The Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS)

Biomedical science is the science at the heart of healthcare. Most biomedical scientists work in healthcare laboratories analysing blood samples, tissue biopsies, swabs or other samples taken in hospital or at a local GP’s surgery. Their work provides the information and diagnosis on which a patient’s treatment is planned. They provide the ‘engine room’ of modern medicine. 70% of diagnoses in the NHS are based on pathology results provided by laboratory services. Handling over 150 million samples in the UK each year, every person at some point in their lives will benefit from the services of a biomedical scientist.

The Institute of Biomedical Science is the leading professional body for scientists, support staff and students in the field of biomedical science. Since 1912 they have been dedicated to the promotion, development and delivery of excellence in biomedical science within all aspects of healthcare, and providing the highest standards of service to patients and the public.

The IBMS supports its 20,000 members in their practice of biomedical science by setting quality standards for the profession through: training, education, assessments, examinations and continuous professional development.  Through supporting development and sharing best practice the IBMS enables the profession to deliver safe, high-quality care by setting standards and supporting biomedical scientists in their practice.

The IBMS regulates the education and training standards for the biomedical science profession on behalf of the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) – accrediting degrees, setting laboratory training standards and providing training materials for the registration process. To legally practice as a biomedical scientist, all registrants must first meet these education and training standards.

The IBMS provides a comprehensive suite of pre and post-registration qualifications, designed by the profession for the profession. These qualifications are generally accepted as setting the highest standard for laboratory training and professional progression at a national level.

Biomedical Scientists are required to complete varied and consistent levels of Continuous Professional Development (CPD) to maintain their HCPC registration. To support this requirement, the IBMS have developed an online CPD tool where CPD can be recorded, stored and accessed at any time, plus find out about CPD related events in their area.

Every two years the IBMS hosts Europe’s largest biomedical science Congress event at the ICC in Birmingham. This four day event brings together members of the profession supported by high profile speakers in biomedical science, along with an exhibition hall full of the leading names in the diagnostics industry. The Congress programme is devised by IBMS advisory panels, consisting of experts in their specialist area, to ensure that the content is topical and the science is cutting edge.

To promote biomedical science the IBMS encourages its members to inspire and raise the profile of the profession by taking part in events and awareness campaigns. Members can apply for grants and free promotional items to support their public engagement activities. Whilst a recent partnership with STEM has seen members sign up to their Ambassadors programme, with additional support for engaging with young people considering work in or studying STEM subjects.

The IBMS promotes the advancement of biomedical science through grants and bursaries that support original research, enable members to access IBMS qualifications and events and develop their public engagement skills.

Organised by the IBMS, Biomedical Science Day is an annual event aimed at raising the profile of biomedical science. Members are encouraged to promote the vital role they play in healthcare and to showcase their work to patients, hospital staff and the public. This year, the event gained interest from local media as hospitals across the UK took part in the celebrations. Social media posts helped messaging reach almost 5 million accounts as posts promoting the day were shared far and wide. Messages of support for the campaign were posted on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram from accounts including NHS England, The Guardian and the Wellcome Trust, as the vital role of biomedical science in healthcare was celebrated.

Robert Simpson – IBMS Honorary Treasurer