Further comment on draft healthcare science apprenticeship standards
These standards are for those who may have voluntary registration with the Academy of Healthcare Science or, in the case of biomedical scientist statutory regulation with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and who use their expertise in clearly defined scientific based roles in the laboratory.
Since then the IBMS has received a positive response to a number of the concerns raised in the consultation.
We were concerned that the use of the term apprenticeship may be confusing in the context of long-established career pathways for biomedical scientists. We have been advised that, whilst this term reflects the terminology used by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), employers will be able to reflect local practices and may choose to use different descriptions such as ‘trainee’.
The Institute expressed its wish to see explicit inclusion of the HCPC standards of proficiency for biomedical scientists in the standards. We also wished to see it acknowledged that completion of the IBMS Registration Training Portfolio, combined with an accredited biomedical science or healthcare science degree for the award of a Certificate of Competence, already meets the requirement for end-point work-based assessment (EPA) and the standards of proficiency, thereby giving eligibility to apply for statutory regulation.
We have received assurances that the final draft submitted to the BIS will make specific reference to the Standards of Proficiency required by the HCPC for the Life Sciences, as well as indicating that the IBMS Certificate of Competence is required for HCPC registration.
However, the issue of EPA is more complex, requiring a formal employer assessment of performance and achievement of the specific requirements of the EPA. We were reassured that the IBMS Training Portfolio could be used to provide evidence of achieving these requirements. However, this can only be confirmed once the standard is accepted and work on the EPA can begin.
The Institute is pleased to have received these responses and intends to seek clarification on the employment and educational status of these proposed apprenticeships where they may affect aspirant biomedical scientists.
We would also like to thank all members who responded to the consultation; or contacted the Institute to give us feedback and ideas on the issues raised by the consultation.