Interview with Kasia Sala, Research Technician (Life Sciences)

Why did you apply for professional registration?

I joined the Institute of Biomedical Sciences (IBMS) in 2014 as I was looking for an institution which could provide their members with the guidance and tools to develop expertise and knowledge. I found all the information required to become a Registered Science Technician (RSciTech) on the IBMS website and I knew instantly I wanted to become an RSciTech. I believe that being registered with a professional body is a great opportunity for technicians, as we can be nationally recognised by colleagues and it can help us to advance in our careers.  

How did you find the process?

I was pleasantly surprised by the ease and speed of the registration procedure and by the assistance I was given during this process. Completing the application form was straightforward and it didn’t take me much time to put together the evidence of Continuous Professional Development (CPD). This process also helped me realise how much I have learnt so far and has greatly increased my confidence.

What do you see as the benefits of professional registration?

RSciTech registration encourages me to develop my skills further across several areas. I am determined to continue my professional development, extend my knowledge and experience as this allows me to commit and deliver the highest standards of work. Being a member of the Science Council gives me visibility within the scientific community and links me to a network of professional experts in various scientific disciplines.

What advice would you give to technicians who are considering becoming registered?

I strongly recommend professional registration to anyone who wants their qualifications and experience to be recognised and acknowledged.

 

Interview with Yu Liu RSci, Research Technician (Bioengineering)

When were you introduced to professional registration?

I was introduced to professional registration with the Science Council when I took part in a Technicians' Network event at the College in 2016. The event was well organised and quite a few scientific organisations were there to showcase the different categories of professional registrations available from them. I was interested in registration with the Institute of Science and Technology (IST) because I work in the Department of Bioengineering, a perfect place for combining science and technology. I described my education and work experience to the representative from the IST and she advised me to apply for ‘Registered Scientist (RSci)’.

How did you find the process?

The registration process was very straight forward. Firstly, I had to become a paid member of the IST, which just involved filling in a membership application form, which was simple to complete. Secondly, I was required to submit a few documents necessary for applying to become RSci. The most important document was a competency assessment form, which asked me to provide written evidence about my skills in various areas from communication to problem solving. The competence report was long, and it took a while to give all the information required. However, I enjoyed it because I learnt a lot about myself by reflecting on my skills, work experience and personality. I also identified the different career paths which I could try in the future, which was truly exciting. One month after my first submission to the IST, I received feedbacks from two assessors. Luckily, they only requested more details in two areas of my competency, which was not difficult to do at all. I resubmitted the competence report and a couple of weeks later I became a Registered Scientist, which allows me to use the letters RSci after my name! It’s great that the College provides support by covering the cost of membership and registration, which demonstrates its commitment to continuing professional development and career progression – my department manager (Mr. Kenneth Keating) was very supportive in making this happen for me.

What advice would you give to technicians who are considering becoming registered?

The downside to the registration process is that it only lasts for a year. To continue as a registered scientist, I need to achieve what I had planned in the previous year. However, this was a motivation for me to work hard and keep learning. For this reason, I am confident that I will be happier due to the new skills and techniques which I will gain from this continuous self-improvement process. Therefore, I recommend every Imperial technician to apply for RSci or equivalent professional qualification. Be proud of yourself and your abilities! You can do it!