From cutting-edge research to continuous professional development, learning lies at the heart of HSL’s philosophy. We are proud to support and inspire the next generation of biomedical scientists through our investment in education and training. As an IBMS-approved training laboratory, we have the expertise, resources and training in place to support undergraduate students during their placement year, ensuring they can complete their IBMS registration portfolio to the standards needed to qualify as a HCPC-registered biomedical scientist. HSL’s education and training faculty provides a focus to share this learning with colleagues across the world.
HSL has particularly strong links with universities in Malaysia. Despite its growing biotechnology industry, biomedical science in Malaysia remains a young and developing profession. As such, there is no standardised framework in place for university placements – or ‘preceptorships’, as they are referred to in Malaysia. Wendy Leversuch, Head of Scientific Training at HSL, was therefore delighted to be invited to speak at the International Medical University of Malaysia (IMU) to discuss the HSL training experience and share best practice.
Wendy’s invitation followed a three-day trip to Kuala Lumpur late last year. As part of the IBMS accreditation panel assessing IMU’s biomedical science degree programme, Wendy had the opportunity to visit a local hospital laboratory. “It was encouraging to see how similar pathology laboratories can be across the world,” she explains. “A number of common themes emerged in terms of supporting placement students. How do we engage students? How do we manage expectations? How should we provide feedback?”
These conversations eventually led to Wendy’s live webinar in July this year. Billed as a ‘train the trainer’ type session, and streamed to university and laboratory staff at IMU, the talk covered the key components of a successful year-long placement. Although Wendy focused on IBMS standards and UK requirements, these are just as applicable to Malaysian laboratories as they are to British ones. “Ultimately, it’s about sharing best practice,” she says. “By implementing some of these suggestions, IMU will continue to ensure it has the resources and structure in place to deliver an effective and high-quality training programme.”
HSL’s commitment to the education and training of future scientists extends far beyond year-long undergraduate placements. As Professor Michael Patton, Medical Director of HSL, explains: “In a scientific area like pathology, there is continuous technological change. Learning doesn’t just stop on leaving university – it continues throughout your career.” HSL’s impressive reputation for postgraduate medical education drives high international demand. Three years ago, Professor Patton helped to establish a new Masters in genetic pathology at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) in Kota Bharu, Malaysia. He returned this year as an external examiner, as the programme’s second cohort of students approached graduation.
Sharing best practice across international borders ensures that the brightest minds in pathology gain first-class laboratory training, wherever in the world they may be. HSL is proud to support this cause, helping scientific trainees across the world to access the support, resources and educational opportunities they need in order to succeed.