How do I become a biomedical scientist?

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Rox17
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#1
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#1
Yeah, basically as the title says. I've read a few websites but they seem so complicated? I'm in Scotland btw
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_Rusty_
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#2
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(Original post by Rox17)
Yeah, basically as the title says. I've read a few websites but they seem so complicated? I'm in Scotland btw
I think you just do a Biomed degree and then seek employment after. artful_loungerThelonioussKallisto5hyl33n might be able to explain in more detail?
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Theloniouss
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Biomedical scientist is a pretty broad job description, but as _Rusty_ says you'll probably want a degree in biomedical science (accredited by the IBS if possible), and in the UK you'd then most likely be working for the NHS. There are also [degree] apprenticeships and similar study-while-you-work schemes.

I'd say this website is the best place to look as a starting point: https://nationalcareers.service.gov....ical-scientist
Last edited by Theloniouss; 1 month ago
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artful_lounger
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#4
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(Original post by _Rusty_)
I think you just do a Biomed degree and then seek employment after. artful_loungerThelonioussKallisto5hyl33n might be able to explain in more detail?
RegisteredBMS is the best person to tag about working as a BMS as they are one!

(Original post by Rox17)
Yeah, basically as the title says. I've read a few websites but they seem so complicated? I'm in Scotland btw
Basically as I understand there are two requirements:

1) Have an IBMS accredited degree.

2) Complete the professional portfolio in an approved NHS pathology lab to become registered with the HCPC.

With both of these satisfied one can apply directly to band 5 BMS roles. However criterion 2) is harder to actually satisfy in principle.

The best route to becoming a BMS is to do one of the Healthcare Sciences (Life Sciences) degrees that are offered as part of the NHS Practitioner Training Programme (PTP) - more info on providers can be found here: https://nshcs.hee.nhs.uk/programmes/ptp/ (the relevant specialisms are the life sciences ones e.g. cellular sciences, blood sciences, infection sciences and so on; the PTP also arranges training for physiologists and medical engineers).

These degrees are not only IBMS accredited but also include integrated placements in NHS labs to enable you to complete your portfolio so you can apply directly to those roles on graduating. These are the only degrees that guarantee those placements.

Outside of those courses, you would need to seek an IBMS accredited degree, preferably one with a placement year or sandwich course structure that ideally has links to those placements in the NHS. However you would need to apply to those in open competition with all other BMS students seeking them and they will be prioritised for those on apprenticeships within the NHS or on the PTP programmes, so it's not the best route.

If you don't manage to get those placements then you would need to start working as band 2 MLA in the NHS and try and arrange with your employer to complete your HCPC portfolio while working there. There is no guarantee you will be able to do this since they're hiring you to do another job of course, and you'd just need to do it on top of your current work, so it's difficult to arrange potentially (also you'd be earning much less as a band 2).

The worst route is to just do any old degree called "Biomedical Sciences" that isn't IBMS accredited, as then you need to seek accreditation after your degree from the IBMS - and the outcomes of that may be:

a) is fully accredited in retrospect (very rare)

b) you meet some of the requirements but need to take top-up modules to meet the others to achieve accreditation (which can be very expensive and you may need to take quite a few of them)

c) your degree is too different from the requirements and you just need to do a new one.

So you really want to avoid doing a non-IBMS accredited degree unless you know you don't want to work as a biomedical scientist (although that would be fine to become a clinical scientist via the STP), and ideally want to do the Healthcare Sciences (Life Sciences) degrees from the PTP (but they are only offered at a smaller number of unis currently). Alternately, going in through an apprenticeship route if you're working as an MLA in the NHS is also a good option.
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_Rusty_
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#5
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#5
(Original post by artful_lounger)
RegisteredBMS is the best person to tag about working as a BMS as they are one!


Basically as I understand there are two requirements:

1) Have an IBMS accredited degree.

2) Complete the professional portfolio in an approved NHS pathology lab to become registered with the HCPC.

With both of these satisfied one can apply directly to band 5 BMS roles. However criterion 2) is harder to actually satisfy in principle.

