It is the view of the Institute of Science Technology that a Registration Scheme for laboratory and other technical practitioners is essential if their status, career prospects and expertise are to be recognised and enhanced. Registration of approved practitioners is increasingly recognised both within the UK and the European Union as being a necessary measure of professional competence.
Registered Practitioners perform technical duties of an established or novel character either independently or under general direction. They require the power of logical thought and, when in a management role, the qualities of leadership and effective control. They may be employed in education, industry, medical technology, research or similar areas.
Registered Practitioners provide, either independently or as leaders, the most satisfactory service possible through existing resources and so exercise a significant influence on the overall effectiveness of the organisation in which they work.
They must, therefore, be competent by virtue of their education, training and experience:-
- to exercise technical judgement in and assume responsibility for their technical duties;
- to understand, by the application of general principles and established techniques, the reasons for and the purposes of the operations for which they are responsible;
- to be aware of the business, management, safety, social and economic context of their work, both within the organisation and in the wider environment.
The professional requirements of their roles are defined by the IST’s Code of Professional Conduct.
Registered Practitioners must have attained a high level of technical proficiency supported by sufficient knowledge of modern technology to enable them to relate to operating practices in their chosen field. This knowledge must be based on a fundamental understanding of relevant basic principles.
The exemplifying academic and occupational standards for a Registered Practitioner are Higher National Certificate or Diploma and NVQ/SVQ level 3 or 4 in an appropriate occupational area. Other qualifications judged to be of equivalent standard also satisfy the requirements.
The experience appropriate for registration as a Registered Practitioner will normally include:
- exercise of independent technical judgement at an appropriate level;
- design, development and operation of sophisticated apparatus/ equipment and procedures,
- manufacture of products, equipment and processes to an appropriate level of cost, safety, quality, reliability and appearance;
- understanding of and involvement in statutory, financial, and commercial considerations where appropriate;
- communications skills and involvement in human and industrial relations
- maintaining a responsible and safe attitude to science technology and changes in the field of technology.
It is unlikely that sufficient experience of the level required can be obtained in less than five years, post-qualification.
Applicants for admission to the Register must submit:
- full details of their qualifications
- IST membership number and grade/s of membership of all professional bodies
- two professional references including one from the applicant’s current supervisor or line manager. This must include confirmation of:
- training record
- experience and responsibilities
- a full CV
- details and evidence of professional and personal development (PPD)
Mature applicants who have achieved a high standard of professional competence but who may not have appropriate formal academic qualifications can also be admitted to the Register if they can demonstrate sufficient understanding of the principles of their branch of science and can satisfy the other criteria. Additional references may be requested.
Registered Practitioners are permitted to use the post-nominal, designatory letters MIScT(Reg) or FIScT(Reg).
Registration must be renewed each year and the renewal application should be accompanied by evidence of Professional and Personal Development. Successful applicants should note that they may be removed from the Register if:
- they fail to undertake any PPD in a 2-year period, or
- there is evidence that their professional conduct falls below the standard expected, or
- they cease to be a technical practitioner.
The fee for admission to the Register is £25.00 and the annual renewal fee is £25.00. These fees may be subject to change.
Applicants should complete the application form and return it along with supporting evidence, two written references and the correct fee, to the Institute of Science & Technology.