CAREERS INBIOMEDICAL SCIENCE& THE IBMSBetty KyleScottish RegionalRepresentative IBMSLead Biomedical ScientistNHS Lanarkshire

What is a biomedical scientist?Biomedical scientists carry out investigations ontissue and body fluid samplesBiomedical scientist usually work in laboratories inthe areas of diagnosis, screening, monitoring andresearch

Biomedical scientist rolesBiomedical scientist roles include:

Did you know . . ?Over 80% of medical diagnoses are based onbiomedical scientists’ laboratory test resultsBiomedical scientists handle over 150 millionsamples every year. If you or anyone you know havegiven sample to a doctor or nurse to be analysed itwill have most likely been analysed in a laboratoryby a biomedical scientist

What makes a good biomedicalscientist?If you: are interested in science and technology enjoy practical, hands on work are self-motived, with good communication skills organised want to make a differenceYou will enjoy being a biomedical scientist

Studying biomedical scienceBiomedical scientists need an in-depth knowledgeof: anatomyphysiologypathologyOther skills you will gain on a biomedical science degree include:

Choosing a biomedical sciencedegreeAn IBMS accredited BSC hons degree in biomedicalscience provides all the scientific knowledge andtraining you need to begin a career in biomedicalscienceIBMS accredited Sandwich and Integrated degreesalso include laboratory placementsThe quickest route to HCPC registration as abiomedical scientist is with an IBMS accrediteddegree

Did you know . . ?“Biomedical scientist” is a protected titleAnyone using the title “biomedical scientist” mustmeet standards set by the profession’s regulator –the HCPCIt is a legal requirement for biomedical scientistspracticing in the UK to be registered with the HCPC

The HCPCHCPC – Health and Care Professions CouncilThe HCPC is the regulatory body for several healthand care professions - including biomedicalscientistsThe aim of the HCPC is to protect patient safety bykeeping a Register of health and care professionalsthat meet HCPC standards

HCPC StandardsHCPC standards of proficiency for biomedicalscientists cover areas including: trainingknowledge, understanding and skillsconductperformance and ethicsservice deliveryContinuing Professional Development (CPD)

These standards are used to decide whether you arefit to work as a biomedical scientist in the UKMeeting these standards ensure that you practicebiomedical science in a safe, effective and lawfulmanner and protect members of the publicIf you do not meet the standards for HCPCregistration you will not be admitted to the Registerand will not be able to practice in the UKYou can find out more ds

HCPC registration and your careerHCPC registration is a requirement for biomedicalscientists working in the NHSHCPC registration is a requirement for biomedicalscientists in private sector labs that provide servicesto the NHSHCPC registration is highly desirable for biomedicalscientists working in the private sector

How to get HCPC registeredYou will need an IBMS Certificate of CompetenceThis is the professional qualification that shows youmeet HCPC standards of proficiency for registrationas a biomedical scientistOnce you have an IBMS Certificate of Competenceyou will be able to apply for HCPC to be registeredas a biomedical scientist

IBMS Certificate of CompetenceYou will be awarded an IBMS Certificate ofCompetence once you have: An academic qualification that meets HCPCstandards of proficiency, and A period of laboratory training where youcomplete an IBMS Registration Training Portfolio

Academic qualifications that meetHCPC standards of proficiencyAll IBMS and HCPC accredited undergraduatedegrees meet HCPC standards of proficiencyIf your degree is not IBMS or HCPC accredited youwill need to have your qualifications assessed andpossibly take top up modules before beginning anIBMS Registration Training PortfolioYou can find a list of IBMS accredited degrees at

IBMS Registration Training PortfolioCompleting an IBMS Registration Training Portfolioenables you to build up a record of evidenceshowing that you have achieved the competenciesand standards set out in the HCPC standards ofproficiencyYour IBMS Registration Training Portfolio must becompleted in an IBMS approved laboratory

Did you know . . ?An IBMS accredited Integrated or Sandwich degreeincludes a laboratory placement where you will beable to complete an IBMS Registration TrainingPortfolioYou will be awarded an IBMS Certificate ofCompetence when you graduate and will be able toapply for HCPC registration straight awayYou can find a list of IBMS Integrated and Sandwich degrees at

Completing a Registration TrainingPortfolioIf your degree does not include a laboratoryplacement where you complete an IBMSRegistration Training Portfolio as part of yourcourse, you will need to find a Trainee position in anIBMS approved training laboratoryYou will complete an IBMS Registration TrainingPortfolio while you work as a TraineeYou can find a list of IBMS approved training laboratories who have agreed topublish their details on the IBMS website at

Finding a Trainee positionHow to find a Trainee position: Contact the Lab Manager or Training Officer atNHS local hospital laboratoriesYou can find contact details for Pathology Departments on the hospital’s websiteIf no contact details for pathology departments are available try contacting thehospital’s Training Lead Look for trainee positions on NHS jobs to check that the laboratory is an IBMS accredited training laboratory

