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

2020 (Updated 1st April 2020)

Due to the pressures and difficulties caused by the virus the deadlines for the submission of applications and portfolios have been amended. See below:

  • Closing date for applications - Friday 26 June (was Friday 1 May)
  • Portfolio submission deadline - Friday 31 July (was Friday 22 May)
  • Examination Date - Monday 7 September - at the University of Westminster, Glasgow Caledonian University and the Jordanstown Campus of Ulster University. - It has yet to be decided whether the exams will go ahead on this date or moved to later in the year. 

Portfolio submission 2020 Candidates should submit an electronic version of the portfolio of experiential learning to the Head of Examinations at the IBMS offices via email to: by  Friday 31 July. 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. If you are ready to submit your portfolio in late April or May please first check that the IBMS offices are open to accept your portfolio as we are currently homeworking due to the virus.

Immunocytochemistry fees and how to apply

It costs £26 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 £372 (from January 2020), along with
  • a completed application form

Fees can be paid by: 

  • cheque made payable to "IBMS"
  • credit or debit card payment by phone on +44 (0)207 731 0214 ext 142 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. 

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