Completing an IBMS Certificate of Competence will enable you to apply for HCPC registration as a Biomedical Scientist
The IBMS Certificate of Competence is a professional qualification that demonstrates you meet HCPC standards of proficiency for registration as a biomedical scientist.
During the COVID-19 pandemic the IBMS have switched to issuing electronic copies of our portfolios. These electronic versions are identical to the physical portfolios and can be completed and assessed electronically when the qualification is completed.
We have taken this step to ensure that candidates can continue all qualifications during the pandemic. The feedback has been positive and we are pleased that we have been able to work in a greener and more sustainable way whilst continuing our usual level of service.
To ensure a timely response to your documentation we would encourage you to submit everything electronically to us via email.
Becoming registered as a Biomedical Scientist
The title 'Biomedical Scientist' is legally protected. To protect public safety, anyone using the title must meet Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) Standards of Proficiency and be HCPC Registered.
Meeting HCPC Standards of Proficiency
Completing an IBMS Certificate of Competence will enable you to apply for HCPC registration as a biomedical scientist.
An IBMS Certificate of Competence demonstrates that you have met the HCPC Standards of Proficiency for biomedical scientists through a combination of:
- academic qualifications and
- clinical laboratory training
Find out more about HCPC Standards of Proficiency.
Students can also visit the HCPC Student Hub which has been created to provide guidance and learning materials to further support you. To find out more visit the HCPC Student Hub
Achieving an IBMS Certificate of Competence
An IBMS Certificate of Competence is awarded for a combination of academic qualifications and completing an IBMS Registration Training Portfolio in an IBMS approved laboratory.
Please note that the time limit for completing this qualification has been removed. However, there will be an expiry limit of 3 years on any outdated version of a portfolio from the date a new version is introduced. There is still a requirement for evidence to be current i.e. within 3 years of the verification. Evidence older than this will be discounted by the verifier.
To achieve an IBMS Certificate of Competence your academic qualifications must meet the HCPC Standards of Proficiency for biomedical scientists.
Academic qualifications that meet the academic criteria set out in the HCPC Standards of Proficiency include:
- IBMS accredited honours degree
- IBMS accredited Sandwich honours degree
- IBMS accredited Integrated honours degree
- HCPC approved honours degree
If your degree is not IBMS accredited you will need to have your qualifications assessed and possibly take top-up modules before beginning an IBMS Registration Training Portfolio.
Your laboratory training will involve completing the IBMS Registration Training Portfolio. You must complete the portfolio in a laboratory which holds current IBMS pre-registration training approval.
How to apply
Your laboratory must have IBMS Registration Training Approval to be issued with an IBMS Registration Training Portfolio.
You will need to submit:
- a completed IBMS Registration Training Portfolio Order Form
- portfolio fee (please refer to the IBMS Registration Training Portfolio order form for the fee and methods of payment for the portfolio.)
- a copy of the candidate's birth certificate or personal details page of their passport
- additional supporting documentation depending on the candidate's degree qualification
Candidates are required to send the following supporting documents, dependent on their degree status, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- have taken an IBMS accredited degree - please send a copy of your degree certificate
- are currently undertaking an IBMS accredited degree - please send confirmation of your enrollment on an IBMS accredited degree course
- have had your non-IBMS accredited degree assessed - please send a copy of your degree assessment letter
You can also post your application forms, payment and copies of your supporting documentation to: Registration, IBMS, 12 Coldbath Square, London, EC1R 5HL
Who can train the candidate?
Any trainees undertaking an IBMS Registration Portfolio in your laboratory must be assigned a training officer.
The training officer will be responsible for ensuring that the trainee receives appropriate training and assessment.
Completing the registration portfolio
Candidates must complete all sections of the portfolio.
The training officer will need to sign off each individual standard in the portfolio once the candidate has demonstrated that they have met the standard.
The laboratory training manager/coordinator must sign the declaration at the back of the portfolio confirming that the applicant has worked at and fulfilled HCPC Standards of Proficiency for biomedical scientists.
Arranging a portfolio verification
To request an examination the laboratory manager or training officer should complete and submit an IBMS Registration Training Portfolio Verification Request Form to email@example.com.
A verifier will be allocated within three months of the date the Registration Team receives the request for verification.
The IBMS Registration team will contact the laboratory training officer and the IBMS external verifier, who will then arrange a mutually convenient date for the portfolio verification.
The portfolio verification will usually then take place within three weeks of the date a verifier is allocated.
The IBMS verifier will check that the candidate has completed the Registration Training Portfolio and their training has been conducted according to standards of good professional practice and competence set out in the HCPC standards of proficiency.
IBMS verifier will also assess the ongoing suitability of the laboratory to remain an IBMS approved training laboratory.
The candidate will be asked to take the verifier on a tour of the laboratory to show that they understand the work of the department and their role within the laboratory team.
The IBMS verifier will give the candidate and training officer feedback on the portfolio and confirm that they are satisfied that the completed portfolio meets all the required standards.
If the external verifier concludes that there are areas of the portfolio that need improvement they will discuss this with the candidate and the training officer.
Once the candidate has made the recommended improvements the laboratory training officer can contact our Registration Team to request another verification.
Award of Certificate of Competence
Following the verification visit
- The verifier will submit a Registration portfolio verifier's report to the IBMS Registration Team
- The laboratory training officer must complete and send a Registration Training Portfolio Verification Laboratory Feedback Form to the IBMS Registration Team
When the IBMS Registration Team have received both the:
- Registration portfolio verifier's report, and
- Registration Training Portfolio Verification Laboratory Feedback Form
The Registration Team will contact the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) to confirm that the candidate has passed their Registration Training portfolio and are eligible to become registered as a biomedical scientist.
The IBMS Certificate of Competence will be sent to the candidate.
IBMS Accredited Degrees in the Context of HCPC Registration
The IBMS may also have to assess IBMS accredited degrees in cases where the degree was awarded some time ago. Please see the timeline below for further information.
IBMS degrees have been accredited since the mid-1970’s. In terms of their suitability for HCPC registration the following timelines apply:
There was no QAA subject benchmark and the IBMS criteria for accreditation were complimentary to the standards required for CPSM registration. All IBMS accredited degrees before 2000 should be assessed to determine their suitability for HCPC registration.
2002 – 2007
QAA benchmark statement for Biomedical Science (2002) did not include Medical/Clinical Genetics as a named discipline. Similarly the HCPC standards of proficiency until they were reviewed in 2007. IBMS degrees accredited during this time should be assessed for the presence of Medical/Clinical Genetics.
IBMS accreditation from 2008 was against the QAA subject benchmark statement for Biomedical Science (2007) which included Clinical Genetics. These degrees met the HCPC academic requirements for the standards of proficiency for biomedical scientists from 2008.
Revised HCPC standards of proficiency for biomedical scientists were published December 2014 and the following year a revised QAA subject benchmark statement for Biomedical Science (November 2015) was published. These have been the reference documents for IBMS degrees accredited from September 2016. There were no significant changes to the curriculum and degrees accredited from 2008 continue to meet HCPC requirements.
Registration portfolio reference copies
**Please note that the IBMS Education Team are currently working from home and are therefore unable to process applications, reports and payments sent to our Coldbath Square Office. To ensure a timely response to your documentation we would encourage you to submit everything electronically to us via email.