If you have trouble finding a traineepositionMake sure your CV stands out for the right reasonsYour CV should be: well presented and organised checked for correct spelling tailored to the position you are applying for focused on the benefits you can bring to the roleWe’ve prepared a useful guide on how to put together a great CV along withlinks to websites with general advice and CV building tools

Get a recommendationIf you have a good working relationship with yourUniversity tutors, ask them to write you a letter ofrecommendationA letter of recommendation sent along with jobapplications can help you get an interviewYou could also ask your tutor to be a refereeincluded on your CV

Get some work experience in a labLaboratory work experience is often key to securinga trainee position or employment in a labContact your local hospital training lead or labmanager about work experience opportunitiesVoluntary positions can be a as long as few weeks orseveral months

And if you can’t get work experience in alab?Take the opportunity to gain experience of otherkinds of workShow potential employers that you have a strongwork ethicGain transferable skills that will be valuable in a lab:communication, organisation, problem solving,ability to take the initiative and team working

Get volunteeringExpand your skill set and enhance your CVVolunteer in the wider healthcare community togain experience of working in a healthcare settingVoluntary roles are sometimes listed on NHS JobsYour local NHS Trust volunteer coordinator or HRdepartment will know of any local voluntary rolesYou can also find local volunteering opportunitiesthrough Do it! and Volunteering England

Get involved with public engagementGetting involved with public engagement work willdevelop your transferrable skills and show yourenthusiasm for your subjectPublic engagement work will develop yourcommunication, planning, organisational, teaching,mentoring, and social skillsYou can find out more

It can also be a lot of fun!

Join a professional bodyJoining a professional body is a great way to showcommitment to and interest in your subjectJoining the IBMS will help you develop yourknowledge, skills and experience.IBMS membership gives you access to advice, tipsand guidance and connect you to a 20,000 strongnetwork of professionalsJoin online

Attend scientific eventsScientific and healthcare events offer opportunitiesto network and show enthusiasm for your subjectAttend University scientific society event, IBMSregion and branch discussion groups or CongressIBMS Council Member, Sandra Richards recommend that you:“Take a CV or dozen to offer to people. Takepeoples’ names; ask if you can visit their lab. Youhave to get out and network.”

Get started with CPDGetting started with CPD will help you stand outwhen it comes to job huntingEmployers will appreciate your proactive approachto the life-long learning essential for healthcareprofessionalsTake online courses in areas that will add value toyour CV. If you can’t find a lab specific course intraining, health and safety or quality, IT and otherrelevant online courses will help you stand out.

Starting work in a labWhen you apply for your first job in a laboratory itwill be in a specific discipline: haematology transfusion science medical microbiology virology clinical chemistry immunology histopathology cytopathology

HaematologyYou will study the formation, composition, functionand diseases of bloodYou will identify abnormalities in different types ofblood cells, carry out tests to diagnose lifethreatening conditions and monitor blood disordersDiseases diagnosed and monitored by haematologyinclude leukaemia, anaemia, malaria, thrombosisand haemophilia

ImmunologyYou will study the body’s immune system and itsrole in infectious diseases, allergies, tumour growth,tissue grafts and organ transplantsYou will carry out tests to diagnose and monitorconditions that affect the immune systemConditions diagnosed and monitored throughimmunology include allergies, HIV and AIDS

Medical MicrobiologyYou will study bacteria, parasites and fungi thatwhich cause infectionYou will use molecular testing and culturingtechniques to identify these micro-organisms andthe appropriate antibiotic therapy to treat themDiseases diagnosed by medical microbiology includeMRSA, meningitis, tuberculosis, legionnaires diseaseand food poisoning

VirologyYou will study viruses and the diseases caused bythemYou will test for infections and screen populations atrisk from virus diseases to help prevent and controlepidemics and monitor the effects of vaccinesInfections diagnosed by virology include rubella,hepatitis, HIV and chickenpox

Clinical ChemistryYou will study the chemical processes of the humanbodyYou will analyse blood and other biological materialsto help diagnose disease and monitor therapies.Tests carried out include thyroid, liver and kidneyfunction tests as well as toxicological studiesDiseases diagnosed by clinical chemistry includediabetes, endocrine disorders, heart conditions andstroke. Toxicological studies are used to detectpoisons, illegal drugs and alcohol

HistopathologyYou will study tissue samples to help diagnosediseaseYou will process tissue samples and study themmicroscopically to detect abnormalities. You mayalso use molecular testing equipment to diagnosecertain cancers and predict patient responses todifferent cancer therapiesThe disease most commonly diagnosed andmonitored using histopathology is cancer

CytopathologyYou will study tissue and fluid samples to helpdiagnose diseaseYou will process and study samples of cellularmaterial microscopically to detect abnormalitiesDiseases commonly diagnosed by cytopathologyinclude cervical and other cancers

Transfusion ScienceYou will study blood group systems, antigens andantibodiesYou will identify blood groups, ensure that donorblood is compatible with its recipient and maintainappropriate stocks of blood transfusion productsand plasma fractionsTransfusion science encompasses prenatal testing,blood component therapy and blood transfusions inemergencies and routine surgery

