Celebrating Geoff Trew's 700th Verification

Last updated: 14th June 2024
Celebrating Geoff Trew's 700th Verification

Geoff is pictured with Flight Sergeant Stuart Hill (the very first trainee he verified in the 1990s) at this year’s IBMS D-Day memorial event hosted at the Imperial War Museum


It is with great pride and admiration that we celebrate Geoff Trew, a remarkable IBMS Verifier whose dedication and contributions to the profession are unparalleled. Geoff is about to achieve an extraordinary milestone — his 700th verification — making this the perfect time to reflect on his inspiring journey and lasting impact on the field of biomedical science.


From Humble Beginnings to a Distinguished Career

Geoff Trew's journey began in September 1966 when he started as a junior laboratory technician at Bronglais Hospital in Aberystwyth. His early passion and dedication to biomedical science were evident as he trained in four disciplines and obtained his ONC in Biomedical Sciences at Carmarthen Technical College by July 1968. His pursuit of excellence continued, achieving an HNC at Cardiff Technical College (now UWIC) in 1970, and later, the Fellowship of IBMS through Cardiff and Bristol Polytechnic in 1972.


A Passion for Training and Mentoring

Geoff's career took a significant turn when he joined the University of Wales in Cardiff (Heath) as a Senior Biomedical Scientist in late 1972. It was here that his interest in training and mentoring blossomed. Encouraged by Mr. John Clarke, Head of Biochemistry at Cardiff Technical College, Geoff became a guest lecturer, teaching ONC and HNC students and mentoring them during their lab training at the Heath.

In 1977, Geoff moved to George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, as Chief Biomedical Scientist in the Biochemistry Department. His commitment to training continued, mentoring students to Fellowship level and enhancing the department's practices through insights gained from visiting neighbouring laboratories.


Embracing the Role of Verifier

Geoff's journey as an IBMS Verifier began in the 1990s when he started as a 'Blue Book' assessor. Over the years, he conducted numerous assessments across the Midlands, gleaning best practices to benefit his own department. By the late 1990s, Geoff was working closely with Mark Backwell at IBMS, conducting several verifications annually, even while managing his departmental responsibilities.

Upon retiring from laboratory work in 2007, Geoff's dedication to the profession did not wane. He continued to conduct verifications, reaching an impressive 670 verifications since retirement. His volunteering work has spanned from Manchester to Blackpool, numerous locations in Wales, down to Oxford, and throughout the Midlands. He also collaborated with military biomedical students at Birmingham Q.E Hospital, aiding those deployed to Afghanistan and other military hospitals.


A Mentor and Guide

Geoff has built lasting relationships with many training officers, offering invaluable advice and support, especially to those new to the verification process. The high praise he has consistently received in the verification process and returned to the IBMS speaks volumes about his influence and effectiveness as a verifier.

Geoff says that one of the most rewarding aspects of his career has been witnessing the progression of the early students he examined. Many have now become training officers, senior laboratory staff, and even heads of sections and departments. His legacy is reflected in the high-quality training and professional development achieved by candidates and training setups at hospitals he has visited.


A Legacy of Excellence

Geoff's extensive experience and knowledge of the verification process have been instrumental in guiding departmental heads and training officers, ensuring the future of biomedical science remains in capable hands. His commitment to the IBMS and the field of biomedical science has been unwavering, and his contributions have been invaluable.

In Geoff's own words, the experience of conducting verifications has been immensely rewarding:

I would like to say that it has been a very rewarding experience to carry out 700 verifications on behalf of the IBMS and I would encourage any would-be verifiers to take the leap. You will have excellent support from the Education Dept at the IBMS. The experiences I gained over the years have shown that the candidates I have examined are the future of the IBMS and Pathology Laboratories.

As Geoff Trew reaches his 700th verification milestone, we celebrate his extraordinary dedication, mentorship, and the lasting impact he has made on the profession. His legacy serves as an inspiration to all in the biomedical science community, highlighting the importance of training, mentoring, and a lifelong commitment to excellence. Congratulations, Geoff, on this remarkable achievement!

David Wells appointed as Science Council Chair

IBMS Annual General Meeting 2024