Training, development and registration (biomedical science)

Biomedical scientists must be registered with the HCPC to work in the UK.

Training routes

To practice as a biomedical scientist, you must be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) to work in the UK. You first need to successfully complete an HCPC-approved programme. You are then eligible to apply for registration with the HCPC. There are three routes to gain this registration:

NHS Practitioner Training Programme (PTP)

NHS Practitioner Training Programme (PTP) - a number of universities run BSc (Hons) healthcare science degrees in life sciences with options to specialise in blood sciences, infection sciences or cellular sciences. If you graduate from these accredited degrees, you can apply to register as a biomedical scientist with the HCPC. You must check with each university running BSc healthcare science degrees in the life sciences, to confirm this is the case. These programmes are also available as degree apprenticeships in some areas of the country. 

For the most up to date list of accredited BSc healthcare science degrees please use our course finder.

Accredited degree in biomedical science

With an honours degree in biomedical science from one of the UK education centres accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) and approved by the HCPC, you can gain employment with the NHS as a trainee biomedical scientist. While working, you need to follow a period of in service training in a laboratory setting, during which you're required to complete a portfolio that evidences your acquisition of competence. At the end of this period, your application is externally verified by the IBMS for the award of a Certificate of Competence as evidence that you have met the HCPC standard of proficiency. This can be used to support your application for admittance to the HCPC register in order to practice as a biomedical scientist.

If you have graduated with a non IBMS-accredited degree, you should contact the IBMS to have your degree assessed.

A-levels/equivalent qualification

with A-levels in life sciences and/or equivalent as a trainee biomedical scientist, however this is only possible if your employer is willing to offer financial support and the time off to study for the degree on a part-time basis, then the training would be completed as above.

Find out more about the entry requirements, skills and interests required to enter a career in biomedical science.

  • Continuing professional development

    No matter what level you are working at, as part of your development, you will be expected to do continuing professional development (CPD) to show that you are keeping yourself up to date with the policies and procedures in your area of work.

    The IBMS provide certificates of extended practice in all areas of pathology and encourages the completion of CPD. Biomedical scientists that demonstrate appropriate levels of CPD and professional skills can apply to become a chartered scientist.

    Find out more general information about professional development

    Accredited Scientific Practice- development opportunities for healthcare science staff

    Accredited Scientific Practice (ASP) provides an additional route for your ongoing professional and scientific development as part of the healthcare science (HCS) workforce. ASP allows employers to develop bespoke, responsive, short course programmes to meet training needs within the HCS workforce. ASP programmes provide you with a quality assured, rigorously assessed qualification which can lead to voluntary professional registration with the Academy for Healthcare Sciences (AHCS).

    An ASP programme involves work based learning with academic study of modules from the National School of Healthcare Science (NSHCS) portfolio programmes. Access to an e-portfolio is provided to record learning in the workplace while associated academic study is completed independently through an accredited university provider. In some cases, completion of academic study may also lead to an award of a postgraduate qualification from the university provider.

    Read more about ASP on the NSHCS website.

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