The best route to becoming a BMS is to do one of the Healthcare Sciences (Life Sciences) degrees that are offered as part of the NHS Practitioner Training Programme (PTP) - more info on providers can be found here: https://nshcs.hee.nhs.uk/programmes/ptp/ (the relevant specialisms are the life sciences ones e.g. cellular sciences, blood sciences, infection sciences and so on; the PTP also arranges training for physiologists and medical engineers).

These degrees are not only IBMS accredited but also include integrated placements in NHS labs to enable you to complete your portfolio so you can apply directly to those roles on graduating. These are the only degrees that guarantee those placements.

Outside of those courses, you would need to seek an IBMS accredited degree, preferably one with a placement year or sandwich course structure that ideally has links to those placements in the NHS. However you would need to apply to those in open competition with all other BMS students seeking them and they will be prioritised for those on apprenticeships within the NHS or on the PTP programmes, so it's not the best route.

If you don't manage to get those placements then you would need to start working as band 2 MLA in the NHS and try and arrange with your employer to complete your HCPC portfolio while working there. There is no guarantee you will be able to do this since they're hiring you to do another job of course, and you'd just need to do it on top of your current work, so it's difficult to arrange potentially (also you'd be earning much less as a band 2).

The worst route is to just do any old degree called "Biomedical Sciences" that isn't IBMS accredited, as then you need to seek accreditation after your degree from the IBMS - and the outcomes of that may be:

a) is fully accredited in retrospect (very rare)

b) you meet some of the requirements but need to take top-up modules to meet the others to achieve accreditation (which can be very expensive and you may need to take quite a few of them)

c) your degree is too different from the requirements and you just need to do a new one.

So you really want to avoid doing a non-IBMS accredited degree unless you know you don't want to work as a biomedical scientist (although that would be fine to become a clinical scientist via the STP), and ideally want to do the Healthcare Sciences (Life Sciences) degrees from the PTP (but they are only offered at a smaller number of unis currently). Alternately, going in through an apprenticeship route if you're working as an MLA in the NHS is also a good option.
Ooo didn't know they were on here, thank you
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seabutterflyem
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#6
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#6
Hello!

I have an Undergraduate degree in Biomedical Science which is IBMS approved.

I am now looking at completing the practical element aka creating the HCPC Registration Portfolio in an IBMS approved laboratory.

I have checked on the IBMS website however it doesn't state how you got about working in an IBMS approved laboratory and there is no such 'list' that exists whereby you can see what labs are IBMS approved? How would you go about doing this? Who should I contact to get the ball rolling?

Furthermore, do you earn money whilst you train and make the portfolio?? Is it a funded scheme??

And for those who have been and done it, how did you find it?

Sorry, for so many questions! Thank you
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ElderBagel
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#7
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#7
^^^^Same here
I've also graduated with a BSc IBMS-accredited Biomedical Science degree and I know that I have to complete IBMS training and the registration portfolio in an approved clinical laboratory to become a Biomedical Scientist (which I could've done with a placement but I chose not to as I had already re-sat a year plus Covid). How do I get about doing that ?
There was a job post listing for Associate practitioners at a Hospital trust near me which also offered the opportunity to complete the portfolio too but it asks for 12 months UK hospital laboratory experience which I sadly do not have.

I know it isn't right to ask about money, but I was also wondering if there are possibly any other better-paid career options outside the NHS (I know the STP is near impossible) ?

Thank you all.
Last edited by ElderBagel; 1 month ago
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ElderBagel
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#8
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#8
(Original post by ElderBagel)
^^^^Same here
I've also graduated with a BSc IBMS-accredited Biomedical Science degree and I know that I have to complete IBMS training and the registration portfolio in an approved clinical laboratory to become a Biomedical Scientist (which I could've done with a placement but I chose not to as I had already re-sat a year plus Covid). How do I get about doing that ?
There was a job post listing for Associate practitioners at a Hospital trust near me which also offered the opportunity to complete the portfolio too but it asks for 12 months UK hospital laboratory experience which I sadly do not have.

I know it isn't right to ask about money, but I was also wondering if there are possibly any other better-paid career options outside the NHS (I know the STP is near impossible) ?

