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Continuing professional development in the pandemic

With training events, meetings and conferences cancelled due to COVID-19, we look at some new launches from the IBMS and ways members can ensure they are still securing all the evidence needed for their portfolios.

We have launched The Biomedical Scientist Live – a four-day virtual CPD event with talks from across disciplines, aimed at a range of professional levels. It features a packed line-up of knowledge-sharing sessions, including seminars, presentations, discussions and demonstrations. Alongside looking at the way the pandemic has affected the profession and how members can continue to thrive in these times, some of the programme highlights include:

Professor of Diagnostic Haematology and global morphology expert Barbara Bain, discussing a haematological approach to eosinophilia. Describing her presentation, Barbara says: “The session will review the causes of eosinophilia, including eosinophilia in haematological neoplasms, and will discuss how blood film examination can contribute to elucidating the cause.”

Chloe Knowles, Specialist Biomedical Scientist for the National Pathology Imaging Co-operative, will be talking about implementing digital pathology and achieving 100% slide scanning. She says: “This session describes how the deployment of digital pathology was done during the pandemic, and highlights some of the key factors that are crucial to a successful implementation, made even more so whilst working remotely. The session will also cover the benefits of digital pathology, and how it has the potential to support remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic and 
the aftermath.”

Among the other highlights will be Davis Wells, Head of Pathology at the COVID-19 Testing Cell, describing his work over the recent months, Sarah Pitt from the University of Brighton on point-of-care testing and Consultant Healthcare Scientist Jo Horne will deliver a motivational session entitled “Leadership in times of crisis”. She says: “It has been a year where leadership has been an important skill required within pathology, as well as the wider NHS and private healthcare sector. 

“Although there have been some fantastic examples of strong leadership, there are also lessons that we can learn from the events of the last few months. This talk will focus on ways we can all show leadership within our roles, regardless of where we sit within an organisational hierarchy. 

“We will consider examples and reflection on what went well, what we could have done better, and what we can take from 2020 to look towards a more positive future.”

To register and see the full programme, visit: 

This month also sees the re-launch of the IBMS’ podcast, previously the IBMS BioPod, now renamed IBMSpod. A new episode will be released each month, centred around an in-depth interview with a scientist. The first month features Guy Orchard, who, in October, was named the Advancing Healthcare Awards Biomedical Scientist of the Year. The interview covers how Guy, who is a Consultant Grade Biomedical Scientist, Operations Manager and Tissue Sciences Head of Education at St John’s Dermatopathology, first became interested in science. The conversation goes on to span his career, from writing textbooks to expanding and developing dermatopathology services and securing patents for new innovations.

Each month the podcast team will also put questions to the interviewee that have been sourced from IBMS members on social media. Alongside the main interview will be the latest professional updates from the IBMS and Lab Life, which profiles a member and discusses their interests inside and outside the lab. In the first episode, we have Emma Victory – a Senior Biomedical Scientist who juggles her work with brewing beer and being a certified beer judge.

The podcasts can be used for CPD and all previous episodes can still be accessed. For more information, visit

IBMS Support Hub
The IBMS Support Hub – a new series to help support members’ professional development – has also been launched. It was created following feedback that members would like more support completing CPD, portfolios and advancing their careers.

The hub is a series of free online sessions to help support members’ professional development. It is brought to you by IBMS Deputy Head of Education Jocelyn Pryce and Biomedical Scientist Team Manager and Blood Sciences Training Officer Tahmina Hussain. The first interactive session, “Barriers to CPD”, took place in September, when Jocelyn and Tahmina broke down common barriers related to performing and documenting CPD. It was followed by a discussion on how members are finding CPD and examples of CPD. All sessions are free and the first session was fully booked in 24 hours.

Further resources

  • The IBMS has a range of other CPD resources and guidance, including the following, among others:
  • A guide to reflective practice
  • Information on the IBMS CPD scheme  
  • IBMS Journal-Based Learning
  • A collection of reading lists, textbooks and journals.

For more information, visit

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