The ARCS CPD scheme is set up to meet the specialist requirements of reproductive scientists and practitioners, and aims to help members continue to learn, develop and evolve their skills and practice throughout their working career.

ARCS CPD Committee

Valerie Shakily

Valerie Shakily

Chair of CPD Committee

Valerie, a founder partner of the Association of Clinical Embryologists, graduated in Biology in 1990 and began training as an embryologist under the tutorship of Lord Winston. She has since gained a masters degree in Health Promotion, PhD in Reproductive Immunology, Fellowship of the Royal Collage of Pathologists, Academy of Healthcare Science and Institute of Biomedical Scientists and is registered as a consultant clinical scientist specialising in genomic medicine within reproductive science. Working within her specialism to promote training of embryologists Val is chair of the panel of examiners for Reproductive |Science for the RCPath and assessor for the Association of Clinical Science. She is the training lead for the Association of Reproductive Clinical Scientists support staff and member of the continuing professional development committee.

Valerie Shakily

Chair of CPD Committee

Christine Leary

Christine Leary

CPD Committee member

Christine Leary (BSc, HCPC, FRCPath, PhD) Christine is a Consultant Embryologist and Director at the Hull IVF Unit, with over 19 years’ of experience. She is responsible for managing the Embryology Laboratory and Quality Management and coordinating research activities between the Hull IVF Unit and Hull York Medical School and is an Honorary Lecturer. Christine has been a member of the Professional Development Committee for the ACE (now ARCS) since 2006.

Christine Leary

CPD Committee member

Charlene Freeman

Charlene Freeman

CPD Committee Member

I work as an embryologist at Leicester Fertility Centre. I Started my training in September 2006 gaining my ACE certificate at the 2011 ACE conference. I became state registered in early 2012. I sit on the NEQAS steering committee as well as the CPD committee. I am described as a consistent embryologist by my line manager

Charlene Freeman

CPD Committee Member

Jackson Kirkman-Brown

Jackson Kirkman-Brown

CPD Committee Member

Jackson is HFEA Person Responsible and Science Lead at the Birmingham Women’s Fertility Centre and an NIHR ICA Reader in Human Reproductive Science and the University of Birmingham. He has worked across academic and clinical Andrology for many years, being well known for his research team’s research into calcium signalling, gamete recognition and control of sperm motility as well as more recently in sperm DNA quality and miscarriage. Clinically Jackson was recognised by an MBE for setting up the sperm salvage (fertility preservation) pathway for UK servicemen and day-to-day leads the PGT service in Birmingham.

Jackson Kirkman-Brown

CPD Committee Member

George Southall-Brown

George Southall-Brown

CPD Committee Member

Hello, I’m George and I’m a second year Trainee Clinical Andrologist at the Shropshire and Mid Wales Fertility Centre in Shrewsbury. My master’s degree project involved developing a new microfluidic device design for use in sperm preparation during ART, and I’m interested in how we will implement new technologies such as this over my career to improve patient outcomes. I will primarily be helping with the Andrology CPD opportunities, such as writing the JBLs. Hopefully there will be something for everyone.

George Southall-Brown

CPD Committee Member

Bayan Osmani

Bayan Osmani

CPD Committee Member

Hi, I’m Bay and I’m a Senior Embryologist at Homerton Fertility Centre in East London. I’m thrilled to be part of the CPD committee. Having pursued several professional development courses alongside ACE / ARCs CPD over the years, I’m keen to share how external CPD resources can benefit personal progression. As I passed my FRCPATH part 2 exam in 2020, my focus is on identifying professional development opportunities to support the HSST-by-equivalence route. So for all those on the same track - watch this space!

Bayan Osmani

CPD Committee Member

Jennifer Nisbett

Jennifer Nisbett

CPD Committee Member

Hi I’m Jen, I’m a Senior Embryologist at the Bristol Centre for Reproductive Medicine. I am currently in my second year of the HSST programme which, in addition to my two little boys, is keeping me very busy! I’m excited to join the CPD committee and believe that CPD should be enriching rather than a chore. I am keen to provide opportunities for members to make the most of activities they already undertake and I have been working on setting up a CPD quiz to accompany the ARCS 365 programme.

Jennifer Nisbett

CPD Committee Member

Despoina Besi

Despoina Besi

CPD Committee Member

Despoina Besi is the Deputy Head of Embryology at Wolfson Fertility Centre, Hammersmith Hospital which is part of the Imperial NHS Trust. She started her embryology career in 2011 after completing her MSc in Reproductive and Developmental Biology at Imperial College London. She is an ACE certified and HCPC registered embryologist. Despoina is an HSST trainee having joined the programme in September 2020.

Despoina Besi

CPD Committee Member