Health Service Modelling Associates Programme (HSMA)

Through our HSMA programme, we aim to build a culture and skills base through which simulation and modelling techniques are routinely used to support decisions within health and social care organisations. The course supports participants to use Operational Research (OR) techniques within service development and decision making.

The HSMA Programme

Who can attend? 

The HSMA programme is designed for staff based in health and social care organisations and the police service.  Associates are selected on the basis of their current role, their analytical and computer skills and experience, and the completion of our suite of training modules, as well as an evaluation of their proposed project.  

The Round 4 cohort of the HSMA Programme, which began in October 2021, includes for the first time ever health, social care and policing staff from across England.  The updated programme has over 140 hours of content, delivered online.

What will I learn? 

Associates are released for one day a week for up to 15 months from their substantive roles to undertake advanced modelling, simulation and analysis work on specific projects within their own organisations. They receive mentoring, support and training from our operational research team, whilst being supported by an HSMA Workplace Supervisor, a senior member of their own organisation. This supervisor facilitates the implementation of the associate’s project and helps champion the work within their wider organisation.  

The programme is divided into two distinct phases: 

Phase 1 (6 months) takes the full cohort through training in Operational Research and Data Science techniques.  You will acquire skills in programming using R and Python, learn a range of modelling and forecasting methods including Discrete Event Simulation and whole-systems modelling, and develop knowledge of Artificial Intelligence approaches (e.g. Machine Learning, Language Processing). 

During Phase 1, you will be supported to develop a project proposal that addresses an issue of importance for your organisation and will lead to significant impact.  At the end of Phase 1, you will pitch your proposal in a selection event to decide which projects will be taken forward in Phase 2. 

During Phase 2 (9 months), you will receive ongoing mentoring and support from an experienced academic, and organisational supervision from your HSMA Workplace Supervisor, to support you with developing your project and leading a research team.  If your project is not selected to proceed to Phase 2, you will be offered the opportunity to collaborate on the projects being taken forward, or on other areas of Operational Research within PenARC.

Find out more

Visit the HSMA resources website to:

  • find out more about joining the programme
  • learn about becoming a mentor
  • access a range of resources including examples of recent projects
  • watch recent seminars and presentations
  • apply as a mentor or associate

HSMA6 will launch in 2024! Get in touch to find out more.