Demonstrate the highest levels of knowledge and skill and advance your career with an IBMS Advanced Specialist Diploma
The IBMS Advanced Specialist Diploma (ASD) in Cervical Cytology enables you to demonstrate the scientific and clinical knowledge that underpins the practice of cervical cytology and the practical competence required to screen, interpret and report normal and abnormal cervical cytology results.
Candidates who achieve an IBMS Advanced Specialist Diploma (ASD) in Cervical Cytology will be able to:
- undertake a role that involves the independent interpretation, evaluation and reporting of cervical cytology samples
- offer expert professional advice on patient management and follow-up
- participate in the training of biomedical scientists and specialist trainee medical staff in the reporting of normal and abnormal cervical cytology samples
Who can apply for Cervical Cytology
Applicants must be a Member or Fellow of the IBMS, HCPC registered and hold the NHS CSP/City & Guilds Certificate in Cervical Cytology or the equivalent BSCC/IBMS Certificate of Competence in Cytology Screening. You must also have at least seven years post-registration experience or primary screening in cervical cytology and at least three years experience of “checking” and service management within the screening programme.
as well as:
- have a single named consultant pathologist trainer who has overall responsibility for mentoring and guiding you and monitoring your progress
- undertake your training in a laboratory with CPA (Clinical Pathology Accreditation (UK) Ltd) or UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) registration
- undertake your training in a laboratory with IBMS post-registration training approval
Cervical Cytology qualification structure
IBMS Advanced Specialist Diploma (ASD) in Cervical Cytology is a professional vocational qualification assessed by a portfolio of evidence and examination.
The portfolio of evidence provides a record of your training and should contain evidence of regular assessments of your competence in reporting cervical cytology results by your named consultant pathologist supervisor.
Your portfolio should include:
- answers to 7 questions on cervical cytology listed in the candidate guidance
- a shadow reporting log must be submitted of at least 500 cases
- evidence of the regular case review of at least 50 cases from the shadow reporting log
- a total of ten case studies
- three audits
- a record of training programmes or courses attended
- a record of the MDT meetings attended
- appropriate reflection
Once your named consultant pathologist supervisor is satisfied that your training is complete you can submit your portfolio and if that is judged to have met the standard required go on to the written and practical examinations.
Cervical Cytology assessment
The examination of an IBMS Advanced Specialist Diploma in Cervical Cytology involves three assessments:
- a portfolio assessment
- a written examination
- a practical examination
You must meet 28 standards in order to pass your portfolio assessment and progress to the written and practical examinations.
Your portfolio will be independently assessed by two members of the Conjoint Examination Board.
You will be expected to answer four out of six short-answer questions in 90 minutes covering the following areas:
- service development
- clinical aspects of cervical screening
- new developments in cervical screening
- quality assurance and audit
Practical microscopy examination
You will be expected to screen 12 slides in 72 minutes with summary clinical information and prepare full reports comparable to HMR 101/5 including appropriate management with free text comments if necessary.
In this examination candidates will be expected to review 8 cases in 120 minutes consisting of slides with summary clinical information, preparing full reports and discussion on all eight cases.
Cervical Cytology key dates
Autumn 2021 Exam Series (Updated 12/07/2021)
The deadline for the submission of portfolios has now passed.
Qualification Application (for re-sits for those who were unsuccessful in March): Friday 30 July
Qualification Application (for re-sits for those who were unsuccessful in June) Friday 6 August
Written Examination: 20 September
Microscopy Examination: 3, 4 or 5 November
2022 Exam Series
Candidates intending to submit their portfolio in 2022 should note that the Institute will not be accepting hard copies versions of portfolio. Candidates must submit an electronic version of the portfolio of experiential learning to the Head of Examinations at the Institute offices via email to: email@example.com The deadline for doing so will be posted on this page in due course.
Cervical Cytology fees and how to apply
To apply for the qualification in the year in which you plan to submit your portfolio for assessment you will need to submit to the IBMS Examinations Team:
- payment of £428 (from January 2021), along with
- a completed application form
to the IBMS Examinations Team.
Fees can be paid by:
- credit or debit card payment by phone on +44 (0)207 731 0214 ext 142 or
- purchase order from your hospital Trust
Once your application has been accepted you will be sent confirmation of your candidacy and a reminder of the submission deadline for your portfolio. Please note that if you withdraw from the qualification at any point a £30 administrative fee will be applied to any refund.
Training Grant Available (Updated August 2021)
In November 2020 the IBMS announced new funding for Institute members undertaking IBMS/RCPath Histopathology qualifications. The full statement can be found here.
We are pleased to inform a training grant is also available who work in England who sit the DEP in Histological Dissection, DEP in Non-Gynaecological Cytology, ASD in Histological Dissection, ASD in Cervical Cytology or ASD in Non-Gynaecological exam in 2021 or 2022. More information on the grant that is available and how and when it can be claimed can be found here.
Cervical Cytology resources
You can find discipline-specific reading lists to support you in completing an IBMS Advanced Specialist Diploma in Cervical Cytology on our science reading page.
You can find articles and online resources to support you in completing an IBMS Advanced Specialist Diploma in Cervical Cytology in our resources section.
Position Statement on Role Requirements and Banding for Scientists undertaking Reporting within Cellular Pathology Departments
As an aid to departments wishing to utilise the opportunities offered by the scientist reporter the Institute has described in outline the expected job content, the qualifications required for each role and the appropriate Agenda for Change (or equivalent) pay grade. The position statement can be found here.
Deferrals, withdrawals and mitigating circumstances
If you wish to defer, withdraw or highlight any mitigating circumstances please contact firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.