Specialist Diploma in Blood Sciences

Advance your career with an IBMS Specialist Diploma in Blood Sciences

The IBMS Specialist Diploma in Blood Sciences enables early-career HCPC registered biomedical scientists working in multi-disciplinary services to demonstrate specialist-level knowledge and skill across the blood science disciplines. It is a specialist professional qualification assessed through a portfolio of experiential learning, a presentation as well as a laboratory tour and oral examination. 

On achieving an IBMS Specialist Diploma in Blood Sciences you will be eligible to upgrade to become a Member (MIBMS) of the IBMS.  

Further information

Who can apply for the Specialist Diploma in Blood Sciences

To apply for an IBMS Specialist Diploma in Blood Sciences you must:

  • be a Licentiate of the IBMS 
  • be HCPC registered as a biomedical scientist

The laboratory where you plan to undertake the Specialist Diploma in Blood Sciences 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.

 Please note that current, paid membership at Licentiate, Member or Fellow grade must be maintained for the duration of this qualification.


About the Specialist Diploma in Blood Sciences

The award is achieved by completing two or three sections in the following combinations:

  • Clinical Biochemistry and Haematology
  • Clinical Biochemistry and Hospital Transfusion Practice
  • Clinical Biochemistry, Haematology and Hospital Transfusion Practice

Please note: A combination of only Haematology and Hospital Transfusion Practice together is not an option. Sections must be completed in order to express your ability to operate at the specialist level. Completion of the sections should follow the formal training programme that is submitted by your laboratory to the IBMS as part of the laboratory training approval process.

The IBMS Specialist Diploma in Blood Sciences is assessed by IBMS Examiners.

Once you have: 

  • completed your portfolio
  • completed a presentation providing an overview of your training
  • obtained a statement from your laboratory manager indicating the range of investigations you performed

your laboratory manager or training officer should complete and submit an Application for Examination of the Specialist Diploma in Blood Sciences to

Please note 
The time limit for completing the Specialist Diploma 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 examination. Evidence older than this will be discounted by the examiner.


Specialist Diploma in Blood Sciences fees and how to apply

Please refer to the IBMS Specialist Diploma application form for the fee and methods of payment for the portfolio.  

Please submit to the IBMS Specialist Team your:

You can also post application forms and payment to Specialist Portfolio, IBMS, 12 Coldbath Square, London, EC1R 5HL

Laboratory approval for the Specialist Diploma in Blood Sciences

Your laboratory must have IBMS Post Registration Training Approval to be issued an IBMS Specialist Diploma portfolio. For more information please visit our training laboratory page. 


Who can train a Specialist Diploma in Blood Sciences candidate?

As long as the trainer is competent to train and assess the candidate, the grade of the trainer should not be an issue.  

The person in the laboratory who has assessed the candidate's competence should provide the signature for the portfolio. 

However, the training officer (or someone senior) must take responsibility for assessing that the evidence is appropriate for each section and sign the section underneath the Evidence of Achievement section (assessor’s box).


Completing the portfolio for the Specialist Diploma in Blood Sciences

Candidates must complete at least two sections of the portfolio. However, not all sections require evidence of practical competence.

Where a particular analysis is not performed in the candidate's laboratory, they must demonstrate knowledge of the principles and practice and an understanding of the key skills required to perform the test.

All the evidence of achievement sections in the portfolio have questions set by the Training Officer/trainer. 

All work in the portfolio needs to be signed and dated by the laboratory Training Officer(or a suitable trainer) and the candidate.


Preparing for the Specialist Diploma in Blood Sciences examination

After reviewing the portfolio the training officer must complete the assessor's box and ensure all the evidence has been collected is of a specialist standard.

The candidate must complete the Reflective Log and a presentation providing an overview of their training.

The candidates' evidence should not exceed one lever-arch file.

A signed statement must be provided by the laboratory manager, which indicates the laboratory's repertoire and analyses that a specialist practitioner working in that laboratory would be expected to perform without supervision.


Portfolio Examination and award of IBMS Specialist Diploma in Blood Sciences

Once the Application for Examination of the Specialist Diploma in Blood Sciences has been processed:
  • The IBMS Education team will allocate discipline-specific examiners to cover each section of your portfolio
  • During your examination you will be asked to give a presentation describing your scope of practice and showing an understanding of your role in the laboratory, with the examiner asking questions on your presentation
  • The examiners will review your portfolio and ask questions on your evidence
  • You will undertake a laboratory tour and oral assessment with the examiners where you will be asked questions and be expected to provide answers to show your working knowledge at a specialist level  
  • The examiners will then meet with your training officer to review the examination and then will provide feedback to you and your training officer
  • The examiners will submit their Specialist Diploma examination reports to the IBMS Specialist Team. Your training officer will also need to complete and send a Laboratory Feedback form
  • The candidate is required to maintain their membership of the IBMS at the appropriate grade for the duration of the qualification in order for their specialist portfolio to be examined.
If you have been successful in your examination

The IBMS Education Team will need to receive:

  • The Specialist Diploma examination report
  • Laboratory Feedback form

Once both documents have been received and processed, you will be issued with an IBMS Specialist Diploma in Blood Sciences. 

This qualification can be used as evidence for biomedical scientists to demonstrate specialist knowledge and skills required for career progression.

Specialist Diploma in Blood Science reference copy

Specialist Diploma in Blood Sciences further information

For detailed guidance about the portfolios, training support and requirements please use the IBMS Specialist Diploma Guidance to candidates, trainers and external examiners in the related documents section here.

You can find articles on laboratory techniques and online resources to support your training in our Resources section

For all further information about the IBMS Specialist Diploma in Blood Sciences, please contact