The International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER) and the board of certification for the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) have announced that they have reached an agreement to develop, administer, and maintain a new biobanking practitioner qualification.

The ASCP board of certification offers qualifications for specific skills in several technical areas of laboratory medicine. ISBER represents biobankers in the fields of human and environmental biobanking.

Upon meeting specific educational and experience requirements for the qualification, candidates will be eligible to complete an online examination and, if successful, gain recognition for their skills and competencies as biobankers. Both ISBER and ASCP hope that the new qualification will help further scientific discoveries in the field of biobanking.

 Zisis Kozlakidis, PhD, MBA, ISBER.

Zisis Kozlakidis, PhD, MBA, International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories.

“Improving the quality of biobanking practices is essential to improving research outcomes, especially in the fields of translational and precision medicine,” says Zisis Kozlakidis, PhD, MBA, president of ISBER. “With this new qualification, we will be able to advance the science of biobanking to the level required to support future healthcare breakthroughs.”

Patricia Tanabe, MPA, MLS(ASCP)CM, ASCP.

Patricia Tanabe, MPA, MLS(ASCP)CM, American Society for Clinical Pathology.

“ISBER is an international organization that develops best practice guidelines and high quality standards in biobanking,” says Patricia Tanabe, MPA, MLS(ASCP)CM, executive director of the ASCP board of certification. “The ASCP board of certification is proud to be partnering with ISBER to develop a qualification in biobanking to provide recognition to individuals working in this growing field. Biobanks are vital to medical research and precision medicine, and therefore require qualified professionals.”

Daniel Simeon-Dubach, MD, ISBER.

Daniel Simeon-Dubach, MD, International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories.

“Given the global growth in the field of modern biobanking, there is a demand for ongoing education and professionalization of this sector,” says Daniel Simeon-Dubach, MD, chair of ISBER’s standards advisory committee. “This new qualification will help us meet the needs of all our members as well as biobankers as a whole. The ASCP board of certification has a proven record of developing credentialing programs on a worldwide level.”

The new qualification is expected to be launched in the first quarter of 2019.