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Here to help: an education update

Richardia Penn and Jocelyn Pryce from the IBMS Education Department give an overview of the latest developments. 

With the recent months proving challenging for everyone, the IBMS Education Department is committed to informing members of the changes taking place across the profession and offering reassurance that we are here to help. Conflicting demands on time means that there has never been a more urgent need to step up and help the workforce of tomorrow. We wish to thank all our verifiers and examiners for their support and flexibility in adopting the new ways of assessment.

All assessments are currently being completed virtually. We understand that this process is different and forces verifiers and examiners to change the way they would normally approach an assessment, but managed change can be positive and the feedback we are seeing suggests that there are many benefits 
to the changes we have made to accommodate this pandemic and the restrictions it has imposed. Feedback is a vital part of carrying out the assessments and we ask training staff and external assessors to continue to complete the feedback forms and reports as they would when conducting an assessment in person. The feedback provided allows the IBMS to meet the HCPC standards of education and training and it is as important in this situation as it has always has been.

Working electronically may also make it challenging to sign off evidence within portfolios. It is okay to sign these electronically or by printing the signature page to input into the hardcopy portfolio. At the moment we are not stipulating an approach apart from underlining that it must continue to meet the criteria of the “usual” approach.

We ask that training laboratories continue to sign off evidence reviewed within candidates’ portfolios. This will show that the evidence was indeed reviewed by the trainer and is a powerful way to demonstrate the support given to the candidate at each step of the way.

Assessments must not be arranged locally by training staff. With same day allocations now being arranged we continue to expect that training staff send in applications to request an assessor for their candidate once they believe the portfolio to be complete. We encourage our members who are working within our approved laboratories to become verifiers and examiners, carrying out assessments of portfolios for new and developing biomedical scientists. These roles are a great source of CPD and allow the sharing of best practice. Their value is not just in supporting the candidate but also in seeing new approaches and being open to trying some! Training officers often feedback that they have benefited from becoming an assessor as it broadens their horizons and enriches the training experience they offer their trainees.

As well as encouraging new verifiers and examiners, we would also like to encourage any members who are interested in becoming external assessors for the other routes we offer. If you meet the criteria we would welcome an enquiry from you, please email [email protected] for further information.

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Image credit | iStock  

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