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Revised Standards of Proficiency explained

Dr Jim Taylor, IBMS Head of Digital Education, looks at the revised HCPC Standards of Proficiency for biomedical scientists, which have come into effect.

As the revised HCPC Standards of Proficiency (SoPs) for biomedical scientists are now live, those who are about to undertake their IBMS Registration Training Portfolio will need to demonstrate their knowledge and competence in a slightly different way.

We have released supporting documents to help those involved in training to understand the changes that the HCPC introduced. We have also used the updated HCPC SoPs as an opportunity to launch a digital-only version of the IBMS Registration Training Portfolio (Version 5.0) using the well-known ePortfolio platform, Onefile.

Of course, updating training plans to accommodate changes in the HCPC SoPs while becoming familiar with a new portfolio platform AND running a busy lab service is not easy. This article offers suggestions in advance of your first candidates being enrolled on the new portfolio to help you transition seamlessly.

Don’t worry

The Onefile platform is easy to learn/use.

  1. Onefile produce lots of training material to help new users get to grips with the system and we will support this with specific guidance documents for each user type.
  2. Each user has access to both a “live” and “practice” area, which means if you’re not sure how something works, you can test it in practice, and not risk anything important. This is a great way for candidates and trainers to get a feel for the system and test how to implement it within existing training processes.
  3. We are launching Onefile with a suggested workflow to help people transition to the new system. From mid-2024, we will be able to respond to user feedback from laboratories and continue to refine the digital Registration Training Portfolio.
  4. You cannot break the system… we’ve tried! Following the launch of the Version 5.0 portfolio at IBMS Congress 2023, we are running a series of training and support sessions (see below).

Don’t rush

The Version 5.0 Registration Training Portfolio represents a step change in the way that candidates complete this essential qualification.

  1. The three introductory talks we delivered at IBMS Congress 2023 will be made available to the wider membership on the IBMS website. They will introduce Onefile, outline how it works, and offer some useful suggestions to help streamline the transition in your lab.
  2. Onefile will let you know when something has been assigned for you to complete. It’s simple to follow through and even allows “five minutes” to be productive.

Be proactive

  1. Check your training plans include the updated SoPs and reflect the changes in terminology, so you are clear how and where your candidates will evidence each of the SoPs as they complete the Registration Training Portfolio.
  2. Are you prepared for the new mandatory piece of evidence foreach module?
  3. Think about the support offered to your candidates. Do you use structured catch-up meetings (to review progress) in addition to ad hoc ones? Onefile is flexible enough to handle either.
  4. Similarly with evidence collation and answering written questions – do you set deadlines for these specific tasks? Do you have a deadline for completion of the whole portfolio? If you know what your local preference is, Onefile can do the hard work of tracking whether people are on target for you.
  5. Confirm the training structure within your laboratory – who needs to sign off training logs etc? Initially the familiar roles of trainer, training manager and laboratory manager will all be amalgamated inside Onefile under the role of “trainer” – as we roll out the platform, we will expand the number of user roles available so that people have the access they need.

Be prepared

Following the initial launch of Onefile at IBMS Congress 2023, we are running a series of training events:

  1. Do you want the IBMS to lead a face-to-face training session in your area? Who would need to attend? Could you work with other laboratories/hospitals/stakeholders and host a larger group session? Think about some dates that work within your local setting.
  2. Would colleagues involved in training also need access to Onefile, but not on a daily basis? Are you a training manager who wants to check candidates are on track? What about checking none of your training officers are over-stretched with too many candidates? Onefile can provide all these analytics (if you want it to).
  3. Do you (or any of your colleagues) already use Onefile? If so, can you harness that local knowledge for bespoke training sessions that you run and manage yourself?Are you an IBMS Verifier? The process of verification should be much more streamlined and efficient using Onefile – keep an eye out for announcements in Spring 2024, when we will be running specific training for verifying through Onefile. We will also cover the Version 5.0 portfolio and outline Onefile in the IBMS Training for Trainers events going forward.
  4. We are aware that laboratories will be supporting candidates through both Version 4.3 and Version 5.0 registration training portfolios for the next couple of years as we transition to the digital portfolio and can support trainers, verifiers and candidates during this time.

Get in touch

Working together with positivity and open communication, completion and administration of the new Registration Training Portfolio will be more effective and efficient than ever before. If there’s anything you need us to support you with, reach out and ask: [email protected]

Image credit | iStock

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