British Society for Histocompatibility & Immunogenetics
BSHI Education Board
Special Interest Groups
BSHI Professional Advisory Group
International Journal of Immunogenetics
The British Society for Histocompatibility & Immunogenetics (BSHI) was formed in 1989 following widespread expression of support for a formal professional body to represent scientists in the field. The society has a membership of over 450 which includes Biomedical Scientists, Clinical Scientists, Physicians, Surgeons, Researchers and Academics. There are BSHI members in all the Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics (H&I) laboratories in the UK and Ireland and many European laboratories. BSHI became a company limited by guarantee in 2007 and achieved charitable status in 2008.
Since its establishment, the BSHI has enjoyed continuing support and encouragement from the commercial sector. Several companies have joined as corporate BSHI members.
To promote and protect health for the public benefit in particular by:
a) developing and maintaining good practice in Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics by ensuring the highest professional standards of competence
b) encouraging the advancement of scientific research and knowledge of its application in all aspects of Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics and disseminating the useful results thereof
The Society holds an annual scientific meeting, which is enthusiastically supported by the membership and commercial companies.
The BSHI committee is comprised of a Chairman, Treasurer, Secretary, Meetings Secretary, Education Board Chairman and Professional Advisory Group Chairman together with 6 ordinary members. Committee members are elected by the membership with a normal term of office of three years. The society has a written constitution, which is available from the secretary.
BSHI Education Board (BEB)
The BSHI Education Board aims to facilitate, develop and advance the academic and professional standing of BSHI and all its members. Two subcommittees, the Training and Development Executive (TDE) and Research Executive (RE) address the education and training requirements within H&I.
The TDE runs a competence based training scheme to meet the needs of trainee Clinical and Biomedical Scientists in H&I. Successful completion of the scheme results in the award of the BSHI Diploma.
The TDE is also responsible for the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) scheme, which acts as a formal recognition that an individual is keeping up to date and maintaining professional commitment and competence. The Education Board works with the Royal College of Pathologists on the delivery of Higher Specialist Scientific Training in H&I. Also in that context, the TDE is responsible for organizing and co-ordinating training activities for individuals registered in higher training programmes leading to Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists.
The RE is the academic arm of BSHI and has links to the British Society of Immunology through the Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics Group. The RE contributes to the scientific programme of the annual BSHI conference, is responsible for co-ordinating peer-reviews of abstracts submitted for presentation and organises joint sessions at congresses organised by other associated societies. They are involved in the peer-review of applications for BSHI bursaries and awards.
Special Interest Groups (SIGs)
SIGs are set up to encourage and promote practical co-operation and research activities between members, usually in response to new technologies and their potential application to H&I. These SIGs hold one day meetings and workshops and the SIG co-ordinators update the membership through the BSHI Newsletter. SIGs work under the umbrella of the Education Board and in conjunction with the TDE and RE as appropriate.
BSHI Professional Advisory Group
The BSHI has nominated representatives to a number of other professional organisations and these representatives link to the BSHI Committee through the Professional Advisory Group (BPAG). In addition, the elected members of BPAG are responsible for co-ordinating BSHI input to official
e.g. Department of Health working groups and documents.
BSHI is represented in a number of areas including the Association of Clinical Scientists, Clinical Pathology Accreditation UK Ltd, the Federation of Healthcare Science, the National External Quality Assurance Advisory Panel for Immunology, the Royal College of Pathologists and the NHS Blood and Transplant Advisory Groups.
Establishment and maintenance of appropriate standards within H&I is addressed through the BPAG. This will interact with other professional organisations e.g. European Federation for Immunogenetics, British Transplantation Society as required and set up Standards Working Groups to address specific topics.
BSHI Bursaries are available to members who have been with the Society for at least one year and are up to date with their subscription. Members are able to apply for one bursary in a year and priority is given to 'junior' members contributing to meetings. At least £5000 is available for bursaries each year.
An Annual Travelling Fellowship Award was instigated in 1997 with the aim of promoting the interaction and exchange of ideas between laboratories, either abroad or in the UK. It was subsequently renamed the Julia Bodmer Travel Fellowship and is aimed principally at mid-career scientists who have been BSHI members for more than three years. The award is up to the value of £2000.
Each year, trainees who have successfully completed the BSHI Diploma are eligible to compete on the basis of abstract submission and presentation for the VH Bio Bursary that supports travel to a European meeting.
International Journal Of Immunogenetics
This is the official journal of BSHI and short reviews, commissioned by BSHI, covering all aspects of H&I are regularly published in this journal.
The BSHI Newsletter
The BSHI Newsletter is circulated quarterly to all members to update them on developments within the Society including regular reports on professional issues, meetings, conferences, and special interest groups and information on training.
The BSHI Website (www.bshi.org.uk)
The BSHI website provides information to both members (in a dedicated 'Members section') and other visitors of BSHI activities. This includes details of upcoming BSHI organised meetings such as training events, CPD Journal based learning, information relating to the various BSHI groups, employment opportunities, BSHI newsletter and other publications.