Functions Of Ibms And Msf Essay, Research Paper
The Nature Of Professional Bodies, Trade Unions and special
In the United Kingdom and Ireland there are many professional
bodies, trade unions and special interest groups around each specific and
unique in its own way. In general professional bodies take care of
maintaining a high standard of professional qualification and practice, Trade
unions represent individual members protecting their rights at work. Special
interest groups promote issues within its boundaries.
Within biomedical science the professional body is The Institute of
Biomedical Science (IBMS) and the Manufacturing Science Finance (MSF)
is the trade union. There are many special interest groups. Some of which
are The British Society for Clinical Cytology (BSCC) and The British Society
for Microbial Technology (BSMT). These are the organizations I will be
looking into and finding out what they are, their main purposes for their
members as well as comparing then against each other.
The institute of biomedical science (IBMS) was founded in 1912 and
has been registered a charity. It used to be called the Institute of Medical
Laboratory Sciences but was changed in January 1994. It is the professional
body for biomedical scientists in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It is
available to all biomedical scientists in all fields of work. Most of its
members live and work in the Uk and Ireland but some others are employed
abroad. In all IBMS has around 15,000 members.
to promote and develop biomedical science and its practitioners, to
establish and maintain professional standards and to be the influential
professional body in biomedical science .(1)
To do this the institutes most important purpose is that it represents
the profession in meetings. These meetings are held with a variety of
people, employers, course organizers, educational and scientific authorities,
government departments and with other professional bodies and influential
people. The aim of the meetings are towards the institutes members so that
the correct requirements of the profession are considered when changes
take place and to insure that they are made to benefit the biomedical
laboratory services and its workers.
The IBMS has many purposes all of which are important but some
more then others. It helps answer its members professional queries and
gives advice on many topics affecting their working lives. The service also
provides a legal 24 hour help-line for domestic and general employment
problems which includes a confidential counseling service. Should an IBMS
member be involved in a legal action related to their profession the institute
can provide immediate support, advice and representation. This is not a
legal service, they can not get involved and fight cases.
IBMS is also involved in the educational field. It helps in the designing
and developing of BSc and MSc degree courses aimed towards the
profession and forwards its ideas to be accredited. To do this the institute
maintains close contact with the heads of University Centers of Biomedical
Science groups. With this close contact the institute advises them on the
content required, ensures the courses are relevant to biomedical science
and that they are taught well.
Some other functions of IBMS are it is consulted by health authorities
on matters concerning the profession, it appoints and nominates official
representatives and acts as a peer group to set the minimum professional
standards required. It also organises scientific meetings so biomedical
scientists can meet and discuss any ideas they have. It also informs the
public with relevant information.
Membership costs 94 and includes legal advice, financial services,
IBMS travel club, income tax relief on subscription, access to insurance,
IBMS member loans and mortgage services.
Also available are the magazines published by IBMS, the Biomedical
Scientists published monthly, and the British Journal of Biomedical Science
which comes out quarterly.
Manufacturing Science Finance (MSF) is one of the largest trade
unions in the United Kingdom, with over 400,000 members in both public
and private sections. MSF was formed in January 1988 when the two
unions Association of Scientific, Technical and Managerial staffs (ASTMS)
and the Technical, Administrative and Supervisory Staffs (TASS) merged.
The joining of the two unions now means that skilled and professional
employers can have the proper support for their skills to be adequately
MSF is the union for skilled and professional people. It fights for its
members whenever and wherever necessary. Membership covers nearly
every industry and service, this is what makes MSF unique compared to
other trade unions. MSF believes that
all aspects of working life should be the subject of discussion and
agreement between employers and the representatives of the trade unions
to which their employees belong. The skilled and professional people who
are our members expert recognition for the contribution that they make to
their employers success. (2)
One of the main concerns of MSF is the way in which people are
treated at work, bullying, racism and harassment are not acceptable. It has
strong campaigns for these areas for all its employees whoever they are.
Another of MSF aims is that all its members should be treated fairly
and everyone has equal opportunities at work. Also no one person of a
minor group should be discriminated against no matter what group they are
a member of. All this is shown by the cases which MSF fights, it has legal
rights to protect its members with.
Examples of this are Desmond Smith, a male health visitor who was
sacked for writing to his MP about racist treatment he was receiving at work.
MSF took up his case and he received money for unfair dismissal and his
professional reputation saved,
MSF understood how much more that mattered to me – much more
that the money . (3)
Another example of this is just near to where I live at the Daewoo
Worthing Technical Centre. MSF is trying to stop many compulsory
redundancies to preserve the workers skills for the new owners Ford. The
redundancies have no business sense and are only happening to satisfy
shareholders of Korean banks who own the company. Ford are buying the
company based on its current capabilities, the sacking of 250 workers will
affect the companies ability to come up with new ideas.
The MSF campaign is about putting a halt to these damaging job
loses, in order to preserve the skills and expertise that exist at the Worthing
design Centre. (4)
MSF has many other functions which are important to its members
including, providing training to workplace representatives on industrial
issues, providing support, encouragement and advising them in all aspects
of their work. It has political influence through Labour Party MP`s, a group of
82 members in both Houses of Parliament and 8 members in the European
Parliament. The group considers matters referred to it by the NEC. Overall
MSF is aimed towards its members and protecting their rights at work.
Special interest groups are there to discuss certain issues about
biomedical science. The groups are formed by professionals in that area of
work as well as interested members. The British Society for Clinical
Cytology is aimed towards promoting cytology and consist of around 500
members. The members are generally biomedical and clinicians scientists.
It promotes cytology in many different ways, from meetings to examinations.
The British Society for Microbial Technology is a much smaller group
designed for the members interested in Microbiology, but more specifically
in the application of microbiological technology. For its members it produces
a newsletter which includes articles written by its members telling of their
experiences and sets up meetings once a year.
To sum up professional bodies, like IBMS, are mainly concerned with
the profession which they represent. Making sure the profession is run
properly, meting the standards required and that relevant courses are
teaching the correct material required. It also aids its members who are in
difficulties with its help-line. It can assist its members in legal cases but
cannot fight the cases for them. It is all about the profession not the
individuals. This is where trade unions differ, like MSF, their main concern is
with the individuals not the profession. They are there to represent their
members when difficulties arise within the work place. It stands up for its
members when unfair dismissal and ill-treatment occur at work. Trade
unions focus on the individual, meting their needs at work and not the whole
profession. Special interest groups aim their efforts towards specific
sections of the profession and its members. It has no legal service for its
members and has no say in how its section is run. This is shown by the
small numbers of members special interest groups have. All have their
advantages and disadvantages, depending on what your personal issues
are depends on what group you join.
(4) Fleming D. MSF Regional Officer. (2000), Daewoo Pushing
ahead with redundancies despite Ford s bid, (www.MSF.org.uk)
(2) MSF, What is MSF?, What do we believe?, (www.MSF.org.uk)
(3) Smith D. MSF the union for health professionals,
(1) The Institute of Biomedical Science, General Information, Leaflet
MSF, Daewoo pushing ahead with redundancies despite Ford s
MSF the union of health professionals
MSF, What is MSF, (www,MSF.org.uk) 01.11.2000
Sheetf. T. E. (1999), Trade Associations and Professional Bodies in
in the United Kingdom, 15th edition
The Institute of Biomedical Science, About IBMS, (www.IBMS.org)
The Institute of Biomedical Science, General Information, Leaflet
The Institute of Biomedical Science, Your Profession, Leaflet