By providing evidence of scientific and clinical knowledge that underpins the practice of dissection of specimens, the IBMS Diploma of Expert Practice in Histological Dissection will increase your practical skills to accurately dissect specimens from categories B & C. 

The qualification will help you will be able to undertake a role that involves the description, dissection and block sampling of specimens from categories B & C and offer expert professional advice.

You will also be able to participate in the training of biomedical scientists and specialist trainee medical staff.

Fees, criteria and how to apply

£386 for the course fees.

£27 for the training logbook. 


To apply for the Histological Dissection course you must be an IBMS member at Member or Fellow grade with a minimum of three years post-registration experience in the dissection of histological specimens. 

You must also have a single named consultant pathologist trainer who has overall responsibility for mentoring and guiding you and monitoring your progress and be working in a laboratory that has UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) registered laboratory and has IBMS laboratory post-registration training approval.

If you are unsure whether your laboratory has IBMS laboratory approval, please check with your laboratory manager or training officer. 

Payment methods

Payment must be made via either of the following methods:

  • Card payment - you will be contacted for your card details once we have received the application form
  • Purchase order - you must provide the PO itself rather than just the PO number and this should accompany the application form.

Please note that a £50 administrative fee will be applied to any refund if you withdraw from the qualification at any time.


Please submit a payment of £27 along with your completed training log book order form to the IBMS Examinations Team. 

To apply, in the year in which you plan to submit your portfolio for assessment, you will need to submit to the IBMS Examinations Team, payment of £386 and your completed application form.

Deferrals, withdrawals and mitigating circumstances

If you wish to defer, withdraw or highlight any mitigating circumstances, please contact

Course and assessment

As a professional vocational qualification, the IBMS Diploma of Expert Practice in Histological Dissection is assessed through completion of a training logbook and portfolio of evidence followed by a written examination.

Training logbook and portfolio

The training logbook and portfolio of evidence provide a record of your training. They must contain evidence of regular assessments of your competence in reporting the specimen types covered in this qualification by your named consultant pathologist supervisor. 

You can submit your training logbook once your named consultant pathologist supervisor is satisfied that your training is complete.

Once submitted, your portfolio will be independently assessed by two members of the Conjoint Examination Board. To pass, there are 29 standards that you must meet before progressing to the written examination.


The written examination consists of two papers. In both papers, questions may vary in their format from short, multi-part or structured answer, or may be based on a diagram or sketch.

Paper 1 (Mandatory Modules) 
You will have two hours to answer one question on each of the five mandatory modules. 

Paper 2 (Optional Modules)
Covers all the 11 optional modules (one question per module). In two hours, you will answer six questions from a choice of eleven.

Upon completion

Should you wish to evidence competence in any additional optional modules, the conditions outlined in the guidance document must be fulfilled, and appropriate evidence must be verified by the conjoint examination board.

You can also submit evidence for additional competencies at any point in the year. This will be assessed when the Conjoint Board meets in February, June or October.

A fee of £50 applies for submitting additional competencies, to submit for assessment please send your application to

Course dates and submitting
Key Dates 2022 Series

Monday 21 November 2022: Written Examination

Friday 3 February 2023: Exam Results Released (Provisional Date)

Key Dates 2023 Series

Friday 30 June 2023: Qualification Application Deadline

Friday 28 July 2023: Deadline for those wishing to re-sit in 2023

Friday 28 July 2023: Portfolio Submission Deadline. Portfolios can be submitted from week commencing Friday 3 July 2023

Monday 20 November 2023: Written Examinations

Submitting your portfolio

You must submit your portfolio electronically, hard copies will not be accepted. Please scan your portfolio and training logbook and send via email to to download the files.  Due to the large file size of the portfolio we recommend that you send your documents using a file sharing system such as Microsoft OneDrive, Google Docs or WeTransfer, then send the link to

Further information on how to submit your portfolio and evidence can be found in the Histological Dissection submission guidance.