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 Non-Gynaecological Cytology enables you to demonstrate the scientific and clinical knowledge that underpins the assessment of non-gynaecological cytology specimens.
Candidates who achieve an IBMS Advanced Specialist Diploma (ASD) in Non-Gynaecological Cytology will be able to:
- undertake a role that involves the acquisition, preparation, assessment and reporting of selected non-gynaecological cytology specimens, including those where a clinically significant diagnosis is made
- offer expert professional advice on non-gynaecological cytology specimen reporting
- participate in the training of biomedical scientists and specialist trainee medical staff in the reporting of normal and abnormal non-gynaecological cytology.
Who can apply for the ASD in Non-Gynaecological Cytology
Applicants must be a Member or Fellow of the IBMS, HCPC registered and hold an IBMS Diploma in Expert Practice in Non-Gynaecological Cytology and /or the Diploma of Interpretative and Diagnostic Cytology. You must also have seven years post registration experience in non-gynaecological cytology with substantial experience (at least 4 years) in pre-reporting for consultant pathologists and reporting negative sample as well as have more than three years at a senior level involvement with preparation, quality management, EQA and IQC of the relevant categories of non-gynaecological specimens
you must also:
- 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
In the guidance document, the eligibility criteria state that you need to be a Fellow of the Institute to undertake either qualification. This is no longer the case. Applicants will be accepted from those who have Member (MIBMS) status of the Institute and who successfully completed the DEP in Non-Gynaecological Cytology as long as they meet the other stated criteria.
ASD in Non-Gynaecological Cytology qualification structure
IBMS Advanced Specialist Diploma (ASD) in Non-Gynaecological 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 the specimen types covered by this qualification by your named consultant pathologist supervisor.
The portfolio of evidence must include:
- a prospectively constructed shadow reporting log of at least 500 cases
- ten different case studies/reports reflecting the case-mix within non-cervical cytology you encounter during your training period
Once your named consultant pathologist supervisor is satisfied that your training is complete you can submit your portfolio and go on to the written and practical examinations.
ASD in Non-Gynaecological Cytology assessment
The examination of an IBMS Advanced Specialist Diploma (ASD) in Non-Gynaecological Cytology involves three assessments:
- a portfolio assessment
- a written examination
- a practical microscopy 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, which will include including case-based scenarios.
Practical microscopy examination
You will be expected to review 12 cases in 72 minutes and provide their diagnosis along with any confirmatory ancillary tests that should be undertaken where appropriate.
Candidates will be expected to review five cases in 100 minutes.
ASD in Non-Gynaecological Cytology key dates
Examination Dates for Candidates Who Had Intended to Sit in 2020
Following a detailed discussion by the Conjoint Board which considered the restrictions that are likely to remain in place for some time due to the COVID outbreak it was agreed that the exams will be rescheduled and will take place as follows:
Written Examination: Monday 22 March - This will exam be sat at your own local hospital under exam conditions. If you pass this element of the exam you will be invited to the microscopy exams.
Microscopy Examinations: These will take place on 30 June / 1st and 2nd July at the North of England Pathology and Screening Education Centre (NEPSEC), Wakefield. You will only be required to attend on one of these dates. The date for your exam will depend on the number of candidates who pass the written and the social distancing arrangements that need to be in place at the time.
Candidates Wishing to Submit in 2021
Portfolio Submission Deadline: 25 June
Written Examination: 20 September
Microscopy Examination: 3, 4 or 5 November
Portfolio submission 2021 Candidates should 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 It is recognised that this may not always be possible and therefore a hard copy version of the portfolio will also be acceptable. Candidates submitting a hard copy of their portfolio should send this to the Head of Examinations, IBMS, 12 Coldbath Square, London, EC1R 5HL.
ASD in Non-Gynaecological 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
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
You can apply to undertake an IBMS Advanced Specialist Diploma (ASD) in Non-Gynaecological Cytology:
- before you begin your training or
- while you undertake your training and complete your portfolio of evidence
You can also submit a copy of your application and payment by post to Examinations, IBMS, 12 Coldbath Square, London, EC1R 5HL. 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
ASD in Non-Gynaecological 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.