typical educational standard for RSci is a relevant qualification at QCF level 5/SCQF level 8. To see which SQA qualifications have been mapped into the RSci competences, go to the ¿SQA qualifications mapped into RSci¿ section.

SQA qualifications mapped into RSciTech*

The table below shows the result of the mapping of some SQA qualifications into RSciTech competencies.

SCQF Level

Qualification Register Competencies met
7 HNC Applied Sciences RSciTech A1, A2, A3, B2, B3, B4, C1, D2, E1, E2
7 HNC Pharmacy services RSciTech A1, A3, B4, C1, C2, C3, D2, E1, E2
6 NC Applied Sciences RSciTech A1, A2, A3, C1, D2
6 NC Pharmacy services RSciTech A1, A3, B2, C1, D2, E1
6 NPA Laboratory Science RSciTech A1, B2, C1, E1, E2
7 PDA Assessment and Supply of Individual Patients' Medicines RSciTech Tbc
7 PDA Laboratory Science RSciTech A1, B2, B3, C1, E1, E2
6 SVQ 3 Laboratory and Associated Technical activities (educational science) RSciTech Tbc
6 SVQ 3 Laboratory and Associated Technical activities (industrial science) RSciTech Tbc Tbc
6 SVQ 3 Laboratory Science (analytical and process) RSciTech  
6 SVQ 3 Pharmacy services RSciTech A1, A2, A3, B1, B2, B3, B4, C1, C2, C3, D2, D3, E1, E2
6 SVQ 3 Scientific manufacture (biotechnology processing) RSciTech Tbc
6 SVQ 3 Scientific manufacture (Filing/finishing processing) RSciTech Tbc

*Correct as at 11/11/13

Find out more - view the required competencies for RSciTech

 

SQA qualifications mapped into RSci*

The table below shows the result of the mapping of some SQA qualifications into RSci competencies.

SCQF Level

Qualification Register Competencies met
8 HND Applied Sciences RSci A1, B1, B2, B4, C1, D1, D2, E1, E2
8 HND Applied Biological Science RSci A1, B1, B4, C1, D1, D2, E2
8 HND Applied Bioscience RSci

Tbc

8 HND Applied Biotechnology RSci A1, B1, B4, C1, D1, D2, E1, E2
8 HND Applied Chemistry RSci A1, B1, B4, C1, D1, D2, E1, E2
8 HND Biomedical Science RSci A1, B1, B4, C1, D1, D2, E1, E2
8 HND Environmental Science RSci A1, B1, B4, C1, D1, D2, E1, E2
8 SVQ 4 Laboratory science (toxicological study) management RSci Tbc
8 SVQ 4 Scientific manufacture (biotechnology process management) RSci Tbc Tbc

*Correct as at 11/11/13

Find out more - view the required competencies for RSci