Institute of Biomedical Science
The Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) is the professional body for biomedical scientists in the United Kingdom. It aims to promote and develop biomedical science and its practitioners.
The Institute was founded in 1912 and represents over 17,000 members employed mainly in National Health Service and private laboratories, veterinary laboratories, the National Blood Authority, Health Protection Agency, Medical Research Council and Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Other members also work in related commercial fields and in teaching. Most members live and work in the United Kingdom and Ireland but many are employed overseas.
- sets standards of practice to protect patients
- represents the interests of biomedical science to government, media and universities
- advises government departments and national organisations on all matters relating to biomedical science
- promotes public awareness of biomedical science
- awards 'Chartered Scientist' status
- assesses competence for biomedical scientists to practise
- assesses qualifications for registration with the Health Professions Council
- accredits university degrees
- updates members through scientific meetings and professional events
- organises a continuing professional development scheme
- issues scientific and professional publications
- provides legal and technical help for members
- funds research
- provides assessors for senior job interviews.
The strength of the Institute is its members, multidisciplinary and multiprofessional, with all the various skills and expertise they offer.
Role in biomedical scientist registration
Registration is the cornerstone of long-term professional aims and places the Institute at the centre of developing education, training and professional standards. The IBMS:
- assesses and approves undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications held by individual applicants
- issues the certificate of competence registration portfolio
- conducts portfolio assessments
- approves degree courses
- approves laboratories for registration training
- maintains a database of laboratories approved for training
- awards the certificates of competence required for registration by the Health Professions Council.
- recognises attainment of this first level of professional competence by awarding its own Certificate of Competence in Biomedical Science, which forms an important part of an individual’s professional portfolio.
The IBMS is involved in the education and training of biomedical scientists - accrediting degree courses, assessing the competency of biomedical scientists to practise and organising a programme of higher and advanced diplomas for its members.
The IBMS has been granted a licence by The Science Council to award the designation Chartered Scientist to qualifying IBMS members. The designation Chartered Scientist is a mark of excellence awarded to scientists practising at their full professional level and who stay up-to-date in their scientific field. The designation was conferred to The Science Council by Royal Charter in October 2003 and adds science to the now familiar list of chartered professions such as biologist, accountant or surveyor.
The IBMS organises a diverse range of scientific and professional events including its three-day Biomedical Science Congress - the largest event of its kind in the UK.
The Institute publishes two periodicals, The Biomedical Scientist (monthly) and British Journal of Biomedical Science (quarterly), which together carry scientific papers, news, articles, opinions, reports, diaries of events and job advertisements. It also publishes a number of laboratory and professional guidelines and careers information.
A network of Institute regions and branches in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, Cyprus and Gibraltar provides opportunities for members to participate locally in Institute affairs. The 11 Institute regions support local biomedical scientists, promote the profession, develop local networks and organise scientific and social meetings.
Grants and prizes are available for research and other scientific work in biomedical science subjects.
The IBMS offers a package of membership benefits for biomedical scientists. If you would like to consider joining the Institute you can submit your details to request an information pack or you can contact the IBMS office.