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Branching out

As part of the 2018 engagement survey, members were asked how they would like to contribute to the IBMS. Many said they would like to get involved with branch activities, but weren’t sure how. Lynda Rigby, Executive Head of Marketing and Membership, outlines some of the current challenges local networking groups are facing and offers some solutions and ways to get involved.

Lack of time seems to be one of the main challenges, but there are a few ways that you can get involved in networking if you don’t have the time to commit to organising or attending branch meetings.  

  • Join in conversations on social media – try #IBMSChat on the first Wednesday of every month  
  • IBMS Wales recently offered members the option to Skype into their AGM. Suggest to your local committee that they could add this as an option  
  • Many areas now have regional Twitter accounts and Facebook groups to network and with which to interact  
  • Get involved with a discussion group. There are a number of groups including: London Virology Discussion Group, Scottish Quality Managers and Manchester Bacteriology. For the full list, see

If you would like support with any of the above, please get in touch by emailing [email protected]

Starting again

A common theme in the survey responses was the number of you who said you’d like to re-start a branch but don’t know how. There are a few easy steps to take:

1. You will need a minimum of three IBMS members to run a branch; a Chair, Secretary and Treasurer.

2. If a regional committee is operational, you need to inform them of your intention to get the branch back up and running. In the absence of a regional committee, email [email protected]

3. Once agreed by the region you will need to hold an AGM to officially appoint the Committee – the Communications Team at Coldbath Square can help you promote your event.

4. Following your AGM, complete the Region and Branch Officers return form and return it to IBMS. See 

We can then make the necessary financial arrangements (for example, reissuing cheque books to the new Treasurer).  

Calling all South East Region members

We currently have no active branches in the South East region. The branches in the South East region are: East Kent, Portsmouth & Chichester, Reading, Southampton and Sussex.

If you live in any of these areas and are interested in organising local meetings please email [email protected] to discuss support.

Networking opportunity in 2020 In 2020

I would like to invite region, branch and discussion group committee members to attend a meeting at IBMS headquarters in London to:  

  • Share best practice between regions, branches and discussion groups  
  • Update you on any IBMS developments - e.g. changes to qualifications or membership  
  • Hear how IBMS can better support you to run local meetings, events or promote IBMS in your area.

If you are a current or aspiring committee member interested in attending, please email [email protected] to express your interest. I would also welcome any suggestions you may have on topics to cover at the meeting, which would be most beneficial to you.   


Picture Credit | iStock

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