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Here to help: Non-accredited biomedical science degrees

Alan Wainwright and Richardia Penn from the IBMS give their top tips for submitting documentation.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the role of biomedical scientists in an unprecedented fashion. Crucially this has been down to professional knowledge and adaptability of roles that ensured essential pathology services were maintained. This is possible because of the thorough grounding in biomedical science theory and practice along with standards of proficiency that underpin our profession. In this context, two standards are paramount:

HCPC SoP 13.8 Understand the role of the following specialisms in the diagnosis, treatment and management of disease: cellular science, blood science, infection science, molecular and genetic science and reproductive science.

HCPC SoP 14.7 Be able to demonstrate proficiency in practical skills in cellular science, blood science, infection science, molecular and genetic science and reproductive science, where appropriate to the discipline.

The two main preferred routes to HCPC registration as a biomedical scientist are an IBMS-accredited degree containing the Registration Training Portfolio (integrated degree), or an IBMS-accredited degree with the Registration Training Portfolio completed outside of the degree.

Additionally, for graduates that have a science honours degree that is not IBMS accredited, the IBMS has a route that employers have identified as suitable for candidates undertaking biomedical scientist training. These degrees are more likely to require supplementary study consisting of specified “top-up” modules from an IBMS-accredited degree, which can be frustrating and costly. 

There is no escaping the requirement for these individuals to show clear evidence of the depth and breadth of knowledge in biomedical science in order to meet the academic content required by the HCPC standards of proficiency. In terms of academic curriculum, they must demonstrate they have studied subjects commensurate with IBMS-accredited programmes and this includes the key biomedical subjects: cellular pathology, clinical biochemistry, clinical genetics, clinical immunology, haematology and transfusion science, medical microbiology and virology.

The IBMS has a process for evaluating non-accredited degrees that are equivalent to BSc (Hons) level or above. All applications are assessed on the basis of the taught academic subject content and level of the qualification award. Shortfalls in education are identified and the individual advised on their supplementary education requirements for compliance with the HCPC standards of proficiency.

These are our top tips for submitting documentation when applying for this assessment:

  • Ensure you read and follow the guidance and frequently asked questions available on our website before starting your application.
  • Part A and Part B of the application process will provide further instruction and information on how to submit your application.
  • Part B includes an electronic attachment of sample module descriptors.
  • Ensure to redact your personal details from any documents submitted in Part B.
  • Avoid submitting supporting documentation as a link to the University website.
  • Ensure to read the outcome letter for the degree assessment in full once received. This will provide guidance on the next steps of the process as well as appealing your outcome. 

All degree assessment documentation can be accessed via the website

Image Credit | iStock

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