Professional Guidance

Guidance to deliver safe, high-quality care by setting standards for the profession and supporting biomedical scientists in their practice

IBMS professional guidance is developed by scientific and professional experts that include members of the IBMS Advisory Panels and Education and Professional Standards Committee.  

IBMS benchmark policies  


IBMS benchmark policies support the delivery of safe, efficient laboratory services

Communication of Pathology Results 

Good Professional Practice for Biomedical Scientists

Guidance on Quality Management in Laboratories

Patient Sample Request and Identification From Criteria 

Supervision of Biomedical Support Staff (Assistant and Associate Practitioners)


Laboratory training approval and clinical standards  

Standards for laboratory training and good practice for laboratories delivering IBMS qualifications

Laboratory Training Standards for IBMS Qualifications

 For further details on IBMS Laboratory Approval, please visit our dedicated Training Laboratory page


Joint guidance  

IBMS - Royal College of Pathologists (RCPath) 

Guidelines for Handling Medicolegal Specimens and Preserving the Chain of Evidence

IBMS, British Association for Cytopathology (BAC) and Royal College of Pathologists

The Retention and Storage of Pathological Records and Specimens   


Role of biomedical scientists within the provision of a non-gynaecological cytology service

Updated guidance addressing changes in the non-gynaecological cytology service model.

United Kingdom Transfusion Laboratory Collaborative (UKTLC) 

UKTLC Terms of Reference

UKTLC Minutes -September 2022

UKTLC Minutes - June 2022

UKTLC Minutes - July 2021

March 2023

An abbreviated version of the 2023 UKTLC standards is now available on the SHOT website.  This is accompanied by some useful tools such as a gap analysis, example capacity plan and examples for reviewing equivalence to qualifications required.  


Serious Hazards of Transfusion (SHOT) Reports

The Serious Hazards of Transfusion (SHOT) collects and analyses anonymised information reported in the UK about serious adverse reactions and events related to blood transfusion and then makes recommendations to improve patient and transfusion safety. The latest SHOT Reports can be found here.

Information on Patient Safety Incident Response Framework (PSIRF) and its impact on haemovigilance reporting and investigation of transfusion incidents in England can be found here.

Using Information Technology for Safer Transfusion

The SHOT UK Collaborative Reviewing and reforming IT Processes in Transfusion (SCRIPT) has developed a guide to illustrate how IT can be used to improve transfusion safety, which can be accessed here.

UK Standards for Microbiology Investigations (UKSMIs)

UK Standards for Microbiology Investigations (UK SMIs) are a comprehensive referenced collection of recommended algorithms and procedures for clinical microbiology. The SMIs are developed are through a consultative process to which the IBMS contributes. The UKSMIs are4 published on the RCPath website which can be found here:

UK Standards for Microbiology Investigations


Guidance Resources

Achievable standards, Benchmarks for reporting, and Criteria for evaluating cervical cytopathology

IBMS options and considerations for staff changing discipline or retraining 2019

Standards for the management of sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

Acting as an expert or professional witness
A guidance document for healthcare professionals from the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges

Tissue pathways for diagnostic cytopathology
Royal College of Pathologists