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Biomedical Science Education and Practice in Ireland. Dr Tom Scott School of Biological Sciences Dublin Institute of Technology. Developments 1950s. IBMS qualifying professional body. Intermediate examination. multi-disciplinary Final examination. Specialist subject.

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biomedical science education and practice in ireland
Biomedical Science Education and Practice in Ireland
  • Dr Tom Scott
  • School of Biological Sciences
  • Dublin Institute of Technology
developments 1950s
Developments 1950s
  • IBMS qualifying professional body.
  • Intermediate examination.
    • multi-disciplinary
  • Final examination.
    • Specialist subject.
    • Associateship of IBMS.
    • Fellowship of IBMS- final examination in second subject.
developments in uk
Developments in UK
  • The IBMS adopted the ONC/OND and HNC/HND system for qualification in 1965.
  • An Irish equivalent, specifically for MLS, was established in 1966.
  • IBMS introduced the Special Fellowship examination.
course structure in ireland
Course Structure in Ireland
  • Certificate course-.
    • Multi-disciplinary.
  • One year full –time.
  • Two years block release.
    • Two blocks each of six weeks duration.
  • Diploma course.
    • Major in one MLS discipline.
  • Two years block release.
    • Two blocks each of twelve weeks duration.
revised certificate course
Revised Certificate Course
  • In 1979 the course was restructured.
  • Two year full-time College course.
  • One year Clinical Laboratory Placement:
    • Approved training laboratories
    • Log-book
    • Assessment
    • Multi-disciplinary Training

Students paid a training grant.

fellowship of ibms
Fellowship of IBMS
  • IBMS modified the requirements for Fellowship in 1980’s.
    • Mandatory course attendance
    • Project component
  • In 1987 the IBMS introduced the new Part I and Part II Fellowship course.
employment grades
Employment grades
  • Basic Grade Medical Laboratory Technician.
    • Certificate in MLS
  • Senior Medical Laboratory Technician.
    • Diploma in MLS
  • Medical Laboratory Technologist or a Chief Technologist.
    • Fellowship of IBMS
degree course development
Degree Course Development
  • First Degree courses in Biomedical Science appeared in the UK in the late 1970’s.
  • The University of Ulster introduced a Degree course in the early 1980’s.
  • In the Republic of Ireland the DIT introduced a degree course in 1989 and a joint UCC/ CIT degree course commenced in 1990.
degree course structure and content
Degree course structure and content
  • Five year course inclusive of clinical laboratory placement year.


  • Initial years: multi-disciplinary
  • Final years: Major and minor in MLS and Biology of Disease
  • Initial years: multi-disciplinary
  • Final years: multi-disciplinary
requirements for employment
Requirements for Employment
  • The Department of Health and Children altered the requirements for employment in 1997.
  • Applicants must possess:
    • BSc in Biomedical Science

Or possess a recognised equivalent qualification,

and be a member or be eligible for membership of the Academy of Medical Laboratory Science.

post graduate development
Post-Graduate Development
  • During the 1980’s an increasing number of staff sought to attain post-graduate qualifications both through taught MSc courses and attaining MSc or PhD by research.
  • Interest in attaining qualification by Fellowship examination declined.
post graduate courses
Post-Graduate courses

MSc in Biomedical Science commenced in University of Ulster in late 1980s.

MSc in Molecular Pathology, jointly taught by the Faculty of Health Sciences , Trinity College and the School of Biological Sciences, DIT, commenced in 1997.

professional developments
Professional Developments
  • The Medical Laboratory Technologists Association was founded in 1960.
  • Significant improvement in the salary scales and promotional grade structures.
  • Medical Laboratory Science became an attractive career.
academy of medical laboratory science
Academy of Medical Laboratory Science
  • Formed in 1970 to promote the academic development of Medical Laboratory Science.
  • The Academy gradually became more intimately involved in professional and educational developments and is now the major force in this area.
  • In 1996 the Academy was appointed by the Minister of Health as the Designated Authority.
impact of educational developments
Impact of Educational Developments
  • The thrust for degree course development was driven by a recognition of the increasingly scientific nature of Medical Laboratory Science.
  • The profession sought the formal recognition of this by a change in title for medical laboratory science staff and the introduction of a unified career structure.
staffing structure 2001
Staffing Structure 2001
  • Pathologists-Laboratory Directors.
  • Medical Laboratory Technician / Senior MLT/Medical Technologists/Chief Technologists.
  • Biochemists, Basic/ Senior/ Principal/Top Grade.
expert group report
Expert Group Report
  • Recently Expert Groups were established, by the Department of Health and Children, to examine: the changing role of the health care professions, the impact of educational changes, career structures and designated title.
expert group report18
Expert Group Report
  • Change in title to Medical Scientist.
    • Staff grade Medical Scientist
    • Senior Medical Scientist
    • New grade, Specialist Medical Scientist
    • Chief Medical Scientist
  • Salary scales for Biochemists and Medical Scientists be equalised, supporting the concept of a unified career structure.

Potential for Consultant level Scientist posts in all disciplines to be evaluated.

current perspectives
Current Perspectives
  • While the primary function is for service provision and development, there is a also a complementary research function.
  • In Ireland, because of the educational developments at undergraduate and post-graduate level, both of these functions can be addressed.
  • The move towards a more unified career structure will ensure that progression can reflect the aspirations and abilities of staff.
back to the future
Back to the Future
  • Major educational and professional changes have occurred over a forty year span.
  • Entrants to the profession can now realistically aspire to achieve the highest level of professional /scientific appointments.
  • The Academy has a significant role to play, in securing the future development of the profession and in reinforcing our ability to contribute to the development of the Science of Pathology.
an deireadh
An Deireadh
  • Tosach maith leath na hoibre