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Here to help: New cytology portfolios

This month we are outlining a new launch to better support the training and development of the biomedical scientist workforce.

The IBMS is committed to ensuring that our qualifications reflect service changes and needs. We provide training programmes and qualifications that are directly relevant to staff working in biomedical science laboratories and at all stages of the career pathway. These include biomedical scientist post-registration qualifications in discipline-specific practice, our range of Specialist Diplomas.

In light of the increasingly specialised biomedical scientist roles focusing mainly on either cervical or diagnostic fields of cytology, the IBMS Cytology Advisory Panel made the decision to totally review and relaunch the cytology Specialist Portfolios to better reflect the more focused services now provided by laboratories. The changes also reflect the increasing role molecular-based techniques are playing across pathology as a whole and increasingly so within cytology.  

The outcome of the review is two new cytology portfolios in cervical and diagnostic cytology that have evolved from the previous combined version. Additional elements have been added to both fields to reflect the expansion of expected knowledge now required. This can be seen most noticeably within the diagnostic cytology version.

The review outcome is new portfolios in cervical and diagnostic cytology

Individuals successfully completing one of the new cytology portfolios will be awarded a Specialist Diploma in either Cervical or Diagnostic Cytology. For the small number of individuals who continue to work in laboratories that provide both cervical and diagnostic services, there is the option to complete both portfolios at the same time or separately and then to receive two separate Specialist Diploma awards if they are assessed to have met the required standards within each portfolio. A separate assessment will be required for each version. There may be elements within each portfolio that are not part of a laboratory’s repertoire; in these instances, the candidate must ensure the knowledge elements are fully evidenced. Training officers and managers are encouraged to provide candidates with practical experience to support the required knowledge elements that may involve a visit to another laboratory to experience the practical application of elements not handled in their own department.

The new portfolios will be released early in September 2020 and can be applied for via the usual process for ordering Specialist Portfolios – ibms.org/education/specialist-qualifications/specialist-diploma.

It is hoped that these new portfolios will better support the training and development of our biomedical scientist workforce as we operate in new and different ways.   

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Image credit | iStock

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