Researching Roles
Researching Roles

Head of a Genetics Laboratory Service

An expert within their field, this person is responsible for the strategic direction of the genetics and genomics laboratory service at a local, all Wales, UK national and international level. This includes the identification and development of all aspects of strategic relationships and alliances required for leading business, research and service development.

Senior Consultant Clinical Scientist

An experienced expert in their field and responsible for the integrity of the scientific and technical knowledge base applicable to their speciality and its integration into practise at a level of accountability that is comparable to that of consultant doctors. They will lead on local implementation.

Senior Clinical Scientist

An expert in their field this person will be responsible for the managerial and scientific leadership of the staff within a section and the delivery of services. They will work with the Head of Laboratory and key stakeholders in the development of clinical policy and in the planning, initiation and performance of R&D that lead to service improvements.

Clinical Scientist

A HCPC registered clinical scientist will be focussed on the delivery of diagnostic services for patients. The scientist will provide full analysis and interpretation of genomic results. Predominantly laboratory based, the role has limited direct patient contact but involves interaction with other healthcare professionals such as pathologists, histopathologists, clinical geneticists and haematologists via the MDT meetings and clinical referral pathways. A Clinical Scientist is a healthcare professional who specialises in a certain area of healthcare. For example, Genetics. They process, analyse and interpret results. They often work alongside other colleagues as part of a multidisciplinary team to ensure the most appropriate test is undertaken and that the most effective information is relayed back to the referring clinical which may inform patient management.
Clinical Scientists are mainly office based, sat at a computer and are responsible for analysing and reporting results, often specialising in either rare disease or cancer. There is very limited patient contact in the role of a Genomic Clinical Scientist. At the most senior level Clinical Scientists take an active role in informing the strategic implementation of new services within the laboratory.

Clinical Geneticist

A clinical geneticist is a medically trained doctor who specialises in Genetics. They have the responsibility of a wide range of patients, where genetics may be a contributing factor in their health. A Clinical Geneticist maybe responsible for patients where they have a diagnosed genetic condition or for patients who have an undiagnosed disease including unborn children who may have a suspect genetic disorder. Clinical Geneticists work very closely with both Genetic Counsellors and Clinical Scientists. Sometimes, they specialise in areas such as Cancer, Cardio disease or paediatrics. Clinical Geneticists are key to the Multidisciplinary team, they also have a role in educating other Healthcare professionals as well as the general public.
A clinical geneticist holds patient facing clinics and may also contribute to research within their area of expertise. They are usually office based, when they are not in clinics.




A bioinformatician writes pipelines to process the raw data from the sequencer into a form that can be analyzed by the clinical scientists. This role is office based with most of the time spent creating and validating pipelines, databases, and increasing efficiency in the department. These projects are spread over both cancer and constitutional specialisms. Bioinformaticians do not have a patient facing role but they work closely with the technical team and the clinical scientists to ensure the best care is being delivered to patients.

Bioinformaticians can become HCPC registered via the STP or STPE route. 

Trainee Clinical Scientist

As above, however the trainee will be working toward their registration with HCPC either via the equivalence route or via the Scientist Training Programme (STP)

Head of Technical Programme

An expert within the technical area of the field and HCPC registered you will focus on the strategic direction of the technical side of the laboratory, ensuring the method testing’s used evolve at pace and are at the forefront of the genetics field. You will support the head of lab and senior clinical scientists.

Senior Genetic Technologist

As a HCPC registered technologist, you will have responsible for the management, supervision and training of technical and analytical support staff across the Technical Section, specifically the production of suitable rotation plans and training documentation. You will also be responsible for the completion of audits and incident reports, and maintenance of quality records for the section. 

Lead Genetic Technologist

You will undertake complex technical duties required to support scientific teams in the provision of an effective and high quality Genetics Laboratory Service to patients, and to act as technical lead for the genetics service, with responsibilities for management of technical workload.

