Female scientist looks at a test tube in a lab

CPD review of our Science Council registrants: the IBMS way

By 03.08.16

By Christian Burt, Professional Support Services Manager, IBMS

The IBMS, as one of the original licenced body members of the Science Council has a long history of encouraging CPD for our members and biomedical scientists will be well versed in the recording and reflecting of CPD activity.

Here I give you an overview of the annual CPD review (or audit if you like) for our Chartered Scientist registrants.

CPD review… is nothing to be scared of

Each year, in accordance with the license arrangement with the Science Council, we randomly select 2.5% of our Chartered Scientists for a review of their CPD activities. The initial paragraph of my email communication to those selected clearly states there is no need to panic and that the IBMS will help you as much as possible to be successful in your CPD review. I’m sure a few do still worry, so hopefully this article may allay any lingering fears!

We grant a three month period for a CPD review return and attach detailed guidelines for what is expected together with the review form. To aid our registrants, a fully redacted model example is also sent– particularly to offer guidance in terms of layout and conciseness.

It should go without saying that the guidance, review return form and model example are also available 24/7 as downloads from the IBMS website. We have also started to CPD review Registered Scientists and Registered Science Technicians.

The IBMS CPD scheme can aid registrants called for CPD review

The IBMS provides an on-line CPD recording system, with defined professional categories, rather than a credit-based system.

The aim is to encourage the demonstration of learning outcomes, as opposed to a points collecting exercise. And this lends well to the CPD requirements for maintaining registration as the professional categories of the IBMS CPD scheme (Work based learning, professional activity, Formal/Educational, Self-Directed learning and other) reflect Section 2 of the CPD review form.

With a strong emphasis on reflective practice, the IBMS CPD scheme will also provide the tools for you to complete the additional CPD review sections relating to the contribution to the service users and professional practice.

What makes a good return?

For registrants it is essential that this review is about you and CPD activity undertaken should relate to your work at the appropriate registration level. We do not ask for CPD hard copy evidence such as attendance certificates, our assessment team capture the information required through the statements made in each section – although we do ask for a chronological summary list of CPD activities.

It will be of little consequence to an assessor to read a professional profile that details the number of tests run by the laboratory per annum. The review is not a profile of the department – it is your own professional profile.

IBMS assessor teams expect registrants to fully expand upon any statements made, so ensure you give clear and concise examples of how the CPD activity has benefited a) the department, b) service users and c) your own professional development.

Remembering these three fundamentals will surely lead to a positive outcome.

Plan for the future

Clearly defined future planning of CPD activity is essential for a successful CPD review. During the course of the year, you should be identifying (and therefore recording) both positive and negative learning points. Use these to co-ordinate the next 12 months (and beyond) and any specific examples of activities to be undertaken would be well-received by our assessment team.

And finally, if you have yet to join the IBMS and become professionally registered, I’ll be more than happy to open up an email conversation – and if you briefly describe your current role and qualifications that would be super helpful too!

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