Diploma of Expert Practice

Advance your career and demonstrate high levels of knowledge, skills and competence in your practice 

The IBMS Diplomas of Expert Practice qualifications enable biomedical scientists with five years post registration experience, working in highly specialised areas of practice to demonstrate high levels of knowledge, skill and competence in their specialist subject area.

They are expert-level professional vocational qualifications assessed by a portfolio of experiential learning and a multi-component assessment, which varies depending on the qualification being undertaken. 

The Diploma of Expert Practice is currently available in the following disciplines:

For further information about IBMS Diplomas of Expert Practice in other disciplines, please contact

Further information

Who can apply for a Diploma of Expert Practice

To apply for an IBMS Diploma of Expert Practice you must:

  • be a Member or Fellow of the IBMS 
  • be HCPC registered
  • have a specified number of years post registration experience (see individual qualification guidance documents(

The laboratory where you plan to take the IBMS Diploma of Expert Practice should be a United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) registered laboratory and have must have IBMS post-registration training approval.

If you are unsure whether your laboratory has IBMS laboratory approval for please check with your laboratory manager or training officer.


How to apply for the Diploma of Expert Practice

To apply for an IBMS Diploma of Expert Practice please submit to the IBMS Examinations Team:

  • a completed IBMS qualifications application form including training officer/supervisor signature
  • an IBMS Training logbook order form (for DEP in immunocytochemistry, mohs histological procedures and histological dissection) 
  • payment of £372 (plus any additional fees detailed above)

You can also submit a copy of your application and payment by post to Examinations, IBMS, 12 Coldbath Square, London, EC1R 5HL.

You can find qualification application forms and further information on how to apply on the relevant qualification pages.

Key dates for the Diploma of Expert Practice


DEPs in Histological Dissection and Immunocytochemistry 

  • Closing date for applications -  Friday 2 July
  • Portfolio submission deadline - Friday 30 July
  • Examination date - Monday 22 November

DEP in Non-Gynaecological Cytology (for those who were due to sit in 2020)

  • Written Examination - Monday 22 March (to be sat in own local hospital)
  • Microscopy Examination date -  Wednesday 30 June - Friday 2  July (date will depend on number of candidates and social distancing arrangements that need to be in place at the time)

DEP in Non-Gynaecological Cytology (2021 Exam Series)

  • Portfolio submission deadline - Friday 25 June
  • Written Examination - Monday 20 September  (to be sat in own local hospital)
  • Microscopy Examination date -  Wednesday 3 November- Friday 5 November (date will depend on number of candidates and social distancing arrangements that need to be in place at the time)

DEP in Routine Haematology

  • Closing date for applications - TBC
  • Portfolio submission deadline - TBC
  • Examination date - TBC 


Diploma of Expert Practice fees

It costs £375 (from January 2021), to undertake an IBMS Diploma of Expert Practice.  

The Diploma of Expert Practice (DEP) in Immunocytochemistry, DEP in Histological Dissection and DEP in Mohs Histological Procedures all require a training logbook costing an additional £27.

Once a candidate has passed the DEP in Histological Dissection  additional competencies (modules) cost £50 (no matter how many additional modules are being applied for).

Please submit to the IBMS Examinations Team:

  • payment of £375 (from January 2021),
  • 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