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Communication is fundamental

Jocelyn Pryce, Head of Registration and Training at the IBMS, outlines how vital good communication can be. 

Since joining the IBMS I have been fortunate to have been invited to speak at many training events held at locations all over the UK. I have been overwhelmed at the quality and dedication of the training teams I have met and the examples of best practice I have seen. On the whole, training is taken very seriously and training networks work hard to offer a high-quality experience. These networks can be at the local level or wider across hospital sites or large geographical areas. 

Communication is fundamental to the success of these networks. In many areas of the UK, the networks hold regular training days as well as communicating electronically. This ensures that best practice is shared, that achievement is consistent and that support is available for those who need it. Having said all this, feedback from some verifications and examinations is suggesting that a small number of laboratory trainers are isolated and lack the support provided by being part of a larger network.

In an attempt to create an even stronger training community throughout the UK, we have been looking at ways to improve communication between trainers, verifiers, examiners and the IBMS, which can allow experienced trainers to share knowledge, skills and their best practice as well as supporting the more isolated trainers. We have recently launched a new web page that contains useful resources, such as the reference copy of the Registration Portfolio and guidance document, some presentations on evidence and the verification visit, and some examples of evidence submitted by trainees. 

Another consideration has been how we create effective ways in which to spread news, so the new web page allows us to post announcements and news items, making it a go-to site for the latest training information. Take a few minutes to have a look and save it to your favourites so that you can pop in regularly and see what’s going on in training. We have arranged a number of training days at our Coldbath Square headquarters in London during 2018, and these will be promoted on the site too.

Recently we have been running trials of informal online classrooms, which allow cohorts of trainers and trainees to be invited as teachers and students, and to receive access to uploaded resources. This has successfully drawn groups together to form communities where they may otherwise be separated geographically, and has allowed information to be shared across a broad geographical area. This facility has a variety of uses, including bringing trainers together for support and sharing, uniting candidates studying for an IBMS qualification so that they can have questions answered and interact with assessors and recent successful candidates, or even just as a one-stop-resource-shop for a group of trainees working on their evidence.

So, as we work on building this strong training community, can I ask that those of you who are part of a large training network consider reaching out to trainers who are more isolated and encourage them to join you. And those of you who feel isolated and unsupported, consider aligning yourself with a network in whatever capacity you can manage.

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