The Education Committee is responsible for the training and education services offered by ARCS for Healthcare Scientists at any stage in their careers. The Education Committee focuses on the delivery of ARCS training schemes and NSHCS programmes such as the STP and HSST for HFEA licenced centres.  Membership is made up of the leads of all the working groups which exist to manage the different training schemes for Healthcare Scientists.

Education Committee

Louise Hyslop

Louise Hyslop

Co-chair ARCS Education Special Interest Group (SIG) Lead for Embryology

Louise completed a PhD in the mechanism of oocyte activation at fertilisation and secured a postdoctoral position studying human embryonic stem cells. She joined Newcastle Fertility Centre in 2005 and has progressed to Principal Embryologist with responsibility for training and service development. More recently she became the lead Embryologist for the mitochondrial donation programme having been assessed by the HFEA as competent to be a mitochondrial donation practitioner. She has a keen interest in training and routes to registration for Healthcare Scientists at all career levels having become a registered Clinical Scientist via ACS Route 2. Louise joined the Education Committee in 2018 and is currently the RCPath lead.

Louise Hyslop

Co-chair ARCS Education Special Interest Group (SIG) Lead for Embryology

Rachel Gregoire

Rachel Gregoire

Scientific Director/HFEA Person Responsible, Hewitt Fertility Centres, Liverpool Women’s Hospital, UK

Rachel has worked in the field of embryology since 1999, starting her clinical training at Ninewells Hospital, Dundee Scotland where she completed a PhD in Developmental Science focusing on glucose metabolism in late human embryonic and fetal development. In 2008 she moved to the Hewitt Fertility Centre Liverpool, one of the UK’s largest assisted conception providers, as Senior and then Lead Clinical Embryologist. In 2014 she worked with Glasgow Royal Infirmary as a Consultant Embryologist and HFEA Person Responsible where she led the scientific service in delivering cutting edge techniques and achieved a significant improvement in clinical and laboratory success rates. In 2017 Rachel returned to the Hewitt Fertility Centres in Liverpool and Knutsford as the Scientific Director and HFEA Person Responsible, where she continues to strive for excellence in laboratory techniques, and in clinical and laboratory success rates. The Hewitt Centres are leaders in the provision of training for future Reproductive Scientists and currently support both Andrology and Embryology students through their clinical training. Rachel is passionate about the training and professional development of Reproductive Scientists, supporting the academic and clinical Reproductive Scientists of the future, and is Co-Chair for the Association of Reproductive and Clinical Scientists (ARCS) Education Committee who develop and provide all training opportunities available for the ARCS membership. Rachel is also Deputy Chair of ARCS and a mentor for Laboratory Directors and HFEA Persons Responsible in the UK.

Rachel Gregoire

Scientific Director/HFEA Person Responsible, Hewitt Fertility Centres, Liverpool Women’s Hospital, UK

Emma Woodland

Emma Woodland

HSST Working Group Lead

Emma is a Clinical embryologist at the Salisbury Fertility Centre and the HSST lead for the ARCS Education SIG. Salisbury Fertility centre is a training centre accredited by the NSHCS for the Scientist Training Programme (STP) and Higher Specialist Scientific Training (HSST) programme. Emma started the HSST in September 2016 and over the years has enjoyed supporting STP trainees to complete their training. The HSST is a bespoke 5 year practice based education and training programme supported by an underpinning part-time professional doctorate and Medical Royal College qualifications. Emma has always been enthusiastic about training and is keen to offer support to anyone currently on, or thinking about applying for, the HSST programme.

Emma Woodland

HSST Working Group Lead

Lucy Wood

Lucy Wood

Embryology STP Curriculum Review Lead

Lucy is a Clinical Embryologist at Jessop Fertility within Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. Since graduating from the 2012 cohort of the STP in Reproductive Science, she has been actively involved in the delivery of the training programme including recruitment and workplace training. Lucy's role as STP Curriculum Review Lead is carried out alongside a team of experts from the field of Reproductive Science. The team includes embryologists from both NHS and private clinics, as well as representatives from the HFEA, ARCS and academia.​

Lucy Wood

Embryology STP Curriculum Review Lead

Joanne Adams

Joanne Adams

ABA Logbook Working Group Lead

Joanne is a Senior Andrologist and the Andrology Services Manager at Manchester Fertility and Donor Bank Manager for Semovo. Joanne was Secretary for the Association of Biomedical Andrologists (ABA) for 6 years and Chair of the ABA Education Committee for 3 years facilitating the Andrology Logbooks. Alongside this, Joanne is a Trustee of the SEED Trust, formerly known as the NGDT, and currently sit on the NEQAS Panel. Joanne was previously a member of the National Donation Strategy Group for the HFEA, created to bring about a greater awareness of donation process in clinics in the UK. Joanna leads

Joanne Adams

ABA Logbook Working Group Lead

Valerie Shaikly

Valerie Shaikly

Deputy Chair

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 ex-chair and member of the panel of examiners for reproductive science for the RCPath and assessor for the Academy of Clinical Science, Academy for Health Care Science and guest lecturer for STP at Manchester Metropolitan University. She is training lead for the Association of Reproductive Clinical Scientists support staff, member of the ARCS continuing professional development committee and co-chair of the ARCS education committee.