When you start work, your employer will train youin your chosen specialist area and on the particularequipment used in that laboratoryYour training will be based around the IBMSSpecialist Portfolio in your discipline and is known aspost-registration trainingCompleting an IBMS Specialist Portfolio will enableyou demonstrate the skills and knowledge you havegained through your post-registration training

Life in a lab Lots of peopleLots of workLots of technologyHuge variety of specimens

Qualifications for your careerThe IBMS have developed qualifications for everystage of your careerOur tailored qualifications to help you to fulfill yourpotential, follow career pathways, practice indiverse roles and take advantage of professionalopportunitiesDemonstrate your expertise to colleagues andemployers with nationally recognised marks of yourknowledge and expertiseFind out more at www.ibms/quals

What is the IBMS?The IBMS is the professional body for biomedicalscientists in the UKWe aim to promote and develop biomedicalscience and support our members in theirpractice of biomedical science

About the IBMSFounded in 1912, the IBMS now represents 20,000members in more than 30 countriesThe IBMS set quality standards for the professionand promotes the role of biomedical science insociety to government, professionals and the public

Who are our members?Our members range from students and laboratorysupport staff to academics and biomedicalscientistsOur members work for organisations including:

How do we support our members?Through: Promoting the professionSetting standardsCareer development opportunitiesTrainingEducation, assessments and examinationsContinuous Professional Development (CPD)

We do this by providing Degree accreditation Certificates of Competence Professional qualifications Publications and mediaThe Biomedical Scientist, Activities and meetings Scientific and professional information

Maintaining your HCPC registrationWe work closely with the HCPC to make sure thatour: training qualifications Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Code of Conduct guide to Good Professional PracticeAll reflect HCPC standards and support you inmeeting them throughout your career

IBMS MembershipOur membership structure used to be: AssociateStudying for BSc or Certificate of Competence Licentiate (LIBMS)HCPC registered, practicing biomedical scientist, studying for IBMSSpecialist Diploma Member (MIBMS)Two years professional experience, studying for MSc or IBMS HigherSpecialist Diploma, eligible to become a Chartered Scientist (CSci) Fellow (FIBMS)Studying for IBMS Advanced Specialist Diploma, eligible to become aChartered Scientist (CSci)

Our new membership structure eStudentStudying biomedical science or related subjects AssociateGraduate trainees in IBMS approved labs and laboratory support staff,eligible to become a Registered Science Technician (RSciTech) orRegistered Scientist (Rsci) Licentiate (LIBMS)HCPC registered, practicing biomedical scientist, studying for IBMSSpecialist Diploma, eligible to become a Registered Scientist (Rsci) Member (MIBMS)Two years professional experience, studying for MSc or IBMS HigherSpecialist Diploma, eligible to become a Chartered Scientist (CSci) Fellow (FIBMS)Studying for IBMS Advanced Specialist Diploma,eligible to become a Chartered Scientist (CSci)

We carried out research in early 2013 about how wecould improve our membership offer for studentsWe ran focus groups at Universities around the UKWe undertook a survey of current and potentialIBMS student membersFrom this research we developed our new eStudentmembership

New eStudent membership Online membership Open to students in Further Education and onboth IBMS accredited and non – accrediteddegree courses Designed to help you expand your knowledge ofbiomedical science and develop your skills andexperience Provides support while you study with advice,tips and guidance and connects you to a 20,000strong network of biomedical scienceprofessionals

Benefits of eStudent membershipKnowledgeOnline access to The Biomedical Scientist – the leading professional journal forbiomedical science in the UKIBMS website - all the latest news, information, online CPD and learningresourcesYou can sign up to our newsletter and eStudent News Roundup to get the latestnews, scientific reports and useful web links delivered to your inboxIBMS Library - access the Institute's unique collection of books, journals,Fellowship theses and rare first editions

DevelopmentRewarding academic excellence and encouraging promotion biomedical sciencethrough our IBMS awards and grants.Our CPD ePortfolio gives you a head start in the life-long learning essential forhealthcare professionalsGet involved in IBMS voluntary activities - develop new skill and enhance your CVJoin your local IBMS region and branch committees and discussion groups to gainvaluable knowledge and experience

SupportTailored advice on careers, placements, registration and tips and guides forworking in a labSave money with IBMS Additions member discount schemeAccess professional advice and guidance from our Advisory PanelsContact with IBMS office staff – we’ll be happy to help with any queries

NetworksReduced fees for IBMS Congress – meet biomedical scientists from across theworld and learn from experts in their field at the largest biomedical scienceconference in the UKJoin our online community and connect with members through our social mediaand forumMake connections with scientists working in a wide range roles and fields ofbiomedical science through our Region and Branch network


placement where you complete an IBMS Registration Training Portfolio as part of your course, you will need to find a Trainee position in an IBMS approved training laboratory You will complete an IBMS Registration Training Portfolio while you work as a Trainee You can find a list of IBMS approved