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A very powerful congress

IBMS Deputy Chief Executive Sarah May gives a Congress 2022 update, including new content, more content plus a last chance to catch the early booking rate.

Moving Congress from its traditional September home is requiring something of a redraft of my mental calendar. Having enjoyed the luxury of an extra six months of planning, I find that suddenly, or so it seems, we’re now entering the final planning stages.

A recent planning trip to Birmingham showed just how much the city centre has changed since our last visit and the key feature of this amazing location is that it is accessible as a “day trip” from most of the major UK cities, which is a big plus for people only booking a single day – in most cases there is no need to factor in an overnight stay.

Firstly, an important reminder that the early booking discount finishes at the end of October, thereafter the standard rate will apply. This discount represents a 15% saving on the standard rate and booking is both easy and very flexible; if a department is planning on sending several people it is possible to simply book those places without delegate names at this stage and then to assign the specific names to days nearer the time.

If you wish to discuss your options, you are welcome to call our Congress help and information line on the number 01892 779990.

Updating and expanding

In with this month’s edition of The Biomedical Scientist is the updated Congress 2022 programme; more talks and speakers have been added to the main lecture programme and we are now building our Exhibition Hall 4 seminar programme. This is a parallel programme to the main lecture halls but with a smaller more informal feel, which lends itself to the schedule of talks and workshops. Delegates are welcome to plan a mix of main and seminar hall talks and those who plan just to attend the free exhibition will also have access to these seminar talks.

Since our last Congress we have been updating and expanding our repertoire of professional qualifications and we are in the process of reviewing our Specialist Portfolios to enable us to offer them in a more modular and flexible format to better meet the needs of our changing network laboratory services. Also, the HCPC is scheduled to publish its revised standards of proficiency in March. The flexible and informal format of our exhibition hall programme enables us to make last minute changes and additions to our programme that is not so easy in the main lecture programme. Over the next couple of months, we will be adding more content to the Hall 4 seminar programme, so keep checking the IBMS Congress website.

“Since our last Congress we have been updating and expanding our repertoire of professional qualifications”

Education and training

Our lecture programme begins at 13.00hrs on Monday 14 March and there will be three parallel programmes: Education and Training, Quality Management, and a Cellular Pathology case study workshop. The Education and Training programme covers a broad range of topics and is an important source of the latest information for trainers and managers alike. Probably the biggest development is the recent opening of access to Higher Specialist Scientific Training (HSST) to biomedical scientists. Dr Jane Needham will be presenting the facts behind this significant development and the opportunities it offers to our profession. The second day of the Education and Training programme switches to a strong training theme and brings new and different perspectives to this subject.

Quality management

Quality Management is always an extremely popular programme and in view of this we are running a similar content programme on Thursday 17 March to enable the maximum amount of people to attend this suite of lectures. This is an especially significant programme as the new ISO 15189 standards will be launched next year and Dr David Ricketts will be talking about the changes and what they mean for pathology. While this is not a “COVID Congress” the experiences of working through a pandemic has provided an unparalleled learning opportunity, not least in the context of maintaining quality, and this is explored in our quality programme, in addition to the necessary considerations necessary to maintain a permanent state of readiness.

Cellular pathology

Our third programme on the Monday afternoon is the Cellular Pathology case study workshop. This will cover both cytopathology and histopathology and will feature a range of cases from the main body systems that are in the respective syllabi of our expert and advanced histopathology and cytopathology examinations. As biomedical scientists increasingly take on more diagnostic and interpretive roles, this afternoon session, run by consultant scientists, offers an important chance to take part in a guided analysis of cases that will cover the laboratory investigations and the key pathological findings. This can be viewed as a training session for delegates of all levels of experience, as the presenters take delegates through the key pathological features of the cases.


IBMS Congress 2022

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has put science and scientists centre stage in a way rarely seen. As well as being our most important forum for developing our professional skills and knowledge, IBMS Congress 2022 will be a true celebration of science in all its variety, influence, potential and impact on society.
  • The theme for the main programme is “Linking learning to the laboratory” and hundredsof speakers will take to the stage over four days.
  • Delegate fee includes admission to all lecture sessions, scientific posters, the exhibition, lunch, morning and afternoon refreshments and a copy of the Biomedical Science Congress Handbook.
  • The Congress exhibition combines business, networking and social exchange and enables delegates to view new equipment and products, extend general awareness of techniques and technologies and make contact with representatives of the exhibiting companies.
  • IBMS Congress 2022 will take place on 14–17 March at The International Convention Centre in Birmingham.
  • For more information, and to book tickets, visit



Opening plenary

Our Opening Plenary programme on the Tuesday afternoon is always the key political session of the whole event and our 2022 programme is a powerful blend of new developments.

We have a new Chief Executive, David Wells, who was appointed for his strength of vision for our profession, his determination to seize those opportunities and his powerful network of key people with whom he shares that vision and conviction. This is the opportunity to hear David’s plans.

Sharing the platform with him will be Professor Berne Ferry, Head of the National School of Healthcare Science, who has been pivotal in opening access to the HSST programme and ensuring equality of opportunity for all scientists in healthcare.

Finally, our President, Mr Allan Wilson, who almost singlehandedly fronted our profession to the media throughout the peaks of the pandemic, will be delivering the Albert Norman Opening Address. No amount of briefing or media training could have prepared anyone for the level of exposure and questioning that Allan handled and which helped to place our profession at the heart of the COVID-19 response. Allan will talk of our role in the pandemic response and our increasing role as a consultant profession. In all, this promises to be a very powerful Congress.  


Image credit | Pro-Vision-Photography


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