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You and Me and CPD.

In the April issue of the NZIMLS Journal we read Terry Taylor's tale on being the President of the NZIMLS. Now it's my turn what it is really like to be the Co-Ordinator for the NZIMLS's CPD programmes. So, where do I fit into the 'lab' world, and what do I know about professional development for Medical Laboratory Science personnel?

I started training as a scientist in 1972 at Auckland Hospital and have been working in the profession ever since. In those days we spent time working full time in biochemistry, haematology, microbiology, histology, blood bank and blood transfusion centre. This was spread over a three-year period whilst also attending Polytech for lectures and labs both as day release and at night school, we were very much part of the working staff force during that time. I then spent two further years specialising in clinical biochemistry qualifying as a Medical Scientist (Technologist) in 1976. After that I worked at Auckland Hospital and Greenlane Hospital Labs and also lectured on specialist biochemistry topics to students at the Auckland School of Medical Laboratory Technology.

In 1986 I moved into the commercial world and worked for Boehringer Mannheim (now Roche) as their South Island representative. This included training staff on Hitachi analysers, being the application specialist for the region and also promoting gene sequencing and PCR products (after undergoing a workshop/training course at Massey University).

Since 1994 I have been working (part time) in the Steroid and Immunobiochemistry Laboratory at Canterbury Health Laboratories and in 2003 I completed my Fellowship (by treatise) of the NZIMLS. I now sit on the Fellowship committee of the NZIMLS with two other Fellows.

All of this has given me a good basis to recognise what is 'professional development' and what is 'part of your role as a Medical Science Practitioner'.

I guess most of you know me as the 'person' who marks the NZIMLS Journal questionnaire so you can gain 5 valuable CPD points. This takes a fair amount of my time as each issue of the journal has an average of about one thousand submissions. It still frustrates me how many of you do not get 10/10 for these questionnaires--it's usually only around 30-40% of people who get 10/10! Please check the following issue of the Journal to see if you are one of those. Remember the questions are designed to prove you have read the ENTIRE article. I don't set the questions for the questionnaire, that is the role of the Journal Editor, but I do get given the questions and the articles they come from before the Journal goes to print. It is my job to find the answers, and submit those to the Editor to see if we agree, and to pass on any comments regarding the questions and their model answers.

If any of you write questions for the NZIMLS Classroom sessions, it is my job to have these questions moderated and the answers checked, before the questions can go 'live' on the website. Any education sessions, meetings and workshops needing CPD approval come to me, and I assess these for relevant professional development content (often with consultation with the CPD subcommittee or the education provider) and assign an approval code and a points value. I answer all the emails you send me regarding your CPD questions and problems, and forward some of these to personnel within the NZIMLS who may be better able to assist you.

Co-ordination of the annual CPD audit is also part of my role. As well as visiting the external auditor and briefing him on changes and updates needed to perform the audit, I also liaise with him during the audit process. The audit report is then tabulated and sent on to the Medical Sciences Council after ratification at the first available NZIMLS Council meeting. It is also uploaded onto the NZIMLS website.

And, have you ever forgotten or missed adding all your CPD points for the previous year before the cut-off date? If you have, you will know that it is my job to sort those points for you .... and yes, you need to pay for this! Any documentation required for those points needs to be scrutinised and approved by me (as if you were being audited) before I can add those points for you. This ensures that the points I am adding are all genuine claims.

I attend the NZIMLS Council meetings (usually four per year), present them with a CPD report and table any queries or suggestions that have come from you, the members. I am your voice for CPD at Council level. The CPD programme is approved by the Medical Sciences Council (MSC) and needs to be reviewed and updated regularly. Meetings with the MSC are sometimes part of this process.

I attend, chair and often present at various NZIMLS educational meetings held during the year, be it the North Island Seminar, South Island Seminar, Special Interest Group Meetings or the Annual Scientific Meeting.

And on top of all that, I also travel and endeavour to visit as many labs throughout New Zealand as time and purpose allows. If you see me in your lab, come along to one of my question/answer/suggestion sessions there, or ask me anything CPD you like when I'm wandering around your lab.

My hours are not regular, I have my phone and laptop with me most of the time, even when I'm travelling around New Zealand or on holiday. I don't have them with me when I'm on the water paddling in a dragon boat or a waka, but they're not far away. The decisions/answers I give you are not my own, they are part of an approved process and I often need to consult with our CPD sub-committee in order to provide a fair and consistent judgement for you that will fit the legislation.

But always remember that I am here for you and to help you fulfil your CPD quota to meet the requirements for your Annual Practicing Certificate (APC). The degree of commitment to this from all of you is incredible and makes me very proud of the determination of all New Zealand lab staff to be continually learning and improving their knowledge in this chosen profession.


Jillian Broadbent, FNZIMLS, Medical Laboratory Scientist [1] and CPD Co-Ordinator [2]

[1] Canterbury Health Laboratories, Christchurch

[2] NZIMLS, Rangiora

Correspondence: Jillian Broadbent
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Author:Broadbent, Jillian
Publication:New Zealand Journal of Medical Laboratory Science
Date:Aug 1, 2019
Previous Article:Comment on the Doctorate of Clinical Laboratory Science Programme.
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