Genetic Technologist

As a genetic technologist you will be performing routine genetic testing within the laboratory. You will be responsible for the timely delivery of genetic analysis and to provide cover for routine lab tasks. You will be trouble shooting existing assays and will develop new services under supervision. A Genetic Technologist is someone who works in the ‘wet-lab’. They are skilled in understanding the mechanics of the equipment and testing platforms that are used to undertake genetic tests. They handle a range of samples, taking them through the workflow process. This may include extracting DNA or RNA, preparing samples for the sequencers or to be cultured. They are based within the laboratory, which is usually on site at the hospital.

Genetic Counsellor

A genetic counsellor will offer support, information and guidance to individuals and families through the genomic testing process. They provide counselling to those who need it and are available to patients, before, during and after testing, where patients and families may have many different needs throughout the process. At a more senior level Genetic Counsellors usually specialise in an area such as Paediatrics or Cancer. They work closely with Clinical Geneticists. GCs use their skills and knowledge to help communicate results to patients in the best way possible. Therefore, they are usually involved in the education of patients and the public.
Currently, the pathway to the top of the profession is from a trainee Genetic Counsellor to a Principal Genetic Counsellor. Depending in the size of the service, there may be more than one Principal Genetic Counsellor.

Associate Practitioner

As an associate you will contribute to providing a professional clinical laboratory service by working in the Genetics Laboratory and undertaking duties to support Scientific Staff in the examination of biological samples. This will be achieved by carrying out clinical, technical or scientific tasks using a wide range of practical and theoretical knowledge following written Laboratory Procedures and taking responsibility for completion of tasks and areas being managed by a section lead.

Medical Technical Officer

You will be responsible for the delivery of allocated genetic tasks, this may include DNA/RNA extraction, cell culture, sample preparation and use of automated procedures.

Higher Specialist Scientific Training (HSST)

The Higher Specialist Scientist Training Programme (HSST) is a five year programme available to HCPC registered and experienced clinical scientists who may be interested in training to become a consultant clinical scientist. The work-based training programme is equivalent to the standards of training undertaken by medical postgraduate trainees and gives trainees the possibility of gaining Medical Royal College qualifications.

Higher Specialist Scientific Equivalence (HSSE*)

The Equivalence award is granted to an individual by the Academy of Healthcare Science upon successful completion of an assessment process against the outcomes of the HSST. The award is given in the form of a certificate and confers eligibility to apply for entry onto the AHCS Higher Specialist Scientist register (HSSR). Thereby achieving equivalence.

Higher Specialist Scientific Register (HSSR*)

Upon Successful completion of the HSSE or HSST senior scientists can register on the HSSR.

Scientist Training Programme (STP*)

The Scientist Training Programme (STP) is a three year training programme that includes work-based and academic learning. Whilst on the programme you will also complete a part-time master's degree at the university offering your chosen specialism. The aim of the STP is to attract, select and retain the very best people to clinical scientist posts.

Scientist Training Programme Equivalence (STPE)

The Equivalence award is granted to an individual by the Academy of Healthcare Science upon successful completion of an assessment process against the outcomes of the STP. The award is given in the form of a certificate and confers eligibility to apply for statutory regulation with HCPC as a clinical scientist – a legally protected title.

Healthcare Science (HCS) Practitioner Registration*
This is a register for Healthcare Science Practitioners not covered by statutory regulation i.e. those who are not Clinical Scientists, Biomedical Scientists or Hearing Aid Dispensers. These Practitioners apply technology in the delivery and reporting of quality assured tests, investigations and interventions. The education and training route is through an approved Practitioner Training Programme (PTP) comprising an undergraduate degree with clinical placement. You can also achieve the above registration via alternative routes such as the Certificate of Competence (CoC) for Genetic Technologists or equivalence. This is a voluntary register, however AWMGS encourages all staff who meet the relevant criteria to register, specifically anyone in a senior position within the technical side of the Genomic Laboratory Service.

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