Thank you all.
artful_lounger _Rusty_ Kallisto 5hyl33n

I'm sorry if tagging isn't appropriate when done by newbies like me but I'm quite desperate for an answer. I'd be very much appreciated if I could even get pointed in the right direction.
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Kallisto
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#9
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#9
(Original post by ElderBagel)
artful_lounger _Rusty_ Kallisto 5hyl33n

I'm sorry if tagging isn't appropriate when done by newbies like me but I'm quite desperate for an answer. I'd be very much appreciated if I could even get pointed in the right direction.
I have received your tag days ago, but honestly I can't tell you anything about a biomedical career in Britain. I would have already done it, if I really could.
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artful_lounger
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#10
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#10
(Original post by ElderBagel)
artful_lounger _Rusty_ Kallisto 5hyl33n

I'm sorry if tagging isn't appropriate when done by newbies like me but I'm quite desperate for an answer. I'd be very much appreciated if I could even get pointed in the right direction.
You need to work up from the bottom, basically. Most likely you would have to look at band 2 MLA roles to start getting experience in, and possibly negotiate with your manager being able to work on the HCPC portfolio. If that's not possible in that role you will need to look to move into other roles that will let you work on it on the basis of that experience as you develop more experience within in the NHS. Unfortunately without the HCPC registration to start with you really do just need to start from the bottom as above.

Outside the NHS there might be various bioscience lab based roles in the private sector. There are also the wide range of generalist grads schemes in various areas of business, finance, accountancy, the media, the civil service, legal training contracts etc. All of which you do need appropriate work experience from internships etc that you would have been expected to undertake during your degree.

If you just attended lectures and sat exams for 3 years then your degree is unfortunately not worth a whole lot intrinsically as while it ticks one box, there are a lot of others you also need to tick. So depending on your situation then you may still be needing to start from the bottom to develop more work experience to be a suitable candidate for those non-technical roles as well.
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_Rusty_
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#11
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#11
(Original post by ElderBagel)
artful_lounger _Rusty_ Kallisto 5hyl33n

I'm sorry if tagging isn't appropriate when done by newbies like me but I'm quite desperate for an answer. I'd be very much appreciated if I could even get pointed in the right direction.
Best person to answer is RegisteredBMSAlso never worry about tagging us in a thread it’s literally what we’re here for
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ElderBagel
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#12
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#12
(Original post by artful_lounger)
You need to work up from the bottom, basically. Most likely you would have to look at band 2 MLA roles to start getting experience in, and possibly negotiate with your manager being able to work on the HCPC portfolio. If that's not possible in that role you will need to look to move into other roles that will let you work on it on the basis of that experience as you develop more experience within in the NHS. Unfortunately without the HCPC registration to start with you really do just need to start from the bottom as above.

Outside the NHS there might be various bioscience lab based roles in the private sector. There are also the wide range of generalist grads schemes in various areas of business, finance, accountancy, the media, the civil service, legal training contracts etc. All of which you do need appropriate work experience from internships etc that you would have been expected to undertake during your degree.

If you just attended lectures and sat exams for 3 years then your degree is unfortunately not worth a whole lot intrinsically as while it ticks one box, there are a lot of others you also need to tick. So depending on your situation then you may still be needing to start from the bottom to develop more work experience to be a suitable candidate for those non-technical roles as well.
Thanks a lot for your help.
I'll keep asking around for opportunities and yes as I suspected I'd have to start from the bottom. Wish these sort of things were made more clear before I picked the degree.

Special thanks to the others too for taking time to answer.
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seabutterflyem
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#13
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#13
Sorry I have spent quite a bit of time off this website and have now just caught up on messages!

Ah I am so glad I am not the only one who is worried about this! I am in the process of applying for Medical Laboratory Assistant Roles, and I must admit I am getting quite stressed about it, but yes, as mentioned previously on this thread, it very much seems to be starting from the bottom and working up! I have a friend who is currently completing her registration portfolio and she said to me that when they hire band 2/3 they basically know that you have little to know lab experience so they can facilitate that. But I would say, given we all have degrees in the relevant subject area, go for band 3 (maybe 4!) better pay and it matched your criteria. Plus, with Covid, I have a feeling they will take this into consideration when asking about previous lab experience- but we have that from our degree although it may not have been in a hospital, we still have something!
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seabutterflyem
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#14
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#14
Also, I am more than happy to make a group chat if that makes it easier for us to communicate? I have Facebook, so if anyone would be up for that feel free to dm me and we could maybe sort something!
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