Valerie Shaikly

Deputy Chair

Jackson Kirkman Brown

Jackson Kirkman Brown

Andrologist

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

Andrologist

Helen Hunter

Helen Hunter

Embryologist

Helen is Principal Embryologist at St Mary’s Hospital, Manchester. She has a BSc (Hons) in Biomedical Science from the University of Bradford, MSc from the University of Manchester, and is a Diplomate of the Royal College of Pathologists. She is also a trainee on the HSST programme, beginning in 2017, working towards FRCPath. She has been involved in training Embryologists since the days of the ACE certificate and as an Assessor sat on the ACE training committee. She then moved into supporting the STP programme as a Training Officer, OSFA Station Writer and Assessor and is now Lead Station Writer (Lead Examiner) for the STP. She is heavily involved in delivering and assessing STP training and works closely with the National School of Healthcare Science. Helen is happy to offer support and guidance to clinics thinking of joining the STP programme as training centres, as well as trainees wishing to join or those on the programme with questions about assessment or completion.

Helen Hunter

Embryologist

Naya Efstathiou

Naya Efstathiou

STP Pre-reg position

Soon after completing my M.Med.Sci Assisted Reproduction Technology at the University of Nottingham in 2018, I undertook numerous internships in IVF clinics in Greece and worked as an Andrologist at a fast-paced London clinic, where I was involved in the ISO accreditation preparation. Since September 2020, I am an Embryology STP trainee at CARE Fertility Northampton and I am happy to see myself progressing through the different ART procedures and getting involved with service improvement. Getting together with like-minded professionals fascinates me and I was thrilled to join the ARCS Education Committee as the STP Embryology Trainee Representative in 2022. Being an STP trainee and working alongside people who have attained HCPC registration by a variety of means, including equivalence and others following less conventional routes into embryology, I believe I will be able to support all Pre- Registrant Reproductive Scientists. Moreover, I am passionate about research, good in thinking outside the box and keen to take on a challenge, in order to contribute to ARCS progression.

Naya Efstathiou

STP Pre-reg position

Oksana Stidston

Oksana Stidston

Oksana has completed her Master’s programme in Public Policy and Public Sector Management following an award of Senator Edmund Muskie Fellowship at Virginia Commonwealth University, USA. She worked in programme management in international humanitarian relief area in Chechnya, South of Russia, participating in shelter and social rehabilitation projects of Danish Refugee Council and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Oksana has over a decade of experience in healthcare management and her expertise is in quality management and clinical governance. She has a special interest in QM in assisted reproduction and has attended multiple courses and conferences on the subject. She is currently studying towards an international diploma in Risk Management. Oksana is passionate about quality in patient care in ART. She has established a national quality managers’ group in the UK and authored a book chapter on quality management in assisted reproduction. Having organised conferences in Quality Management in assisted reproduction under the auspices of ACE/ARCS, she is now leading a Working Group in development of an educational programme on quality management in ART. Oksana is currently a Quality Manager at the Fertility Partnership London Clinic.

Oksana Stidston

Debbie Taylor (PhD)

Debbie Taylor (PhD)

ARCS International Embryology Certificate Lead

Debbie is a Clinical Embryologist at the Centre for Reproductive Medicine, Coventry. She became a member of the (previous) ACE Training Committee (TC) and an ACE Certificate Assessor in 2013. She subsequently became co-chair of the ACE Training Committee in 2018. Since 2011 she has maintained a research and education focus as a visiting academic within Warwick Medical School. She has been involved in the NSHCS STP programme (Reproductive Science) since its inception as a Supervisor, Training Officer, OSFA writer, Assessor, shortlister and interviewer. Debbie is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) and completed the HSSE to become a fellow of the Academy of Healthcare Science (FAHCS) in 2020. Debbie is currently a member of the ARCS Education Committee where she leads the ARCS Training Guide working group.

Debbie Taylor (PhD)

ARCS International Embryology Certificate Lead