NHS population screening: diploma for health screeners

Information explaining the Level 3 Diploma for Health Screeners, including how to register a screener and apply to reclaim funding.

This document explains the Level 3 Diploma for Health Screeners. This is on the Ofqual regulated qualification framework (RQF) and is for non-professional screeners delivering the:

Qualification structure

The qualification consists of 13 mandatory units. These cover the basic knowledge and skills needed to work in a healthcare setting.

Additionally each screening programme has a number of programme specific units to complete. Download the full qualification structure in Excel format.

Successful completion of the diploma provides:

  • a recognised national qualification
  • evidence of transferable skills that support personal and academic development
  • screeners with the knowledge, skills and understanding to work in a healthcare environment
  • opportunities for career progression in healthcare

Awarding organisations (AOs)

The 4 awarding organisations (AOs) in England who can provide this qualification are:

There is no difference in the content of the qualification between the awarding organisations. Each AO provides the qualification in England to PHE requirements.

Approved centres

Approved centres (ACs) are:

  • the administrative hubs for the qualification and oversee and register assessors and learners
  • responsible for assuring the quality of the qualification delivered in local screening programmes
  • can offer the qualification for one or any combination of the 3 screening programme pathways

If you are interested in becoming an approved centre, please contact the PHE Screening Helpdesk.

Register a new learner: local programmes

  1. Contact the PHE Screening Helpdesk for a list of registered ACs providing the qualification in England.
  2. Decide which awarding centre to register with and contact them directly.
  3. Register the new learners and assessors with the approved centre.
  4. Apply to reclaim funding (if eligible). Details for funding are given below.

Starting the qualification

The qualification is made up of units. Each unit is made up of a number of learning outcomes, which are further broken down into assessment criteria.

The approved centre provides learners with the unit content, learning outcomes and assessment criteria when they register for the qualification.

Assessors for the unit receive the indicative content which details what the learner must cover. Learners should not see the indicative content for the units.

To complete the qualification, learners are expected to take:

  • 9 to 12 months (for full-time staff)
  • 12 to 18 months (part-time less than 15 hours per week)

Costs and funding

NHS screening providers are required to meet the screener training requirements for new screeners in the NHSP, AAA and DES programmes, as per the section 7a screening programme specifications. The requirement covers enrolment on the national health screening diploma and subsequent successful completion. The cost is approximately £1,000 per learner.

Initially, Health Education England (HEE) provided funding for new screeners to undertake the qualification and PHE administered these funds on behalf of HEE. We are pleased to inform local screening providers that limited funding is available for the year 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019 to support 2 new screeners per local programme.

Applications will be reviewed regularly to ensure funds are allocated equitably wherever possible.

To apply for funding, download and complete the reclaim form. The reclaim form and proof of payment must be received by 16 March 2019 to allow enough time for a purchase order to be raised before the end of the 2018 to 2019 financial year.

Please see service specification for more information.

Assessing learners

Read the guidance on assessing the health screener diploma to find out about:

  • the role of the assessor
  • the qualification needed to assess the diploma at local level
Published 1 April 2017
Last updated 28 August 2018 + show all updates
  1. Updated as funding is available for 2 screeners per local programme.
  2. Updated wording under Costs and funding to align with programme specification.
  3. First published.