WCB Lab Technician first in Europe to pass the Qualification in Biorepository Science exam.

Non Williams has worked in laboratories of the Wales Cancer Biobank (based in Cardiff University) for the last two years and in July 2021 she became the first person in Europe to pass the new Qualification in Biorepository Science (QBRS) exam. The qualification was jointly developed by ISBER* and ASCP BOC+ to meet the increasing demand for biobank and biospecimen related education to help to professionalise a biobank’s workforce and improve standards. Working together the two organisations developed the qualification which was first offered in 2020 and is open to candidates around the world.

Non took the online exam after a period of self-study using the recommended reading resources on the ASCP website. Non commented that ‘it was great to have an exam for individuals to gain recognition for their skills and competencies as biobankers’ and that ‘the ability to study at home and do the exam online really helped with fitting in around daily work commitments’.

Dr Alison Parry-Jones, Operations Director of WCB said, ‘We are very proud that Non is the first candidate in the UK and Europe to pass the exam. It is very important for WCB to support professional training – hopefully she is the first of many of our staff who will go on to take the qualification. The Wales Cancer Biobank strives to provide a quality service to researchers and well qualified biorepository professionals are central to this aim to support the advancement of biomedicine and biospecimen-based science’.

For more information on the qualification, eligibility criteria and to access the reading list, go to: www.isber.org/qualification or www.ascp.org/boc/qbrs

*The International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER) is the leading global society promoting and focusing on Quality in Biobanking, with the mission to ‘Advance the expertise and quality of biorepositories and biobanking science worldwide’.

+The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) is the world’s largest professional membership organisation for pathologists and laboratory professionals. The Board of Certification (ASCP BOC) provides excellence in global medical laboratory professional certification. www.ascp.org/content/board-of-certification