Demonstrate expert professional skills and advanced knowledge in immunocytochemistry

The IBMS Diploma of Expert Practice in Immunocytochemistry provides evidence of both the theoretical knowledge that underpins the practice of immunocytochemistry and the practical competence required to perform the techniques. 

Candidates who achieve an IBMS Diploma of Expert Practice in Immunocytochemistry will be able to:

  • to undertake a role that involves the interpretation and evaluation of the use of antibodies and antibody techniques
  • participate in the training of biomedical scientists wishing to sit the Diploma of Expert Practice in Immunocytochemistry
Further information

Who can apply for the Immunocytochemistry course

To apply you must be a Member or Fellow of the IBMS and HCPC registered with experience in Immunocytochemistry. You must also:

  • have a single named consultant pathologist trainer who has overall responsibility for mentoring and guiding you and monitoring your progress
  • working in a laboratory that is UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) registered laboratory and that has IBMS laboratory 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.

August 2019 Update: Please note that the Study Guide refers to a specific number of years post-registration experience that is required before undertaking this qualification. That specific requirement has been removed but candidates who  wish to undertake this qualification should have some experience in immunocytochemistry before applying.

Immunocytochemistry qualification structure

The IBMS Diploma of Expert Practice in Immunocytochemistry is a professional vocational qualification assessed by completion of a portfolio of evidence and a written examination.

The training logbook and portfolio of evidence provide 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. 

Once your named consultant pathologist supervisor is satisfied that your training is complete you can submit your training logbook and go on to the written examination. 

Immunocytochemistry guidance to candidates and trainers 

Immunocytochemistry assessment

The examination of an IBMS Diploma of Expert Practice in Immunocytochemistry involves two assessments:

  • a portfolio assessment 
  • a written examination
Written examination

The written examination consists of two short-answer written papers each of 120 minutes. 

Full details of the qualification, learning outcomes and assessment are available in our Immunocytochemistry Guidance to Candidates and Trainers

Immunocytochemistry key dates

2023 Exam Series - Key Dates

Qualification Application Deadline: Friday 30 June 2023

Deadline for candidates who wish to re-sit in 2023: Friday 28 July 2023

Portfolio Submission Deadline: Friday 28 July 2023 - Portfolios will be accepted from week commencing 3 July 2023 (See Below)

Exams: Monday 20 November 2023 - These exams will be undertaken at the candidates' place of work.

Candidates must submit their portfolio electronically.  Hard copy versions of the portfolio will not be accepted. You can scan your portfolio and training logbook and send this via email to

Due to the size of the portfolio (and the number of emails that may require) this may be difficult so alternatively you could put your portfolio into a shared folder such as OneDrive or Google Docs and then send the relevant link to this to so that the Head of Examinations can pick up your portfolio from there. The portfolio can also submitted on a USB stick. Guidance on how the portfolio on how to submit the portfolio electronically can be found here.

Immunocytochemistry fees and how to apply

It costs £27 to order an IBMS Diploma of Expert Practice in Immunocytochemistry training logbook. To order, please submit to the IBMS Examinations Team:

To apply for the qualification in the year in which you plan to submit your portfolio for assessment you will need to submit: 

  • payment of £386 (from January 2022), along with
  • a completed application form

Fees can be paid by: 

  • credit or debit card payment by phone on +44 (0)207 713 0214 or 
  • purchase order from your hospital Trust

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 £50 administrative fee will be applied to any refund

Immunocytochemistry resources

Guidance on recognising and avoiding plagiarism

You can find discipline-specific reading lists to support you in completing an IBMS Diploma of Expert Practice on our science reading page.

You can find articles and online resources to support you in completing an IBMS Diploma of Expert Practice in our resources section

You can find past papers, pre-seen questions, and more on the IBMS qualifications resources page.

Deferrals, withdrawals and mitigating circumstances

If you wish to defer, withdraw or highlight any mitigating circumstances please contact as soon as possible.

For further information about the IBMS Diploma of Expert Practice please contact