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what we are

Joining: What We Offer

Benefits of Membership

  • Annals of Clinical Biochemistry, International Journal of Laboratory Medicine – an internationally acclaimed peer reviewed journal dedicated to laboratory medicine – 6 issues per annum.
  • ACB News – A news magazine and the primary forum for communication with the membership and providing updates on current issues in pathology.
  • Membership of the Federation of Clinical Scientists, a certified trade union recognised as a full member of the NHS Staff Council, the authoritative negotiating body for the NHS.
  • Tax–deductible annual subscription.
  • Access to the ‘ACB Extras’ scheme giving access to a broad portfolio of money-saving discounts designed to support you both personally and professionally.
  • Nationally accredited training courses with tailored teaching to support those working towards the FRCPath examinations.
  • A programme of CPD accredited national and regional scientific meetings.
  • Educational travel bursaries to aid training and the showcasing of scientific work at meetings.
  • Scientific Development Scholarships to encourage and aid research.
  • Access to the Members’ Area of the ACB website.
  • Access to a network of experts across laboratory medicine.
  • Opportunity to register via the ACB as a ‘European Specialist in Laboratory Medicine’ (EuSpLM) or ‘Chartered Scientist’ (CSci).
  • Opportunity to join ACB committees and actively contribute to the profession and Association.
  • Reciprocal arrangements are in place for the purchase of books and journals from other professional bodies across the world.
  • Awards from the CP Stewart Memorial Fund are available for members to visit other laboratories to learn specialised techniques or procedures, or to obtain first-hand knowledge from an expert to assist in their studies.
  • The ACB Benevolent Fund will consider applications from members for financial help in cases of hardship.

Education and Training

The ACB Education Committee, in conjunction with the Regional Tutors and Trainees Committee, form a multi-disciplinary group of scientific and medical professionals who work to provide education, training and support to trainees within the fields of laboratory medicine

ACB members are involved throughout the training process and the ACB has representation on all major bodies responsible for training including the National School of Healthcare Science, Royal College of Pathologists and the Academy for Healthcare Science.

The key activities of the Education Committee and Regional Tutors in providing support for members include:

  • offering guidance and support to all members throughout their training and beyond
  • organisation of nationally accredited training course with tailored teaching to support the FRCPath examinatons
  • delivering management and leadership courses to support consultant level training
  • monitoring of training through the network of Regional Tutors who provide an external point of contact for trainees, run annual assessments to ensure trainees are progressing successfully and provide support for those who encounter difficulties in their training
  • offering education travel bursaries to help members attend and showcase their research at scientific meetings
  • reviewing workforce planning issues nationally

The Trainees committee aims to ensure that trainees’ views are heard on subjects such as the NHS Scientist Training Programme, Royal College of Pathologists’ examinations, as well as the content and location of ACB Training Courses. A Trainees Committee representative sits on the Royal College of Pathologists Specialist Advisory Committee for Biochemistry, the Royal College of Pathologists Trainees’ Advisory Committee, in addition to the ACB Council and ACB Education Committee. This ensures that any concerns or issues raised by trainees are conveyed to senior members of the profession who are instrumental in the structure and content of training and examinations.


The Trainees’ Committee comprises both regional members and representatives from other ACB standing committees. The regional members are responsible for representing their trainees’ views, and for feeding back information to them on a regular basis. They are intended to represent all trainees who are ACB members, including both clinical scientist and medical members.

The key activities of the Trainees Committee in providing support for members include:

  • advising ACB Council of matters of concern to trainees and seeking ways to respond to these concerns
  • informing trainees of Council’s activities and considering matters suggested for discussion by Council and other ACB standing committees
  • disseminating information about ACB activities amongst all trainees
  • fairly representing all trainee groups within the ACB by providing representatives for regions, standing committees and speciality groups including the Immunology Group, the Microbiology Group and the Federation of Clinical Scientists’ National Committee


