Institute of Biomedical Science
The Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) is the professional body for biomedical scientists in the United Kingdom. The IBMS was founded in 1912 and represents approximately 16,000 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. It aims to promote and develop biomedical science and its practitioners.
The IBMS carries out a range of functions including:
- Set standards of practice to protect patients
- Represent the interests of biomedical science to UK government, media and universities
- Advises UK 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 and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
- Accredits university degrees
- Update 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
- Fund research
- Provides assessors for recruiting senior staff to laboratories
The Institute 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 monthly Biomedical Scientist and quarterly British Journal of Biomedical Science, 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.
Biomedical Scientist registration
Registration with the HCPC is a legal requirement for Biomedical Scientists working in the UK. The IBMS assesses and accredits undergraduate or higher level courses and qualifications for candidates seeking registration. In recognition of attaining this first level of professional competence, the Institute also awards its own Certificate of Competence in Biomedical Science, which forms an important part of an individual’s professional portfolio. The IBMS works with the HCPC to approve laboratories for registration training.
The Institute of Biomedical Science 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 Institute is also licensed to award the designations Registered Scientist and Registered Science Technician.
Devolution & regions
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.