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Here to help: a constructive legacy

Jocelyn Pryce, IBMS Deputy Head of Education, hopes to build on the successful progress made during 2020.

As we enter 2021, I’m sure we are all hoping that this year will be more settled and we can once again begin to make plans. Many positives came out of the challenges that 2020 and the COVID pandemic posed, and in 2021 we would like to build on some of those so that the legacy it leaves behind is a constructive one in many ways.

Our move to virtual assessments, made in response to the challenges the first lockdown posed, has been very successful and there is support for it to continue and be developed. It has allowed us to significantly reduce turnaround times on assessments and, even through our busiest periods during 2020, we were able to reduce them by 66%, compared with the pre-COVID period.

The IBMS Support Hub sessions, run virtually over lunchtimes, have received very positive feedback and are already proving a useful way of networking and sharing knowledge. The subjects covered in 2020 included continuing professional development (CPD), laboratory approval, verifications and examinations, evidence, and even myth busting! The CPD session examined how the barriers to undertaking CPD during the pandemic might be broken down. There were some great ideas of ways in which we can recognise the opportunities that are all around us and use them as CPD. There was sharing, not only of ideas on what might be used as CPD, but also making the recording of it as painless as possible. We shared our approaches for collecting and collating evidence and how to capture our experiences using reflective writing.

In 2021 we are looking to provide a rolling programme of Support Hub sessions that members and our service users would find helpful. The programme will be informed by requests for support in the membership survey, feedback from service users and from the Education Team, who are monitoring the frequently asked questions popping into our inboxes.

If you join us regularly, you will see some familiar faces as the standing panel, but we are growing our other panel members and our aim is to make the sessions a go-to place for expertise and knowledgeable individuals to share their experiences with others. We welcome all IBMS members, either as attendees or panel members, and we invite interaction during each session, so why not pop in?   Don’t worry if you are unable to attend the live event; each session is videoed (technology – and my lack of technical expertise – permitting) and we make these available afterwards through links on our website, so you can catch up and still use it as a CPD opportunity at a time to suit you.

So, as we step into the unknown yet again this year, we would like to wish you all a healthy and happy 2021 and thank you for helping us to help you.   

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Image Credit | iStock

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