IBMS advice to programme leaders, students and placement providers
In response to the unusual circumstances caused by the COVID-19 virus the Institute is offering the following temporary advice to universities, students and employers.
We recognise the extraordinary nature of this public health matter, and that we must be supportive and proportionate in our requirements and expectations. We understand that measures may need to be put in place quickly, and reviewed and changed regularly, depending on the challenges posed in both academic and practice-based settings.
As your professional body we know our members are highly trained professionals and we trust them to use their professional expertise to inform the implementation of changes to manage COVID-19 risks and judge whether a candidate for the IBMS Certificate of Competence has meet the necessary standards of proficiency to be eligible for registration with the HCPC, including the voluntary register for final year students who have completed their clinical placement.
Our priority is the welfare of students, staff and employers involved in the delivery of the programme. We recognise that in highly challenging circumstances, education providers may need to depart from established procedures to continue with education and training but are concerned this may affect their IBMS accreditation status.
We expect students to follow local guidance and policies put in place by their university / education provider and placement provider. If you have any concerns, you should speak to your supervisor, course leader/tutor or laboratory trainer to understand what measures they are putting in place and what impact that may have on your studies.
For students completing placements we suggest as a preferred option that where the knowledge base of the standard is completed, but the student is unable to complete the competence in practice sections, the student completes a virtual scenario report, or witness statement following a scenario discussion with the trainer, to evidence what they would do in practice.
Impact on registration
The HCPC in their March 3rd statement on the COVID-19 situation have emphasised that their standards of proficiency are designed to be flexible and provide a framework for decision-making in a wide range of situations. They also support professionals by highlighting the key principles which should be followed, including working collaboratively to keep people safe and recognising limits of competence.
As your professional body we know our members are highly trained professionals and we trust them to use their professional expertise to judge whether a candidate for the IBMS Certificate of Competence is eligible for registration with the HCPC. The HCPC website has guidance that emphasises the flexibility of the standards and the expectation that registrants will use professional judgement and experience to inform the implementation of changes to manage COVID-19 risks.
For the complete details provided for universities, students, placement providers and trainers as well as the impact on registration, please see the full letter.
Please note this statement will be reviewed in line with published advice from the HCPC and changing circumstances.