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Posted in: ,Training Committee Update

Rachel Gregoire, ARCS Education SIG Co-Chair

The Education SIG continues to work through the review and improvement of existing training ARCS programmes and to develop new ways of supporting our membership. 

We are pleased that we have four new applicants for the ARCS competency portfolio for Assistants and Associates. Welcome to you all and good luck! A virtual chat function will be established for you via the ARCS website for you to meet and support each other. We would welcome diagnostic and therapeutic laboratories to take a look at our portfolio to consider if this training scheme would be suitable for your support staff. 

The long awaited revised WHO guidelines means that a review of the (previously) ABA ‘logbook 1’ for Diagnostic Andrology is underway and will be ready for publication early in 2022 for new applicants. A separate working group will be established to review the (previously) ABA logbooks 2-6 against the ARCS competency portfolio to ensure ARCS can provide comprehensive training to Reproductive Scientists working within different settings and to remove any duplication. 

The Education SIG and ARCS Executive Committee want to send a huge thanks to Debbie Saxton who has tirelessly supported the (previously) ABA logbook candidates. Debbie is standing down from her admin role and we will all miss her knowledge and support. Thank you Debbie! 

The International ACE Certificate (yes we know it needs a name change) is progressing at a fast pace. The working group have worked brilliantly throughout 2021 to pull this together, ready for review by the Education SIG in December 2021 and hopefully publication in early 2022.

The STP Embryology and Andrology IACCs of 2021 have meant that we have 23 soon-to-be Clinical Reproductive Scientists in the fertility profession. What an achievement for all the trainees, supervisors and assessors. Thanks to all involved in the assessments on behalf of the Education SIG. 

Karen Thompson has kindly agreed to support the Education SIG for STP, with Valerie Shaikly leading on HSST equivalence

Sadly the Royal College of Pathologists Reproductive Science Examination Committee say goodbye to Valerie Shaikly as Chair. I’m sure everyone will agree Val has been a fantastic ambassador for ACE and then ARCS in supporting Reproductive Scientists in their RCPath examinations and in curriculum writing for Reproductive Science. Val’s knowledge, experience and willingness to help the membership are second to none. Which is why I am so happy to announce that Val has agreed to Co-Chair the Education SIG with me! Thank goodness ARCS Education will still be in safe hands as no one is leaving me in charge alone…

The current Co-Chair Louise Hyslop is sadly stepping down from chairing the Education SIG. Louise was with the previous ACE training committee for many years and then Chair of the ARCS Education SIG from its origin. Louise’s knowledge regarding Reproductive Science training schemes hurts my head and we will miss her co-chairing the SIG, but lucky for all of us she is stepping into Val’s shoes as the RCPath Examination Committee Chair so we get to keep her brain with us. Congratulations Louise, RCPath is in safe hands. 

The Education SIG are conscious that we don’t have an assessor representative for STP equivalence on the team to help support those considering STP equivalence, but also to help build a network of assessors for both Embryology and Andrology equivalence. Karen Thompson has kindly agreed to support the Education SIG for STP, with Valerie Shaikly leading on HSST equivalence. 

Finally, the Education SIG have started some preliminary work with Oksana Stidson to build a training academy for Quality Managers working in fertility and for Reproductive Scientists already working in the fertility profession but with an interest in Quality Management and service improvement. The first step is to build a QM working group and then build a framework for how the training portfolio would work. Exciting times ahead and we will keep you updated of our progress.    

Thanks to all on the Education SIG and working groups for your continued commitment and enthusiasm. 

Anyone with any questions regarding their training pathway, please reach out to the Education SIG and we will help in any way we can.

Hopefully see many of you at Fertility 2022 for a long awaited catch up,