The IBMS Certificate of Competence is a professional qualification that demonstrates you meet HCPC standards of proficiency for registration as a biomedical scientist and is awarded upon successful completion of the IBMS Registration Training Portfolio.

Applying for the portfolio

To apply for HCPC registration to practice as a biomedical scientist, the IBMS Certificate of Competence demonstrates that you have met the HCPC Standards of Proficiency through a combination of:

  • academic qualifications and
  • clinical laboratory training

The certificate is awarded for a combination of academic qualifications and completing an IBMS Registration Training Portfolio in an IBMS approved laboratory.

Please note

The time limit for completing this qualification has been removed. However, there will be an expiry limit of 3 years on any outdated version of a portfolio from the date a new version is introduced. There is still a requirement for evidence to be current, i.e. within 3 years of the verification. Evidence older than this will be discounted by the verifier.

Academic qualifications

To achieve an IBMS Certificate of Competence, your academic qualifications must meet the HCPC Standards of Proficiency for biomedical scientists.

Academic qualifications that meet the academic criteria set out in the HCPC Standards of Proficiency include:

  • IBMS Accredited honours degrees
  • IBMS Accredited sandwich honours degrees
  • IBMS Accredited integrated honours degrees
  • HCPC approved honours degrees
If your degree is not IBMS Accredited

You will need to have your qualifications assessed and may need to take top-up modules before you can begin an IBMS Registration Training Portfolio.  

If your accredited degree was awarded some time ago, the IBMS may have to assess the suitability of the course.

Further information can be found on our degree assessment for HCPC registration page. 

Laboratory training

Your laboratory training will involve completing the IBMS Registration Training Portfolio and you will need to complete it in a laboratory which holds current IBMS pre-registration training approval. 

Trainees undertaking an IBMS Registration Portfolio in the laboratory must be assigned a training officer who will be responsible for ensuring that the trainee receives appropriate training and assessment. 

Completing the portfolio

Once you have demonstrated that you meet each standard set out in the portfolio, your training officer will need to sign off each completed individual standard. 

Your laboratory training manager/coordinator must also sign the declaration at the back of the portfolio to confirm that you have worked at and fulfilled HCPC Standards of Proficiency for biomedical scientists. Once completed, you can request a verification.

Arranging a verification

To request a verification, your laboratory manager or training officer must complete and electronically submit an IBMS Registration Training Portfolio Verification Request Form to

A verifier will be allocated within three months of the date it is received by us. 

We will contact the laboratory training officer and the IBMS external verifier, who will then arrange a mutually convenient date for the portfolio verification to take place. 

The portfolio verification will normally take place within three weeks from the date the verifier is allocated.

Verifying your portfolio

An IBMS verifier will check that you have completed the Registration Training Portfolio and your training has been conducted according to standards of good professional practice and competence set out in the HCPC Standards of Proficiency. They will also assess the ongoing suitability of the laboratory to remain an IBMS approved training laboratory.

To show that you understand the work of the department and their role within the laboratory team, you will be required to take the verifier on a tour of the laboratory.

The IBMS verifier will give you and your training officer feedback on the portfolio and confirm if they are satisfied that the completed portfolio meets all the required standards.  

If the external verifier concludes that there are areas of the portfolio that need improvement, they will discuss this with you and your training officer.

Once you have made the recommended improvements, your laboratory training officer can contact our Registration Team to request another verification.

Awarding the certificate

Following your verification

The verifier will submit their report to us. Your laboratory training officer must also complete and send a Registration Training Portfolio Verification Laboratory Feedback Form to the IBMS Registration Team.

Once received, the IBMS Registration Team will contact the HCPC to confirm that you have passed the portfolio and are eligible to become registered as a biomedical scientist. Then they will send you your IBMS Certificate of Competence. 

Further information

If you have further questions on the Certificate of Competence, please contact the IBMS Registration Team

Fees and how to apply

Trainee portfolios, including administration fees = £133 

Replacement copy = £32, swap copy = £62

To apply

As well as your payment, you must submit a completed IBMS Registration Training Portfolio application form, a copy of your birth certificate or the personal details page of your passport, as well as additional supporting documentation (details below) on your degree qualification to

Alternatively, you can also post your application forms and copies of your supporting documentation to:
12 Coldbath Square 

Supporting documentation

With your application, please send one of the following:

If you have taken an IBMS Accredited degree - please send a copy of your degree certificate.

If you are currently undertaking an IBMS Accredited degree - please send confirmation of your enrolment on an IBMS Accredited degree course

If you have had your non-IBMS accredited degree assessed - please send a copy of your degree assessment letter.