If you are not HCPC registered but working at the level of a HCPC registered biomedical scientist, an IBMS Certificate of Competence by Equivalence (CoCE) can support your application to register.

How you can apply

To apply for the IBMS Certificate of Competence by Equivalence (Biomedical Scientist) you will need:

  • relevant* professional experience at a level, or beyond the level, for HCPC registration as a biomedical scientist
  • be able to demonstrate you meet HCPC standards of proficiency in a manner equivalent to existing programmes accredited by the IBMS and approved by the HCPC.

*Biomedical scientist is a protected title regulated by the HCPC.
They define the role as "A biomedical scientist analyses specimens from patients to provide data to help doctors diagnose and treat disease". Biomedical scientists normally work in a clinical pathology service laboratory, including clinical genetics and andrology, where these tests are undertaken. 

About the qualification

The IBMS Certificate of Competence by Equivalence route to HCPC registration as a biomedical scientist involves assessment of your experiential learning, that will be acquired from a combination of academic qualifications and professional practice.

Your level of qualifications, professional training, experience and competence are evidenced by completing an IBMS Registration Equivalence Portfolio.  

The portfolio's learning outcomes are mapped against the HCPC's standards of proficiency for biomedical scientists.   

Once you have completed your portfolio and it has been successfully assessed, you will be awarded a Certificate of Competence by Equivalence (Biomedical Scientist) and will be eligible to apply to the HCPC for registration as a biomedical scientist.  


If you are undertaking the portfolio and are asked to complete our Candidate Monitoring Feedback form please complete and return, your feedback will help us to ensure our qualifications continue to meet candidates needs.

Further information
Programme Handbook


Programme Specification


Guidance for candidates


Assessing the portfolio

Your portfolio and evidence will be assessed by an IBMS assessment panel.

If your portfolio and supporting evidence meets the threshold standards for HCPC registration and practice as a biomedical scientist, you will be invited to attend an oral assessment with the panel. 

Following the oral assessment, the panel will make a recommendation to the IBMS Education and Professional Standards Committee, they will then confirm whether your portfolio, supporting evidence and oral assessment meet HCPC requirements to register as a biomedical scientist.  

Further details

Guidance for candidates



Three to nine months after receiving your portfolio you will be required to complete a monitoring form, your mentor will also be tased with completing a monitoring form as well. 

Fees and how you can apply


Before applying, you must make an informed decision and be confident that your qualifications and professional experience provides evidence to demonstrate that you meet all HCPC standards of proficiency for biomedical scientists.

The assessment fee = £318

Unsuccessful applications will incur a £50 administration fee, the remainder of the fee will be refunded. 

To apply

Please read our Guidance for Applicants before beginning your application.

If you meet the criteria, please contact equivalence@ibms.org from November 1st 2022 to December 3rd 2022 for an application pack. 

Your application must include evidence of at least three years of training and professional practice in the duties and responsibilities commensurate with the minimum level of practice for an HCPC registered biomedical scientist. 

On receipt of your application

The IBMS Education Team will review your qualifications and experience against the entry criteria for the Certificate of Competence by Equivalence (Biomedical Scientist).  

If your application is successful, you will be admitted to the programme and issued with an IBMS Registration Equivalence Portfolio.