  • Annals of Clinical Biochemistry – one of the world’s foremost journals in its field, Annals publishes fully peer reviewed papers and reviews of international authorship within the areas of immunology, genetics, biotechnology, haematology, microbiology, computing and management where they have both biochemical and clinical relevance. Six issues are published per annum
  • ACB News – A news magazine that acts as the main route of communication with members and also publishes meeting reports, Federation briefings and ensures that members are notified of current topics and recent developments in pathology
  • Venture Publications – ACB produce high quality books of practical and educational value to laboratory professionals and clinicians
  • Analyte monographs – peer reviewed monographs providing detailed information about the performance and use of individual laboratory tests, for both laboratory staff and clinical users
  • NICE Guideline Summaries – peer reviewed summaries of NICE guidelines highlighting their importance and effect on the service provision of laboratories

Science & Clinical Practice

The Scientific Committee and Clinical Practice Section support and aid the development of best practice in healthcare science through:

  • co-ordinating ACB involvement on NICE Guideline Committees shaping future requirements for healthcare delivery in the UK and the role of the laboratory within them • producing best practice guidelines across a range of areas - often in conjunction with other professional bodies
  • awarding Scientific Development Scholarships to support high quality patient-focussed research undertaken by Association members
  • facilitating clinical and operational audits, both nationally and locally, to highlight areas of good practice and provide robust evidence to support the adoption of national guidelines and standardisation of testing

Federation of Clinical Scientists

The FCS is a certified independent trade union recognised as a full member of the NHS Staff Council, the authoritative negotiating body for the NHS and the trade union arm of the ACB. The FCS represents the industrial relations interests of clinical scientists and the medically qualified and biomedical scientist members of the ACB.

The ACB is one of a small number of professional bodies recognised as a trade union and the only one within clinical science. This is why the ACB created a special class of membership- the federation member- so that clinical scientists have a collective voice in industrial relations.

  • the FCS is fully recognised for collective negotiating and representing individual members in the NHS at local, Trust and National levels and with Public Health England and NHS Blood and Transplant
  • members are represented by laboratory based clinical scientists who understand your issues because they are their issues too
  • all FCS officers are practising scientists; this unique commitment to clinical science benefits the industrial relations process immensely by bringing a scientists' rigour and need for hard evidence
  • our network of local accredited representatives is supported by regional and group officers including those from microbiology, genetics and trainee members
  • we use the services of experts in industrial relations with a proven track record in handling complex cases and member problems

Awards and Prizes

  • ACB Medal Award – Awarded annually on the basis of an oral communication presented by a member in active training at the national ‘Focus’ conference. The winner receives a silver medal and both the winner and runner up receive a bursary
  • ACB Foundation Award – Initiated in 1990, this award is given annually to a member of the Association who has made an outstanding contribution to clinical biochemistry. The winner is invited to present the Foundation Award lecture at the national ‘Focus’ conference
  • Poster Prizes – Each year at the national ‘Focus’ conference, bursaries are awarded to the authors of the best ‘Clinical Cases’ and ‘Clinical Audit’ posters displayed at the meeting
  • Members Papers – Each year many of the ACB regions hold local ‘Members Papers’ meetings where members are invited to present their research at a regional meeting and the presentation judged best receives a bursary

How you can get involved

The ACB could not function without the good will and hard work of our members and there are many ways members can actively contribute to the Association and profession whilst developing skills in media, politics, organising scientific meetings, networking and professional representation. Examples of how members contribute, both on and off committees, include:

  • becoming an accredited FCS representative and taking part in union negotiations
  • organising or presenting at local and national scientific meetings
  • assisting with the Associations’ numerous educational and training activities such as running training courses, supervising trainees and working with the NSHCS, AHCS and ACS in the accreditation of training centres and the production and running of assessments
  • producing content or helping edit one of our publications including the ACB News, Annals of Clinical Biochemistry, the website and short term projects
  • joining or contributing to the work of the Scientific and Clinical Practice Committees and their various sub-groups in producing best practice guidelines, supporting research and running clinical audits
  • representing the ACB on one of many national and international bodies relating to science, accreditation, standards, education and training


Updated 12 March 2018

© Copyright The Association for Clinical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicine
The Association for Clinical Biochemistry
and Laboratory Medicine
130-132 Tooley Street LONDON SE1 2TU
Tel: 020 7403 8001 Fax: 020 7403 8006