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Reviewing CPD activity

Christian Burt from the IBMS gives an overview of the annual CPD review for Chartered Scientist Registrants.

The IBMS, as one of the original Licensed Body members of the Science Council, has a long history of encouraging CPD for members, and biomedical scientists will be well versed in the recording and reflecting of CPD activity.

Each year, in accordance with the license arrangement with the Science Council, we randomly select 2.5% of our Chartered Scientists for a review of their CPD activities. The initial paragraph of my email communication to those selected clearly states there is no need to panic and that the IBMS will help them as much as possible to be successful in their CPD review.

We grant a three-month period for a CPD review return and attach detailed guidelines for what is expected, together with the review form. To aid our registrants, a fully redacted model example is also sent as a useful template layout and for conciseness purposes.

It should go without saying that the guidance, review return form and model example, are also available as downloads from the IBMS website.

We have also started to CPD review Registered Scientists and Registered Science Technicians.


An aid for registrants

The IBMS provides an online CPD-recording system, with defined professional categories, rather than a credit-based system.

The aim is to encourage the demonstration of learning outcomes, as opposed to a points collecting exercise. This lends itself well to the CPD requirements for maintaining registration as the professional categories of the IBMS CPD scheme (work-based learning, professional activity, formal/educational, self-directed learning and other) reflect Section 2 of the CPD review form.

With a strong emphasis on reflective practice, the IBMS CPD scheme will also provide the tools for you to complete the additional CPD review sections relating to the contribution to the service users and professional practice.


What makes a good return?

For Registrants it is essential that this review is about themselves and CPD activity undertaken should relate to their work at the appropriate registration level. We do not ask for CPD hard copy evidence, such as attendance certificates, our assessment team captures the information required through the statements made in each section – although we do ask for a chronological summary list of CPD activities.

It can be tempting to return a review with many generic statements (i.e. CPD activity X enabled myself to become a better trainer). The assessment team, however, would want you to demonstrate how you have increased your training knowledge with clear and concise examples.

It will be of little consequence to an assessor to read a professional profile that details the number of tests run by the laboratory per annum. The review is not a profile of the department – it is your own professional profile.

IBMS assessor teams expect Registrants to fully expand upon any statements made, so ensure you give clear and concise examples of how the CPD activity has benefited a) the department, b) service users and c) your own professional development. Remembering these three fundamentals will lead to a positive outcome.

Jocelyn Pryce, Head of Registration and Training and assessment team member:

Reflection is such an important part of a professional’s development and I always look for evidence that a practitioner has reflected on their previous year, drawing out the positives and negatives.

In many cases those audited will naturally focus on the highlights of their development, but negative experiences can be useful too – they can form the basis of your plan going forward, so that you can turn the learning experience into a positive one.


Daisy Shale CSci FIBMS – went through the process last year:

Everyone says don’t panic, which of course initially you do, but when you actually start filling in the return, you will realise that you will have many more examples of training, and experiences to reflect on for CPD than you think you do. I found that by keeping a list through the year of any training, reflections, meetings, case reviews etc, you have a point to start from.

The submission form guides you through organising and reflecting on your CPD and how it has impacted you, your colleagues and service users. The process of completing the submission form was really valuable in itself, as it makes you appreciate that on a daily basis you actually have the opportunity to undertake CPD activities without realising it. By having the opportunity to review my CPD and look at what I have gained, it made me look at planning my next year’s CPD with a bit more enthusiasm.

Plan for the future

Clearly defined future planning of CPD activity in Section 5 is essential for a successful CPD review. During the course of the year, you should be identifying (and, therefore, recording) both positive and negative learning points. Use these to co-ordinate the next 12 months (and beyond) and any specific examples of activities to be undertaken would be well-received by our assessment team.

Finally, if you have yet to become professionally registered, I’ll be more than happy to open up an email conversation – and if you briefly describe your current role and qualifications that would be super helpful too.


Christian Burt is IBMS Professional Support Services Manager -

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