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Here to help: enhanced education

Dr Sue Jones, the new IBMS Executive Head of Education, outlines the priorities in her new role.

I am hugely excited to take on the role of IBMS Executive Head of Education and am looking forward to working closely with colleagues in practice and academia to build on the current IBMS education and training offer. I am keen to design, create and deliver education and training enhancements by working in partnership with you all on six key areas:  


The improved IBMS website is almost complete, giving us the opportunity to create updated content for students, academic staff, practitioners, trainees and the public. We are also using social media more to share news and stories about who we are and what we do. We can take this opportunity to be clearer about the benefits of Membership / Fellowship and IBMS qualifications and training.


I am keen to work with trainers, verifiers, specialist advisory panel members and universities to map the new HCPC standards to the registration training portfolio and IBMS-accredited degree programme documentation. I am also planning to work with IBMS colleagues, national education leads and our current membership to discuss and enhance our existing education and training provision, informing updates to the content and delivery of qualifications.

Clarity of information

There are several routes to registration for biomedical scientists and clinical scientists. This offers flexibility but can also cause confusion. How students and employees can train to become biomedical scientists then use IBMS qualifications to progress in their careers needs clarification. As Deputy Chair of the QAA Subject Benchmark Statement for Biomedical Science and Biomedical Sciences, I have co-created content to clarify the similarities and differences between the IBMS accredited and non-accredited degree programmes available.  


I would like to enhance and develop robust quality assurance processes, to underpin consistent decisions and outcomes. This includes expanding training for degree assessors, accreditation panel members, portfolio verifiers and module leaders or examiners of IBMS qualifications. The content and workload across post-registration qualifications in different subject areas needs to be more consistent. The assessment strategies and types used in both pre- and post-registration qualifications need to clearly align with the required learning outcomes and roles in the laboratory.


Core to our ongoing work is a united voice to support and promote the profession. I will work closely with IBMS colleagues, IBMS Council, universities and local practitioners to support strong and ongoing relationships. We can work together to ensure current and relevant technical skills and data analysis and interpretation are embedded for our students and trainees. The new IBMS digital platform offers a great opportunity to provide excellent online digital resources for all our members.


The IBMS “Support Hub”, peer-mentoring network and other activities can be used to create nationwide and regional communities of practice for laboratory trainers to raise the profile of this crucial role. We need to increase outreach work using hospital and university locations to raise the profile of the profession. This is important in order to create a talent pipeline for the future of our profession by promoting IBMS-accredited programmes and NHS placements as the route to registration.  

Image credit | Shutterstock

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