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Here to help: Overcoming the challenges of this year

IBMS Education Officer Deborah Vuong looks back over the past year and the achievements made while going virtual.

This year has brought with it many changes, and much uncertainty affecting the way many of us live and work. Here at the IBMS we continue to offer support and guidance during this unsettling time to ensure that we maintain a level of “normality” for our service users allowing them to continue progressing in their careers. However, this has not been without its challenges.

In addition to the high volumes of emails, calls and enquiries received from those seeking our advice and assistance during this time, we have maintained our continued effort to deliver a high level of service, as well as identifying new ways of supporting our members.

The pandemic has allowed us to transform the way we work with a number of our processes going “virtual”. In March we introduced a whole new way forward for completing our qualifications electronically, to prevent any delays in career progression. We have also hosted virtual training days to bring new portfolio assessors on board, as well as new non-accredited degree assessment assessors to augment our current pool of external assessors. We have launched the “IBMS Support Hub”, in order to provide further training and support to aid in the development of our members. In September, the IBMS added to our offering of specialist portfolios and introduced two new cytopathology portfolios to reflect the expansion of knowledge required across the discipline.

We recognise how crucial the continuation in your journey is for the field of biomedical science, and it is now more important than ever to have more registered biomedical scientists practising. The continued growth in both portfolio applications and requests to arrange assessments as soon as possible reflects this and, as such, we will continue to implement changes which facilitate this. 

As 2020 draws to a close, we would like to thank our members and service users for their continued support. With your help we have carried out well over 1000 assessments, allowing new biomedical scientists and specialists to take the next steps in their career. You have embraced our new processes with enthusiasm and welcomed new resources that we have introduced during this period. Your valued feedback has allowed us to evaluate and improve our processes as we continue to meet your needs.

In 2021, we look forward to hosting further training days, introducing a programme of Support Hub events, and offering more resources for our members. We want to assure you that, whatever the coming year brings, your development and progression continues to be at the forefront of our work.

On behalf of the education team here at the IBMS we would like to thank you for your support during 2020 and wish you a happy and safe 2021.   

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