Track 3: Non-accredited degree and no IBMS Registration Training Portfolio

For non-accredited IBMS degree course

IBMS Accredited BSc biomedical science degree courses have specific curricula that are aligned with the QAA Subject Benchmark Statement

Anyone who has not completed an IBMS Accredited biomedical science degree or apprenticeship (or HCPC approved Healthcare Science (Life Sciences) degree) will need to request an IBMS degree assessment for their non-accredited degree. This will identify if you need to undertake additional education (sometimes called top-up modules) to meet the HCPC Standards of Education and Training.

You will also be required to successfully complete the IBMS Registration Training Portfolio and be awarded the IBMS Certificate of Competence which will then enable you to register with the HCPC as a biomedical scientist.

If your degree is not IBMS Accredited and you later want to become a HCPC registered biomedical scientist in the UK, it is likely that you will have to undertake additional learning to acquire the level of relevant subject knowledge required to register to practice. This normally involves “top-up” modules that you will have to study and pay for – usually at the same time as undertaking your laboratory training.

The IBMS assesses non-accredited degree awards to determine whether a candidate needs to undertake supplementary education/top-up modules. These additional modules are required to provide the specific subject knowledge and understanding needed to meet the HCPC Standards of Education and Training for biomedical scientists. 

The exact requirement of supplementary education will depend on the content of the non-accredited degree programme that you studied.

First, you will need to apply for an IBMS degree assessment. You will be required to provide an authenticated transcript of all module marks, so you cannot apply for your degree to be assessed until you have completed all modules and formally received all module marks. You will also have to provide copies of all module descriptors for modules completed during your degree and a copy of your final year research project report (dissertation).

To be able to register with the HCPC as a biomedical scientist, you must have successfully completed:

Postgraduate courses

It is important to note that IBMS Accredited postgraduate degree courses (MSc programmes) do not supersede a non-accredited BSc degree programme. An IBMS Accredited MSc programme will not automatically allow you to apply for HCPC registration. You will be required to have both your BSc programme and MSc programme contents reviewed via a single degree assessment to identify any gaps in the clinical pathology disciplines.

You may still be required to undertake top-up modules from an IBMS Accredited BSc programme following your IBMS Accredited MSc, if you have not completed all required clinical pathology content in sufficient depth and breadth.


How IBMS degree assessment works

The IBMS uses a team of experienced academic colleagues to assess non-accredited qualifications against and the detailed curriculum in the QAA Subject Benchmark Statement that underpins the HCPC Standards of Education and Training. This assessment will determine whether you need to undertake supplementary education/top-up modules to meet the HCPC Standards of Education and Training for biomedical scientists.

Once all required documentation has been submitted correctly (including an official degree transcript, all module descriptors and a copy of the research project report), the documents will be assessed and a decision made about any required supplementary education. It is important that you read the guidance documents carefully and follow the instructions on what is required to avoid delays in processing your application.

Once your degree has been assessed, you will receive an outcome letter that will indicate what (if any) supplementary education (top-up) modules you are required to undertake. You can choose to study these at a local university that has an IBMS accredited BSc programme or through some universities that offer modules online.


International practitioners

If you have completed your education and professional training and practiced in clinical laboratories outside the UK, and haven't been registered with the HCPC before, you may be eligible to register via the HCPC’s International Application Route.

If the HCPC reject your application you will need to apply for an IBMS degree assessment.

You can contact the HCPC to apply for registration once you have completed: