3 minutes read
Posted in: ,Meeting Report

Independent Assessment of Clinical Competence (IACC) Preparation Event provided by ARCS

Amy Cohen

Clinical Embryologist, BPAS Fertility, London

I was so pleased to be able to participate in this training session. I felt somewhat confused about the IACC but felt much better informed after the sessions and speaking with Georgina. It was of great benefit to hear about her experience with the IACC last year, with the STP in general and the time following her qualification. The session included themes which I have never discussed during my time as a trainee in a formal capacity such as imposter syndrome, and I found this part of the session eye-opening and encouraging, helping me to understand that it is more common than I thought! In a truly tough year and a half, the NSHCS had to, understandably so, change the process for qualification. It was worrying at first- after years of expecting the OFSA, then hearing that in 2020 candidates had to submit the IACC statement instead and now in 2021 things were to change again to include an interview assessment- it was a bit of a rollercoaster. It all felt a little scary and unknown. In the STP we are blessed with the knowledge of our predecessors and this felt like scary new ground. On reflection, I can’t imagine how much more of a challenge it was for the 2020 alumni- the first to do the IACC. That is why the ARCS training day was so valuable. To take away some of that fear and anxiety.

Georgina has a wonderful skill of framing situations to outline the most relevant points and this methodical coaching was key to making this support session work.

Tom Baker was an excellent addition to the itinerary and helped me prepare for my interview with tips for online public speaking including preparation and feeling more confident in my presentation style. It was great to hear from people who would be sitting on the panels, including Helen Hunter, who reminded us that the interviewers are our colleagues and they want us to succeed. Plus, it was a first for them too, a new format and they were still getting to grips with this new system. That human element of the conversation was so important for me- as Clinical Scientists we must grow and adapt. We don’t always have the answers but we find them and we work together to come to a good result. Georgina further highlighted this with her flexibility and dynamicity in being able to deal with interruptions and disturbances outside of her control!

Overall I left the session feeling far more confident than when I entered. The only improvement I would suggest is to have had someone from the NSHCS there, listening in and perhaps contributing. Their messages have been at times confusing, and I have felt a distance from the school as compared to the university or my workplace. While they have been supportive in times of need, I do feel that a more human touch from them at times would be appreciated by trainees.

I passed my IACC and I definitely feel all the better for having attended the session. I felt supported, encouraged and more confident in myself. Georgina has a wonderful skill of framing situations to outline the most relevant points and this methodical coaching was key to making this support session work. We can sometimes get so caught up on small details that we forget the bigger picture, and she really helped to bring that into focus for me.