Certification Of Medical Scientists

8th May 15


An update from the AIMS board

The AIMS board continues to discuss the certification of medical laboratory scientists and to consider the best way forward.

 A formal application for registration of medical scientists was made to the Federal Government in May 2008. Unfortunately our case was rejected as medical laboratory scientists were not seen to directly influence patient outcomes. Recommendation made by the government officials was for the profession to develop a system for self-regulation.  We have an active APACE system which effectively records and rewards continuing professional development and for a small cohort of our members this is working well. However, the problems we need to address going forward are these:

1. Employers/ NATA not mandating participation in a CPD program.

2. Assessment of competency

a) While AIMS can assess an individual’s qualifications through our system of AIMS accreditation of courses and the wonderful work done by Barry Gormley and the Assessment Committee to assess qualifications of overseas applicants, we have no idea how those people subsequently perform in the workplace.

b) We have discussed competency assessment and there are a wide range of viewpoints even within the Board, let alone the members.

3. How do we ensure our medical laboratory scientists maintain and demonstrate their professionalism?

a. If we ‘certify’ medical laboratory scientists are we liable if they make a mistake and we have certified them?

b. We would need a robust appeals process for any medical laboratory scientist who has been subjected to disciplinary action

c. AIMS has a small staff, and expertise for most education and professional matter comes from volunteers therefore we are not in a position to undertake (and sustain) the much larger role that individual certification would require.

d. It has been estimated that the cost of a scheme could be at least some hundreds of dollars per certification which would be difficult to implement and unpalatable for many medical laboratory scientists.

To successfully introduce certification for medical scientists would be a major undertaking for any organization and would require either an independent body to be established or agreement and funding by all medical science professional societies for AIMS to take on this role.  There would also need to be some sort of recognition or backing by the government for certification to be meaningful.

Please be assured that this matter will remain on the board’s agenda.