Continuing Education Certificate


The Continuing Education Certificate (CEC) has been running very successfully now for many years, and its success is due in no small part to those dedicated individuals who set the scheme up and running.  However, the changes in educational and employment regulations in the last few years has meant that the original scheme had limited flexibility.  In view of this, a number of changes have been made which will allow greater flexibility and ease of credit collection, with a wider range of activities creditable, and also the minimisation of the mandatory categories.  It is not for the scheme administrator to ensure that members are fulfilling their employment contractual obligations, such as EQA and mandatory gynae update – that is the remit of the laboratory manager and QA. 

Recording your activities will also help to provide a record of your on-going education for your annual KSF Personal Development Reviews, with easier cross reference to the KSF dimensions.


The scheme is still based on the accumulation of credits in the various categories listed below.  Credits are collected in your CEC book, which is included, which has sections in which to write your activities.  Credits are awarded at the rate listed next to the category title and a certificate is awarded on accumulation of 500 credits

The 500 credits must be achieved in a maximum of five years but certificates can be claimed as soon as the credit total reaches 500.  A new introduction for the scheme is that credits in excess of 500 can be carried over to the next certificate, however, timely submission of books is appreciated as it creates extra organisation for the administrator, and multiple certificates will not be issued.  The extra credits will be signed into your next book by the administrator at the time of certification.

The rating system also now has a slight weighting system for the more formal training events attended.  This gives greater recognition of the higher education and practical elements which are directly cytology post related.

Submission of a short reflective practice statement for courses and conferences attended will attract another 5 credits for that activity.  The current administration of the scheme does not make it possible to validate reflective practice for each and every small activity such as internal slide meetings, MDTs, JBLs, lunchtime meetings etc.  You may wish to, however, do an annual one which covers the groups of activities undertaken in that year.

Newly registered members can claim for the 3 months prior to their registration date. 

PLEASE NOTE:  Books submitted for certification more than 12 months after the last entry in the book, will only be backdated by 6 months, thereby risking loss of credits


CATEGORY 1 - Contractual

Employment – 20 per year

EQA/proficiency testing – 10 per activity

CATEGORY 2 – Formal Education Programmes – block rating 40 per day

Practically based courses such as those undertaken at, or run by, the training schools, or activities such as the BAC slide seminars and tutorials.  These must be related to the field of cytopathology. 

CATEGORY  3 – Other educational activites – block rating of 30 per day, or 5 per educational hour, 10 maximum per JBL unless otherwise stated. (10 credits can be claimed for a pass in the IBMS JBL scheme)

This covers all other educational activities, not covered in category 2 such as discussion groups, local, regional, national or international conferences or meetings.  IBMS discussion groups etc would also be included.  Journal based learning and slide circulation schemes also come under this category.

CATEGORY 4 – Presentations/teaching/audit/posters

50 credits for primary author

25 credits secondary author

20 credits for FIRST preparation and delivery only, of any one teaching activity

CATEGORY 5 – Other Professional Activities – 10 credits per year

This includes professional appointments which are EXTRA to your main job.

e.g. Departmental H&S officer, professional panel member (eg Technical EQA, lean working groups etc), professional appointments such as NAC exec, BSCC council, IBMS advisory panel.

CATEGORY 6 – Job related activities (not directly cytology) – 3 credits per hour

This will include activities which might satisfy Core KSF dimensions, such as H&S meetings, communications training, computer training, presentation skills etc

CATEGORY 7 – Higher Education – MSc, BSc, C&G Diploma, HSD, ABMSP, Dip.Ext & Exp Practice.

Credits will be given according to the following ratings.  Please note that any study by a trainee which precedes full qualification or registration with HPC does not attract credits for a CONTINUING education scheme.  Credits can be claimed, however, for success in that area.  The ONLY exceptions to this will be for a fully qualified cytology screener who chooses to go on and study for a BSc to further their career prospects, or a registered BMS who changes discipline to cytology (see notes below)

The following activities will attract 200 credits each

  • MSc
  • BSc – (for registered and/or qualified staff only)
  • Higher Specialist Diploma
  • Diploma in Extended Practice
  • Diploma in Expert Practice

The following will attract 250 credits

  1. Diploma in Advanced Practice in Cytology (ABMSP)

The following gain 20 credits for successful achievement only

  1. NHSCSP Diploma for trainees – 20 credits
  2. Registration/Specialist portfolio – 20


  • Credits must be acquired from a minimum of three of the categories listed above.
  • 500 credits must be achieved in a maximum of five years. Credit accumulation IS limited to five years and individuals who have not achieved their credits in this time will NOT be eligible for a certificate until 500 have been achieved in a continuous 5 year period.  In such cases only those credits achieved in the last five years will be assessed and books will be returned until it can be shown that 500 credits have been achieved in a five year period.
  • Your date of registration on the scheme is the date from which participation is assessed.  However courses can be backdated for three months prior to that date.
  • Credits over 500 can be carried to the next certificate, but must be verified by the Scheme administrator at the time of certification.
  • All entries must be signed by a third party, not yourself, and preferably by the event organiser.  This includes the Employment sections. A special section is available in the new book to record employment
  • EQA - Your EQA facilitator should ideally sign for this activityThere is a special section in the new book to record this.  Voluntary slide exchange schemes such as those run by a number of regions DO NOT come under this category.  Credits for these should be allocated to category 3.
  • All cytology update / refresher courses / formal BSCC tutorials (Gynae and non-gynae) run by the NHSCSP accredited training schools, carry automatic enhanced credit ratings, and should be recorded under category 2.
  • Trainee grades should note that Introductory, Follow up and Pre-examination courses are part of initial training and should not be used for credit accumulation. Trainee BMS staff cannot claim credits for training leading to HPC registration and specialist portfolio.  In each of these cases, credits can be claimed for successful attainment.
  • Any individual who is already fully qualified, eg Cytology Screener, registered BMS, who undertakes higher education to further their career, can claim credits for those activities, according to the ratings listed above. – another example might be a BMS originally registered in another discipline, who chooses to become trained in cytology and would have to undergo training by the C&G Diploma route.
  • Credits for lectures, presentations, papers, posters and other activities in category 4 will be judged on submission of application from participants. Verification from a referee may occasionally be required.
  • Lectures/presentations only qualify for credits on the first occasion a presentation is given. 


Please ensure that:

i) Sufficient details are included in your book

 e.g.      " in house session" is unacceptable but " in house session - pleural fluids" is acceptable

"IBMS" is unacceptable but IBMS discussion group with a title is acceptable

ii) All activities are signed for by a third party (see notes above)

e.g.      Laboratory training officer, Course organiser, EQA facilitator, Training school manager/director

DO NOT sign for yourself.

It is easier for the facilitator or local officer if, when completing pages in your book, you use separate pages for separate years of activities other than employment and EQA, and clearly mark the year at the top of the page. – The new style books have separate sections for employment and EQA and should act as an aide memoir;  employment was often forgotten and credits missed for unlogged EQA rounds.


Where possible please send your book to your local CEC officer. A book checklist is included in your paperwork.

You MUST be a current paid up member of the BAC in order to claim your certificate.  Please photocopy your current membership card and staple it to the front of your book.  Failure to do this will result in non-certification until proof is obtained.

Please ensure your name and address in the front of your book is current.  Please remember to include your BAC membership and/or CEC number if possible.

Please complete the summary sheet enclosed with your book.  Sign and date your book and sheet.

If you have any comments or requests please use the notes page at the back of the book.

Helen Burrell

CEC Scheme Facilitator

British Association for Cytopathology

October 2017