Routine Haematology

Demonstrate expert professional skills and advanced knowledge in routine haematology

The IBMS Diploma of Expert Practice in Routine Haematology provides evidence of the scientific and clinical knowledge that underpins the practice of haematology and the practical competence required to accurately contribute to the detection and diagnosis of haematological diseases. 

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

  • undertake an advanced role that involves the detection and diagnosis of haematological diseases and result interpretation in the routine haematology laboratory environment
  • offer expert professional and scientific advice to scientific and medical staff on the clinical relevance of results obtained in routine haematological practice
  • participate in the training of biomedical & clinical scientists and specialist trainee medical staff in the practices of routine diagnostic haematology
Further information

Who can apply for Routine Haematology

To apply you must be a Member or Fellow of the IBMS, HCPC registered with five years post-registration experience routine haematology.

you must also:

  • have a single named consultant pathologist trainer who has overall responsibility for mentoring and guiding you and monitoring your progress
  • be working in a laboratory that is CPA (Clinical Pathology Accreditation (UK) Ltd) or 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.


Routine Haematology qualification structure

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

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. 

Guidance to candidates and trainers

Routine Haematology assessment

The examination of an IBMS Diploma of Expert Practice in Routine Haematology involves three assessments:

  • a portfolio assessment 
  • a written examination
  • a practical examination 
Portfolio assessment

You must meet 27 standards in order to pass your portfolio assessment and progress to the written examination.

Your portfolio will be independently assessed by two members of IBMS Haematology Advisory Panel.

Written examination

The written examination lasts 120 minutes and requires candidates to answer:

  • five mandatory short answer questions
  • two case studies questions from a choice of three and
  • one essay question from a choice of three
Practical microscopy assessment 

The practical examination requires candidates to answer questions on 12 cases in 96 minutes. The IBMS will provide microscopes for this examination however candidates can bring their own if they so wish.

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

Routine Haematology key dates


Qualification Application Deadline: Friday 1 July

Portfolio Submission Deadline: Friday 29 July (See Below)

Exams: The date of the written and microscopy exams are to be confirmed. This will depend on the number and location of the candidates who submit their portfolio.

Candidates must submit their portfolio electronically.  Hard copy versions of the portfolio will not be accepted. The portfolio should be sent 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 The portfolio can also submitted on a USB stick to IBMS, Head of Examinations, 12 Coldbath Square, London, EC1R 5HL.

Routine Haematology 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

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.

Confirmation of application

Once your application has been accepted you will be sent confirmation of your candidacy and a reminder of the submission deadline for your portfolio. 


Routine Haematology 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

Deferrals, withdrawals and mitigating circumstances

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