Being an IBMS Verifier: Cherie Beckett
"Heart pounding, stomach churning, palms sweating. The fight or flight response. It's the day of my IBMS Registration Training Portfolio verification and I'm so nervous. I know I know my stuff. I've worked hard to compile my evidence and map it against the necessary HCPC Standards of Proficiency. I've rehearsed and rehearsed my laboratory tour. But, I'm so nervous. I just hope I can keep my nerves in check and get through my verification."
That was me some years ago so I understand - as do many other verifiers - how daunting the verification process can be. I've undertaken both in-person and virtual verifications and I always like to begin with a big smile, a hello and some words of reassurance. We, as verifiers, want to get the best out of the trainee on the day of the verification and, ultimately, we hope you pass.
I became an IBMS Registration Training Portfolio verifier because I wanted to be able to assist prospective biomedical scientists to join the profession. As a trainer in the laboratory and also an associate lecturer on an undergraduate biomedical science course, it is also nice to play a role in the entire process. It gives me such satisfaction to hear all about a trainee's journey, culminating in what is usually a very successful verification, enabling the trainee to demonstrate and celebrate all that they have learnt. I often find it a really positive experience for both myself as the verifier, and the candidate - once they relax!
Verifiers get nervous too. I remember being especially nervous for my first verification as a verifier, which was virtual. I received the portfolio a week before the verification so I took lots of time carefully reading it through, cross-referencing it again and again against the relevant HCPC Standards of Proficiency. It's important to me that I do a good job for the candidate and recognise the extent of the work they have put in.
Throughout my time as a verifier, I have sometimes been unsure about whether or not the candidate has met the necessary standards. As such, I have contacted both the IBMS education team and other verifiers to clarify the evidence style and content in question. It is really reassuring to feel there is such a strong support network.
My best advice for verifiers is to find what works best for you. I like to complete virtual verifications as it allows me to complete much of the assessment in my own time (such as assessing the portfolio on a little-and-often basis up to one week before the verification) and reduces verification time on the day. I also like to make notes as I go along, which makes typing up the verifier's report at the end a quicker and easier process.
Being a verifier helps me feel like I'm doing my bit to help secure the future workforce. There are lots of prospective biomedical scientists waiting to join the profession and I want to help them. We need the numbers. I also remember how much I wanted my day to come when I was waiting for my verification.
I feel that we, as experienced biomedical scientists, can play a part in trying to find a way - alongside our professional bodies and educational institutions - to support our workforce. Training and signing up to be a IBMS Registration Training Portfolio Verifier and then committing to undertaking verifications has given me invaluable experience and a great sense of satisfaction. I would recommend it to anyone who is eligible.
Feedback on one of Cherie's recent verifications:
I really cannot stress how by having such a lovely verifier, that it made the world of difference. And that I am very confident that my candidate will go into interviews for Band 5 posts with a lot more confidence and determination, knowing that she can, and has done it!