About IBMS

Last updated: 29th January 2024

Dedicated to excellence in biomedical science

Logo MVPWith over 21,000 members in 74 countries, the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) is the leading professional body for scientists, support staff and students in the field of biomedical science.

For over 100 years we have been dedicated to the promotion, development and delivery of excellence in biomedical science within all aspects of healthcare, and to providing the highest standards of service to patients and the public.


Past President Debra Padgett presents the benefits of membership



We provide members with professional standards and support that helps ensure safety, quality, well-being and peace of mind.

By supporting our members in their practice we set quality standards for the profession through: training, education, assessments, examinations and continuous professional development. We offer research grants to members to advance biomedical science which supports their original research into scientific developments.


We provide members with simple and seamless access to training, qualifications and knowledge to progress their careers and stay relevant as the profession changes.

Our qualifications, publications and training events ensure our members are kept up to date on the latest scientific developments and news.


We provide members with a strong, respected and progressive voice to promote the profession at all levels.

Through public relations and marketing campaigns, we raise awareness of the vital role biomedical science plays in healthcare and promote career opportunities in the profession.


Our role



Our profession 

Biomedical science is practised in healthcare laboratories to identify, research, monitor and treat diseases. As one of the broadest areas of modern science, it focuses on the complexity of the human body and underpins much of modern medicine.

Biomedical scientists and laboratory staff analyse fluids and tissue samples from patients, identifying diseases and providing reports that highlight the effectiveness of potential treatments. In the UK alone, healthcare laboratories are involved in over 70% of diagnoses in the NHS and handle hundreds of millions of patient samples every year.

To protect public safety, anyone practising as a biomedical scientist must be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and continue to meet their standards.


Our membership

Our membership ranges from students to diagnostics companies and national institutes and includes practitioners working at all levels in biomedical science.

The majority of our members work in healthcare, with many also based in university and veterinary laboratories, government agencies and services. Our members also work in the commercial sector and academia.

Join our international community of scientists, students and organisations to enjoy tailored support at every stage of your career.   


Our policy work

As a professional body, the IBMS does all that it can to ensure the highest standards of education, training, staff and service for the biomedical science profession.

With the ambition to lead biomedical science into the future – we aim to work with relevant governments, institutions and leaders to improve all aspects of the biomedical science profession.

We adopt an apolitical approach, meaning that we actively work with any and all political parties and governments to help deliver excellence in biomedical science – maintaining our profession’s world-class standards even through periods of change or disruption.

We aim to uphold the highest standards of professionalism in our policy responses and engagement with political stakeholders, and our approach is always objective and grounded in evidence. Our priority is always to procure the best member, service and patient outcomes.

We are not a union and will therefore never engage with the Government on wage-related issues or to propose/support strike actions on behalf of our members; nor do we argue for change on political grounds. However, we do have the best interests of our members at heart – as we can only ensure excellence in the field of biomedical science if our members are able to operate within environments that foster innovation and uphold the highest standards of biomedical research and activity.


Our structure 

We are a professional body that is run by our members for our members through IBMS Council and Standing Committees.  

Read about our Council and Committee structure and find out how you can get involved.  


Our historycoat of arms

The IBMS began life as the Pathological and Bacteriological Laboratory Assistants’ Association (PBLAA) in 1912.

As the complexity of the science which informs modern laboratory medicine has developed so has the IBMS. Our involvement in education, training and standard setting has grown in step with the knowledge and skills required of those working in biomedical science.

Find out more about our history and the history of biomedical science.