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Here to help: funding to help IBMS qualifications

Chris Ward, IBMS Head of Examinations, explains how employers can access grants to support staff who undertake IBMS qualifications.

Since November 2020, the IBMS and the National School of Healthcare Science (NSHCS) in Health Education England (HEE) have been providing grants to support the training of scientists working in England to undertake histopathology qualifications run jointly by the IBMS and Royal College of Pathologists (RCPath).

The funding has a direct and positive impact on IBMS members with several employers having already accessed the grants. To help employers support the training of colleagues in their department this funding has now been extended to include other IBMS qualifications.

The funding demonstrates a tremendous mark of confidence in the IBMS’s professional examinations and underlines their value in the training of scientists to undertake advanced and consultant roles. To be eligible for funding, candidates must be employed in England and undertaking any of the following qualifications:

  • Diploma of Expert Practice (DEP) in Non-Gynaecological Cytology
  • Advanced Specialist Diploma (ASD) in Non-Gynaecological Cytology
  • ASD in Cervical Cytology
  • DEP in Histological Dissection
  • ASD in Histological Dissection
  • ASD in Histopathology Reporting
  • Higher Specialist Diploma (HSD).

Employers can claim £1000 per candidate for the dissection, cytology and HSD qualifications. The training grant is available to employers of candidates in England who have already registered on these qualifications and to the employers of all new candidates until the end of the contract the IBMS has with NSHCS in HEE (in October 2025), whilst funding is available. For the dissection qualification, funding is paid at the point the candidate applies for the training logbook. For cytology and the HSD, the funding is paid at the point the candidate applies to undertake the qualification.

Employers can claim £3000 when a candidate starts each stage of the qualification for Histopathology Reporting qualifications. Funding is available to employers of candidates who are already on the qualification and who start it during the remainder of 2022 and in 2023.

Employers will still need to pay the assessment fees to the IBMS or the RCPath at the appropriate time, but the availability of the grant should help departments plan the training of their colleagues.

Please note that it is the responsibility of the employer to agree with the candidate how the grant will be used to support their training. This might include, but is not limited to, attendance at training courses, events, seminars and IBMS Congress, providing backfill to enable other staff to support the candidate undertaking the qualification, portfolio assessment and examination fees, travel and subsistence for attending courses and the purchase of textbooks.  The funding cannot be used to cover the IBMS membership fee of the candidate, and they must maintain their IBMS membership throughout the time they are undertaking this qualification.  

For more information visit the IBMS website or email [email protected]

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