New scheme helps career development for a vital workforce This week, the Society of Biology has launched a new professional register to support the development of biologists, providing science technicians with a clear pathway for career advancement. By joining a professional register, technicians increase their employability and show their dedication to gaining new skills.
Mike Trevethick, Senior Project Manager for the Technicians’ Register at the Society of Biology, explains the importance of the registers: “Technicians underpin scientific development, and our new registers are designed to nurture their valuable skills and support their career progression.”
Under a license from the Science Council, the Society of Biology can now provide professional recognition to scientists and technicians at all stages of their career. Three levels of recognition are available, dependent upon experience: Registered Science Technician, Registered Scientist and Chartered Scientist, in addition to the Society of Biology’s existing Chartered Biologist status.
Mike says: “To gain Registered or Chartered status scientists must show evidence of their competency and commitment to Continuing Professional Development. Most scientists will find that activities they are currently engaged in will count towards the CPD necessary for inclusion in the registers. This could include training staff, learning new techniques, presenting at a conference and self-study in any area of biological interest. “I would encourage all scientists to ask their employer or training provider about professional recognition. It is also worth getting in touch with the Society of Biology; we can offer advice and support to ensure you and your employer invest in your professional development."
Formal qualifications are not required; equivalent skills can be developed through training in the workplace. Registered Science Technician is suitable for those with a Level 3 qualification (such as A levels, Advanced Level Apprenticeships) or equivalent experience, and Registered Scientist is suitable for those with Level 5 qualification such as a Higher National Diploma, Foundation Degree or Higher Apprenticeships. Chartered Status is suitable for those with a Master’s level qualification, and significant professional experience. A key feature of the registers is development, and it is possible to progress through the registers as you develop in your career. One employer which will be actively encouraging its technicians to register is LifeScan Scotland, a member of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies and one of the leading life science companies in the UK.
Peter Wilson, Senior Scientist at LifeScan Scotland, says: “This is an excellent opportunity for technicians and scientists across the UK to become registered and recognised in their individual bioscience industries and disciplines. Signing up to the new register will add weight to their experience and expertise and give them that edge when applying for new roles or promotions. Additionally, the register will give technicians a greater sense of identity and responsibility.
“The traditional link of having qualification-based membership to professional registers is now opened up to those experienced and valued technicians that have progressed from school, through apprenticeships or have obtained vocational qualifications.”
In addition to providing awards to those scientists who have earned each grade, the Society of Biology also guides its members through the process of working towards professional registration. Society of Biology members have access to an online portal, where they can track their CPD. Each activity is logged, along with a reflection on how it contributed to professional development. -
Society of Biology
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The Society of Biology (www.societyofbiology.org) is a professional body for bioscientists – providing a single unified voice for biology: advising Government and influencing policy; advancing education and professional development; supporting their members, and engaging and encouraging public interest in the life sciences. It is the only body that can award the title Chartered Biologist, recognised as a hallmark of excellence in both the UK and the European Union. Guidance documents for Society of Biology registers and CPD scheme can be found at www.societyofbiology.org/development/. Professional registers Other professional bodies covering a broad range of science (such as chemistry, biomedical sciences, physics in medicine, food science education and chemical engineering) also have licenses from the Science Council to award professional recognition to technicians and scientists.